Wednesday, March 3, 2010

STARTING OUT...Eliza Ann Marlett—An Illinois sampler

For a long time I have been thinking about writing a blog and I have finally decided to go for it! I named my blog for my former business, Threads Through Time, which several friends and I started in 1987. At first we reproduced antique samplers. Later on I owned the business myself and added silk gauze designs to the mix. I think that I am going to talk about the samplers that we reproduced and then get on to stitching on silk gauze. I also want to talk a bit about the projects I have stitched/knitted/quilted just for myself and also maybe a little about the books I am currently reading as I am a big reader.

The first sampler that we reproduced was the Eliza Ann Marlett sampler from 1838. It was stitched in Aurora, Illinois, which is unusual because Aurora was only founded in 1834 as I recall. Aurora is near where I live in the Chicago area. This sampler is owned by the Aurora Historical Society.

This is a photo (not a very good one) of the front of this sampler. It's edges had been glued to a mat board a zillion years ago, and it was framed. We loved this sampler because it included quite a few different kinds of stitches.

Above is a photo of the reverse. Notice how Eliza carried her threads from letter to letter and motif to motif. 

This is a photo of the reproduction sampler. We loved the cute little heart in the lower right hand corner and also the small flower basket on the second line. Eliza was not always perfect in her stitching, but that is the charm of it. When I took the reproduction to be framed, the lady at the frame shop said, "You have lots of mistakes in this piece." And I said, "Isn't that great!"

This is a close-up of the repro. There is a coss stitch alphabet, a 4-sided stitch alphabet, and the top alphabet is a combination of eyelets and smyrna cross stitches. The small dividing lines are various long arm cross stitches.  


The signature line at the bottom is cross stitch over 1 thread.  I like this sampler a lot because there are very few samplers originally stitched in the mid-west...and it was our first.

Have to go and take my aging Golden Retriever, Murphy, for his afternoon walk. Hope to be back tomorrow. --Nancy

1 comment:

  1. i found a sampler with her name, age, date, and town. it has small holes and there is a P before and after the Q.
    it looks to be old...but it may be a reproduction.
    the back is as you describe yours...she doesn't knot it but moves on to the next one.
    would you be interested in seeing a picture of it?
    thanks much! april