When I spotted this antique sampler on a certain well-known auction site, it was love at first sight. I dawdled, I hemmed and hawed, I pondered, and I decided to pass on the opportunity. Then I woke up the next morning and practically raced to my computer to see if it was still there! You know the end of the story already, for indeed, this little mis-fit of a sampler came to my home to live.
Undated, unsigned, stained, faded, worn, but so full of appeal to this country girl. I guess it to be not much older than the turn of the last century, and possibly a bit younger. The person that I purchased it from told me that she found it in an Idaho antique mall.
In my attempt to find out any information possible on the sampler, I entered the first eight words of the quote into a certain well-known internet search engine, and was pleasantly surprised to immediately find a link to the original author’s poem.
“Winter, A Poem” was written by James Thomson, a Scottish poet and playwright and was originally published in 1726. Quite a long poem, and just part of a larger body of work titled “The Seasons”, the portion partially quoted in this sampler, interestingly, was also quoted in Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography. The stanza in entirety reads:
“FATHER of Light, and Life! Thou Good Supreme!
O! teach me what is Good! teach me thy self!
Save me from Folly, Vanity and Vice,
From every low Pursuit! and feed my Soul,
With Knowledge, conscious Peace, and Virtue pure,
Sacred, substantial, never-fading Bliss!”
I may never know any more about the maker of this charming sampler, but I love the search that she/he has led me on, and I will treasure it for years to come.
I am ever grateful to my friend Merrie for not only offering to stitch the sampler model, but then also completing it in record time. This may be partially due to an unusually wet Spring here in Oregon, which kept her indoors, but I think I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt and say that she is one of the speediest needlewomen I have ever met!
Stitch Count: 159 x 150
Model stitched on R & R Reproductions 28ct. Old Mill Java
Using flosses from The Gentle Art: 0120 Pine, 0430 Summer Meadow, 0460 Grecian Gold, 0530 Pumpkin Patch, 7014 Antique Rose, 7049 Lambswool, 7057 Roasted Marshmallow, 7060 Picnic Basket
And flosses from Weeks Dye Works: 1171 Dove, 1201 Putty, 2241 Chrysanthemum, 3363 Kudzu, 3940 Okefenokee
Frame by Valley House Primitives.
Now available in my etsy shop, and on its way to my distributors soon. If you don't have an etsy account, you can always contact me directly to purchase the pattern at: firstname.lastname@example.org