Woodland Sampler – Stage 1

It’s time for another SAL update. After completing Tiny Treasures last time I decided my next SAL project would be the kit that my sister bought for my birthday. It’s called Woodland Sampler by Anchor. The design number is PCE958.

Woodland Sampler

I zig-zagged with the sewing machine around the edge of the supplied 16 count aida fabric, pressed it and clipped it to the frame. All was going well. The charts are on A3 paper and the print is VERY small so I needed to make a working copy to mark off as I stitched. I set myself a target of getting the tawny owl finished for this update. This is how far I got. I’ve stitched for many hours and I’m really disappointed with how long this much took to complete.

Stage 1

Eagle-eyed readers will notice the fabric isn’t aida. I did try but there are so many fractional stitches that I couldn’t get my needle through the aida in the right places and it was all a mess. I swapped it for 32 count evenweave. I don’t enjoy stitching on evenweave but I had no choice. More whinging coming up…

Some of the half stitch symbols weren’t showing up very well on my copy so I needed to refer to the chart to check. That wasn’t very helpful because the print had worn off the original where the paper had been folded! I’d literally taken the chart out of the pack, laid it flat, made a copy and then folded it back up. The print and/or paper must be very poor quality.

Most of the owl that I’ve stitched so far is made up of fractional stitches. I’ve been tearing my hair out LOL. I’ve moaned to everyone around me and now I’m moaning here as well. Anyway, as if all the fractional stitches aren’t enough, there’s a load of back stitching to do over the top. Most of the half stitches that are next to each other are only a shade different. I’m sure this design could’ve been just as effective if it was done in full crosses and backstitch. It all seems a tad unnecessary to me but I’m not an artist.

However, I do love the design and this kit wouldn’t have been cheap so I’m determined to finish it. The threads are Anchor brand so they’re good quality and the supplied fabric was nice too. I can use it for something else. I might have to buy some new dancing shoes for when this one is done but I’ve got plenty of time to save up because it’s going to take ages!!

Sorry for all the whinging. I feel much better now I’ve got it off my chest. I promise to be more chipper next time.

Please check out what everyone else has been up to by clicking their names below. We live all over the world so you may need to allow for time differences. Posting takes place every third Sunday, local time. Our next  updates will be posted on the 23rd May 2021.

Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Constanze, Christina, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Heidi, Jackie, Sunny, Megan, Deborah, Mary Margaret, Renee, Carmela, Sharon, Daisy, Anne, AJ, Jenny, Laura, Cathie, Linda, Helen

About the SAL

Please note this SAL is not accepting any more new members until further notice but this is what it’s all about anyway. This SAL (Stitch Along) is slightly different to other SALs in that we don’t all stitch the same design at the same rate. We choose ONE unfinished project, or ONE new one, and show progress of its completion over a series of three weekly updates. There are no deadlines and no set amount to stitch. The result is that the space in our drawers full of WIPs (works in progress) is gradually being freed up to store lots of new crafty goodness. It’s surprising how much motivation I’ve gained from being in this SAL.

Leave a comment

47 Comments

  1. So frustrating when patterns aren’t up to a decent standard. It’s a very pretty kit, and I hope you find the motivation to persist!

    Reply
  2. witchylin

     /  May 2, 2021

    Stick with it Avis, the whole sampler will be fantastic once completed. It is hard to keep going when there are so many problems with a craft project. Think LHQ and you will know what I mean and why I understand how you are feeling about this SAL.

    Reply
  3. claire93

     /  May 2, 2021

    here’s to hoping that once you get past the owl, the rest will be more enjoyable!

    Reply
  4. Cathie J

     /  May 2, 2021

    I am finding my the pattern for my Santa stocking difficult to read in some places too. Especially the half stitches that are never mentioned in the instructions. On top of that the wrong color floss was supplied for one of the symbols. That owl is great and I am sure as you see more of the picture emerge you will be happier with the stitching.

    Reply
    • Your Santa stocking is definitely worth the effort but also disappointing about the thread and the chart. I’ll persevere with my sampler. The SAL will see to that.

      Reply
  5. It’s certainly a gorgeous kit and despite the hair pulling antics of these cute woodland creatures, you’re off to a good start. If anyone can get get around the obsticles of this project – you can 🙂

    Reply
  6. Shame about the pattern, but the design looks lovely. What a great start!

    Reply
  7. Oh my such intensity but you have achieved quite a bit – please persevere.

    Reply
  8. Christina

     /  May 2, 2021

    Oh no! So sorry to hear this one is stressing you out! Hopefully it is just the start that is stressful since you are having to adjust to new fabric. The chart quality sounds like a pain too! But I LOVE how it’s looking so far!

