Alice Williams 1881, a Little Gem pdf download

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This small primer 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.

Alice’s sweet primer charmed us from the first moment we saw it. We had little hope of finding Alice as the surname of Williams is one of the most common in the United Kingdom. However, good fortune smiled on our research. In the year that Alice stitched her primer a census was conducted. There was only one girl of the right age with the name of Alice Williams living in Cheltenham in the year 1881.

Alice Williams can be found with her widowed father Thomas, a general labourer, and younger brother James. Alice was baptised on July 19, 1871 at St Peters in Cheltenham. Her mother Jane (née Morgan) had died in March 1880.

Thomas and Jane were married on May 14, 1855 and had eight children, raising them in a small two-bedroom cottage at 8 Devonshire Place. The terrace of mellow yellow brick cottages was within walking distance of the High Street.

Alice’s primer was stitched with wool thread that was variegated, which was most unusual in the 1880s, so unusual that we decided to remove the sampler from its frame to explore the reverse. Our examination confirmed that the wool used was indeed variegated. Not with the gradual colour changes that we are used to today but with a clearly defined variegation.

It is very difficult to reproduce a sampler that was stitched this way and achieve the same colours changes on the exact stitches. We decided to experiment, and three samplers were stitched using Weeks Dyeworks Cotton Floss, The Gentle Art Simply Shaker thread, which was fussy cut, and The Gentle Art Simply Wool.

Included in the pdf download are twelve graphs.

Graph 1 ~ a four-page colour block and symbol graph using The Gentle Arts Simply Wool.

Graph 2 ~ a one-page colour block and symbol graph using The Gentle Arts Simply Wool (intended to be viewed/used on your tablet, phone, or PC).

Graph 3 ~ a four-page black and white symbol graph using The Gentle Arts Simply Wool.

Graph 4 ~ a one-page black and white symbol graph using The Gentle Arts Simply Wool (intended to be viewed/used on your tablet, phone, or PC).

Graph 5 ~ a four-page colour block and symbol graph using The Gentle Arts Sampler Threads.

Graph 6 ~ a one-page colour block and symbol graph using The Gentle Arts Sampler Threads (intended to be viewed/used on your tablet, phone, or PC).

Graph 7 ~ a four-page black and white symbol graph using The Gentle Arts Sampler Threads.

Graph 8 ~ a one-page black and white symbol graph using The Gentle Arts Sampler Threads (intended to be viewed/used on your tablet, phone, or PC).

Graph 9 ~ a four-page colour block and symbol graph using Weeks Dyeworks Cotton Floss.

Graph 10~ a one-page colour block and symbol graph using Weeks Dyeworks Cotton Floss (intended to be viewed/used on your tablet, phone, or PC).

Graph 11~ a four-page black and white symbol graph using Weeks Dyeworks Cotton Floss.

Graph 12 ~ a one-page black and white symbol graph using Weeks Dyeworks Cotton Floss (intended to be viewed/used on your tablet, phone, or PC).

The sampler is stitched entirely in cross stitch over two and can be stitched on Aida, linaida or linen. Alice is suitable for needleworkers of all abilities and would make an ideal “starter” project for those wishing to explore samplers.

With grateful thanks to Kathleen Born who lovingly stitched the three models of Alice’s primer.

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.

Guest checkout ~ Upon completion of purchase you will instantly receive an email confirming your order and giving you a link to download the .pdf. It is important that you ensure the correct email address is given. If the email is not received into your in-box please check your spam folder. You may find it easier to register as a user on our website as you will then be able to visit your account to download the .pdf directly to your PC.

Thread Legend

Alice’s primer was stitched with wool thread that was variegated, which was most unusual in the 1880s, so unusual that we decided to remove the sampler from its frame to explore the reverse. Our examination confirmed that the wool used was indeed variegated. Not with the gradual colour changes that we are used to today but with a clearly defined variegation.

It is very difficult to reproduce a sampler that was stitched this way and achieve the same colours changes on the exact stitches. We decided to experiment, and three samplers were stitched using Weeks Dyeworks Cotton Floss, The Gentle Art Simply Shaker thread, which was fussy cut, and The Gentle Art Simply Wool.

Only one skein of cotton or wool is required with the exception of 7080 Endive, where 2 skeins are needed.

The Gentle Art Simply Wool

0240 ~ Midnight

0360 ~ Cranberry

0440 ~ Maple Syrup

0520 ~ Copper

0892 ~ French Lilac

1040 ~ Black Crow

1070 ~ Creekbed

1140 ~ Oatmeal

7007 ~ Cidermill Brown

7014 ~ Antique Rose

7044 ~ Dungarees

7050 ~ Baby Spinach

7058 ~ Tomato

7069 ~ Summer Shower

7080 ~ Endive

The Gentle Art Simply Shaker

0115 ~ Tiger Lily

0230 ~ Blueberry

0240 ~ Midnight

0250 ~ Cornflower

0360 ~ Cranberry

1110 ~ Sable

7036 ~ Geranium

7039 ~ Bayberry

7075 ~ Crystal Lake

7076 ~ Portabella

7087 ~ Honey Dew

Weeks Dyeworks Cotton Floss

1106 ~ Beige

1155 ~ Blue Heron

1236 ~ Mocha

1240 ~ Dirt Road

1309 ~ Michael’s Navy

2108a ~ Shepard’s Blue

2168 ~ Monkey Grass

2205 ~ Grasshopper

2259 ~ Cayenne

2262 ~ Watermelon Punch

2321 ~ Plum

The fabric used for the samplers stitched with cotton was 46ct Weeks Dyeworks (Zweigart-based) linen in Cocoa. We used 36ct Weeks Dyeworks (Zweigart-based) linen in Straw for the wool version.

The design area is 105 stitches (w) x 138 stitches (h). Our calculations have included a 3″ margin for finishing and framing. If working on an uneven linen such as 52/62, we would recommend that you orientate your linen so that the higher count (62/52) is on the horizontal.

28ct: Design: 7.5″ x 9.86″ Fabric: 13.5″ x 15.86″

30ct: Design: 7.00″ x 9.20″ Fabric: 13.00″ x 15.20″

32ct: Design: 6.56″ x 8.63″ Fabric: 12.56″ x 14.63″

36ct: Design: 5.83″ x 7.67″ Fabric: 11.83″ x 13.67″

40ct: Design: 5.25″ x 6.9″ Fabric: 11.25″ x 12.9″

46ct: Design: 4.57″ x 6.00″ Fabric: 10.57″ x 12.00″

56ct: Design: 3.75″ x 4.93″ Fabric: 9.75″ x 10.93″

62/52ct: Design: 3.39″ x 5.31″ Fabric: 9.39″ x 11.31″

Stitch Guide

The sampler is stitched entirely in cross stitch over two and can be stitched on linen or Aida. Alice is suitable for needleworkers of all abilities and would make an ideal “starter” project for those wishing to explore samplers.

Cross stitch ~ When working cross stitch the top stitch should always lie in the same direction for a neat and uniform finish.

Hands Across the Sea Samplers are on hand to help those stitching our charts. If you need assistance or have any questions we can be reached via email, address shown below, or the contact page on our website. Our website has stitching tutorials which can be found in the “sewing basket/tools” section.