May 12, 2013

Richmond Theatre Fire Sampler

I have been looking for the Scarlet Letter's Richmond Theatre Fire Sampler forever and finally spotted it on Ebay a couple of weeks ago. I was the only bidder, maybe because people aren't looking for a silk-screened sampler (stamped). Some years ago I had emailed Marsha about it--it has a 1987 copyright--and she emailed me back promptly and kindly to say that alas, it was permanently out of print. It may have appeared on Ebay a number of times, but if it did, I missed it. When I worked in downtown Richmond a few years ago, I ventured to the Valentine Museum; they had neither a kit (I was hoping that there might be one hanging around), nor the original displayed.
Working on a stamped sampler is interesting. Instead of a preoccupation with counting and the location of one element in relation to another...
...the goal is to cover the silkscreened ink so that the (in this case) orangey-red print doesn't peep out from under the floss. The kit came with DMC, but I did a conversion provided by the chart; I had most of the colors of AVAS in my stash, and those that were missing I subbed with close colors. Although I have a lot of Needlepoint Inc. silks that would have worked well on counted cross stitch, I think NPIs are just a bit thinner than AVAS and wouldn't have provided quite the same coverage. Seventy-two people died in the fire on December 26, 1811, which was sparked by an unattended lamp left too close to some paper scenery. They had been attending a play.
Here's my next out-of-print Scarlet Letter sampler, "The Product of My Needle." This is the second time I started this. The first time was years ago, and I was using 32 count fabric. When I stitched the black background, the fabric showed through, so I scrapped it and restarted it not too long ago on 40 count fabric. Much better! This is a close-up of the cover photo.
And my restart. I'm using AVAS. I love the colors and the design; the sheep's body is stitched in french knots, and the deer is either stem or satin stitch. I'll probably stitch the deer using stem stitch.
I also picked this up last week--I'd love to finish it, since it's been in a project bag for a few years. I'm stitching this on Lakeside 40 count (maybe maritime white?) using the called-for NPI silks.
Pink and Peaches send their greetings for a lovely week ahead.

14 comments:

Laurie in Iowa said...

So glad you were finally able to get the Richmond sampler. It must be strange stitching on stamped fabric... I know it's been a very long time since I've stitched any stamped pieces.

Samplings from Spring Creek said...

Score for your ebay purchase. Not sure I am ready for the "stamped" challenge--yours is beautiful!

Brigitte said...

Very interesting to see that stamped sampler. It looks gorgeous and is certainly fun to stitch although so different from counted cross stitch.
Love your WIPs, particularly the CHS one.

Annette-California said...

Fantastic find on the Richmond Fire Sampler. I think its beautiful - love how you are stitching with silks. I always wondered AVAS to NPI silks. Thank you for sharing. All your wips are incredible and great progress. love Annette

Margaret said...

I love all your stitching, of course. I'm so glad you found the Richmond Theater Fire Sampler. So neat!

marly said...

I've not seen either of these before. Interesting!

Melissa said...

Hi Pink! Hi Peaches! They look so cute together in that photo!

How lucky that you finally found your Richmond sampler! I've never seen a stamped sampler before and now I am intrigued! She's looking great! As is your other sampler - the colours are so pretty!

Vonna Pfeiffer said...

The Richmond sampler... Stunning! Anxious to see that come to life :) and your new start on the other, beautiful! Gotta love that calico cat and gingham dog too :)

valerie said...

Congrats on finding the Fire Sampler! It seems so strange to stitch on stamped linen. I've never done so before. Great progress on your samplers!

Deb said...

Oh goodness, your sampler takes me back to the days when I'd buy stamped kits before counted things even came out. I can't imagine doing one now, but then again, I really like your Richmond Theater. I love your new start as well - very pretty!

Katrina said...

Love the Richmond piece, congrats on finding it!!!! It's so pretty and of course all your other projects are wonderful too.

Rabbits' Guy said...

It's a good thing all those projects are so stunning because I have to look at a lot of them before I see the bunns!!!!

Mer said...

I was intrigued to see your Richmond Theater fire sampler and can provide little bit of historical context for it! I authored a book about the event ("The Richmond Theater Fire: Early America's First Great Disaster", LSU Press, 2012) and the poem featured on your piece was widely circulated on a broadside (with several additional stanzas). The Valentine Richmond History Center holds the original sampler, which is very faded, so it's delightful to see what it might have looked like bright and new. Thanks for sharing! MHB

Giovanna said...

A lovely set of WIPs, as always - the RTFS is gorgeous.