07 August 2011

William & Kate: royal wedding samplers

This blog entry first appeared on another blog in April 2011, but I am repeating it here as its content is precisely right for British Patriotic Samplers.

I am intrigued to see how crafters are choosing to document the royal wedding - most particularly with cross stitch/embroidery.  There's a commitment of time involved, and the fact that people feel engaged enough (um, bad pun) to spend that time.  The social history of it interests me.

Having had a couple of other vintage royal samplers find their way to me (although I'm not exactly a rabid royalist - or republican, either: but social history, yes, I'm interested!), I went looking to see what's about in the royal wedding sampler/craft stakes - stuff to stitch and sew, rather than commemorative souvenirs to buy.  Some of these are free/downloadable patterns, some are commercial patterns and kits.  A snapshot of designers' responses to the challenge of this event.

If you plan to download/print/buy/sew any of these, I'd suggest getting in sooner rather than later, as after 29 April 2011 the interest in William and Kate's nuptials will likely wane; links may disappear, kits run out and not be replaced.

My utter favourite is this one:
Designed by Julie Jackson of Subversive Cross Stitch, it is a free pattern.  Find out more here, including the link to the free PDF.  I gather it was designed in response to a challenge from the Independent newspaper to young designers for something a bit quirky by way of royal wedding souvenirs.  See the entire collection of ideas by clicking here.  With Keep Calm and its many cousins and variants being so popular at present, this is a fun nod to a current trend.  The tag line at the bottom is about the royal wedding being brought to you in association with the coalition government - perhaps an allusion most clear to those in the UK/familiar with current UK politics (I know there is currently a coalition govt in the UK, but the finer nuances of this tag line escape me).

Kell Smurthwaite of Kincavel Crosses has designed a couple of free royal wedding sampler patterns.  She blogged about this one here; find a larger image of the graph here.

From the same designer, another free pattern for a smaller sampler.  Read about it here.

From the same designer (has she been busy or what??) this one, called Kind Hearts and Coronets:

It's also a freebie pattern.  Read about it and find the chart by clicking here.

I note, in passing, (is that a bad pun?) that a lot of samplers I've seen have been carefully avoiding the happy couple's formal initials: WC having Other Associations......

Another quick and simple vintage style initial sampler is this freebie from Sarah Lindfield of Craftymoo:

Read her blog entry about the design here.  See a finished version as an ornie (ornament) here.  She went with WK.....

Taking a moment out for knitting, which I don't do...Selling gangbusters, and a hoot to boot is Fiona Goble's Knit Your Own Royal Wedding book

Love the corgis! Available all sorts of places: if you're in Australia and can't find it easily, Book Depository (either http://www.bookdepository.com/ or http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/ offer free shipping; or check at http://www.booko.com.au/ for other prices/sources).

Among the commercially available samplers is this tapestry in two colourways from Beth Russell of Designers Forum:

Find out more on her website by clicking here.

US-based The Sampler Girl has this design, referencing the charming randomness of vintage samplers:

Read her blog entry about it here.  Buy the e-pattern or a mailed version of the pattern, and read details of size etc by clicking here.  The ribbon at the bottom is a printed one she sourced from Etsy (she provides the link).

The UK cross stitch magazines have jumped on the bandwagon: one that seems to be turning up all over (and which cleverly includes the current Cool Britannia decor enthusiasm for Union Jacks and bunting) is this one in Cross Stitcher magazine issue 238 (not yet out in Australia, but you can find it on http://www.ebay.co.uk/ if you just can't wait).

Read about it here and here.  It was designed by Jacqui Pearce of Granny Knits.  You can buy the pattern from her here, or a kit (canvas, wool, chart etc) from her here.

If you like that pretty look but want something even simpler, Laura Howard of Bugs and Fishes designed this:

Click here for her free pattern and instructions.

Referencing the charming illustrations from children's books, Bustle and Sew has this royal wedding embroidery pattern:

It's available from this Etsy shop: listing link; shop link.  As an e-pattern, I'm sure if that listing is sold you can convo (converse with/contact) the seller to enquire about another one.  Found this via the Feeling Stitchy blog here.

