Have been taking care of baby Ryan, my grandson almost 6 months old, for the last two weeks on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Finally got him to take somewhat longer naps this week though he must have caught a cold at day care last week and I know how hard it is to sleep with a stuffy nose. It seems the minute I get into something around here, he wakes up. He is so cute and smily and good, but my schedule is not the same any more with him around--though I won't give him up. Grandpa even helped quite a bit yesterday.
The Ann Rayner Sampler—
Am trying to get out several orders today so I can take them to the post office tomorrow morning. Wyndham Needleworks still carries my miniatures and reproduction samplers in charts, and I also have an order for In Stitches in Alexandria, VA. The Ann Rayner 1839 sampler continues to be popular. It must be the bright colors.
This is a terrible pic of the terrific original sampler. Remember there was no digital photography when I took these pictures! The original sampler was stitched with wool thread on a wool ground. We do not know any history on Ann as she stitched no town or school names on her sampler. Her border is quite unusual.
Ann Rayner closeup. The lambs are stitched over one thread. Notice the hemmed edges.
The sampler is in very good shape.
This is the reproduction on 30 count tea linen with DMC floss. When we reproduced our samplers in the 1980s and 90s, there were very few choices of linen—cream, white, natural, tea.
You'll never be bored with this sampler!
We reproduced some samplers from the Museum of Science & Industry in Chicago. The collection had never been documented, and as I told you last fall, I made a notebook of all of their samplers. Look carefully at this sampler below...I would say that the shepherd/shepherdess/sheep motifs are the same as those in Ann Rayner. This sampler was stitched in 1824 vs. Ann Rayner in 1839. I was astounded when I saw the similarities. The border on the Ann Rayner sampler is the border below Eliza Himsworth's name. Eliza was 11 years old when she stitched her sampler. It is a large one at 22" x 21.5". She used 27 count linen with silk threads. I did not reproduce this sampler and it is now in a private collection somewhere as the Museum sold their entire collection of samplers at Sotheby's in London.
Love the raccoon-eyed cats sitting on their silk cushions—complete with tassels.
In order to get the entire sampler in my pic, I had to fold over the top. Note the nail holes in the edge of the linen. When looking at the back of the sampler, you'll notice that Eliza was a neat and tidy stitcher.
Looks like there was some moisture problem at one time as the green dye of the grass seems to have bled upwards.
MARY RAYNER 1850—
Speaking of Rayner samplers, my friend Genevieve owns the Mary Rayner sampler. As far as we know, she is no relation to Ann Rayner, and the samplers are very different in style. Mary stitched her sampler in 1850 at the time samplers were going out of fashion. This is a large sampler. The original measures 24.75" wide x 16.25" tall. It was nailed to wooden stretcher bars when framed. It was stitched with wool thread which has remained quite vivid.
I think the sampler was still under glass in its frame when I took this photo! But you can still see the stitches quite well. I love the bright reds in the prickly roses and the little rosebud border.
Don't know what the bright blue fruit/flower is.
I always thought of it as egg plant though that is more purple than blue.
I stitched the reproduction on 32 count linen.
It is about 21" x 14.5" finished.
Mary used no other stitches than cross stitch.
I like the pine trees and daffodils/tulips too.
Have to go and finish up my order. Am going to the library tomorrow morning as the DAR is coming to help members with genealogy questions. I am in the process of becoming a member--as I love history--and I do have 2 relatives who served in the Revolutionary War--a husband and wife in Virginia in the 1780s. I can trace myself back to them, but I really need help looking for my paternal great grandfather, John Bitzer, who lived at least his married life in Cincinnati, Ohio and who died there too. I have his death certificate but no birth certificate or any idea of where he came from. I'm also looking for my paternal grandmother, Frances Lena Seiler, who was born in Iowa. Iowa has not opened up its records to the public, and I can't seem to locate a birth certificate for her. I know the names of her parents but have come to a dead end with them too. Genealogy is a fascination for me. It really sucks you in to keep looking for those long lost ancestors. Just one more search, just one more search...and there you are hours later still sitting at the computer. Wish I had more time...Talk soon. Nancy