Mary’s Sampler, Part 1

I cannot express how overwhelmed I was by the incredible response to this mystery sampler! You all have been so kind and generous with your encouragement, and I am very thankful. And I'm very  excited for all of us to begin!

I worked ahead a week or two, and will continue to do so (hopefully), in order to work out any kinks and give you a heads up to anything I may do differently than what the chart calls for. But again, you're all free to make your own design and color decisions, because this will be your sampler anyway!

If any of you decide to stitch on black fabric, here are a few things to keep in mind (this will apply to those who have never stitched on black before, or have heard how challenging it can be).. stitch in natural light, or use a daylight light bulb (you can find these in Walmart or Target or home improvement stores.. they specifically say "daylight" on them, and emit a whiter light than regular bulbs, which are yellow). A hoop is also helpful for opening up those holes, and I find that placing something white on my lap – like the chart page – is helpful to see through the fabric holes.

As I said, I will be trying to stitch ahead of you; and that being the case, I've already found a change you may want to make if you're stitching on black… I'll list any changes at the bottom of the post each week. If you happen to find any errors or problems with the chart as you're stitching, I'd like to apologize ahead of time. There are definite advantages to having model stitchers who will tell you what does and doesn't work, but in this case, I'm jumping in with everyone else!

Let's begin! And thank you again for all of your kind words this week!


IMPORTANT: The images below will not print properly if you click and print from them. Please use the links provided at the very bottom of each post to download the PDF for printing. You may also choose to use your monitor as your chart and forego any printing at all. (This will allow you to make the chart as large as you need it to be!)

ALSO NOTE: While some motifs may be identical in both samplers, please keep in mind that their placement is different. Remember to check to see that you're printing and following the correct chart each week.

Week 1 Scripture








Here is my progress from this week.. I've had to blur out the bits from next week! The changes I made were these:

1. My particular skein of Portabella was a little too light to be used next to Sea Gull in Joseph and Mary's robes (this doesn't apply to those of you using the original color key!), so I switched to the color Old Hickory for this motif and like it much better.

2. Mary's hair flows right into her robe on the original key, but on black fabric, the Sea Gull makes her look like she's got gray hair. I changed her hair color back to Espresso Bean/3371 and am satisfied. 🙂

3. This isn't so much a change as it is an error: I miscounted and stitched Joseph one square too far over to the left. Instead of removing my stitching, I decided to compensate and stitch each of their hands with two Adobe/3773 stitches instead of just one.

SMS wk 1 tp


Download Week 1 Scripture

Download Mary's Sampler INSTRUCTIONS AND KEY

Download SMS Week 1 PRINTOUT


Download Week 1 Scripture

Download Mary's Sampler II INSTRUCTIONS AND KEY



47 Replies to “Mary’s Sampler, Part 1”

  1. Good Sunday morning, Paulette:
    I have been so excited for this to start. Thank you for this morning’s start, and I love that I will be able to keep up easily through the weeks.

  2. Thank you, Paulette – I’m stitching both and am glad I finished your model so I can work on this one!! It was very generous of you to offer this mystery sampler and I truly love the story behind it. Have a great Sunday!!!

  3. Thanks Paulette! I know this will be just as fabulous as all of your other designs! This will be a great little project for Sunday nights with DH in front of the TV!! Can’t wait to get stitching!

  4. I have my chart printed out, my fabric on my q-snap, my threads pulled and I am ready to go!! Thank you so much for this gift you’re giving each of us…not only the gift of a Sunday spent focused on Scripture, but also the gift of your talent and time. I am so excited to begin!

  5. Oh, oh, oh, Paulette, I never stitched on BLACK linen before 🙁 It is done now, but it took double of time. After the first stitches with daylight, magnifier and reading glasses, I felt sooo old and I thought “the first time and the last time”. What to do with the leftover linen? I decided to wash it so often, that I can use it as “washed grey” linen for Halloween ornaments.
    But then, when I was finished, it was nice, and I became fast and faster. (Black Belfast 32” with two threads over two.)
    To be on the safe side, I stitched the same again with one over two on 40ct. “normal” linen. That was a really fast stitching.
    Paulette, thank you so much for that interesting Sunday. Never too old for new experiences.
    I can not wait for the next part, my stitching friend.
    With love, Anja

  6. So excited about this wonderful “surprise” SAL! A chance to reflect on the real reason for this upcoming holiday season, and to create something beautiful and meaningful! Thank you.

  7. beautiful. Ive been away from cross stitch for a while, but it has been calling me home lately. This is perfect. Im looking for something for my step mother. Im thinking I may have found it.

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