Hands Across The Sea Samplers Limited is a design studio that was formed by two friends Nicola and Sandra. The studio specializes in reproducing fine antique samplers to the highest standards from Nicola’s personal collection of museum quality samplers. Whilst mainly English the collection is extensive and diverse, several have been exhibited and featured in reference books.
All our charts are produced in full colour and are graphed with both symbols and colour blocks for ease of reference. Our samplers are designed using Au Ver A Soie “Soie D’Alger” (AVAS) and a DMC conversion is provided. Our models are stitched predominantly on Lakeside Linens with AVAS silks.
Occasionally we have antique needlework for sale.
At the very core of Hands Across the Sea Samplers is a team of needleworkers who are passionate about antique samplers and being able share those samplers with you.
MEET OUR DESIGNERS
Nicola Parkman lives in a beautiful little cove overlooking the sea in Cornwall, England. A magical place full of inspiration. Nicola collects antique needlework and is interested in 18th and early 19th century samplers and is especially drawn to beautiful borders and speciality stitches.
“I am looking forward to making my favourite antique samplers available for others to stitch”
Sandra Moffitt lives in the Blue Mountains of Australia and is surrounded by its world acclaimed National Park. An area known for its stunning beauty. Sandra loves all types of Needlework from the 18th and 19th Century. Schoolgirl Samplers are a great favourite and she enjoys working on samplers with a challenge.
“Hopefully along the way we’ll learn more about the creative young girls who originally stitched these samplers that we all love and the times that they were stitched”
MEET OUR MODEL STITCHERS
“I am looking forward to stitching the samplers I have in my stash as well as those I will be adding in future”.
Jacqueline Morris lives in the historic county of Sussex, England. At the foot of the beautiful South Downs National Park where history and culture surrounds her.
“I am interested in all types of early samplers and especially enjoy stitching quirky motifs and animals”.
Suzanne Sirotti lives at the foothills of the stunning World Heritage listed Blue Mountains along the picturesque Nepean River.
“I am mother to three active young children and my needlework is what keeps me sane. I love early 18th century English samplers and Adam & Eve themed samplers. I enjoy white work, hardanger and designs with specialty stitches”.
Leona Sweeney lives on the Darling Downs in Queensland, Australia. Leona will be working with Sandra and Suzanne in the Southern Hemisphere.
“I have many needlecraft interests, though my passion is for antique samplers and stitching reproductions. I have been fortunate enough to be able to stitch many reproduction samplers over the years and those that contain birds are a favourite. I have been asked many times by family “How many alphabets am I going to do?” As many as I can. It has been such an honour to be asked to stitch for HATS”.
Lisa Brown lives in a small town in the Northeast corner of the United States. I love all types of samplers but seem to be drawn to English samplers from the early 1800’s.
“I love taking a blank piece of linen and bringing it to life. Making that first stitch is a thrill that will never grow old. When I started stitching about 15 years ago I never imagined the passion I would develop for this little ‘hobby’ of ours”.
Veena Parrikar currently lives in Iceland with her husband.
Marsha Dardenne lives in the US, in the Deep South, midst the old live oak trees draped with moss, on the banks of the mighty Mississippi River, in the unique state of Louisiana.
“Needlework holds a very special place in my heart. I vividly remember the first time I ever held a needle. I was about 6 years old, and my grandmother handed me a needle, floss, and piece of fabric. I think she did it just to keep me occupied! It certainly did that – I was enchanted, and I’ve had a needle in my hand ever since!I have always had an avid interest in antique needlework, and a love for English history, and my abiding interest in both are joined in my needlework craft. I also enjoy collecting antique (or reproduction) needlework tools, and of course, books and books about samplers. My favourite period of historic needlework is 17th and 18th century English and Scottish; I also love the early 19th century English and American pieces.I believe that what we make with our hands somehow has a piece of our heart stitched into it. Perhaps this is why we’re so drawn to the antique pieces we all love so much – they speak to us, heart to heart.It brings me great joy to be a part of the HATS family, and I’m very grateful to have the opportunity to work with Nicola and Sandra. Happy Stitching, Ya’ll – Marsha”
“I have loved fabrics, threads, buttons and trims since I was a child, a passion passed down to me by my Grandmother, a tailoress who was never without a needle in her hand.
I used to design and teach quilts but stitched my first sampler after having carpel tunnel surgery and quickly became hooked.
All my life I’ve been a hand work girl.
My favourite things are darning samplers, motifs from nature and samplers with speciality stitches and I’m also really enthusiastic about sharing knowledge so that more people feel confident to stitch because I believe that our stitching links us together.
I’m so excited to be working with Nicola and Sandra and to be a part of the passionate and creative HATS team.”
“My first memory of needle in hand was at the age of three while my mother sewed on her sewing machine. I loved it. Even at the age of three I felt completely at home. I come from a long line of quilters, coverlet makers and women who have skillfully worked with textiles. My aunt taught me counted cross stitch at the age of twelve, but my passion for samplers began a little over 15 years ago. My deep passion for antique reproduction samplers began with Sarah Braizear 1829—my very first HATS chart gifted to me by a stitching friend. It has long been said these reproduction samplers speak to us. It is my hope that the models I stitch will speak encouragement to new and experienced stitchers alike. I am truly honored and humbled to join the Hands Across the Seas Samplers team.”
Ilana Kaye lives in Columbia, Maryland.
“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!”
We are all passionate about needlework and look forward to sharing that passion with you.