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Moira Blackburn

The Heart of a Friend by Moira Blackburn -- click to see moreThe Heart of a Friend
Inspired by 'The Arrow and The Song' by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow -- you'll be touched by this sampler!!! it's a long verse...but wow! *I shot an arrow into the air, it fell to the earth, I knew not where; for so swiftly it flew, the sight could not follow in it's flight. I breathed a song into the air, it fell to the earth, I knew not where; for who has sight so keen and strong, that it can follow the flight of a song? Long, long afterward, in an oak I found the arrow, still unbroke; and the song from beginning to end, I found again in the heart of a friend.*

Presented as a chart, the stitch count of this is 305 x 247 -- approx 19 x 15 on 32ct. Coded for just 9 colors of DMC, I am sure you can change any of those to hand-dyeds if you'd prefer. What a LOVELY piece -- it needs to be stitched for a very special friend!!!!!

Multiplication Table by Moira Blackburn -- click to see moreMultiplication Table
Oh I love these samplers! Plum Street has one -- The Vexation Sampler -- and so does With My Needle! Stitching one of these has got to be as bad as having to learn the multiplication tables in the first place!!! (But you only have to memorize them once!) A cheerful floral border surrounds this 281 x 237 piece -- it's all regular Cross Stitches. It'll finish approx 17-1/2 x 15 on 32ct... some hand-dyed -- rather than the DMCs called for -- might be pretty on this.

What a fun piece to have hanging in the hallway near the bedrooms! You could suggest to your grandkids that you could practice that table together... or read a bedtime story instead -- their choice!!!

The Hope Sampler by Moira Blackburn -- click to see moreThe Hope Sampler
*Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without the words and never stops at all.* Inspired by samplers Moira has admired in museums,she's chosen threads and fabric with an aged and authentic look. I suspect, however, that this is an older (well, only 2011) chart... because of the printing, and the fact that it calls for DMC.

I think there are better color choices on the market now -- and prettier fabrics -- to make this a little less green against a too-pale background! Regardless, a very old flavor, part of that is probably because of the small border. Presented as a chart, this finishes approx 14 x 15 on 32ct.

Pains of Love by Moira Blackburn -- click to see morePains of Love
Moira Blackburn has released several new samplers... Pains of Love being one of them. Such an intense title for such a pretty and balanced piece... I think this could be a really neat wedding sampler, or better, yet, an anniversary piece! The verse reads: Pains of Love be sweeter far than all other pleasures are. I don't really think of love as being 'painful!'... but OK... in an antique-inspired sampler format... it can work!

So... offered as a chart, 'Pains' is stitched in 15 shades of DMC floss. (You know, I don't think overdyeds are as prominent in England as they are in the US... that's why the designers don't always call for them... but get out your stash, and possibly enhance the colors and shading in this!) It features lots of flora and fauna... lovely borders, and the alphabet is awesome! Finishes approx 15 x 17 on 32ct... pick some hand-dyed linen that is distressed and old-feeling! Lovely!

Beehive Sampler
Moira Blackburn designs some of the most charming samplers! Beehive -- a recent release -- is no exception. Stitched on 32ct linen, in regular DMC flosses, quite a few of the colors are blended in your needle to create subtle color variations. It measures approx 16 x 16... an impressive size for all your stitching!

The verse reads, "He who sows courtesy, reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness, gathers love." It includes an alternate verse, as well; and true to old samplers, the commas and rhymes are either not there... or are a bit of a puzzle or lesson! "The busy bee with ceaseless hum, Morn, noon and evening sucks the flower Think you such honey e'er will come To those who waste the fleeting hour?" The next challenge is to find the beeskeps... and the busy bee! (They're in there!) Notice, too the gathered ribbon around the piece a the mat? How cool and such an antiqued touch!

Beehive Sampler by Moira Blackburn -- click to see more!
Keep Me Sampler
"Keep me as the apple of thine eye, hide me under the shadow of your wings," is the verse on this beautiful sampler piece! Measuring approx 17 x 17 on 28 ct linen, it's stitched in Weeks Dye Works overdyed flosses and DMCs of Hazerlnut, Cadet, Thistle, Whiskey, Bark... touches of Blue Spruce and Lilac... lots of great colors. I love the border and all the lacy trees. Something about this piece is just enchanting -- I don't know if it's the balance, colors or verse... but it's really a neat piece!

Keep Me Sampler by Moira Blackburn -- click to see more

Three Things Sampler
Finishing approx 14 x 20 on 36ct linen, this traditional sampler is stuffed full of motifs and ornamental borders. The verse is very humbling. 'There are Three Things that will never come back, the arrow shot forth on it's destined track -- The appointed hour that could not wait, and the helpful word that was spoken too late.'

Just a really beautiful piece, the colors are rich to create an heirloom! Available as a chart.

 Sampler By Moira Blackburn -- click to see a larger view

Peaceful Garden Sampler
Eight pages to this huge chart, the finished sampler will measure 15 x 23 on any 28ct linen! Stitched entirely in cross stitches, the verse: "Peaceful in my garden, contentment is my lot" is surrounded with floral and animal motifs in the most pleasing array of colors! Although the chart calls for only DMC flosses, you could really add some overdyeds to this and it'd be breathtaking! Lots of charm and detail, it's striking! Of note: the designer: Moira Blackburn is from England! Available as a chart.

Peaceful Garden Sampler By Moira Blackburn -- click to see a larger
Growing Like a Tree
Another of Moira's generously sized samplers... you'll know you've stitched something wonderful when you see it across the room, gracing your wall! Finishing approx 17 x 24 on 28ct linen, and charted in 1995, this has such a timeless sampler appeal. Stitched entirely in regular cross stitches, the predominant colors are browns, rusts, and lots of sage greens. I see something new in it each time I look at it! Available as a chart.

Growing Like a Tree -- click to see a larger view

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