Genuine miniature samplers-not fragments of larger pieces or excerpts from full-sized samplers- are quite rare. The most common sort feature either monochromatic alphabetic and numeric tests, or even a simple, short, sentimental verse. The former type, sometimes called “plain work,” usually originated in a working class school setting where young girls learned the means of self support. Small samplers like this were occasionally bound into small volumes, and today are more often found plundered, individually, rather than in their original book format. The latter type of miniature was often a presentation piece. Girls and women gave each other gifts of their handwork- a meaningful sentiment then as well as now. The antique miniature samplers that we have reproduced demonstrate a variety of “functions” that are still useful today: as mementos, as gifts, even as learning exercises. As the original samplers were invariably stitched with silk floss on linen or varying thread counts, we have assembled these kits to match the original materials in every way. All of these are recommended for beginning to intermediate level needleworkers.

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