A Norfolk sampler joins our portfolio

Hands Across the Sea Samplers are excited to present to you a beautiful Norfolk sampler stitched by Anna Sophia Bircham in 1871.
Anna Sophia is available as an instant pdf download which includes twenty page colour and black and white charts. The download also includes with one page colour and black and white charts that are intended to be viewed digitally. Included in the download are four pages of information about Anna Sophia, her family and a historical background.
For more information please visit HERE
Anna Sophia’s model was lovingly stitched by Linda Clews. At the very core of Hands Across the Sea Samplers there is a team of needleworkers who are passionate about antique samplers and being able to share those samplers with you.


We have a new flosstube where we look at new scissors, new linen and new sampler releases.


We hope that you enjoy.

Ann Borrett’s beautiful band sampler is highly decorative and even though  she “rovght” her sampler three hundred and seventy-four years ago, the colours are still intense today.  A vibrant red, a peacock blue, a deep navy blue and a mouth watering selections of greens delight the eye.

The first two bands of Ann’s sampler also appear in the band sampler stitched by Jeane Vally in 1646. Jeane’s sampler is in the Goodhart Collection at Montecute House and is featured in the book “The Goodhart Collection” on page 88.

When we first saw Eliza’s pretty sampler, we were both excited, intrigued, and puzzled. Eliza tells us that she was 13 when she finished her sampler on June 12, 1828 which was a Thursday. George IV sat upon the British throne, he was considered to be “The First Gentleman of Europe” and an object of contempt and ridicule. He was known for his manners and charm but also his drunkenness, spendthrift ways, and scandalous love life.

Eliza chose a very fine material called “tiffany fabric” to stitch her sampler. Tiffany fabric is often used on darning samplers. The fine linen had become fragile over the years, and her sampler was stabilised and conserved some years ago. We were unable to access the reverse of her sampler to view the colours without causing damage. Therefore, we have  reproduced Eliza with the beautiful oranges, pinks, and greens we see on the front of her sampler today.

A week in review

The year and the weeks are flying by. In the last week we made an important announcement regarding the Ann Morison Stitch-a-Long and Heather M Jardine’s sampler in Flosstube #155

Heather’s sampler has enchanted me, she is so addictive and I cannot stop working on her.

I am stitching my version of Heather from my stash using colours that take my eye and changing/tweaking the motifs here and there. This sampler is a gift for a young child so I want her to be bright and appealing to a very young child.

Last night I stitched the bird above the teddy bear. Is it a turkey or a peacock? In the North Island of New Zealand there are wild turkeys and peacocks. I used seven different colours in the bird. It is such fun to have the freedom to stitch from stash. We hope that you stitch Heather from your stash and have fun experimenting with colour.

This is Anka’s finish of “Walter” Anne Thomas 1845. Anka tells us that she changed a few of the colours and used white 40ct linen. How beautiful her finished Anne looks.

For more information on Anne please visit https://hands-across-the-sea-samplers.com/product/anne-thomas-1854/

Finally I uploaded a Flosstube #156 yesterday in which I talk about a little bit of this and a little bit of that. You can view the video by clicking HERE

Wishing everyone a good week ahead.

Two new releases – Mary Ann Diaper 1826 and Jane Hardy 1840

“Mary Ann is my name and in this I wrought the same, and by this you plainly see what great care my parent took of me.”

Mary Ann, at only eight years of age, finished her sampler in the year 1826. An amazing achievement for one so young!

The sampler has been mainly executed in cross stitch over two linen threads with a small amount of cross stitch over one linen thread for the verse and dedication. There is a small amount of satin stitch. Mary Ann’s sampler has been rated as suitable for confident beginners through to advanced needleworkers.

Jane Hardy 1840 sampler is brought to you as part of a series of “Little Gems” that are available as a .pdf download by Hands Across the Sea Samplers.

Who can resist a red house sampler? Jane’s colourful sampler glows with good cheer. Contained within a stylised red carnation border is a delightful scene of a sturdy redbrick house surrounded by urns of fruit, four birds and auriculas. The parkland abounds with deer, two small dogs and an aristocratic cat with tail held high. The three chimneys, with smoke billowing, create a feeling of “home is where the hearth is” and adds to the overall feeling of warmth the sampler conveys.

The sampler is stitched entirely in cross stitch over two and can be stitched on Aida, Linaida or linen. Jane is suitable for needleworkers of all abilities.

