Thursday, March 25, 2010

QUAKER LADY/GENT; READING; MSI samplers, Betsy Leach, etc.

While we were charting the Carrie B. Neely samplers at the Museum of Science & Industry in Chicago, I made a notebook of all the samplers in the collection and sorted them by date whenever possible. I will try to discuss one or two in each blog starting with the earliest ones. This is the first of the samplers received by the Museum in 1939. The bright blue is the background where we laid the samplers for photographing. This sampler was stitched in the 17th century in England. It is on a 47 count fabric and is about 8" x 14". On it are double running and stem stitches. It was originally appraised at $10. Note that it is unfinished. I believe that it had been framed and that the glass on the frame had cracked and coal dust had settled on the fabric leaving the dark stain.

This photo is a bit closer for viewing.


The Betsy Cheesman Leach sampler is owned by me. It is English. 

This is the reverse side. Remember that when I took all of these photographs, I used an old Nikon camera of my husband's. No digital cameras in the early 1990's. We found the reverse side of many antique samplers to be quite a mess!

The sampler was framed with several layers of cardboard and...

a zillion nails (I used to know how many!) in the back of the frame!


I finished the Quaker Lady design by Jardin Prive and have started on the Gentleman.

I am working on 28 count linen over 1 thread with 2 strands of floss. I am using half cross stitch—continental and basket weave stitches. Some times I make the stitch from lower right to upper left to get the Quaker medallions looking right. Don't worry that he is not straight. I have the linen a little warped in my frame. Think I'll make his pants red. Almost all of the black is complete.


This is a little piece that I finished last fall. Our Sampler Group has been meeting for 25 years and we had a big celebration in July 2009. There are now eleven of us in the group and we meet monthly. We used to make a big deal about lunch but are now bringing our own to the meeting. Mary and Marcia designed the sampler and I stitched it over 1 thread on 35 count linen with various over dyed threads. I had had the frame on hand and tweaked the sampler to fit in the frame—which it does—just barely— and I changed the colors and some of the motifs. It is quite small which is why I like stitching over 1 thread.



I just finished the book BREAKING OUT OF BEDLAM  by Leslie Larson. It is pretty hilarious. Found out about it in the AARP Magazine. It's the story of Cora Sledge who is "kidnapped" by her 3 children and moved to an assisted living facility in San Diego. Cora is 82 and starts out at 300 pounds but she changes throughout the book both in size and thoughts. She weans herself off the pills and junk food she has been eating forever, starts "exercising," falls in love, and becomes a new person. The book is a series of journals that she writes of her life at The Palisades and her life before she went there. Cora tells it like it is. In the front cover of the first journal she writes, "Do not read until I'm dead." I can't seem to do this book justice, but it is a funny, tender book that I think you'll enjoy.

Got to go walk Murphy before his dinner. If you have any ideas for this blog, write and let me know. Talk soon. --Nancy

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