Saturday, March 20, 2010


Years ago we had heard that the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago had some antique samplers. I called them, and they said that they did have samplers, but didn't know where they were, and that they would contact me when they found them! A while later we went to the Museum to see them. There were a lot of them, and they were given to the Museum in 1938 by Carrie B. Neely who lived nearby in the Hyde Park neighborhood. At her death in 1938 Carrie was in debt, and though she willed all her samplers and coverlets to the Museum, it received only some of her collection. Her lawyer received the rest. According to her obituary in the 1938–1939 edition of the Colonial Coverlet Guild of America member book that I own, Carrie was a noted tennis player who had won all national championships but one and an active club member and philanthropist. Her two major interests were tennis and the construction of furniture by hand. Her tennis trophies are in the possession of the Chicago Historical Society.

From the July 7, 1907 edition of the NY Times; Sporting News Section—

TENNIS CHAMPION IS CHICAGO GIRL; Miss Carrie Neely Wins Challenge Round of Middle States Event. 

Another article—
Women's matches overshadowed the men's in the deciding of the Middle States lawn tennis championships yesterday on the courts of the Orange Lawn Tennis Club, Mountain Station, N.J. Miss Carrie B. Neely, the Chicago girl, regained her title which she lost last year to Miss Helen Homans, now Mrs. Marshall McLean, in straight sets of the cleverest sort of tennis.

July 2, 1907, Tuesday

NEW TENNIS CHAMPIONS.; Miss Neely and Miss Welmer Win Doubles Event

US Open - Past MixedDoubles Champions1898 Carrie B. Neely, Edwin P. Fischer 


I think she only played doubles—womens and mixed. 

Anyway, we were able to catalogue all of the samplers and reproduce four of them. The first is what I call the Adam and Eve sampler because, unfortunately, there is no name or date on it—even though she had lots of room to do this. The sampler is English and was stitched on a very fine wool fabric. Note the evidence of coal dust on the upper right and the moth hole on the left side of the sampler. It is stitched with the selvedges on the sides and is hemmed at the top and bottom. None of the samplers were in frames when we saw them and most were basted to tissue paper that had turned brown with age.  

Looks like it was framed at one time. Notice the nail holes in the top and bottom hems.

This photo below must have been taken at a different time because of the light color of the fabric. 

This is our reproduction stitched on 35 count linen. There is only cross stitch and the verse is cross stitch over one thread. 

It has a lovely Adam and Eve Bible verse that reads from side to side across the tree of life. 

More samplers from the Museum tomorrow...

MINIATURES—These are my two miniature Adam and Eve samplers on 40 count silk gauze.


In honor of the arrival of spring I have included an ancient piece that I stitched in what looks like 1988. It was a class taught by needlepoint teacher, Jody Adams. Even the background is stitched. The shine is because it is framed under glass. Note the avocado green—dated—but he is cute—except when he and his friends are in my garden. No rabbits in the garden today as it is snowing! 

Found this on a friend's website and love it, love it.  Amen to what it says! --Nancy

A Stitcher's Prayer

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