Saturday, 1 May 2021

The People Chose Traditional Samplers


This SAL is all about what you want to see on the blog. Each month I ask for suggestions for themes and then put them up to the members of the IHSW Group on FB to vote for their choice. This is what they have chosen:

May - Traditional Samplers
June - Butterflies
July - Houses

Back in April 2020 the People chose Modern Samplers - Modern Samplers and now we are going to look at the more traditional samplers in our collections.  I wrote:

"When we say a "sampler" we all tend to know what that looks like without actually needing a definition.  It will contain some of the following elements:

a border
an alphabet
spot motifs
a variety of stitches
a verse or motto
a name and date

We will probably think of the traditional antique samplers made by girls and young women in the 17th to 19th centuries and reproduced now by one of the many companies such as Hands Across The Sea or the Scarlet Lettter."

It's probably one of the first type of cross stitch we saw without even realising it.  My first project was a very small sampler along traditional lines, certainly the vase motif can be seen in many traditional samplers.

Anchor - Blue Sampler

Traditional samplers come under two main categories - reproductions and original designs.  The reproductions are recreated from genuine antique sampler owned or borrowed by the reproducer.  Sometimes they chart the sampler using the faded and muted colours we can see on the antique today, other times they use the more vibrant shades only seen when the original is carefully unframed and the back is revealed in all it's unfaded glory!

I was introduced to the world of reproduction samplers quite a few years ago when a blogger called Nicola asked for my help in setting up a SAL for a special Birthday she was celebrating.  Together we ran a blog for lovers of samplers which was so successful we had to start a second as Blogger restricts blogs to 100 contributors!  The project continued to outgrow Blogger so it moved to Facebook.

There are now nearly 10,000 members and that blogger?  She runs Hands Across The Sea designs!  Great oak trees do indeed grow from little acorns.

Those of you who know Nicola also know how generous she is.  I always got a beautiful sampler for my Birthday, two of which I actually finished!

The first was Elizabeth Burrows by the Scarlet Letter:

The second was also an Elizabeth, her surname was Shephard:

I have one which is a long running WIP, the English Transitional Sampler:

I think I will be more inspired once I complete the outlining and crack on with the infill stitching.

This is a nice sampler from a cross stitch magazine in 1998:

And this is another, from 1999:

They can be tiny:

Or rather large:

The majority of the samplers I have stitched in recent years come under the heading "Band Samplers" so I am saving them in case the People chose that topic!

If you want to see some beautiful samplers being stitched, I recommend Beth's Needlework Stash blog.

Now it's over to you.  All you have to do is make a post on the theme of Traditional Samplers, mention The People's Choice SAL (you can copy the picture I used at the top of this post and in my side bar) and my blog.  Please link up using the URL of the actual blog post, not the home page of your blog.  I look forward to seeing what you all post.



Finally, I need your suggestions for the next poll.  Any thing, no matter how obscure, weird or random will go into the poll.  Keep the theme suggestions to a single word or two - so you could have Cats, or Green, or Holidays, or Warmth etc.  Really anything which could be illustrated in cross stitch.


Pamela said...

You have stitched such gorgeous samplers! I don't think I could pick a favorite, they are all lovely. This month's topic has inspired me to get back to work on one I started quite a while ago.

Susan said...

Very nice selection of samplers. I never think of myself as a sampler stitcher - my mind goes stratight to "reproduction" when I think of sampler and for years the only ones readily available were very primitive and not to my taste - however, as I look at finished pieces and stash patterns, I have a lot of samplers. I started following Nicola when you mentioned you'd found her blog - I often think "I knew her when..." when I see her videos or a new pattern. :-)

Sheryl said...

Good collection of samplers Jo, I like the colours of the 1998 one from the cross stitch magazine.

diamondc said...

Jo: You have presented to us a beautiful display of Samplers.
My first stitch design was a very small one a baby floating on a cloud from a very old magazine.


Mary's Thread said...

Oh Jo, I love your samplers! I would love to stitch the Transitional Band Sampler myself. It is on my short list-so much to stitch! I love your story about Nicola too! She is such a sweet person and I was lucky to meet her and take a class with her here in Arizona! Which Facebook group are you referring to?

The Quaker is lovely, and I also like that 1999 band sampler. It looks like ribbons.

I must go write a post for this theme now! It's a good one!

Barb said...

Your samplers are beautiful!

Leonore Winterer said...

I think I remember when you were stitching Elizabeth Shepard, it's a beautiful one!