This made me smile

17th Century fabric hand embroidery sample bookI have been looking at the history of fabric books and in particular sample books. I want to share with readers but also point out there is nothing new under the sun. I found this in the Metropolitan Museum of Art website as it is part of their collection.
sample book In the 17th century a woman, wanted to collect together ideas for her embroidery, much like we use pinterest today. She gathered together her carefully worked sample swatches and I think she then patchworked them together to store them in a fabric book.(Visit the Met site as you will see what I mean)  I sat there smiling thinking to myself how much I relate to the woman who made it.

section of hand embroidered sampler with traditional patternsThen I noticed some of the designs she had stitched. Look at the top of this page and see the green band, fourth along Then take a look at the top band on the mourning sampler I worked for my mother. If you want to know more about my mourning sample click here. It is separate section worked a part of my very long sampler. It is joined and part of my story but also but has a totally self contained story to it.

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A very unusual sampler Has anyone seen anything like this?

I found a very Curious sampler and I wonder if anyone has encountered anything like it.

In the Salisbury Museum which has some great lace samples, some stumpwork, costume and accessories one of the items that caught my attention was a Sampler that recorded the results of the Wiltshire election of 1819. Has anyone ever seen anything like this? Click on the image to see a larger view.

samplerIt was behind glass in a room that was not well lit and this is best photo I could do. As you can see each candidates name is recorded and the number of votes. The piece was works in cross stitch on what looks like linen.

There was no accompanying information and it has really sparked my curiosity as I cant remember seeing a sampler that recorded political results quite like this. If any of my readers know more about his or samplers like it please let me know.
My holiday is progressing well. If you are interested in our travels make a cuppa and  visit Tones and tints

Girl on the Wall story embroidery

The Girl on the Wall, is an interesting piece of autobiographical embroidery. This sampler is the life story of Jean Baggot told via interlocking ‘circles of life’ which act a framework to illustrate each narrative.

This video interview explains how it came about and why the piece was made.


There is a second video that speaks a little more about the sampler and promotes her book.

Also there is the “Girl on the Wall” blog and website which is not to be missed as it covers how to work your own piece.