Traditional Needlework Samplers and the latest SAL

Historical Needlework Samplers have always fascinated me and I particularly love the 17th century band samplers as well as the 18th century samplers that incorporate houses, animals and flower motifs.

Over the years, experimenting with different techniques and styles has allowed me to find my very happy place which is free style hand embroidery. That said, I am completely fascinated by Needlework Samplers of old – its not the technique I am drawn to, its the designs, colours and subjects that have me completely hooked everytime I do a search in Pinterest! It leads me down a very long rabbit hole that I have to drag myself out of!

The amount of design ideas and inspiration you can gather is fabulous but the sheer beauty of them is what I love the most.

Interested in a bit of history?

The V&A have a wonderful collection of exhibits and if you are interested in the history of needlework, their website has lots of information – find out all about the history of needlework here.

WinterBerry Cottage SAL

This SAL design has been a long time in the making! There are a huge amount of wonderful reproduction sampler patterns that have been created over the years by designers from the traditional historical designs. It makes sense that they are reproduced in Needlework Charts and Cross stitch Charts but that doesn’t work for me unfortunately! I appreciate the art of counted thread embroidery but its not my preferred method of stitching. This frustration gave me the idea to create a design from an old sampler myself and stitch it free style.

Say hello to the WinterBerry Cottage Sampler…

Creating the Design

You would think, given the absolute array of examples shown online of antique samplers it would be easy to come up with a design! Not so, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do a reproduction or a mix and match of various elements and it was only until I came upon this sampler that I decided what to do…

Sarah Chapple 1831

As soon as I saw this sampler, I loved it! That gorgeous little red house with its accompanying formal garden, the pretty red flowers, the birds and the fabulous border.

Amazingly, this sampler was created in 1831 by Sarah Chapple who was just 11 years old at the time. Worked with silk on linen it incorporated the lovely house, floral and bird elements as well as a religious verse.

For my sampler, I decided to include the elements from Sarah’s design that I like the most and then try and include a variety of different motifs and elements that were in line with the same era by looking at lots of the lovely books I have on the subject. I decided to use motifs rather than the verse as this is just what I prefer in a design.

I am really happy with the final result and have Sarah Chapple to thank for the majority of it…

Lot’s of Lovely Stitches

In keeping with a sampler, this design is completed with a variety of stitches including back, split, satin, chain, fly, herringbone, double chain and a couple of others!

Lots of Happy Stitching!

If, like me, you are a fan of the old style samplers but want to stitch free style then WinterBerry Cottage is a delight to stitch.

Take a look at the SAL page to find out how you can stitch this gorgeous design.

Happy Stitching!

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