April 7, 2013

Antique Sampler --1849 and a Stitching Coincidence

Be still, my heart!

I recently stumbled upon a sampler that was stitched by my dad's great grandma Mary (or my great- great grandma) back around 1849, when she was ten years old. This little treasure was tucked away in an antique dresser drawer in my parents' house for years. I didn't know it existed until 2012.  My Great Aunt Ruth (the one who stitched the tablecloth)  wrote about the sampler in 1980, and said it was stitched between 1849 and 1853 when her grandma was between ten and fourteen years old.  Great Aunt Ruth gave it to my mother when she was near the end of her life and in her eighties, which was also in 1980.  Great Aunt Ruth's grandma Mary gave it to her when Ruth was just a young girl.

Mary lived in Switzerland when she stitched it, and it was brought over to the United States when her family moved here in the 1800's.

Here it is:

It has a bit of wear, stains, and moth holes. But I love it, and treasure it. I will have it framed soon at a specialty framing store.  I love the bright colors, and motifs.

Here's a few more photos of it:

Fast forward about 150 years, to around 2009.  In that spring I finished a sampler that I started a few years earlier. I threw together a bunch of patterns for this sampler, used a bit of graph paper, and came out with what I call my 'House and Garden Sampler'.  My old blog where I wrote about this sampler got hacked, but if you click here and scroll down to May 2, 2009 under the Summer Queen post, you will see more about the sampler.

Here's a photo of it here:

When I was studying the 1849 antique sampler this morning, I noticed that the lower right corner had a rose in red tones. I then realized that one of the last motifs I added to my own sampler in 2009 was a red colored rose, in the lower right corner. It's the only big bold flower on the sampler.  The design was from a pattern book of German 'Berlinwork' designs. I know it may not seem amazing to all, but I find it intriguing that 150 years earlier my great great grandma's sampler contained a similar motif in the same spot, and color. I had not seen the 1849 sampler until three years after I completed my own sampler. 

A comparison photo:

Thanks for stopping by today and looking at what I think is a very interesting coincidence.  I am so happy to be a needleworker, as was my Great Great Grandma Mary back in Switzerland in 1849.  I'm also happy that my daughter also shares this love and will pass it on to future generations in our family.


  1. Wow!! That's is pretty cool about the roses!! Can't wait to see the antique sampler framed!

  2. Wow, Sue, that's amazing! Great stitchers' minds think alike!

  3. Wonderful story and such a treasure you have! Actually, you have two treasures; your sampler and your great, great grandma's sampler tied together with a flower. Awesome!

  4. Both your great grandmother's and your sampler are wonderful. Before I even got your whole post read I noticed you both had red flowers on the bottom right corners. That's amazing! You did a great job chartiing out your own sampler. I did that for my daughter back in 1988ish. I read about samplers and what they included and found charts and made mine. I wish I had a picture to share with you. Sandy

  5. That is a wonderful connection! What a wonderful thing to have; so glad I got to see it in person! Thanks for sharing this great story!

  6. What a treasure! I'm so glad you found the antique sampler and know the personal history of it. Amazing coincidence with both of them having that gorgeous red rose.

  7. Hello

    I found your blog through Debbies.
    What a find, the sampler is amazing!
    Your own sampler is lovely and what a coincidence that you included a rose in the same place too.


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