Tuesday, January 19, 2016


I mentioned I had taken pictures of samplers to a friend who wanted to know, "...is that like people who eat lunch at Costco by sampling all the little bites of food they put out to try and get you to buy them?" We both laughed. No. It was a reasonable assumption, I had just returned from a trip to Costco. But, she had never heard of the type of sampler I meant.
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This one is a cross stitch sampler, with a clever verse, and signed. Most likely a pre-stamped pattern to work. Samplers were designed to teach young girls how to embroider or cross stitch in homey designs that also taught them the alphabet and sometimes included numbers from 1 to zero.
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Samplers are highly prized and my cousin had them hanging under glass in a bathroom and a somewhat poorly lit bedroom. Since I love collections, I had to photograph them.
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Few letters, and no verse, the scene is appealing and tells a bit about the times and gave the person a lot of practice making stitches. Needlework was considered a necessary skill for young women to learn.
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Most of the samplers were unsigned.
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This is an embroidered sampler, much harder to work than cross stitch. This one from a modern era and most likely hand drawn. A full story in pictures and words. And, the misspelled GUEST?  Curious.
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My mother prompted me to make a sampler when I was young, but when I got to the "dime" store to pick out a pattern, I opted for more practical pillow cases to embroider instead.
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An unusual statement, almost biblical.
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A wry truth.
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A sampler  high on the wall, under glass, in poor light. Many photos didn't turn out, but I had to include this blurry one because the spelling, so quaint, suggests someone of German descent.

I was more tomboy than girl and while I did learn to sew and work quilts, my mother did excellent crochet, a skill I never mastered. I'm grateful to have some of her doilies, another collectible item you can find in the thrift stores.

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