Friday, 26 August 2011

The Story of the Needlework Sampler

We’ve all admired them, needlework samplers, sitting in friends and relatives homes, beautifully stitched with care, love and precision.  Nowdays they are a personal gifts given by a skilled needle worker. Some are kept and treasured by the recievers families, where their celebration message, normally the date of a celebration of a wedding or a birth, are remembered.

The word sampler originates from the Latin word, exemplum, an example.
Originally the needlework sampler was a piece of embroidery produced to demonstrate the skill of the maker, including alphabets, motifs, boarders etc. The tradition of the English sampler evolved in the early 18th century and was traditionally of a square shape rather than a long narrow panel. The maker would embroider her sample stitch and follow it with a panel or picture. Meaning the piece could then be shown as an alternative to a print or a picture for a wallhanging.  The institution of sampler making became part of a girl’s education, and gave the girl the scope to demonstrate expression, skill and devotion to her faith.

On Samson's arrival, a lovely friend demonstrated her skill of needlework by producing a gorgeous unique gift for both Ida and Samson. Two beautiful needlework samplers.

Sarah and I hope to encourage her to make beautiful samplers for the world to see her skill and love of making something so very precious.

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