Contests · Mystery SAL Al Castello · Sampler and antiques · The Sweetheart Tree

it’s a finishing party!

I had a lazy afternoon wednesday, so I managed to add another finish to my monthly goals: the first part of Lilli Violette‘s Mystery SAL Al Castello

now my guesses for this BON– word are the usual bonjour or bon appétit ..or maybe bond.. James Bond or bonfire.. bongo.. bonanza..! 😀

(yes, I’m a stupidity-free carrier, and a proud one indeed!)

 – – –

on the less crazy side, I have something to show you.. The Sweetheart Tree‘s Holly & Hearts Sampler is finally over! I started this piece at the end of February and now it’s ready to be shipped to Tuscany, where the amazing Casa Cenina staff will display all our works with the love and care they deserve, waiting for the judges to pick out the winners Sunday 6/3.

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the contest is called “The Sampler of Your Life“, and I must confess that I still feel a little intimidated by this statement.. at this point in my life I hope that “the whatever of my life” has yet to come.. 😀

anyways, all participants were asked to write a few lines in order to explain their choice, these are mine:

“there are several reasons why I’ve chosen to stitch this sampler, first and foremost because I wanted to.. 😀 motivation in my case is always the key to a finished piece.

once I had the chart in my hands, I spent a little time studying it, and I found out that the Amadeus Stitch was invented by Jean Hilton in 1985, the year I was born (how funny, I thought)

more recently I was chatting with an American friend, we agreed on the fact that when backstitching it’s better to use a technique that makes the front look exactly like the backside of the work (one of the reasons why this has been my favourite stitch for a very long time :D)

while we were talking I realized I called this stitch double running stitch, while she called it Holbein stitch.. I knew this stitch was extensively used in Blackwork, but completely forgot this name.. curiosity took me to stitching encyclopedias and websites, wondering what else did I miss..

well, it happens that this specific stitch, among many other names, is called the Chiara stitch.. 😀 (gee how weird this sounds!)

as you can see, I didn’t personalize my project by substantially altering the sampler itself.. but there is a series of circumstances that make me feel close to this piece.. it’s nice for a while to indulge myself with the fact that in every stitch designing that intricate holly you can read my name”


– – –

thank you for following the grey tail,

have a stitchful weekend



4 thoughts on “it’s a finishing party!

  1. Chiara, your sampler is absolutely gorgeous!! The colors and the stitches are very beautiful. I wish there were a stitch named after me! =) Good luck to you in the contest.


    1. thank you all.. the name thing still surprises me.. it’s kind of weird, for I’ve always loved this two-sided running stitch.. combined with the double-sided cross stitch (on regular motives) it gives amazing results without a big effort 😀
      keeping my fingers crossed for the contest.. 😉


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