Tuesday, 22 April 2014

1832 Mary Whitlow Sampler Motif

I've been inspired to stitch a little motif from the Mary Whitlow sampler I saw earlier this year . . .

Recently we were fortunate to spend a day in Hobart and while we were there we toured the historic Narryna, a Georgian town house built between 1837 & 1840. Opened to the public in 1957, Narryna is a museum with a wonderful needlework collection including garments, patchworks - such as the little hexagons bed coverlet made in 1830, embroideries such as samplers, Georgian stump work, mid-Victorian Berlin wool work and high-Victorian bead work. 

Also housed at Narryna is the collection of baby's bonnets that inspired Christina Henri's Roses from the Heart project to commemorate the experience of convict women in Australia.

The walls of the Nursery were home to several early samplers, among them a sampler by Mary Whitlow, dated 1832.

I loved the uncluttered simplicity of this piece . . . the use of only one colour . . . and the (almost) symmetry of it.

It was also wonderful to see the other samplers at Narryna, including one dated 1779. Some of the samplers are in a very fragile state, but beautiful just the same. And you can just imagine the time when they were stitched by young girls learning the art of needlework to stand them in good stead for later in life.

While not wanting to replicate an entire sampler, I've chosen to render my interpretation of one of the motifs on Mary's sampler. Using my trusty 27 count linen, I've stitched one piece into a lavender sachet and the other into a pin cushion.

I enjoyed working on these little projects. Sometimes the inspiration from little things bring as much satisfaction as from the big things. What's inspired you lately?

Pattern: Mary Whitlow Sampler, 1832
Publication: http://www.narryna.com.au/

Fabric: 27 count linen
Threads: DMC 503, 504, (760, 761, 3779), (894, 961, 3832)


Sylvia said...

These pieces look beautiful, Sue.

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