Saturday, June 9, 2007

SAMPLERS: Rhode Island Sampler

Did you know:
American samplers were made starting in the early 1700’s and that long, narrow samplers are usually older than square ones?

I enjoy all types of samplers but am partial to American Samplers from the mid to late-eighteenth century. Many of these were stitched by young girls as part of their formal education. As a teaching tool the younger children would stitch Marking Samplers which included the alphabet and a variety of motifs. Alphabets helped them learn letters and numbers while the motifs served to perfect their embroidery skills. As a girl got older she moved on to more decorative Pictorial Samplers, the type that I tend to favor. These designs are less simplified and more realistic. They typically included floral borders, houses, landscapes, alphabets and verses, people and animals. These samplers were not only beautiful but also revealed information about the stitcher to prospective suitors. The fact that a completed sampler hung in the home was an indication of the family’s wealth and social standing. Not everyone could afford to send their daughter to school. In addition the verse stitched within the sampler often expressed the girl’s values.

"2002 Rhode Island Sampler"

When I saw the "2002 Rhode Island Sampler" design, in my Fall 2002 Sampler & Antique Needlework magazine, I knew that I would someday stitch it. Earlier this year I began stitching this sampler and I am getting close to the finish line.

Rhode Island Samplers are American samplers that were stitched during 1780-1790 by students of the Providence School of Mary Balch. The school, located in Providence, RI, was opened by Mary’s mother Sarah. In later years the operation of the school became the responsibility of Mary.

These samplers are typically characterized by an archway, spiral columns, trumpeting angels, a floral border growing from a double handled vase, a shepherd and shepherdess, and town buildings. Students of the Providence School were the first in the country to add town buildings to their samplers. Stitched primarily in cross stitch the samplers did often include the following specialty stitches: rococo, rice, diagonal cross, split, oriental and diagonal darning.

For a wonderful selection of samplers you can visit The Scarlet Letter.

I must end now so that I can get some stitching done...not on this WIP as I need to work on a few upcoming exchanges.

Hope you are all enjoying your weekend. It is a bit dreary here with the rain ~ A perfect day for stitching!

Until next time...


Vonna said...

Oh Marie, that is beautiful :)
It will be glorious when finished and framed :)
Can't wait to see your exchanges :)
I'm busy working on mine too!

BeckySC said...

What a beautiful sampler :)
Me too...working on exchanges.
Have a great Sunday :)

quiltorstitch said...

What a great sampler :D I love your description about them. I'll have to look at the link you have here to learn more :) I notice more and more sampler charts at the Needlework shop everytime I go, they are getting popular.

Itching To Stitch said...

Marie- Thanks for the history lesson on samplers, it's very interesting. I'm a huge sampler fan. Your Rhode Island Sampler is just gorgeous ;)

Sharon said...

Gorgeous sampler!

Wendy said...

That's a lovely sampler. I have been a sampler fan for a long time.

tkdchick said...

RI sampler is beautiful! Thank you for the cool history lesson as well... as I'm not a sampler buff but do appreciate them. The history side is fascinating.