Stitch sampler with a twist - a sampler in the form of an elephant!

Elephant Stitch Sampler Update – And a Finish!

Elephant Stitch Sampler – a Finish Revealed!

Well, this one has been a long time coming! But at last, the stitch sampler I started back in 2016 has been finished!

It really didn’t take long either. A few more chain stitches, some stem stitch and whipped backstitch. Followed by a good look to make sure I had actually covered all the lines! And here you have it! Please excuse the wrinkled nature of it. I haven’t cleaned or blocked it yet. I still need to finish it into the cushion, but that is going to require a trip to buy some suitable fabric.

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A Brief History of this Piece

I started this piece back in 2016 as part of the TAST challenge run by Pintangle. At some point in time I stopped keeping up with the weekly challenges. It was probably around the time I started noticing how tricky it was stitch the weekly stitch samples onto a pre-defined design. I also seem to recall the RSN Certificate had something to do with it…

Using nothing but ‘stash’

This whole piece has been stitched up using what I had in my ‘stash’. Which probably says more for my stash than it does anything! But even the actual linen has another design that never went anywhere traced on the other side of it.

A ‘designed’ sampler

Before I started the TAST challenge, I decided I didn’t want to do a ‘typical’ sampler. So I decided to use the brilliant ‘designs’ of an adult colouring book by Millie Marlotta – Animal Kingdoms. Not all the ‘design lines’ were transferred, but enough, at the time I thought, to give me the constraints to stitch the samples.

This worked to a degree. Some of the stitches were easier to work out ‘where’ to put them than others. The other ‘problem’ with this was, that as there was no plan of where this was going to go, I probably ended up transferring some lines I shouldn’t have, and probably left some out that I should have put in.

But, all in all, and after I decided that it just needed to be finished using whatever stitch I wanted, it did actually work quite well!

Thread Choices

Looking back, some of the stitches look very ‘heavy’ and ‘chunky’. Mainly the ones stitched in Perle 5 thread! The end result and design of the piece was not at the forefront of my mind. So when Sharon said a particular stitch worked better, or was more interesting in a particular thread, thats what I used!

I’m also not sure why I used that one yellow thread. It does look a little out of place. I must have thought it needed some colour variation at some point!

The Full Story

If you would like to view the step by step progress of this piece, you can find it all here!

Requests for the pattern or a kit

I’ve received a number of requests for the pattern or a kit for this piece. Firstly, I am truly honoured that you like my little elephant so much that you would like to stitch your own! You have no idea how completely unexpected this is, and I truly do value your great support!

But the bad news is, that I am not able to provide this, as the design isn’t one of my own. It came from Millie Marlotta, and I just made it my own. There is also the added problem that I didn’t accurately record the thread colours, as any request like this didn’t cross my mind as ever happening!

So what I’ve decided to do, for those of you who are interested, is to compile a document for you detailing the stitches and threads used throughout. Hopefully, this will give you the inspiration and encouragement to try creating something similar, and also, to make it your own. And if you do, please share it, as I’d love to see your own creations!

You can find this document here via a download. I’ve never actually done this before, so if you try and download it and nothing happens, please let me know so I can have another go at working it out!

38 thoughts on “Elephant Stitch Sampler Update – And a Finish!”

  1. He is looking lovely Catherine and will make a fine cushion. I can see what you mean about some of the stitches begin thicker, but I don’t think this detracts at all from the overall piece. Well done on a finish. What next?

    1. Thanks Deborah! It’s good to get it finally finished. Now to brave the sewing machine…
      Not completely sure on my next project – I have so many partly started projects. Possibly a clutch I started probably before this piece was started!

  2. Well done. What you might want to do is write about what guided your stitch choice (when anything did), and what you might choose to do differently without the added constraint of TAST. It seems to me that many people are a little unnerved by exploration and experimentation and the more we who do it can talk and write about it, the better for them!

    1. You make a good point Rachel! I was certainly unnerved about experimenting before this piece got under way. Unfortunately I’m not completely sure what guided my decisions, except for a few right at the end. Definitely something to think about in the future, as you are right – we need to pass on this type of knowledge as much as anything else!

  3. Hurrah for a grand finish! I think the yellow works great with the little bit of gold you have. So, now that this epic adventure is over, what will you do next? A new project, or do you have a UFO to take out?

    1. Thanks Kathy! I just wish I’d decided to add in a bit more yellow, but you are right about blending with the metallics, and the variegated thread has a tinge of yellow in it too.
      I unfortunately have a great number of UFOs to choose from for the next piece! I think it will be a clutch I started before this piece. Slowly but surely, hopefully I will get to the end of the big pile of UFOs!

    1. Thanks Avis! It is a unique piece, I’m sure! I’ll be giving the cushion to my niece with a houseful of brothers. It’s a good thing I don’t get too precious and am happy for useable items to be used!

  4. First of all, congrats on the finish! Your elephant turned out lovely! What will you do with the finished piece? Secondly, fantastic idea using the coloring book design for embroidery, genius 😀

    1. Thanks Christina! I’m quite pleased with the end result, even if I’d change a few things if I did it again. It’s going to become a cushion for my niece 🙂 The colouring books are great if you want to experiment with designs!

  5. Congratulations and happy dances on your lovely elephant! Do be sure and show us when you have made her up into a cushion, please! Looking forward to seeing your next project. I don’t really have “UFOs”…. I mainly have NSPs: Never-Started Projects!

    1. Thanks Sunny! Hopefully I’ll be able to show you next time! I’ve got plenty of NSPs too. It’s just I think I probably should try and finish a few UFOs too!

  6. So now I know why the elephant looks so familiar! I have the same book, but I haven´t been painting in it for a long while 🙂 I also once started following the TAST, but have sort of given it up. I stitched flowers and as you´re saying, some of the stitches doesn´t work in my flowers 🙂
    Your elephant is so cute and he (she) looks very happy and you´d be so too! I´m doing a happy dance for you!

    1. Thanks Gun! A very happy elephant this time! I think some of the TAST stitches are more for quite specific areas, but it’s good to learn and test them out!

    1. Thanks Julie! Despite the project taking longer than it should have, it was good to see the progress made in my stitching during the time. Thanks for stopping by!

  7. This beautiful elephant has come along so nicely. He is so beautiful and I have loved watching all the different stitches, colors and threads being chosen and used.

    1. Thanks so much Connie. It was a really interesting piece to stitch, and a different approach to stitching than I’ve ever tried before! Definitely some lessons learned, but I am pleased with the end result.

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