What is a sampler? Description, technique, photo
What is a sampler? Description, technique, photo

Cross-stitch is one of the various types of needlework, as it can combine different techniques and elements. Few people know what a sampler is, although the pictures in this style are original and rich. This is a combination of small plots with the same theme, but made with different stitches. They can decorate any room or use them in applied embroidery.

embroidered picture

Choose a theme

The outcome and location of future work depends on this. There are no paintings in this style without themes and general meaning. Each cross carries certain information. Therefore, you can create a sampler of any type, the technique is based on the transfer of ideas.

Themes of nature and seasons are popular, you can see both a combination of four pores on one diagram, and separate paintings dedicated to this topic. In second place in popularity is kitchen-themed sampler embroidery. The paintings are placed in the kitchen or in the dining room, where they delight with their colorfulness and different elements.

Designation of professions or occupation of a person can also be conveyed through the canvas and crosses. Paintings in this style are used as gifts or placed in offices.

A new topic in terms of expression is learning, when the sampler depicts those elements or things that carry specific information or have the exact meaning necessary to gain knowledge. Medical clues or alphabet embroidery are also used in samplers. Thanks to the variety and combination of different sub-themes in one, this technique has become popular and in demand among needlewomen around the world.

picture on small count

Hidden characters

In the pictures of such a plan, individual details carry important information. For example, if the plot contains an image of a dark-colored squirrel, then this symbolizes danger or a difficult life period, a more accurate interpretation can be obtained from an assessment of the general plot.

Embroidery of a cat symbolizes wisdom and a sober mind, the ability to draw the right conclusions and get out of the water dry, but if a cat is embroidered with a fox, then this indicates cunning and selfishness towards others. The parrot indicates talkativeness and a cheerful disposition, this is a frequent element on samplers of various types, since an analogy with the owner of the picture is drawn through it.

The phoenix bird is a symbol of rebirth and fortitude, courage and moral strength. She is depicted with a fiery tail, but the samplers are full of details, so the craftswomen do not always embroider the phoenix completely, just one detail in the form of a small feather is enough,to emphasize positive qualities.

Turtle on the sampler means wisdom and balance, indicates constancy and tribute to tradition. Embroidery on a picture of fruits, flowers or plants indicates the we alth of the house and the possibilities of the owner. The answer to the question of what a sampler is cannot be unambiguous, since it is not only a picture, but also a plot filled with symbolism and deep spiritual meaning.

kitchen option

Current schemes

With all the variety of choice, it is necessary to take into account the functions and role that will be performed by the embroidered picture. Initially, samplers were embroidered as information canvases, so they had a combination of not only small images, but also letters. Then a period came when there was more text on the fabric and the technique switched to a training type format.

After a while, instead of meaning, aesthetics came to the fore and beautiful images and interesting details appeared on the samplers again, thus displacing letters and text. The best samplers have been passed down from generation to generation as important relics containing a lot of information about the genus.

Today, choosing a theme is easy, because you can find ready-made options with different character attributes, you can even create your own unique option. To do this, using a pen or pencil, you need to create a sketch on paper with the details that will be used on the fabric, then choose an interesting form of embodiment and a general theme that will reveal the meaning of the embroidered.

It must be remembered that the central element in the sampler's cross stitch indicates the meaningof the whole picture, it should be large enough to read, but not too large so that other elements can fit on the surface.

In ancient times, the fabric was expensive, so the needlewomen tried to use the space between the details, but today the craftswomen can make small digressions so that the picture is not visually overloaded.

applied design

Material for work

After the scheme is chosen, it is necessary to start buying other elements. Cross stitch samplers can be done both on a standard canvas of different counts, and on homespun canvas or linen, if the picture is small and you need to hide the holes between the crosses. On the last option, it is harder to embroider, but the result will be gentle and as if drawn.

The canvas does not have to be white, if there are few details on the surface, then you can choose the author's color or a light shade to emphasize the general meaning of the picture or make it juicier. As for the threads, embroidery can be done with both woolen and cotton threads. The first option will create volume and add puffiness to the crosses, and the second will look neater. Cotton thread works well for linen or homespun fabric, you can even use silk thread, which will add shine to the finished work.

small sampler

Beads, buttons, charms and other elements should preferably be sewn onto a finished and washed work so that they are not damaged in the process. The purchase of material to create a cross-stitch sampler is considereddifficult process, needlewomen are advised to buy threads with a margin.

Selecting stitches

Not only the level of complexity depends on the execution technique, but also the accuracy and general appearance of the work. For volume, the full cross technique is used, for the watercolor work, a semi-cross in one addition of the thread is used. The direction of the cross also adds visuality and clarity to the work.

Details are highlighted by using a back-to-the-needle seam. French knots on the canvas can convey the symbols of stars, snowflakes, flowers, or serve as a complement to geometric elements. The suture technique can also be used along with the cross, but this is an average level of complexity and requires skills.

classic design

What is a sampler? This is not just a transfer of a drawing to the canvas, but a combination of different techniques and materials to create a full-fledged masterpiece.

Finish stage

After embroidery, the fabric should be carefully washed in water at room temperature with the addition of soap. After drying and ironing, so that the material is even. It is desirable to iron through the fabric, since the crosses from this can be slightly skewed.

Next, the functionality of the created work is taken into account. If the sampler has only a decorative function, then you can arrange the picture in a frame and under glass. In the case of applied embroidery, the plot is drawn up according to the idea. It can be a beautiful napkin, apron, pillow, tablecloth. Needlewomen know what a sampler is and therefore combine it with many types of needlework and using different techniques.


To make the embroidery process go faster, it is necessary to use the parking method if there are a lot of details and the broaches will not be visible. For other cases, sewing by color is used. In order not to make a mistake in the process, it is necessary to sew off in sections and gradually, without skipping the squares.

To quickly advance the work, you need to immediately make a back stitch on the sewn parts, so as not to return to this section later. You also need to pay attention to the stretch and use the machine to work and create even crosses.

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