I walk in circles around my garden quite a bit and sometimes I walk in circles around the house just checking in with beloved belongings!  The samplers caught my eye recently and I realized again just how much I love them.

Samplers began as examples stitched by needleworkers when they saw a stitch that they admired.  The pattern was quickly added  to their collection and eventually they had a piece of fabric full of examples or samplers.

The earliest surviving British sampler hangs in the Victoria & Albert Museum.  It was stitched in 1598 by Jane Bostocke to commemorate the birth of her cousin…

Jane Bostocke sampler

this one is displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art…

sampler met1793

this 10 year old had a lot to live up to…


I love to think about the girls who stitched these early works…

Florence antique sampler

and wonder what their lives were like…


 Tapestry samplers are amazing.

this one is the story of Queen Esther…


here is mine…


and an antique one that I treasure…


did you every stitch a sampler?…

dog sewing

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  1. I have never been much of a hand needle work crafter, but have always admired the patience it takes to complete a sampler.

    • says:

      Let me tell you, it took me years to complete mine! I have to have something to do with my hands though or I’d go crazy!

  2. We have a fabulous sampler that was given to us as a wedding gift that we have cherished. It has our wedding date and our names as well as this quote.
    “Love is eternal, like the circle of a ring, whole unto itself, Its beauty never ending but going on forever.” The sampler and quote are all in the shape of a circle symbolizing a ring with a gold ring worked into the design.

    • says:

      What a thoughtful and special gift for newlyweds. I know how much it must mean to you!

  3. Deborah says:

    Yes, I have stitched several large samplers. One, I started before my daughter was born & I think I finished it when she was about 25. I stitched its companion in just a few months. There was a lot of child rearing going on during the first one and she had flown the nest by the time I started the second one.
    I also stitched a wedding sampler with Bible verses from my own wedding and passed it down to a family member who had the same passage in their wedding—never seen it since!

    • says:

      You’ve got to try to find it and hopefully it will make its way home to hang on one of your walls! Loved seeing you at church this morning!