Thursday, April 22, 2010


Finally sitting down to write after a busy week so far. Have yoga on Monday and Wednesday mornings and my stitch/knit group here on Tuesday mornings, and my Sampler Group of 25 years met here yesterday. I had a pile of papers to go through on my desk and was able to plow through them at last. So much for a paperless society! On Sunday I went to my mom's house, which we are trying to sell, to help my brother clear out the debris from the crawl space. We are under contract for the 3rd time and want the inspection to go through with no problem. It is an interesting time in real estate these days.

Finished reading both Zoya and Jewels by Danielle Steele. My friend Zeena had recommended them, and I think they are better than her newer books. Read her for a non-thinking experience. Decided I don't like her detached style. She really just observes the characters and doesn't get inside their heads. But they are a diversion. Have now started Saving Cee Cee Honeycut by Beth Hoffman. Like it so far. It is about life in Savannah and an "orphaned" girl and the characters she meets when she goes to live there with her Great Aunt Tootie. I have found that I really love many of these books that take place in the South.

I'm still working on the Prairie Schooler ABC. The problem is that they are not all the same dimensions! So I have to adjust here and there. Makes life interesting.

There seem to be a lot of Scottish samplers out there. This is one from a private collection. Eliza Jones came to the US from Scotland. As is typical of Scottish samplers, she stitched the names of family members. Her sister Mary must have died because her name is stitched in black. I would imagine that the braided hair at the bottom of the sampler might be Mary's. Eliza's father went to California to the gold rush but got sick and died. He never returned home. I love the way Eliza labeled her parents, brothers and sisters.  Sorry the first photo is blurred. I took it years ago. You can still get the idea of the layout of the sampler. It is on a very fine count linen. We did not reproduce this sampler. Didn't know where to get the hair!

Love the "continued" under the right basket! Look closely at the rosebuds in the border. I think that they were overstitched with a red at a later date. What do you think?

The flower below the basket is similar to Quaker flowers.

 The hearts on either side of the hair "trellis" are done in queen stitch. I think that the gold color on the large flowers and flower basket was also added at a later date.


Agnes Brown is in the collection of my friend Genevieve. Notice the various sets of initials on the sampler. I started charting the sampler but never finished it. Found that more stitchers prefer a pictorial sampler and are tired of stitching the ABC's.

Genevieve took this photo while laying the sampler on her vinyl kitchen floor. That is what the reflection  at the bottom of the sampler is. The peacock, trees and large flowers and vase motifs are typical of Scottish samplers. As I recall, the sampler was stitched with wool thread on a linen fabric. 

More floor reflection on this photo. Love the large red grape vine border. Notice more family initials.

My BETTY KEY 1807 sampler is also Scottish.

antique sampler—————reproduction


Genevieve also owns Elizabeth Traill. This is a lovely Adam and Eve sampler. It is stitched with wool thread on linen. Note that all the samplers either have selvedges or hemmed edges—no excess linen. 

The large elaborate letters at the top are the initials of her parents.

When I chose the color for Adam and Eve and had the sampler stitched by Marge Gaebel, I thought I had picked the correct color. But when I received the sampler from Marge, I decided that the pink was too purple. Poor Adam and Eve looked cold! I took out the stitches and restitched them myself. It is not easy taking out one's own stitching, but another's—not fun!

Because Elizabeth stitched all these wonderful initials on her sampler, I was able to find out some information on her and her family. I did reproduce this sampler and her family history is included with the chart.

Typical Scottish trees.


speckled snake and speckled dog

I have a big order to get out. Better get going on it. Also want to do a bit of gardening as we are supposed to get a lot of rain here this weekend. If you like my blog, tell your sampler/stitching/quilting friends about it. I love receiving your comments. Bye for now. --Nancy


  1. Thanks for all the pictures and information on Scottish samplers. I'm sorry you decided to stop the reproduction of Agnes Brown. I really liked the bottom half of that one.

    I just took a class at LMSG with Olde Willow and it is a Scottish sampler,too. Do you ever teach classes anymore?

  2. Like Diana I went to the same class at the Lake Michigan Sampler Guild and it was a Scottish Sampler too. Thanks for the pictures and information today!

  3. Hi Nancy, I just love your blog and your stories behind these great samplers. Now, I'm going to have to add Elizabeth Traill my order. I love the bottom of Agnes Brown, too. Maybe you should finish reproducing her?

  4. I LOVE Agnes Brown! If you ever finish the chart, I would love to know!