Stitching through Time

sampler ddip In working on TFCB’s Dressing a Nation fashion series, I read about colonial girls and their samplers. Not unlike the young women of the days of yore, who learned stitching techniques through samplers, I too learned about embroidery, cross-stitching, and other needle-and-thread techniques by working on the reproduction at left of the colonial Williamsburg Chase Sampler.

It was my mother’s idea to teach my sister and me the “womanly arts.” Every night after school, she would sit us down and work with us on various projects—samplers, pillows, kitchen towels, pillowcases, runners, even pin cushions, which we invariably gave to relatives as Christmas gifts.

My sister was less amenable to the projects than I; she never finished her reproduction sampler. I, on the other hand, eventually finished mine (many, many years later), and a dear friend framed it for me. It hangs on my bedroom wall now, and I must say, that, as an adult, I’m very glad to have (re)inherited my various stitchery projects from the relatives who once held them dear.

Who knows. Maybe one day my sampler will be valued at $70,000—or more–as was the Elizabeth Pitman sampler in an Antiques Roadshow airing in 2008!

Check in next week for more from TFCB!

[sampler: courtesy of yours truly; photo courtesy of Todd Strand, Independent Picture Service]