Monday, August 10, 2015

Norden 2015 Fall Needlework Show

I am happy to be one of the designers taking part in Norden Crafts 2015 Fall Online Needlework Show, which runs from April 10 through April 19.  For more details on the show, go to

The first of my four designs for the show is Mary's Little Deer (retail price $14.00). This is a reproduction of an English sampler stitched in 1855 by 11-year-old Mary Maylett.  It is stitched on 32ct Buttercream linen by Lakeside Linens, using DMC floss.  

This lovely sampler was stitched by Mary Maylett, the daughter of John and Ann (Monk) Maylett.  She was born in 1844 and baptised on 7 July 1844 in Lindridge, WorcestershireEngland.  Mary was married in 1875 at the age of 31 to George Furness Smith, a Church of England clergyman.  They had two children:  a daughter Mabel Annie Smith born in 1876, and a son Francis Maylett Smith born in 1878.  Sadly, Mary Maylett Smith died when her children were very young--sometime between 1881 and 1886.  Mary would have been proud of both her children.  Francis became a medical doctor and Mabel married a British civil servant and traveled with him to his posts in Africa and India.

When Mary Maylett was eleven-years-old, she stitched her sampler in silks on coarse linen.  It was very nicely done and had few counting errors.  It measures 11.63 inches wide by 13.13 inches high, very close in size to the reproduction.  The antique sampler is unframed and is stitched to a backing of polished cotton fabric.

Antique Mary Maylett Sampler

Mary’s two little deer are probably fallow deer, which are common in England.  Adult fallow deer often have fawn-like spots, just as the ones on Mary’s sampler.

The second design is Elizabeth Hobson 1800 (retail price $14.00), but I call it the Checkerboard Deer Sampler, for obvious reasons.  It is a reproduction of an English sampler.  The model was stitched on 25ct Natural Dublin linen using DMC floss.

I wish we knew something about the young lady who stitched this delightful sampler. Unfortunately, there are many Elizabeth Hobsons throughout England who were in their 13th years in the year 1800, so that without any other information, there is no way to determine which one of them is our stitcher.

The checkerboard deer was one of the first things that attracted me to this sampler.  Then I noticed the two little squirrels  I wonder what Elizabeth was thinking when she decided that they should have green tails!

Antique Elizabeth Hobson Sampler

The antique sampler, measuring approximately 10 inches wide by 15.1 inches high, was stitched on a coarse linen fabric in colorful wools which have faded very little over the past 215 years.

The reproduction sampler is the same height and slightly narrower than the antique, and the DMC floss almost exactly matches the wools used in the antique.

Next is an original band sampler Ladye of the Castle (retail price $14.00).  Suggested fabric is 32ct Summer Khaki Belfast linen, and it is stitched with DMC floss.  Stitches used in addition to cross stitch are long-armed cross stitch, vertical and horizontl satin stitch, back stitch, tall Smyrna cross stitch, diamond Smyrna cross stitch.  

And finally we have the Ann Stone Sampler (retail price $12.00), a reproduction of a sweet little English sampler that was stitched in 1816.  The model was stitched on 25ct Summer Khaki Dublin linen, which unfortunately is no longer available.  I recommend using 28 count Summer Khaki Cashel linen, which will make the sampler slightly smaller.  Or if you prefer to keep the sampler similar in size to the antique, 25 count Natural Dublin linen would be a good choice.  The model was stitched using Soie D'alger silk by Au Ver à  Soie

Ann Stone stitched her sampler in 1816, but since her age is not given, we don’t know when she was born.  “Barton” is the name of an English town, either where she was born or where she stitched her sampler.  But there are more than a dozen towns called Barton in England, so I’m afraid the identity of our sampler stitcher will never be known.

Antique Ann Stone Sampler

Ann’s sampler was stitched in silks on coarse linen.  It measures 9.75 inches wide by 8 inches high, just a bit larger than the reproduction.  The colors on the back of the sampler remain bright, and the AVAS silks match Ann’s silks almost exactly.  I hand matched the DMC colors, and they are very close matches to the AVAS.