Welcome to the website of Attic Needlework & Collectibles, a retail needlework store located in Mesa, Arizona. Our store specializes in samplers, hardanger, and counted-thread embroidery.
A stunning new Adam and Eve reproduction from Gigi R's Collection Privée, "Isabella Fox 1827" was December's featured sampler:
Featuring colors appropriate for the season, it was a lovely way to end this year's series.
November featured a lovely new Chritmas sampler from Erica Michaels:
Charted for DMC cotton, an overdyed silk conversion is available to stitch on silk gauze as designed or on your favorite count of linen.
October featured a sampler inspired by the "Margaret Ogle Sampler" from Heart's Ease Examplar Workes, the award winning "A Maryland Inspiration":
A mixed overdyed silk/Needlepoint Inc. palette is available as well as one entirely in Needlepoint Inc. silks.
This sampler was so popular we continued to feature it in November!
September was yet another two sampler month. First from The Essamplaire was "Anne Maria Clarke" or "The Richmond Sampler":
Only available as a kit (with 35c linen), this reproduction of an "invitation to Lafayette" is housed in the Valentine Museum in Richmond, Virginia. Fellow sampler lover Valerie has written about the history surrounding the sampler in her blog.
As September featured a trunk show from Homespun Elegance the second sampler was their "Lucy Redd" reproduction, a history of the Redd-Goulding-Broaddus families begun in the early 19th century and added to by the hands of several generations of stitchers:
An overdyed silk palette is available as well as one for Au Ver A'Soie and Needlepoint Inc.
August was another two sampler month, this time two beautiful reproductions from Gigi R:
Susie Pierce 1889 (original antique)
Mary A. Bunce 1846 (original antique)
Both samplers are charted for overdyed cottons but as usual The Attic created silk conversions for each, and both include selections from the new Valdani 6-stranded silk line.
July brought TWO samplers--one a brand new reproduction from Gigi R and the other a lovely patriotic piece from Willow Hill Samplings:
"Anne Lansac 1843" is charted for Gentile Arts Sampler Threads but of course The Attic created two silk conversions.
"Land of the Free" is charted for hand-dyed cottons (as picutred above by customer Deb) but The Attic also created an overdyed silk conversion.
The first kit featured as a Sampler of the Month comes from The Essamplaire. Stitched entirely in tent and basketweave, "Helena Kutz 1843"(originally published in 2009) is sure to stitch up twice as fast as usual!
From Black Branch Needlework (LaDonna Snellbaker) May features the colorful "Susanah Rayment - Learning 1818.
Jean had loved April's sampler from Tracy Riffle (Hands to Work) since she'd first layed eyes on it. When Tracy was in town for the January Sampler Symposium Jean mentioned this sampler, and Tracy offered to send the model to display in the shop. Then Jean thought, what a perfect sampler for April, for both the Easter and Passover holidays!
March featured a new reproduction from Samplers Remembered, "Sarah Gentle - 1821". The sampler was found in Minnesota and listed as American at auction, but according to the reproductionist, Linda Danielson, it showed strong English characteristics. From the Linda:
...the Biblical motif of Adam and Eve with the Tree of Knowledge and the Serpent which Sarah stitched was a familiar subject for samplers during the history of sampler making. Attending church and reading from the Bible daily were an important part of life in many households, so it would follow that Biblical motifs and verses were often worked on samplers.
Originally stitched on perforated paper, this mini-sampler was from NeedleWorkPress and was featured on their blog In July 2011:
Chances are the motifs in this mini-sampler were selected by its maker because of their significance in her life. In my mind's eye, the prominent rose spray says she appreciated beauty; the small cross represents her faith; the flag signals her independence, the bird proudly stands for freedom and the potted flower is stability. Who knows the truth?
How wonderful that we are free to interpret art as we please.
Jean had always been intrigued by tablet samplers but never inspired to stitch one until she saw the model of this one ("Tablet Sampler circa 1755") in person on her visit to The Scarlet Letter last June. Photographs couldn't capture the intense glory of the silken flowers:
From Marsha Parker of The Scarlet Letter:
The earliest tablet format samplers were created in England during the first quarter of the eighteenth century. The inspiration for the design was derived from the painted signboards often posted in English churches at that period, displaying religious slogans and Biblical excerpts for the edification of the literate members of the congregation. Many of these eighteenth century painted boards still survive and are displayed in English parish churches. The form was ultimately derived, of course, from Moses' Tablets, and on samplers the Ten Commandments were often stitched within that surround, along with Biblical verses. The exuberant, naturalistic, balanced border is reflective of canvaswork, very popular at this time, and was possibly a pattern exercise to prepare the unnamed sampler maker for the next logical step up in embroidery. On the original sampler cross stitch is the primary mode of execution, with some embellishments of stem, satin, double running, and petit point stitches. The emphasis on the printed message, and the use of mainly cross stitch, indicate the sampler's gradual evolution from the elaborate pattern and stitch records of the seventeenth century, to the more literary and pictorial image that became increasingly popular later in the eighteenth century. No longer was the purpose and emphasis of the sampler an exercise in technique and patternmaking: it was becoming an educational tool for budding housewives and artists.
On 40c linen the finished reproduction sampler measures approximately 19 x 24. The Attic provided several silk/silk overdye options.