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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Summer Has Arrived!

     And I just had my air conditioner repaired -- not a minute too soon!  Whew!
     I have a lot to report since last I posted.  The class at the Schwenkfelder Museum's "Penn Dry Goods Market Days" went very well.  It's always a good thing when no tomatoes are thrown.  I met some very nice people and may be invited to teach in several places in 2015!  How cool is that?
     I know I hinted about a new design that I wasn't able to disclose, but, now I am happy to be able to show you a picture of the design and tell you a little about it.  Earlier in the year, I was asked if I'd be interested in designing a sampler based on the style of antique samplers from Delaware.  After a little research, I settled on a beautiful footprint to follow for my model.  Since it is a Delaware Sampler, I decided to incorporate symbols from the "First State" into the design:  The Blue Hen, our State bird (as well as the Cardinal, as it was the Blue Hen's runner up); Holly, our State Tree; Sweet Goldenrod, our State herb; Peach Blossom, our State flower; Ladybug, our State insect; Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly, our State butterfly; Grey Fox, our State Wildlife; and Strawberry, our State fruit.  Below is a picture of "A Delaware Inspiration", my design.  See if you can find the State symbols.
I drew my inspiration from the "Fruit and Flower" style samplers that were stitched by schoolgirls in New Castle County, Delaware.  Below are two examples of the style.

The border of these samplers was stitched using satin and stem stitches.  My interpretation uses cross stitches and a few specialty stitches thrown in for fun.  I will be teaching this sampler at the Delaware Sampler Symposium in November 2013.  More news to come ...
     Now, on to the task at hand.  I am attaching June's stitching schedule for A Maryland Inspiration.  Hope everyone has a wonderful June!
Yours in friendship and stitches,
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Hello everyone,
      I hope you’ve had a wonderful spring and that you’ve made progress on your Maryland Inspiration sampler. Since this is June’s schedule, it means we have reached the half way mark in our stitching. I know that the house and roof are quite a lot to stitch, so if you did not finish it last month, I hope you can do so this month. 
     We are going to move on to the detail work on the house. After you’ve finished last month’s assignment on the house you will be ready to do the backstitching. This will give dimension to your shutters and door and make your house come to life! 
     You will also be stitching the grids for the window panes. You will notice that I’ve given you two ways to do the grids – backstitching, or over one. Diagram 1 shows the over one choice and the backstitched choice. Either way you will have to pay attention to the compensation for the center window over the door. Both are clearly illustrated in the Diagrams. If you choose to backstitch, please don’t forget to go over the area indicated in the diagram "2 times" to give definition to the upper and lower sashes.
      If you are all caught up and ready to do the detail, then I would like you to also stitch the over one sections in the left set of cartouches. When I stitch over one, I always use a small hoop. For me it is a lot easier to see and do the stitches when the fabric is tight. Since this is 40 count linen and you will be stitching over one, I suggest you use the tent stitch on the motifs in the cartouches. Your stitches will look less bulky and it will be a lot easier to do your stitching.
Here is a link with diagrams and instructions to do the tent stitch:
Click on the menu at the top of the page where it says "Stitches" and it will take you to a page with a selection of stitches on the left hand side of the page. You will find the tent stitch option there.

     Well, I hope I haven’t given you too much to do. As always, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me at and I will do my best to help you. This is a large sampler and I apologize for the equally big assignments, but I am hoping we can get through the entire chart by November and free up your Christmas holidays for other things. Besides, wouldn’t it be nice to treat yourself to the gift of your sampler being framed and ready to hang on the wall for all of your holiday guests to see?!

Yours in friendship and stitches,

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Oh!  I almost forgot.  "Stone House on the Brandywine" is now available for purchase.  Please contact your LNS and they can contact me regarding how to purchase the chart for sale.  Thanks so much for all your support.  It is much appreciated.


  1. Theresa, our paths crossed this morning at the Biggs. I was taking the class across the entrance from your class. After it, I spoke with Barbara Hutson and showed her a poor photo of my sampler which I am just finding out is a Delaware Fruit and Flowers design from 1798. I have been searching since I got home and just found your pictures of these two samplers. Mine also uses the phrase "anno dominI". Can you tell me who this teacher was and any other info that you might know of about the school? I will be getting in touch with Barbara and she is going to pass on to others the info about my sampler. Thank you, Mary Szewczyk

    1. Hello Mary,

      Oh, I wish we had a chance to meet on Sunday, then you would have been able to see my interpretation of the Fruit and Flower design style sampler. I think your best bet to find out more information about your sampler would be through Barb Hutson as she is a sampler historian and has connections to others who research antique samplers, their origins and makers, etc.

      The sampler I used as the inspiration for mine was the Jane Wilson 1791 sampler, which is in the possession of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It is the sampler on the bottom of the two I showed in this subject section. I do know that she lived in Mill Creek Hundred which is north west of Wilmington, DE. It seems that most of the samplers exhibiting the Fruit and Flower style were taught predominantly in the New Castle County area of Delaware. I am not a historian and, aside from my own on-line research, I can't tell you much more. As I said earlier, Barb Hutson is probably a much better source for the information you are seeking.

      On another note, if your have it uploaded to your computer, I'd love to see a picture of your sampler.

      Yours in friendship & stitches,