Dropcloth Samplers

A dropcloth is something that can get messy- a piece of fabric that you can afford to make a mistake with.  You can jump in and take a risk!  My company, Dropcloth Samplers, is a line of hand-drawn embroidery samplers, printed and ready for you to jump in and start stitching right away.  Some of the designs, like the Color Wheel featured here, come with the stitch names printed right on the fabric.  Others, like Paisley, allow the freedom to experiment since there are no stitch suggestions.  I have always believed that embroidery is akin to drawing.  Rather than following a lot of strict rules, I like to make it up as I go.   I love watching how everyone finishes their sampler just a little differently on the Flickr Pool and I hope you'll add your own works in progress as you go.

The story of Dropcloth Samplers started at Squam!  In the summer of 2010, on a whim, I designed and printed an embroidery sampler, and sold over a hundred of them at the Squam Art Sale. Word got around the blog-o-sphere, and one thing led to another.  A few weeks later I started this blog and an accompanying shop to sell samplers online.   They were wildly popular, and lots more have been designed and printed as multiples since.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Samplers

Where can I get them?
I sell the samplers online in my own shop, www.dropclothsamplers.com.

What kind of thread do you use?
I  use primarily DMC Perle Cotton, Size 8 (the kind that comes in balls)   It tangles a lot less than six strand floss, and it has the added benefit of not having to be separated.  It also has a really nice sheen.  Other people have used six strand floss, and this works great as well. 

What kind of needles do you like the best? 
My favorites are Size 5 Clover Gold Eye Embroidery Needles for most stitches, and Milliner's needles for french knots and other tricky twisted stitches.

Where do you buy thread?
In New York City, I buy DMC perle cotton at Daytona Trimming Company.  They have every color that DMC makes.  There are lots of other shops near there in the garment district that are fun to wander in and out of, but Daytona has the market on perle cotton cornered.  Check with your local yarn shop, lots of them carry this size perle cotton for crocheters.   Lots of quilters like this thread too, so your local quilt shop might have it.  Still stumped?  Herrschner's has it.

Do the samplers come with instructions?
The samplers do not come with instruction, but rather are open to your own interpretation.  Some, like the original and color wheel, have labels on each stitch so you'll know which to use.  Others are more open ended.  All labeled stitches are easily found in an embroidery book.  In addition, I teach two workshops based on the samplers at Creativebug.com

How do I go about backing the samplers?
I wrote about that question in detail in this blog post

Do you ever teach classes based on these samplers?
Yes- check the Classes and Workshops section for more information.  Since I am just one person, in addition to me, some of  the shops that sell the samplers offer workshops based on the samplers.  Check with your local shop to find out about upcoming events!

Do you sell Dropcloth Samplers in brick and mortar shops?  
Yes!  The samplers are currently available at the following stockists:
If you have a shop and are interested in carrying our samplers, please contact us at rebeccaringquist (at) gmail (dot) com for more information, or if you wish for your local shop to carry them, please pass our name along.  Thanks!