SB circa 1640-1650
English band samplers made in the seventeenth century exhibit some of the most astonishing variety of stitches and motifs found on samplers of nearly every other era, which is why it has come to be known as the “Golden Age of sampler making.” Counted thread stitches on linen were often combined with panels of floral, geometric or figural shapes filled in with counted satin stitches, as well as variations on cross stitch including couching, looped stitches and cut and drawn work- a technique whereby the background threads of linen are bound and then the voids carefully cut and pulled out to reveal the desired pattern. There are only four small cutwork motifs in this masterpiece, the other stitches consist primarily of faggot (a variation of back stitch), counted satin, double running, eyelet, back and cross stitches. Cutwork was used to recreate a poor man’s lace, used to embellish ruffs, collars, cuffs, bodices and handkerchiefs.
The original sampler, currently in the collection of The Scarlet Letter, was stitched reversibly, and in these instructions, suggestions for stitching your reproduction in this manner have been provided. On 35 count linen, the reproduction will most closely approximate the size of the original sampler- 6″ x 36″. The project is perhaps best suited for intermediate level needle workers but the full color chart, concise instructions and many color illustrations make this an appropriate project for any motivated skill level.
Thanks to Sigrid Eckel for stitching the model, and for the photography.