Agnes Husband 1862, work in progress, new linens, framing, seam rippers and more

I have just uploaded two videos. This weekend we are looking at Agnes Husband a new pdf download, my work in progress, lots of new linens, a wonderful seamripper, non reflective glass, framing and lots more.

Included in the second video I talk about Ann Morison. There is going to be a special treat for everyone who purchases a copy of her booklet. More information will follow, probably next weekend, we are just putting some finishing touches to our thank you gift.

I have decided to stitch Ann Morison too. After seeing Rose’s monthly plan for the stitch a long I realised that I had time in my day to stitch her. I am very excited !!

Part 1


Part 2


A sampler to stitch and a sampler to win

We have just uploaded Flosstube #149 which showcases the beautiful Scottish sampler Ann Morison and the giveaway Scottish sampler Eliza Nibet.

Ann is exclusively available through Traditional Stitches as a celebration of the store’s 20th anniversary. For more information and to purchase please click HERE

The stitch a long Facebook group can be found at HERE



The 2020 Queen of the May – Mary Carter 1712

Mary Carter 1712 - The 2020 Queen of the May from Hands Across the Sea Samplers

Hands Across the Sea Samplers are delighted to present to you the 2020 Queen of the May the stunning band sampler Mary Carter 1712.

Mary is one of the most beautiful band samplers that we have ever seen.

Mary Carter 1712 - The 2020 Queen of the May from Hands Across the Sea Samplers

Available now for pre-order from our website https://hands-across-the-sea-samplers.com/product/mary-carter-1712-the-2020-queen-of-the-may/

and your needlework store.

You may enjoy our video presentation

Our grateful thanks to Ilana Kaye for stitchng the model. Ilana poured her heart and soul into every stitch. We also wish to thank #accesscommodities for working with us so that we could capture Mary’s gorgeous colours.

At the very core of Hands Across the Sea Samplers there is a team of needleworkers who are passionate about antique samplers and being able to share those samplers with you.

Queen of the May 2020

What a strange year 2020 has been ! It seems if my carefully planned year has morphed into something quite different. Every holiday we had booked has been cancelled and four workshops I was teaching postponed to 2021 and one cancelled outright by the store. A further three I was attending postponed as well.

Our release dates for samplers (usually meticulously planned 12 months ahead) are all over the place, either due to scarcity of silks or the frustration of not being able to progress production due to the UK having been in lockdown.

Our government has announced that non-essential businesses can reopen on June 15th. It is a huge relief that we will be able access our framers and our professional photographer and his studio. My number one priority will be the 2020 Queen of the May. I have my studio time with the photographer booked. She will be his first photo shoot since forced closure in March.

Whilst I could have photographed her myself and had a frame photoshopped onto the sampler, this very special sampler deserved the best so the decision was made to wait until we could present her in a beautiful booklet prepared to the highest standard. I promise you she is worth the wait.

We were honoured that Ilana Kaye graciously agreed join team HATS in 2019 and has stitched the 2020 QOTM for us. We have the utmost respect for Ilana and it has been a joy to work with her on this project.

“I was honored to have the opportunity to stitch the model for Mary Carter. The experience was very personal and somewhat frightening. I was anxious to stitch this sampler with the utmost care, following the chart precisely. In my mind, it had to be perfect and I had to control my guilty habit of making stitch changes.

Satin stitch , my absolute favorite, was a major component of this sampler. My vision was to make the satin actually appear like shiny satin applique. With much trial , effort and silk devouring, mission accomplished.

I could feel Mary’s presence on my shoulder cheering me on. What a colorful character she must have been!” – Ilana

July 4th Stitch-a-Long

A Stitch-a-Long for Jane Fiddes 1835 has just been announced on Attic Addicts. It is always so much more fun stitching in the company of other needleworkers.

Cheri Cluff Edington is going to lead the SAL which will start on July 4th and is sponsored by The Attic Needleworks, Needle In a Haystack and Traditional Stitches.

I will be putting up some draw prizes for the end of the SAL.  First prize will be an antique sampler and there will be also be two £50 vouchers for Hands Across the Sea Samplers.

Cheri is going to break the sampler down into 12 sections, one per month and will post her progress in a Facebook group that she will be setting up. Cheri will help participants along the way and I will be there for you too.

Cheri has chosen to stitch her Jane with soie 100.3 from Au Ver a Soie and will be using 46ct Weeks Dyeworks Zweigart based linen in cocoa. What will you choose?

