Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Antique Sampler

My great great grandmother's girlhood  sampler

It lives under glass in a frame with handles and sealed with velvet.
Once upon a time we taught little girls to write with their needle. This is an old sampler so fragile it lives under glass. I wish it had a date stitched into it. This sampler is from my paternal grandmother's side of the family and must have been stitched by her mother's mother, Adelaide, who came out to California from Monticello, New York in early days and started up the Monticello Steamship company with her husband Zephaniah Hatch. These ships were what ferried people and items across San Francisco Bay before any bridges had most likely even been thought of and one of which is now a museum in the harbor to this day. This sampler has been lovingly kept. It is done on cotton canvas with blue, green and various shades of cream thread that at one time may have faded from more vibrant colors. It is about 12 inches by 8 inches in size and is a prized piece of inherited textile treasure. The alphabet in both upper and lower case are cross stitched along with the numbers one through ten inside a border or flowering vine. There is a small heart as well and a saying that speaks to my heart as if my great great grandmother were speaking directly to me with my love of needle work and books. At this time of my life in which I am making adjustments and seeking new direction and definition for myself, I find this advice cross stitched on this sampler long ago and read by me today: "You the hour to divide, let the needle and the book you heart guide". I think my new direction lies in thosewords, writing, literature and needlework. Thank you, Great Great Grandmother Adelaide. 

Close up of work and the motifs, including the little heart.

Look at the "X" It is a different style and takes up more room than the "Y" and "Z" and the motto looks almost done in freehand.  You and so the word "You" in this picture. The work wasn't carefully planned out at the stitcher ran out of room and the little heart is meant to stand in for the word "heart" to save room. That human error makes this piece of textile treasure all the more dear to me.

1 comment:

  1. I am realizing I have fallen very far behind in blog reading but I have to me in the right frame of mind! Love this piece of work and completely understand why you love it as well!