Lianne Van Leyen : Creating cross stitch patterns from antique schoolgirl samplers


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Lianne Van Leyen is the guest today on the Stitchery Stories podcast, where she shares how she re-creates antique schoolgirl samplers into patterns for the modern cross stitch enthusiast. Lianne is the founder of 1897 Schoolhouse Samplers and is an avid collector of antique schoolgirl samplers.

After many years of dreaming and planning, she escaped her corporate career and landed her dream job as a historic cook and historical domestic interpreter at the Upper Canada Village living history museum, located in Eastern Ontario, Canada. This also gave her the opportunity to focus on launching her business: 1897 Schoolhouse Samplers.

Susan Weeks chats with Lianne about:

  • Taking 10 to 15 years to move from "I think I can do this" to "I know I can do this" to "I am doing it!"
  • Decisions around how to scale, at a relevant price point, at desired quality level
  • Learning to let go of what we thought would work
  • Getting out of our own way
  • Using PCStitch to map out cross stitch antique sampler patterns
  • The challenges and processes involved in interpreting antique schoolgirl samplers
  • A growing collection of antique schoolgirl samplers
  • How did the sampler collection start?
  • Juggling a corporate career and finding the headspace to think about creative endeavours
  • Designing a way to have the dream job and have a creative business based around cross stitch
  • Being brave, reaching out to strangers and developing strong creative relationships, friends and connections
  • Learning to trust your decisions
  • Having a variety of tasks in the pipeline to work on to cope with overwhelm and tricky decisions

For this episode... View Show Notes, Links & Examples of Lianne's work at



Shop: Etsy 1897Schoolhouse


Related Stitchery Stories episodes you might like:

Other people, places & things we mentioned:

Upper Canada Village

PCStitch popular design software for counted cross stitch pattern making

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