A sampler book

This child’s sample book was created in 1890 as a careful record of what she had learned at school.

It was a few years ago now when a girlfriend rang me to say she had found a sampler book for sale for only £50 and asked if I would like it. At first, I had no idea what she meant but she didn’t have to tell me very much more before I said, “yes please!”.

And here is! This charming child’s sample book was created by Alice Flower in 1890 and as you will see, it is a careful record of what she had learned at school. There is a beautifully stitched buttonhole and diagram, an exercise in patching a garment and the most endearing baby’s dress. The book is really very special, and I have treasured it ever since.

Whilst my children were at junior school, I used to help out occasionally but always when the children were studying the Victorian child as a history project. This book and some of my old samplers were always a big hit with the children and as a result each child would have a go at stitching their own initial in cross stitch. We had some marvellous results.

Sampler books have fascinated me ever since my first purchase. I have designed cloth versions for The Cross Stitch Guild (a Hardanger version and a book of country flowers, amongst others) and have recently discovered a French company with kits for you to create our own embroidery stitch collection. Naturally, I have to share so you will find two variations to try for yourself in my Treasures collection.

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