Thursday, April 15, 2010

Mary Ann Bosworth sampler, Rachel Farington 1814 sampler, A SAMPLER IN A SAMPLER, Books (Winter Garden and Precious), dog bandannas, nautical sampler

My friend, Tedra, in Arizona sent me a lovely photo of a miniature Quaker sampler of mine that she incorporated in a larger sampler. I can't seem to get the photos she sent me to focus but you can get the idea. My little sampler is on the right side of her large sampler. Each initial and motif in the piece has special meaning to her. What a great idea!

Started on the Prairie Schooler ABC's last night, but after cutting the linen to the correct size and loading it on my Rolaframes and putting it in my K's Creations lap stand, all I got done was part of a small motif while we watched Tuesday night's American Idol. I am doing all the letters in the alphabet plus an extra design so that is 27 different designs. I have them nine across in three horizontal rows. Well, on 28 count linen over 1 thread, that is still 22 inches wide. The problem with this is that I have to sit so far away from the arm of the couch that I am balancing between two cushions! It will get better. I love the colors in the piece and can hardly wait to get more stitched.

I  finished the book Winter Garden by Kristen Hannah last night. Liked it, but felt it was a bit dark. A lot is about the siege of Leningrad during WWII—not a happy part of history. Started Precious this afternoon. This book is based on the novel Push, and the movie Precious was based on the Precious book. I am liking it a lot so far. Have the movie here that I checked out from the library this week. Usually I like the book better than the movie, but we'll see. My library copy of the book also includes the novel Push and a reader's guide.

This is my wonderful Golden Retriever, Murphy, whom we adopted from the As Good As Gold Golden Retriever rescue group of northern Illinois. We have had him for probably 6 or so years, and he is a terrific dog. Everyone in the neighborhood knows him and loves him, as he is very gentle and calm. Now he is having joint problems so we cannot walk him as much as we used to. Murphy was from a family who "downsized" him and left him at the county animal control. Can you believe it? In the last two days I have sewn about 30 more bandannas for the rescue group.

Rachel Farington 1814—

Threads Through Time reproduced this sampler . Our friend who owned the sampler found it at an antique shop. At one time her husband almost threw it out. This is a very cute marking sampler. At the time we reproduced it, there was no dark green linen so we used 28 count 100% cotton Jubilee. We had originally ordered some special linsey woolsey to be made for us but that didn't work out as it was different every time we received a shipment. As you can see, Rachel is still tucked in her frame. The finished size is 7" x  10" and I think it is a very nice little marking sampler. It is cross stitch only. Quick to stitch.

Me trying to take a photo of Rachel who is behind glass. Note in the photos below that the linsey-woolsey fabric is a dark green linen running horizontally and a green/gold color wool thread in the vertical direction. The linen has lasted throughout the years since 1814 while the wool has disintegrated. These alphabets are literally hanging by a thread!

Note above how Rachel dragged her thread from the bottom of the K to the top of the L and so on. 

There is a dark green mat board underneath the sampler.

I call this my nautical sampler. It is one of my favorites, and I adapted the design from a pair of book marks that were charted in a magazine. Can't remember which one. Stitched bookmarks—you've got to be kidding. I used to use the cards in the books from the library but now that these are passe, I use any old paper hanging around. I wanted to add a whale and found the wonderful verse in a search on line. It is done in double running stitch or blackwork. The letters are 4 threads high/2 stitches. 

I found the mermaids as a free chart on line. The setup of the bookmarks is mostly the same as the chart though I added the whaling towns of New Bedford, Long Island, Sag Harbor, Nantucket, Provincetown and New London. These bookmarks are in the shape of buskers which were made of whale bone and inserted in the front of a corset to make a woman stand up straight. Who invented those?


My Mary Ann Bosworth sampler is from New Bedford, MA.  I found it in West Branch, IA, on the way home from a Spirit of Cross Stitch Festival in Des Moines. It was hung way up high in an antiques shop, and the owner said it was English. I new better and bought it despite its condition. 

When I had a booth at various cross stitch shows, my friends and I always took some time for fun on the way to or from the show. One time we stopped at a fantastic coverlet exhibit in Columbus, Ohio. Other trips included the Shaker villages in Kentucky and Massachusetts or Sturbridge Village. It is such fun to travel with girlfriends.  

The sampler was stitched to a coarse piece of fabric in order not to fall apart. I knew that the border designs were reminiscent of Boston lozenges. That's my head above as the sampler was under glass.

The verse says Performed by Mary Ann Bosw---- N Bedford Dec 8 1820
Aged 9 years and  ---- months. I was able to find a Mary Ann Bosworth of New Bedford who was aged 9 years and 8 months on 12/8/1820! I include the history on any sampler that I reproduce, but you have to remember that the internet was an infant in those days so sometimes I didn't find much info.

While the original sampler was more rectangular, the reproduction became more square because of the even weave of the new fabric. It was stitched on 36 count linen with 12 colors of floss by my friend Mary in Holland, MI. Stitches are cross and cross over 1 thread. I was able to decipher the verse using the first large alphabet and various sampler books. The size is 15" x 12.

Time for dinner. I'll be back in a few days as my neighbor and I are going to the International Quilt Festival in Chicago tomorrow. Wanted to check it out as I hear it is moving to Cincinnati next year due to high labor costs here in Chicago. Should be great fun. 'Til later... Nancy


  1. THe Rachel FARINGTON 1814 sampler information and pictures were very interesting. Maybe I will have to try and find the pattern. I have begun to collect reproduction patterns. Hope to be able to stifch some,too.

    I couldn't believe you found the Mary Ann Bosworth sampler after a Spirit of Cross Stitch festival! I use to go them all the time,but I never stopped at antique stores. Guess I Didn't know much about antique samplers then. I think I have one of the free charts you use to pass out. I even stilll had an old catalogue until quite recently.
    I am enjoying reading your blog!

  2. I am so delighted to have discovered your blog. I just love old samplers and look forward to seeing more and more being charted.

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