Friday, October 5, 2007

"Passed" Artistry of the Day

I don't know if I have the discipline and patience to sit and stitch a sampler as young women of the past were taught to do. Well, maybe if it was for a grade in school I'd do my best. But then again, would my teacher have the patience!?


(Kudos to those of you who are stitchery artisans! One of whom is my father-in-law...yes, I typed "Father" in-law! He is accomplished at his craft of cross-stitching, even winning ribbons at his local fair! Wish I had photos to show you, because he does incredible work.)


The stitcheries and samplers of young school girls of the 19th century showed not only skill and discipline, but an art form that represents Early America. These early American's decorated their homes with these samplers, or "patterns to copy". Mothers taught their daughters and more wealthy families sent their daughters to school to learn to read, write, and stitch! The teacher would sketch out a design onto cloth for the young girl to copy by stitching. Usually these were made using silk thread woven into linen or cotton cloth, and over time the thread would fade and the cloth would become darker. The sampler design usually consisted of a large border that was filled with simple shapes, such as, birds, flowers, houses and trees. Inside the border you might find the alphabet in fancy lettering, numbers, or a poem. And the proud stitcher would add their name and the year they finished the sampler.
Samplers tell about the lives of the young early Americans and are beautiful artifacts for learning about what was important to the one who left it behind.

As I said earlier, I'm not sure stitchery is for me, but I love to paint, so I painted a sampler instead (it went a lot faster for me than stitching it!). This framed sampler is on TDIPT Mertcantile this month.
Here are a few websites that have examples of samplers and more of their history:

(References and sampler photos: my son's school curriculum)
(this site has samplers from all over, not just Early America)

Have a great weekend!


Dana said...

Love the stitcheries, Suzanne. I don't have the patience to do them, either. I started a counted cross-stitch piece for my oldest child before he was born. It was a birth announcement ... a gorgeous one, but VERY involved. He'll be 12 in December ... and no, it's still not finished, LOL.

I love your history lessons, thanks for sharing them!!

Have a great weekend ...

SweetAnnee said...

Thanks for the bit of the history of stitching and I love your sampler painting!!
I have a friend whose dad does WONDERFUL needlework...His mother taught him and he is 80 something now!!

the feathered nest said...

Suzanne, I'd definitely have more patience painting a sampler than stitching one too! Your's are wonderful. That's so cool that your FIL is into cross stitching. You don't usually think of it as something that men have the patience to do. Although my husband actually sews better than me! Loved the history behind samplers.


Lana said...

Love your faux sampler Suzanne.

I think I'd have the patience in the winter, all cozy and warm by the fire.... but I don't have the eyes for it, lol!