After doing research in the huge collection of samplers of the York Museums Trust, I spotted several unfinished Quaker samplers from the 18th and 19th centuries. These samplers share many similarities with the famous Ackworth samplers, though some featured medallions I had not seen before.
One sampler contained a large alphabet, using lettering found on many Quaker samplers. Whether this particular sampler was made by a Quaker girl or not, I cannot be sure of, but the similarities were such that I included the alphabets on my own new Quaker sampler. I love that this sampler not only included several full alphabets, but also a set of ligatures, i.e. the joined groups of two or more letters, to form a single character. These were used for ease of reading. An often found ligature today is the ‘ct’ and ‘ff’ combination, but this sampler also includes long s ligatures.
The long s has become obsolete in modern English, but was used extensively in the past. The long s resembles an f, but does not cross the vertical stem of the f on the right. The long s would have been used at the beginning and in the middle of words, but never at the end.
As many medallions were half finished, I decided to fill these up with original designs, or play around with other examples in the collections, to put together a sampler that has the feel of an authentic early 19th century sampler.
I am currently taking pre-orders, and after only one day, these have nearly all sold with just a few left! The kits contain a piece of ‘Tea’ 32 count linen by Maison Sajou (50x70cm, more than enough for this sampler and another smaller project), a pack of Maison Sajou cross-stitch needles (size 26, in a pack of six), an 8-page pattern (loose pages for ease of stitching!), and six skeins 25m of Modern Folk Embroidery Wool, ‘Periwinkle’.
For this kit I dyed a brand-new colour, currently only available as part of the embroidery kit. ‘Periwinkle’ is a subtly variegated colour, with shades of grey-blue and violet.
If you are interested in a kit (for yourself, or perhaps as a gift), don’t leave it too late as only a couple of kits remain! Kits will be sent out on the 19th of March.