Friday, March 4, 2011


I have been meaning to write but have been busy. Have been working on my Delta Gamma newsletter for the alums of my chapter at Michigan State classes1946-1970. Trying to get them to contribute to the newsletter is never ending. And with email, it is so easy. Yes, those who joined in 1946 probably don't have email. I understand. Well, the stragglers are sending their news and payment and I should be done with it in the next few weeks.

I have also been taking a wonderful on line class on learning to quilt feather patterns. You know, those glorious swirls of long ago. The class is 6 weeks long, and we have handouts, and see slides and videos on line. We practice on paper first before we even turn on our long arm sewing machines. It is really hard to draw feather designs, let alone sew them with a machine, but I am slowly improving. has drawn me into it's web. Once I get on the site, I can't seem to get off. I'm busy searching for lots of different ancestors and actually had a breakthrough this week when I found my great grandmother's family in Pittsburgh in the 1800s. But once you answer one question, another looms before you. Fun stuff that genealogy. Your own mystery.

I have been stitching every night on my Carriage House Samplings "city" "sampler." Just snapped a few pics to show you. I see my head is shadowing the shots, but you get the idea. My friend Mary Garry stitched it first, and I liked her colors better than the original, but I have changed some to suit my taste. I am stitching it on 24 count linen over 1 thread with half cross/continental stitch and other needlepoint/embroidery stitches to make the work go faster. The name of my town—Naperville—will be added at the bottom between those curly motifs.

At the top where that straight horizontal line is there will be a house and various motifs.

I am waiting to get the vegetation completed before I choose the building colors.

You can see that I have used a lot of diagonal satin stitches for my leaves on both trees.


Emmanuelle in France  wrote me that she also has a Withy Ditch School sampler! That is 3 that I know about. The first one I found at our local history museum, Naper Settlement. And then I found out that my friend in Michigan had one. Now France!! Emmanuelle has sent me photos of her sampler, and you will be amazed at the similarity between hers and the one from Naper Settlement.

The first group is of the sampler owned by my friend in Michigan. Margaret Saunders stitched her sampler in 1848. This is quite a bit later than the other two, but although the exact designs are not the same, the general set up is.

This is our reproduction of part of the sampler from Naper Settlement. Ann Carter 1852. We stitched it over 1 thread on 20 count linen. The count of the original fabric was very high.

This is the original Ann Carter. I know I have other pictures somewhere but they are probably with my slides. I don't think I scanned them. Sorry.

This is the sampler that now resides in France—Anne Weaver 1852. Anne and Ann share the same setup, same verse and many of the same motifs. Glad each girl was able to add her own personality. Love Ann Carter's Adam and Eve. It must have been a windy day!

I'd sure say that Ann Carter and Anne Weaver were students together at this school in England, wouldn't you? Anne Weaver is in much better condition than Ann Carter. Fun to see the comparisons--just like when we go to a workshop and no piece turns out the same.

Emmanuelle sent me the websites for the reproduction of the Anne Weaver sampler. It’s a french online shop called” Reflets de Soie”. The picture of the reproduction is below. Very colorful!

Gotta go now and practice sewing my feathers. I want to learn how to do this, and all it takes is PPP. Practice, practice, practice. Be back soon. Spring is coming here. Our snow is almost all melted and I saw some tiny tips of daffodils starting to come through the soil. --Nancy


  1. I love these samplers! Great work on your city sampler too. You mentioned Mary Garry from Naperville and my stitching friends and I can't get enough of her designs. Would you share her email with me? I would love to drop her a line. pjstitcher at mchsi dot com pam in iowa

  2. The Anne Weaver sampler is especially colorful and pretty. I haven't seen such an intricate vine before. Thank you for sharing the photographs. I'm looking forward to stitching Rachel Hyde. It came in the mail yesterday. Today, at a local shop bought some over-dyed cotton for the the grapes. Fun. Karen A.

  3. I have only just realized that these samplers were sewn at Withyditch,where I grew up,and my Father still lives .If anyone wishes to know more about this tiny Hamlet on the outskirts of Bath please contact me.