More information about Jane can be found HERE.

I have just uploaded a video with more information about the SAL





Two new releases

The sun has well and truly risen in the southern hemisphere and Hands Across the Sea Samplers are pleased to present to you our May 1st releases.

The magnificent Mary 395 – 1869 a Bristol orphanage sampler and the beautiful Jane Fiddes 1835. We hope you love them both as much as we do.

Please visit our website to find out more information about both the samplers. For Jane https://hands-across-the-sea-samplers.com/…/jane-fiddes-18…/ and Mary https://hands-across-the-sea-samplers.com/…/mary-395-1869-…/

We also have a flosstube video.




We are pleased to present to you Sarah Spencer the third in our series of Little Gems.pdf downloads. We hope you enjoy her as much as we have.


For more information please visit Sarah’s webpage HERE.

The Chequerboard House

Hands Across the Sea Samplers are excited to announce the second sampler in their series of Little Gems. These are samplers that are available via .pdf downloads. We hope you enjoy The Chequerboard House.

The sampler is suitable for needle workers of all abilities and has been charted so that it can be stitched on linen or Aida.  The model was stitched with a beautiful palette of silks from Au Ver a Soie. A conversion for DMC has been included within the thread legend.
Please visit our website for further information, click HERE 

A free “how-to” video whilst we are in isolation

A look at stem stitch. This video is one of 11 that form the online workshop for Esther Benson 1739, a sampler that was reproduced exclusively for Sassy Jacks Stitchery. The workshop takes you through all the stitches required to complete this particularly beautiful sampler.

Whilst we are in isolation the video on stem stitch is available free of charge to view. Let us make use of our downtime to learn new skills, have some fun and go on an adventure with our needlework.



A special finish

I want to share with you a VERY SPECIAL version of the Bristol Orphanage sampler “Louisa Coulimore”. A version that has filled my heart and one that I will cherish. 

I always say in my talks and workshops to stop and really study a sampler and it will whisper to you. Please stop and look at Louisa and see all the extra special touches then read what Barb has said about her sampler below.

“Rarely does a day go by that I don’t hook rugs, knit, or most often, stitch. I rarely post  my work other than on specific group pages, but for several reasons I’m sharing this piece. The design, “Louisa Coulimore, a Bristol Orphanage Sampler”  from the design studios of Hands Across the Sea Samplers comes with the story of the Muller Orphanage and specifically, the life story of Louisa Coulimore. Louisa’s childhood and mine are more different than alike, but like her, my earliest childhood was lived in an orphanage and I have added some of my personal information to my sampler, making it more special to me. 

Thank you, Nicola Parkman for this amazing design, and special thanks to Patti Nicolosi, By My Hand Needewerks for your perfection framing.

And to my stitchy friends seeing this, I stitched over two on 40 count with my personal information done over one on Lakeside Vintage Pearled Barley linen with GA Rose Garden.” – Barb Albrecht

With grateful thanks to Patti Nicolosi of By My Hand Needl’werks for allowing us to use her photograph. 

More information about Louisa can be found HERE.


Best in Show

Jane Banister 1855 stitched by Kim Dalziel

Huge congratulations to Kim Dalziel on not only winning first prize in her class, but for going on to win best exhibit for needlework and then the ultimate win of Best in Show at the Berwick Show in Australia.

For more information about Jane Bannister please visit her webpage HERE

A guest post by Tim Parsley

In typical Australian style, the weather has moved from fire to flood with no decent respite in between for emergency crews.

On the 1st February 2020, mother nature took one last swipe with fire, releasing a raging wildfire which would move the better part of 6 km within 18 hours and present a significant containment challenge for crews in a landscape that had been baked completely dry. So dry even the gum trees were starting to give up.

With the fire being in the Wentworth Falls area, the brigade played a significant role in its management over the next few days up until the arrival of the rain. Not just a little bit of rain, biblical rain.

Australia is a land of drought and flooding rain, and this year was no exception.

In the same town where we were chasing a running wildfire a week earlier, we were suddenly helping members of the community clear fallen trees from their properties, unblock overflowing  drains and prevent drivers from travelling through flood waters. 400mm+ of rainfall within the space of 3 days to be specific, the most Sydney has seen in a single event for the last 2 decades. An immense amount of rain in an already distressed landscape meant flash flooding, landslides and problems at the other end of the scale for us.