Roland-designs , Virginie's blog.

"Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God's handwriting." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, 14 May 2023

Anchor - Free cross stitch pattern

Like most needlework interested persons, I have far too many UFO’s (UnFinished Objects). Such as the sweater I started knitting a year ago, the large sampler that has sat on my desk for a couple years, and ‘shame, shame, shame’, a glorious cross stitch picture from Lavender & lace which I started over a decade ago and never got around to finishing. 


With a full time job, and studying (almost finished though), I have found that 24 hours days are just too short for doing all that one needs, and wants to do. That is why a little while back I started on a spot sampler. When the need-to-stitch starts to itch my fingers, I can stitch a small motif and not feel guilty for not completing a large project. I would definitely recommend it to others who like to embroider, but don’t have much time. 


The newest addition is a little anchor pattern, re-charted from an antique bookmark in my private collection. The anchor was stitched in cross stitch on punched paper, then sewed on a decorative ribbon.

I stitched the flowers in petit point, and the rest in cross stitch. 


The pattern is available on the website, and for those who are curious, here are the colours I used: 


DMC 3346 – Medium green

DMC 3348 – Light green

DMC 3328 – Medium pink

DMC 776 – Light pink

DMC 3371 – Dark brown

DMC 801 – Medium brown

Antique punch paper and ribbon bookmark

In the Victorian era, an anchor was a symbol of hope and was often paired with a

heart, and cross to symbolizes Faith, Hope, Love.


“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love!”

1 Corinthian 13:13 NIV


Close up of the original embroidery

Link to pattern:


Sunday, 6 November 2022

Christmas ornament 2022

Super easy filet crochet ornament

These small filet crochet ornaments look pretty and are really simple to make. I tried different types of think crochet threads, Perle cottons and crochet hook size, and you can absolutely do the same, but I did find that I got the best result with DMC Cebelia size 20, and a 1.00 crochet hook. 


Filet crochet in itself is pretty straight forward, yet when it comes to increasing and decreasing, most find that the decreasing is easier, while increasing, especially a solid block can be a little fiddly. This is where a little ‘trick’ I learned years ago, was used with these small ornaments to keep the edges crisp, something that is not always easy to accomplish when working with very thin yarn.


The ‘trick’, or ‘hack’ as people now call it, is quite simply that you start on the widest side, work you way down, then pick it up again from the top and finish the ornament. This way, you only have to worry about decreases, which are really easy to do. 


To decrease, you make 1 ch in the air, then slip stitch (sl st) into the 2nd, 3rd and 4th stitch. Next make 3 ch and continue with the pattern, when you come to the end, just turn you work and start the next row. 


"....pick it up again from the top and finish the ornament."

Ornament before and after blocking and stretching

The little ornaments will need to be stretched and possibly starched.  For mine I made a simple solution of corn-starch and water, soaked them a few minutes inside, then stretched them on a cork pot holder covered with a plastic film. Once dried they hold their shape pretty well and can be used as single ornaments or hung together to make a garland.

Stretched and drying after a light starching


The pattern (with several variations) is available as a PDF:


Tips for filet crochet:

Sunday, 18 September 2022

M.E. Sampler + Free pattern


M.E. Sampler

This colorful sampler is worked mostly in cross stitch, but with some motifs in double cross stitch, and a long cross stitch basket (?) under the main initial. It is undated, though most probably dating from the second half of the 1800’s.

Along with the classic uppercase, and lowercase alphabet and numerals, the sampler also has four decorative border strips and several little motifs which could be used for other projects too. Note the large, yellow bee (bumblebee)

I named it the M.E. sampler, because those were the prominent initials. One more reason to date and sign your needlework, imagine a collector finding your piece a hundred years from now and trying to figure out the date it was made and by whom.

With little fading, the back and the front has just as crisp colors


The pattern is available on ETSY, and the website.


Wednesday, 3 August 2022

Free pattern - A little rooster from the Alpursa collection

Here is a little cross stitch pattern for you from a vintage Alpursa vignette design.

I did not include a color code, as it uses so little threads that it is best to make use of those you already have in your stash. 


Here I've added the little rooster to my spot sampler


Other blog posts about the Alpursa album:

YouTube video where you get to see the complete album:


The Alpursa box and The soldier is available here:

Sunday, 31 July 2022

Four small Norwegian school samplers

The four samplers

As a collector at times, you come across similar, though not entirely identical items, this is the case with four small school samplers I recently acquired. Two of them were stitched eleven years apart by girls sharing a similar last name (Stavern), the other two are practically identical, but were worked four years apart at two different schools.

This makes me wonder if this was the standard form for school samplers of the time, or if the teacher was the same for both young girls, and as for the two near identical samplers, if there also it was the case of the same teacher relocating to a different school? These theories make for some fun speculations.

The samplers are very simple, just an alphabet in different stitches, and a set of numerals. The letter J is missing in three of the samplers, but Helen’s 1905 sampler has both the J, an extra half alphabet in Algerian eye and no numerals, all samplers have the letters Æ, Ø.

The cross stitch and Algerian eyes are stitched in red, the straight Gobelin stitches are white, blue or yellow.  Three of the samplers have a simple blanket stitch around the edge, the last one is stitched within the woven frame of the cloth.

If you want to try your hand at a stitching a historical sampler reproduction, these would make the perfect project. Simple, but with three different stitch types, plus the blanket stitch edge.

Another possibility is to select your favorite version of the alphabet and numerals and create your own sampler, using the colors of your choice. Because of the specialty stitches the samplers must be stitched on an evenweave fabric; look closely at the details photos for ideas of which material to use. 

The samplers are available as a set of 4x here: ETSY, Website

Close up of the details - Note the neat blanket stitch

Close up of the details

The 'Stavern' samplers