Welcome to The Scarlet Letter
The Scarlet Letter produces reproductions of the world's finest samplers, found in museums
and private collections. Exquisite materials are assembled to recreate these masterpieces of
needlework, and kits are complete with detailed instructions and stitch diagrams, enabling
the modern needleworker to reproduce these pieces exactly as they were originally made in
Learn more ...
Visit our customer gallery to read some of the letters and emails we have received along with photos of finished samplers stitched by our customers. In our awards gallery, you'll see Scarlet Letter Samplers that have won blue ribbons and other awards. The antiques gallery contains many of the antique samplers that have passed through The Scarlet Letter over the years, including many that have been reproduced.
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SB SNEAK PREVIEW
Here is Sigrid's progress on The Scarlet Letter's new design, an early to mid 17th century band sampler with the initials "SB". Can you tell which is the front side? Sigrid is stitching it reversibly, and it's hard to tell the front from the back, her work is so amazing. Thank you, Sigrid! Click on each photo for a larger image.
A MID SEVENTEENTH CENTURY BAND SAMPLER
SIGNED "SB" circa 1650
This amazing piece of spectacularly preserved seventeenth century needlework is signed SB. The band sampler stitched with silk on linen is in superb condition, and demonstrates many of the motifs popular on samplers of this period. It appears never to have been framed or folded, and retains very good color on the front, and excellent color on the back. It has been mounted between two sheets of conservation glass so that both the front and the reversibly stitched back are visible. Stitches used are satin, double running, back, cross, and cutwork.
This sampler was clearly used as an exercise to practice and record patterns for later use on household textiles including clothing embellishments. Its amazing state of preservation is due to the fact that it was never framed and was probably kept rolled in tissue or muslin, away from the light, at first in a work basket, and then later perhaps in a drawer or a trunk away from the tannins in the wood of the furniture, which would have caused staining and possibly even holes.
MARY STOPPARD LEA SCHOOL 1836
Mary Stoppard's graduation piece from the Lea School is mounted and framed. In the 19th century, one of the most important parts of the school curriculum for young girls was the mastering of sewing and darning skills, as they were expected to be able to make and repair clothing.
REBEKAH HACKER - SNEAK PREVIEW
Rebekah Hacker(1777-1799) was the daughter of schoolmaster Isaac Hacker (1750-1818) and Anna Estes Hacker (1754-1802) of Salem, Massachusetts. Rebekah was one of ten children, and died unwed at age 22. After her death, her sampler passed into the family of her brother, Jeremiah Hacker, who lived in Philadelphia.
This beautifully detailed sampler will be available in early December. Stay tuned to The Scarlet Letter!
CATHERINE BUCHANAN - NEW REPRODUCTION SAMPLER
Catherine Buchanan was born in Lanarkshire, Scotland, in 1786. She made, possibly, her first sampler- a simple alphabetic, numeric piece with verses- in 1796 when she was ten years old, and stitched this masterpiece two years later when she was twelve. Both sampler graphs are included in this booklet so that you can follow a girl's progress through her needlework tutorials. The kit contains materials for only the 1798 sampler, but both charts are printed in full color.
ANN FLEMING - NEW REPRODUCTION SAMPLER
A classic Quaker sampler from the Delaware Valley, Ann Fleming demonstrates the style and many of the motifs that make them so easy to identify. The inner oval vine-and-leaf cartouche surrounding the alphabets probably originated at the Westtown School in Chester County. It is worked in chain stitch with counted thread satin stitched leaves.
ANN GOLDING - ANTIQUE SAMPLER
Ann Golding's sampler is in nearly perfect condition, meticulously executed in cross stitch and petit point. It features an elaborate four sided floral border of roses and violet. The upper register includes butterflies and birds, centering a magnificent peacock. Below that are potted plants centering a basket of flowers. The lower register depicts an elaborate rambling mansion house with a tiled roof, flanked by towering trees, small cottages, and flying birds. The sprawling lawn in front of the house contains a lion on a pedestal, topiary, and other plants and animals.