    Reply
    • I’m continuing because the result is OK. I’m not totally happy with it because of the bulk that the fractionals creates (especially on the back). It does look like a tawny owl so I’ll smile and keep going.

      Reply
  9. I have 4 of these samplers Avis, 2 are complete, one is my holiday stitch which has not been touched for a good while thanks to not having holidays and a third. The one that is in progress is Wildlife of the Hedgerow. I do love this one though and if you wish to sell the chart when you are finished, then please give me a shout. They do look far simpler than they are but they are beautiful too. xxx

    Reply
  10. Well, you´ve made a start and that´s great! I´m sure that when you are getting “used” to this pattern it will seem much easier 🙂

    Reply
  11. I feel for you with all those fractionated stitches! The effect will be worth it though, owl is looking very handsome 🙂

    Reply
  12. I can appreciate sometimes the designer seem.out to get you. Best of luck with this design, you’ll get through it in good time, I often “edit” them on the fly when I can read them because the design has too many colour changes and it gets hidden under backstitch.

    Reply
    • I like that expression “out to get you”. On this occasion they definitely are and they definitely have LOL. I can cope with colour changes but fractionals, unless they make a difference, are so unnecessary especially as many as this. I think if the designer wants more definition they could choose to make the “pixels” smaller and supply a fabric with more holes per inch. I appreciate it’s hard to please everyone but I’m supposed to be enjoying stitching.

      Reply
  13. Laura White

     /  May 3, 2021

    My latest project is also a slow one. Maybe you can finish the owl for our next check in.

    Reply
    • I’m going to try very hard to finish it for next time but I honestly doubt I’ll succeed. At the moment there’s much better things to do haha.

      Reply
  14. AJ

     /  May 4, 2021

    Oh I hate both fractional stitches and back stitching so I feel your pain!

    Reply
    • I can cope with back stitching if it goes in the holes of the fabric. When the designer starts “messing about” and wanting me to shove the needle where it doesn’t want to go….
      As for fractionals I’m happy if there’s only a few and I think they add to the design but not as many as this which is just torture in my opinion.

      Reply
      • AJ

         /  May 4, 2021

        You’re a better person than me. My current project has fractions and I always feel like I don’t like that they don’t cover completely

        Reply
        • That’s puzzling. Maybe I’m doing them wrong??

          Reply
        • Hi AJ, I’ve just realised I’ve been calling the stitches by the wrong name. I agree half stitches don’t cover enough. What I meant to whinge about is three quarter stitches (but I don’t see why they’re called 3/4 stitches??). Anyway, 3/4 stitches are what I’m struggling with.

          Reply
  15. I think I cheat on fractionals, doing only a quarter stitch if there’s an outline stitch to serve as the final cross. Don’t know if that’s “correct” but it helps to manage the bulk. Mr. Owl is very handsome, and will look like a photo when you finish. I apologize for missing the update on Sunday, it was Tuesday before I remembered I hadn’t gotten the post ready!

    Reply
    • That sounds like a great idea but I don’t look at the backstitch chart until I’m finished so I wouldn’t know if I could cheat. I’d say over 90% of the owl shown in my update photo is half stitches. I’m onto a patch of full stitches now so I’m a bit happier. Don’t worry about missing the update. We’re allowed to miss one 🙂

      Reply
  16. I love this design so I’m going to enjoy watching it progress. Trying to do fractional on aida though is a nightmare so it’s good that you switched fabrics. It’s a shame you’re having issues with it but I’m confident that you’ll push through and start enjoying it 🙂
    I had a Michael Powell kit that was a nightmare. There were quite a few fractionals on aida, (and this was before I’d realised that I could swap the fabric), but the worst thing was that the backstitch had been printed quite thickly so it hid the symbols. In the end, I contacted them and they sent me out a new chart that was much easier to read.

    Reply
    • I now know that I’ve been calling them half stitches in error. They’re actually “side by side three quarter stitches”. Oh no, I’ve got a couple of Michael Powell kits in my stash! I won’t look at the charts until I’ve finished this one but I prefer kits that have a seperate chart for back stitch. At least this one does has that. However, the back stitches are in different colours and the chart shows them in tramlines, dashes, dots etc. This is supposed to be fun!

      Reply
  17. From the outside looking in, this is off to a gorgeous start. I never would have guessed what a chore this must have been to stitch. I admire your perseverance and hope it is more enjoyable to stitch soon.

    Reply
    • A chore, that’s the word 🙂 I also now know the half stitches (as I was calling them) are actually side by side three quarter stitches. I’ll plod on.

      Reply
  18. It is a beautiful design. I do hope that it gets better for you. It is not fun stitching on a piece that gives you grief. Good luck with it. I will watch for your progress.

    Reply

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