To go with the over three dozen “in-the-hoop” embroidery kits at Stitched Stories, we recently introduced a new format.

The new designs are larger rectangular patterns inspired by traditional “band” and “spot motif” stitch samplers.

Both the stitching and the display of these pieces are different. Below are the top reasons we’re loving having these larger sampler projects in our hoops.


1. When you embroider large-format samplers, heirloom presentation is easy  

While there’s much to love about a well-crafted IN-THE-HOOP project (i.e., a design you’ll display in a round embroidery hoop when it’s done)…

…there’s even more to love about a large format rectangular project that takes its structure from traditional samplers.

That includes how easy it is to give them a professionally finished look when mounted in a standard 11″x14″ frame.

The embroidered motifs, quality fabric, and professional display possibilities ensure that these hand-stitched pieces will be proudly displayed for decades to come.

Traditional embroidery stitch sampler with fall theme

This is not to say that I don’t love the look of my in-the-hoop projects on display. I do! It’s just that I’m often styling them on a stand on a shelf with other knickknacks because a blank wall can overwhelm an 8″ circular piece.

Embroidered Mushrooms hoop art framed

Not so with a matted and framed large format sampler. It fills a wall space beautifully. Here’s our Home Sampler framed and displayed over a buffet.

Traditional embroidery stitch sampler with home theme

Here’s a closer look at Home Sampler in a different setting.

Traditional embroidery stitch sampler with home theme

2. No need for charts or counting with Stitched Stories samplers

It’s easy to find beautiful sampler patterns done in cross stitch, an approach that became a frequent choice starting in the 1800s.

With cross-stitch, you purchase cloth with an even weave (Aida cloth). You get a chart with colors and/or symbols representing the Xs to stitch. To start, you’ll find the middle of your fabric and the middle of the chart and then count how many Xs in the initial color to stitch. And then you keep going with charts and counting.

We’re taking you back to the earlier traditional sampler designs–and putting those charts away.

With a Stitched Stories sampler pattern, the design is printed to linen canvas in color and meant to be rendered in a variety of surface stitches (i.e, back, leaf, chain, lazy daisy, fly, and more).

Looking at your fabric pattern, you easily understand which colors and stitches to use in each spot. (And, if you’re new, you’ll use the included stitching guide to identify and learn each stitch.)

Embroidery sampler pattern and supplies

Because there’s no counting, it’s a project you can work on as you chat with family or wait on an appointment or sit on the ballgame sidelines. 

Embroidering home sampler in hoop

3. “Collage” stitching means steady progress

Each sampler design includes repeating patterns (often in rows or bands) as well as appealing spot motifs (a bunny or house or heart or beehive….). The whole pattern is a collage of these smaller pieces.

When you sit down to stitch, choose one of these patterns or motifs to work on, and know that you’ll be able to finish an element or section in about 20 minutes.

It’s satisfying to make clear progress–and to know you’ll be starting with new stitch combinations at the next sit down.

Embroidered detail from traditional embroidery stitch sampler with honeybee themes
Here’s a look at our project bag embroidered and stuffed with a grab-bag of holiday gifts.

Each of these projects as a whole can generally be finished in just a couple of weeks or a few days, depending upon how often you stitch. 

Here’s what a recent customer, Marianne J., said about the Home Sampler:

Home Sweet Home Sampler

I loved the look of this sampler, and I did make a few changes to the color of the threads I used. It took me about 4 days total. I haven’t ironed it yet but I’m looking forward to framing it for a gift for my son and daughter-in-law who recently purchased their first home.

4. You can follow the rules OR make it your own

Experienced stitchers will already know which stitches they want to use. New stitchers can use the illustrated booklet with each sampler to see our suggested stitches and colors. Every stitch is illustrated.

Embroidery pattern fall squirrels

As you move through the project, it’s easy to make your own modifications. You might fill an area more completely with stitches than in the example. Or maybe you’ll whip a line with a second color or using a stitch modification.

What matters is that you enjoy the process and love your finished project.

5. Versatile display options

These classic projects will look good in primitive or rustic settings as well as in modern or minimalist homes. 

Simply choose frame and matting to match your style. The material, color, and styling of your finishing frame immediately set tone.

Here’s our Honeybee Sampler with rustic styling …

Traditional embroidery stitch sampler with honeybee themes

And here’s the same design with minimalist nursery styling.

Traditional embroidery stitch sampler with honeybee themes

And here’s one more look for the same piece styled on a modern bar.

Traditional embroidery stitch sampler with honeybee themes

Which of our large-format samplers will you embroider?

Click here to see all of our large-format samplers, which are available as fabric pattern or as full kit with floss, needles and storage tin.

If you’d like to get a closer look at the motifs and patterns in each, there’s a detailed post for each on our blog sharing the details of each “band” of stitching in the design.

See each sampler stitched in detail in these blog posts:

Or click here to see ALL of our large-format sampler options in the shop.

embroidery stitch sampler styles framed


Hop your way into the season with one of our bunny-inspired designs...

We've got hoop art, large format, and stick & stitch bunnies--everything you need to create your very own fluffle of stitched bunnies this Spring.