SEPTEMBER 2016 NEWSLETTER
The September 2016 Newsletter has been sent. It contains a new picture of Margaret Muir stitched by Kathleen Grigg. If you don't subscribe to the newsletter, you can sign up here. If you missed this issue, a PDF version is available in the newsletter archive.
SCRAP BAGS ARE BACK!
One half yard and more of first quality evenweave linen pieces, all large enough for small samplers, ornaments, pincushions, all different colors and thread counts, are now available for purchase. Sold separately this is a $35-40 value. While supplies last. Buy a scrap bag..
MARY ANN DROUGHT
Mary Ann Drought is a very unusual Irish sampler. The upper third could pass as Scottish with the illuminated alphabets and beautiful, delicate double running stitch motifs. Stitches used to execute the sampler include double running, half cross, counted satin, petit point, tent, outline and cross. The attention to detail is extraordinary.
GERMAN (SAXON) ANTIQUE SAMPLER
This antique German sampler is a beautiful example of a mid 18th century sampler from Saxony featuring unusual and illuminated alphabets, pattern bands and spot motifs including crowns and flowers.
BLESSED ARE THE SONS OF PEACE
Blessed Are the Sons of Peace is a needlework picture in the style of the middle eighteenth century. The title of this exciting and vibrant needlework picture comes from a psalm written by Isaac Watts (1674-1748), whose works inspired many verses stitched on samplers and needlework pictures during and long after his death. I wish to thank Sigrid Eckel for so beautifully stitching the model. More photos are available here.
BLUE RIBBON FOR JUDA HAYLE SAMPLERS
Two Antique Samplers made by Catherine Elizabeth Buchanan
Catherine Buchanan's first sampler, stitched in 1796 when she was ten years old, begins with sectionalized letters of the alphabet. The latter sampler stitched in 1798 features two verses with freehand stitched floral bands above a delightful scene. See more photos.
The Milkmaid - New Reproduction Sampler
From before the early eighteenth century, a change in attitudes regarding nature in western art evolved, resulting in a bucolic, pastoral ideal: an inhabited landscape, lush with flowers and fruits, featuring shepherds and farming activities, usually with a hint at romance. The actual lives of the shepherds and farm workers depicted were exaggerated and romanticized to the extreme. This ideal sort of landscape as depicted in many eighteenth and early nineteenth century art works can be attributed to the Romantic movement, rather a broad artistic and aesthetic concept that appreciated a return to Nature in its purest elemental sense. Wordsworth defined Romanticism in reference to poetry as "emotion recollected in tranquility". It represents a place to escape from the rigors of the real world: an idealized world where roses grow as tall as trees, and sheep and cows munch languidly in ever-fruiting orchards. More about the Milkmaid
Eleanor Holmes - New Reproduction Sampler
Eleanor Holmes stitched this sampler when she was twelve years old using a variety of stitches including cross over one and two threads of linen, four-sided, eyelet, and cut and drawn work in the outermost border.
Margaret Muir - New Reproduction Sampler
This highly unusual Scottish sampler stitched by Margaret Muir retains its brilliant color on both front and back and incorporates many traditional motifs found on Scottish samplers as well as some unique variations.
BETSY ADAMS circa 1770 - New Reproduction Sampler
Betsy Adam's sampler was designed after a piece stitched in eastern Massachusetts in the last quarter of the eighteenth century. It incorporates many traditional sampler motifs popular during that century.
ANN WALTON 1836 - New Reproduction Sampler
A year before Queen Victoria was crowned, Ann Walton stitched a pair of sweet little samplers depicting a young boy and a girl at play. The boy is holding a hoop and a stick, and the girl holds what appears to be a basket in one hand and a bouquet in the other.
We have updated our customer gallery with a picture of Amy Ball stitched by Jill Lyons.
More New Items
If you want to see more items that have been recently added, check out our list of new items. It shows all items that have been added to the TSL website during the past year. You can display the list at any time by clicking on the cherub logo in the right column of any webpage.