Katharine Mitchel circa 1785
This Scottish sampler is a riot of brilliant color and intricate motifs, from the Scotsman in his kilt playing a traditional dulcimer (which looks like a butter churn) in the upper left, to an elaborate mansion house fronted by a three dimensional turkeywork lawn in the lower right. In between you will find peacocks with seven tail feathers, a falconer, elaborately colored birds, a windmill. “Solomon’s Temple”, rabbits, dogs, hearts, flowers, and Adam and Eve giving the high five under the tree of life complete with spitting serpent. Across the top is a row of family initials with the name Katharine Mitchel among them. The spelling of her surname with one final “L” is common in Scotland. The verse reads:
Teach me to live that I may dread
The Grave as little as my bed
Teach me to die that so I may
Triumphing rise at the last day.
Stitches used in the sampler are cross over one and two threads of linen, herringbone, eyelet, counted satin, turkey work, stem filling, double running and queen, all clearly outlined in the instructions. On 35 count linen the finished sampler will measure approximately 20″ x 18-1/2″ and is recommended for more advanced needle workers. A photo of the original antique sampler is shown at the right.