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Week Six: Spot Sampler Area 8 & Area 9 (w/c May 18)

From the DJ Sampler we will be cover Band 7 Bargello: Joyful Diamonds and Band 5 Blackwork: Sea Star.




Layout for Area Eight and Area Nine

This week we look at tackling two of the last Areas on the top half of the Spot Sampler – with Area 8 an opportunity to play with colour and Area 9 a more technical stitching challenge!

I found that the Layout is now impacted by some of the decisions I made earlier and the placement notes show where I have deviated to accomplish the balance I want to achieve with my Spot Sampler. It might only be a couple of threads to the left or the right but balance is in the eye of the beholder and that is you!

(Could I have tacked the Layout more accurately at the start? Yep!)


Colour Selection for Area Eight and Area Nine

When you look across the various Samplers this band is stitched in so many creative ways, often with metallic thread and often bringing in another colour altogether.

At this point I also felt that I needed to start contemplating the balance of colour across the top half of the Spot Sampler not just the Areas I was about to stitch.

This led me to decide that I needed to continue with my colour bravado for Area Eight, with the opportunity to use 6 colours! I could easily have settled for the more subtle tones of my Area Two (blues and greens) but decided to feature the bright colours (red, orange, yellow). I did a colour chart to prove to myself it would work.

I decided to work with the darkest green (DMC 904) for Area 9 as I thought it would be best for overall balance. And I couldn’t resist a bit of bling – I have seen metallic thread used in the Sea Star motif and it has looked great. This was my chance to give it a try. 🤔



This document is a version of the Chart for Area Eight and Area Nine with the colour removed. It can be used for trialling colour options before you stitch.

Stitching Area Eight

Designed by Joy Biancacci

Reference: DJSampler Instructions : page 11, Chart 3.2

As described in the Diamond Jubilee Sampler Instructions, start the stitch path that creates the complete diamond shape then work inwards and outwards from there. In mine, I started with the red stitches.
I didn’t end up using the Madeira metallic thread, I think the motif had enough going on so I settled for my ‘rainbow’ effect (well almost! 😁)
It would have looked very different if I had worked the blue instead of the red. I guess that shows the vast potential of this band to express the mood you mean it to. For me, who doesn’t stitch in brights all that often, I am happy!
(And just a side note, if you want to work with brights then Ann-Marie Anderson-Mayes of Beautiful Stitches in Perth is worth a look. http://beautifulstitches.com.au/ )






Stitching Area Nine

Designed by Christine Burton

Reference: DJSampler Instructions : page 10, Chart 2.2

As the designer of Area Nine, the Sea Star motif in contemporary Blackwork I am delighted to have received lots of feedback already for this band.
For those that want to know where the name came from, it is from the original ocean based influences, mainly sea grass and sea shells, stylised and repeated to form the motif.
I call it a contemporary Blackwork motif as it cannot be stitched in Double Running Stitch to look the same on the front as the back (whereas Area 1, the Correa Bell can). This is because it has a floating element in the design. I also readily stitched 1 x 1 and 1 x 2 to get the design shape I wanted rather than adhering strictly to 2 x 2.
Challenges I know about:
  • stitching 1 x 1 can mean that your thread can ‘slip’ between the warp and the weft of the linen and your stitch doesn’t form.
  • the stitch journey for the curlicues of the sea grass are not intuitive and take some study to follow.


For those that have persevered, and that seems to be most, they have then told me that the reward of conquering the design was worth it.
On the Diamond Jubilee Sampler the motif is repeated 7 times so repetition helps. This is always the way with Blackwork motifs, from the simple to the difficult so stick with it. Tension is all important – work with soft hands to lay the thread on the surface and not pull too tight.
Blackwork stitch selection can also assist – work Back Stitch if necessary to complete your goal. There may just need to be a bit of weaving on the reverse of your work to get around the motifs. If you are happy with any ‘thread shadow’ then it will be a job well done!

 Spot Sampler Colour Balance

I am pleased with the way my Spot Sampler is working out. 😊


Remember send any comments, photos or feedback by email to [email protected].
Happy Stitching!

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