Treasures from the past

Sampler Gallery

Little pieces of history

I have been collecting antique embroidery, especially samplers, since 1985 and the charm and mystery of these pieces of stitching never fail to move me. Recently a quirk of fate put me in the right place at the right time and I was able to purchase a set of antique samplers which I want to share with you. Take a deep breath and prepare to step back in time…

Private: House & Trees Sampler Scrap

This is a single section taken from a much larger sampler from whence came the Tulips. This is a very pretty sampler house with an unusual fence and garden details. The stitching is very fine and has kept the rich colours.

This sampler is supplied in a lovely old wooden frame. It measures 11.5 x 8in (29 x 20cm)

£90.00

Catherine Archer Workbox

Now this is something special – I bought a few plain boxes from a well-known lifestyle department store some many months ago. I knew what I wanted to do with them but needed to cook the idea for a while. The arrival of my Catherine fabric cleared away the fog and so I have been beavering away in the background for some time and here they are transformed into luxurious workboxes.

Each box has a lid inset with a padded and lightly quilted pin pad in Catherine Archer fabric which is buttoned down with a shell button. It is trimmed with a twisted cord in matching ‘schoolhouse’ red. Inside, the lid and base are lined in red silky fabric with gold-plated lion’s tail scissors attached by a twisted cord.

In the box there is a piece of the red fabric, a piece of Catherine Archer fabric tied with a twisted cord and a faux ivory thread holder with two shades of stranded cotton (floss).

In addition, I have included three gold-plated needles in a tiny book hand-crafted by the wonderful Kate Bowles. She has included pages for notes, linen to store needles and envelopes to hold secrets! When closed the little book measures 2.75 x 3.5in (7 x 9cm).

The box measures 10in (25.5cm) across and stands 4in (10cm) high.

Out of stock

Little Crowns & Alphabets Sampler

This charming unsigned and undated sampler includes three alphabets with a row of decorative crowns dividing the bands. It is complete and probably dates from the early 1800s and the colours are just lovely. The sampler is worked in cross stitch and Algerian eye stitches and has a stitched hem around three sides. In the centre area the stitcher has stitched:

If you desire to worship God aright

First in the morning

pray and last at night

The blue, red and golds stand out really well and would benefit from a gold slip inside the frame or a gold detail on the moulding.

I have mounted the sampler on to a piece of unbleached linen and acid free card ready for you to have framed if you wish. The sampler measures 9 x 10in (23 x 5.5cm)

£180.00

Catherine Archer Workbox

Now this is something special – I bought a few plain boxes from a well-known lifestyle department store some many months ago. I knew what I wanted to do with them but needed to cook the idea for a while. The arrival of my Catherine fabric cleared away the fog and so I have been beavering away in the background for some time and here they are transformed into luxurious workboxes.

Each box has a lid inset with a padded and lightly quilted pin pad in Catherine Archer fabric which is buttoned down with a shell button. It is trimmed with a twisted cord in matching ‘schoolhouse’ red. Inside, the lid and base are lined in red silky fabric with gold-plated lion’s tail scissors attached by a twisted cord.

In the box there is a piece of the red fabric, a piece of Catherine Archer fabric tied with a twisted cord and a faux ivory thread holder with two shades of stranded cotton (floss).

In addition, I have included three gold-plated needles in a tiny book hand-crafted by the wonderful Kate Bowles. She has included pages for notes, linen to store needles and envelopes to hold secrets! When closed the little book measures 2.75 x 3.5in (7 x 9cm).

The box measures 10in (25.5cm) across and stands 4in (10cm) high.

Out of stock

Elizabeth Seville Sampler

This very special sampler, probably completed in May 1797, is a real joy. It is stitched beautifully on very fine fabric and has an absolutely lovely stitched border worked in greens and pinks. With upper and lowercase alphabets, numbers and a detailed poem about the values of an Education, it is both charming and unusual. Complete and without any damage, this is a real treasure.

I have mounted the sampler on to a piece of unbleached linen and acid free card ready for you to have framed if you wish. The sampler measures 10.5 x 11.75in (27 x 30cm).

£250.00

Anne Hyne Sampler

Ann’s sampler simply makes me smile not least because of her choice (or her teacher’s choice) of verse and so on, but the fact that she had to darn her piece of linen fabric so that she could sign her name! Her little poem about the sunflower is lovely and certainly very unusual material for the sampler. This is another sampler that would greatly benefit from a simple gold slip being added when it is framed.

I have mounted the sampler on to a piece of unbleached linen and acid free card ready for you to have framed if you wish. The sampler measures 11.5 x 13in (29 x 33cm).

£180.00

Catherine Archer Workbox

Now this is something special – I bought a few plain boxes from a well-known lifestyle department store some many months ago. I knew what I wanted to do with them but needed to cook the idea for a while. The arrival of my Catherine fabric cleared away the fog and so I have been beavering away in the background for some time and here they are transformed into luxurious workboxes.

Each box has a lid inset with a padded and lightly quilted pin pad in Catherine Archer fabric which is buttoned down with a shell button. It is trimmed with a twisted cord in matching ‘schoolhouse’ red. Inside, the lid and base are lined in red silky fabric with gold-plated lion’s tail scissors attached by a twisted cord.

In the box there is a piece of the red fabric, a piece of Catherine Archer fabric tied with a twisted cord and a faux ivory thread holder with two shades of stranded cotton (floss).

In addition, I have included three gold-plated needles in a tiny book hand-crafted by the wonderful Kate Bowles. She has included pages for notes, linen to store needles and envelopes to hold secrets! When closed the little book measures 2.75 x 3.5in (7 x 9cm).

The box measures 10in (25.5cm) across and stands 4in (10cm) high.

Out of stock

Mounting & framing your embroidery

Framing is quite an expensive business these days, but presentation is everything particularly with valuable antique embroidery. If you can supply your framer with the work already mounted it will help to reduce the costs.

  • When choosing a frame for a particular project, select the best moulding you can afford.
  • Generally, embroidery looks better framed without glass but if you prefer glass use crystal glass, which although more expensive will minimize reflections and distortions.
  • You must also ensure that the underside of the glass does not squash the embroidery. Either use a spacer (narrow strips of board), gold slip, or a mount (mat) between the glass and the mounted embroidery to hold them apart.
  • Adding a single mount or double mount can add dimension to even the simplest project. Framers have a large selection of mounts in all sizes and colours or will cut one to fit.
  • Ask the framer to make up the frame and a coloured or gold slip for you, but buy the frame, glass and so on in kit form (most framers do not mind) and then put it together yourself.

To frame your stitching, stretch and mount, then set aside. Place the frame face down on a covered surface and after cleaning both sides of the glass, place the glass in the frame rebate and insert the gold slip, mount or spacer followed by the stitching. Before fixing in the backboard and sealing the frame, line the inside with aluminium foil, which will discourage thunder flies from finding their way in!