Close to our home in Yorkshire is a beautiful small town called Knaresborough, where, in a small antique shop, I bought several antique samplers. One of them was an unfinished Quaker sampler by a little girl called Sarah Storrs.
On reaching home I examined the sampler closer, and was surprised to find out that it had been embroidered in 1795. The work features a whole set of traditional Quaker motifs, found on many other 18th and 19th century samplers. Sarah must have been very young when she started this sampler, and probably learned to cross-stitch on this. She never finished her sampler. My guess is that she started it, but then moved on to a more refined project to show the skills she had learned.
Some time after this discovery, I received an email from someone telling me that Sarah was, as I had guessed, a student at the famous Ackworth Quaker school near Pontefract. She only attended the school for one year, as did her sister, Mary. The sampler uses many elements found on Ackworth samplers.
I used the motifs found on Sarah’s work, and used them as a creative springboard from where I designed a complete sampler, adding some personal designs and keeping Sarah’s name and year of making. Each motif on the original sampler was embroidered in a different colour – but you are free to choose whichever colour you prefer, or to keep it completely monochrome. At the end of this pattern is an enlarged version of Sarah’s name, to make it easier to stitch. Although all of the crosses are stitched over two threads, Sarah’s name is stitched over only one.
This sampler measures 119 crosses in height and 185 crosses in width. Stitched over two threads on 32 count linen, it would approximately measure 7 1/2” by 11 1/2” (19 by 29.5cm).
This pattern is available for download immediately after purchase.