Taking another slight detour, Makower in the UK have updated their Charles and Diana wedding fabric design into a William and Kate design, which they have produced as a limited edition in two colourways:

They sold 40,000 metres of the Charles and Diana fabric, so 'limited edition' means time rather than quantity, I would guess... Read more on the Makower site by clicking here.  It's for sale from quilt/fabric shops (esp. in the UK, I would guess; less likely to make it abroad) and from sellers on http://www.ebay.co.uk/ and likely http://www.etsy.com/ .  There are etsy sellers using this to make bags/tea cosies etc.

Majesty magazine's shop offers this sampler from One Off designs - they got in early with an engagement version:

Click here for the shop page (the pattern offers engagement/wedding lettering).

You can see (and also buy) the wedding version from Sew Inspiring here.

Coats Crafts has a free downloadable pdf pattern for their wedding sampler:

Click here for more information and the PDF link.

The Royal School of Needlework has a whitework kit in their shop.

Sorry it's so blurry, but the pic's just tiny on their website.  Read all about it (and buy if you wish) here.

Florashell offer this coat of arms royal wedding sampler:

They sell through their website (click here) and also have this listed on http://www.ebay.co.uk/.  Chart only, or complete kits.

This design is from Mary Hickmott:

On her website you can order the chart, or kits with Belfast/aida.  Click here for the link.

On http://www.ebay.co.uk/, seller cathduff52 is selling this blackwork design:

The item number is 170628849170 and she is selling multiple copies (of the same chart) at this item number.  Blackwork Royal Wedding Embroidery Chart is the item's title.

If blackwork's your thing, this is (yet another) free chart from Lady Kell of Kincavel, aka Kell Smurthwaite:

Click here for the blog entry and chart.  Unlike some of the others, this is a wedding sampler that could be adapted to other people.

DMC has a range of royal wedding samplers in kit form.

Read about the DMC kits here.

John Clayton Royal Collection has a pictorial cross stitch kit, rather than a sampler.

Find out more by clicking here.

Monica Solorio-Snow of the blog, Happy Zombie (unsupervised and armed with scissors!) has this colour-in style modern embroidery as a free pattern on her site:

Read more about here "Kiss Me Kate" design here.  PDF link is here.

Crafter News had this collage of royal wedding crafts:

Click here for the links to each of the crafts/designers/designs illustrated.

There are a few designs where I can only find images, not links to buy.  Some may be findable on eBay etc, or by you doing more creative googling than I have managed.  I'm putting them here to record the range/variety of items available.

Cross Stitch Collection magazine issue 195 includes a huge royal wedding souvenir cross stitch, another pictorial one:

An unknown magazine had this cushion design:

I think this one is also from a magazine pattern:

One keen stitcher blogging about her royal wedding sampler stitching is Linens and Royals.  Her projects include the One Off sampler and the John Clifton design.  Playing with Needles has an entry on royal wedding blogs here: and her needlework based on the Queen's coronation gown - together with extensive information in photos and text - is definitely worth reading.

If you know of any other Will and Kate/William and Catherine/ WC/WK/Royal Wedding samplers or stitcheries etc that I've missed, please leave a comment with linkydinks so folks reading this can follow and find more!

Is this the most comprehensive roundup of royal wedding samplers and patterns on the internet right now?


But it's fun to have recorded them.  For me, a number have really cliched fonts/lettering, and I wonder how they will wear over time.  There are classic design elements that don't date - coat of arms as a f''r'instance: but the silhouettes on the DMC design look cliched to me, as do their curlicues.  Given that I prefer vintage-style samplers, the hugely pictorial ones (like the John Clifton, or or the Cross Stitch Collection one) are less to my taste.  Partly, it's because when I've done cross-stitch, I avoid the patterns/designs that occupy every inch of the linen with a stitch: I like the white space (and it's faster to stitch up, too!).  To each their own: a friend of mine does astonishing, prize-winning cross stitches of the pictorial kind, which are beautiful.  I just know I wouldn't choose to sew them myself.



PS if you would like to boggle at the range of royal wedding souvenirs available, http://royalweddingtat.tumblr.com/ will enable you to boggle comprehensively.

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