Getting Real
Unlocking: A Progress Post

Finding Some Whimsy

Well. First I've just got to thank you all for your kind words and support . . . after I spilled the beans about my RA flare yesterday. I got a little teary more than once, reading your comments and emails. I should know by now to trust in the support and comfort of this crafty, book-loving, bloggy community, but . . . wow. When you feel the love here, well. It really does just kind of knock you over a little bit. So thank you. Thank you so very much.

Let's get back to "pretty" though now, shall we?


Way back in January, as I was setting my "intentions" and what-not for the year ahead, I claimed that I wanted "more whimsy" and "less stodginess" in my life this year. What did I mean by that? What was I going for there? I don't exactly know. But I think it probably had to do with the darkness and slogginess of 2020, and wanting to break free in this new year.

Besides. It's kind of fun to seek out whimsy in the world. (And to write off anything that smacks of stodginess.)

Anyway. I have been following Rebecca Ringquist, the artist behind Dropcloth Samplers, for a while on Instagram. I'm always charmed by her embroidery samplers! She creates designs that resemble very artsy doodles that are engaging and accessible, but she doesn't assign colors or stitches (except, of course, in her stitch-teaching kind of samplers). It's kind of like . . . she's created "coloring books" for embroiderers! And let's just say they most certainly fall in the Whimsical Camp.

I've spent many a moment dreaming about which of Rebecca's samplers I might order for myself . . . someday. Embroidery is really my "first craft." You may remember my story when, as a 5-year-old, my Great Grandma Strom patiently taught me the outline stitch by writing my name on a piece of scrap fabric and allowing me to practice the stitches while she sat nearby. (Which I stitched right to the little skirt I was wearing. Ah, the lessons we learn.)

I never did decide on a sampler to order from Rebecca, though . . . until this summer when she introduced her new Picnic Sampler. I was hooked from the first time I saw it fly across my Instagram feed! It lit up every part of my stitching brain: Color! Flowers! Gingham! Summer! And . . . it just drips charm and whimsy . . . with not even a slight hint of stodginess. 

It was an immediate "add to cart" moment.

And now I look forward to grabbing my little sampler for "patio time" with Tom in the evenings before dinner. It's a lovely way to end the day. (And except for my worst RA days, I usually can manage at least some limited stitching time.) (Thank goodness.)

I love being able to just . . . "color" my sampler with embroidery thread and stitches . . . in my totally free-form, fill-in-the-blanks way. (I'll bet this brings an eye-twitch to those of you who prefer carefully charted designs and floss suggestions. Each to her own, I say! Embrace your preferences!)

It's a lot of fun. I love picking it up and stitching a bit each day.

DEFINITE whimsy, here.
(And so far, I've avoided stitching the sampler to anything I'm wearing, so BONUS . . . )


How about you? What are you making this week?


Do check out other Unraveled posts today over at Kat's!



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Well, that looked like so much fun that I popped on over to her Etsy shop and bought two Christmas presents! One for myself & one for my DIL: Meadow & Milky Way kits. I couldn't decide between them so.....



I have one of her samplers in my closet - somewhere. I think I even pulled the threads. Might be a nice diversion from the knitting routine.


We all need a little whimsy in our lives and you've certainly found it. (I'm still looking for mine.) I'll look forward to seeing the embroidery progress. Enjoy your stitching, patio time with Tom, whimsical happy hours!


That really does look like so much fun! The embroidery I've done has always specified what colors to use where, which the Type A personality in me really likes, but there's also something appealing about "coloring" with floss. Having a drink and good company with a bit of stitching sounds like the perfect way to wind down at the end of the day!


I have a book w/sampler somewhere... SOMEDAY!! Ha. I really love that Picnic Sampler and that you can do your own thing! Looking forward to seeing how that progresses. It's going to be so colorful & fun!


Your sampler looks like so much fun! I can't wait to see how it turns out. I like it so much that I just ordered the Christmas tree ornament sampler. I hope you continue to enjoy your patio time! I love reading or stitching on my patio, but it has been so unbearably hot & humid here that I've been staying indoors. I hope September brings more comfortable temperatures!


You gave me such a chuckle. I've never stitched myself into a project, but I once sewed the front of my shirt right into my machine sewing project. LOL What a funny memory.

The little stitched piece IS full of whimsey and I love that you get to pick your own colors.

Caffeine Girl

I love Rebecca Ringquist! It never occurred to me to follow her on Instagram, so I'll have to fix that today. The Picnic project looks fun. I actually prefer to embroider free-form. I'm not so good at following directions. If I make up the pattern, then it can't be wrong!


Such a bright moment. It's definitely whimsical!

I'm on the fronts of the Affiknity sweaters and just had to drop 11 stitches down 12 rows to find the 12th stitch I'd accidentally some how knitted together with a two stitch twisted braid. How it took me 12 rows to figure out I was missing one stitch of a four stitch purl background to a cable, I can't figure...


Oh that is so pretty and fun and yes! Whimsical!! I love her Milky Way sampler. All of her things are so colorful and just joyful. I mostly do cross stitch or Hardanger, but I do feel free to change colors if I want. The free-form-ness of her samplers appeals to me. Have fun Kym!


I LIKE that one a lot. Off to shop!


I've been looking for an entry into embroidery and this looks really great. Thanks for the info!


I love this - not the least bit stodgy!

I am slogging through the border of a blanket that Sam and Carley asked for as a wedding present. I'd really hoped to finish it by the time they came out for Sophie's reception (weekend after next) but am beginning to realize I won't manage it without knitting like crazy, and well, I'm aiming to be well and sane for this event so. Still slogging, but at a pace that has me still liking to knit.

I have a little hand sewing ahead on my first Alabama Chanin project. So I may yet take a break to make that while the weather still might support wearing it.


What a cute project! All the more so sitting next to a glass of beer. I love the juxtaposition! Love the image of you and Tom sitting outside with you doing your embroidery. What a great way to unwind. This craft has become so UN-stodgy with all the fresh new designs. I am, on the other hand, working on a forgotten knitting UFO and making better progress than when I first threw it in a corner. Although it is dry cotton and tough on my hands. So not flying through it. (Might make it back to the corner yet.):).


It is adorable, Kym! Beautiful couching you!! :)


that project screams whimsy - and I look forward to seeing where it takes you. (or you take it?) I hadn't heard the story about stitching your piece to your skirt - priceless!


Keep up the good work - not stitching anything to your clothing. I smiled when I read that because I think I did that more than once when growing up. It does happen. I have a Drop Cloth Sampler I started working on last winter and then set it aside. You might inspire me to pick it up again. Glad you are feeling better.

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