Cross Stitch Samplers

A little bit of history in stitches.

Samplers were originally used to show examples of stitches and the name is taken from the French Essamplaire and the Latin Exemplarium, meaning example. Over time they became a teaching aid for teaching young girls the fine art of needlework.

During the 17th century needlework was part of a young girl’s education and many of these Cross Stitch Samplers survive today either in museums around the world or in private collections, some command a high price for these stitches of history. The great thing about these older Samplers is they can normally be traced to the person who stitched them as the girls name, age and the date of completion was stitched into the Sampler itself.

Samplers were used as a recording of motifs, stitches and a part in time, and it’s the part in time that they are still mostly used for today. Many Samplers become family heirlooms being handed down and kept in the family for eternity. Here are 2 examples of Samplers both dating back to the 1700s.

Sampler_by_Elizabeth_Laidman,_1760 German Sampler 1735Not bad for over 250 years old!

Today’s Cross Stitch Samplers are generally used for weddings and births and often stitched as a gift. Wedding Samplers are stitched showing a bride and groom, the date of the wedding, sometimes the church and the time, and of course the names of the bride and groom. A Birth Sampler would include the name of the new baby, the date of the birth and could also include the parent’s names too, anything really to do with the birth of the new baby as a record of the event.

Other much loved Cross Stitch Samplers are Alphabet Samplers where the alphabet letters are stitched with any sort of motif such as Disney characters, flowers, fairies etc and used to decorate a child’s bedroom, so still being used as a teaching aid but not in its original form! There are a wide range of charts and kits available for Samplers of all types nowadays and the alphabet is often used in Cross Stitch magazines with numerous motifs for all tastes.

A Cross Stitch Sampler can be stitched to record basically any event you want to record, moon landing, house moving, child’s height, first sign of a tooth, graduation, even getting that dream job or new car, and it is easy to design your own if you can’t get the exact chart or kit you want and you’re feeling a little adventurous!

You can start designing your Cross Stitch Sampler using any other Sampler design you like. You can change the colours, the motifs and anything else on there. There are many books, magazines and websites with free Cross Stitch charts for motifs and lettering for you to choose. When you find some you like then map out your design on graph paper, moving things around until you get the right design you want to stitch, sort of like putting together pieces of a jigsaw puzzle because you can do each motif or letter on graph paper then cut them out and place them to see what looks best


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5x Xstitch Charts Books Gardens BandSamplers Manhatten Victorian Sampler SL16
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Spring House Sampler counted X stitch chart
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BIRDS OF A FEATHER ALPHABET SAMPLER CROSS STITCH CHART
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