This delightful 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.
There are four versions included in this download
Graph 1 ~ A twenty-page colour chart.
Graph 2 ~ A twenty-page black and white symbol chart.
Graph 3 ~ A one-page colour chart (intended to be viewed/used on your tablet, phone, or PC).
Graph 4 ~ A one-page black and white symbol chart (intended to be viewed/used on your tablet, phone, or PC).
The moment we first saw Anna Sophia’s beautiful sampler our hearts leapt with joy and a surge of excitement. Our fingers itched to stitch her!
Anna Sophia’s baptismal records can be found in the Norfolk Church of England Parish Registers. The entry is dated August 22, 1858. She was the daughter of George and Mary (née Beck) Bircham. The family lived in Lower Street in the picturesque village of Brampton.
The verse Anna Sophia chose to carefully stitch on her sampler “Next unto God Dear Parents I address …” was very popular with school girls to stitch on their samplers. It can be found on many documented Norfolk samplers.
Anna Sophia was 13 years old when she stitched her sampler. At age 22, in 1880, she can be found living at 20 Sussex Gardens, Hyde Park, London and marrying Frederick Charles Bishop. Anna Sophia and Frederick, together with their 3-month-old daughter Alice Maria, were recorded in the 1881 census as living at 149 Cromwell Road, Kensington. Frederick, at only 25, is listed as a butler, a prestigious role within the domestic servants’ hierarchy for one so young.
Anna Sophia and Frederick were to have one more child, a son called Charles Frederick, born in 1883. Anna Sophia passed away in 1884 aged just 26. She died in Norfolk, possibly she and the children had returned to her parents whilst ill.
The 1891 census finds Frederick in Chelsea, London, as the butler to the very wealthy Francis William Lowther and in charge of a large household staff.
Francis William Lowther was the illegitimate son of William Lowther, 2nd Earl of Lonsdale, and Emilia Cresotti, an Italian opera singer. Francis died in 1908 and Frederick became butler to his son Colonel Claude William Henry Lowther. In 1911 the Colonel bought Herstmonceux Castle. When the 1921 census records are released it will be interesting to see if Frederick was the “Mr Carson” of Herstmonceux!
When Anna Sophia passed away, Alice her daughter, was only 4 years old . It is possible that the sampler stitched by her mother, when she herself was a child, was one of the few personal items that Alice had to remember her by. The sampler has certainly been well cared for. Hands Across the Sea Samplers have been honoured to reproduce Anna Sophia’s sampler for you to enjoy and cherish.
Anna Sophia’s 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. The sampler has been rated as suitable for confident beginners through to advanced needleworkers.
With grateful thanks to Linda Clews who lovingly stitched the model. 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.
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Anna Sophia’s beautiful sampler has been reproduced with a palette of twenty-six colours from Au Ver à Soie’s range of Soie 100.3. We have provided conversions for Soie d’Alger (SDA) and DMC. Estimated thread quantities for varying linen counts and number of strands of thread used have been listed below.
The model was stitched on 56ct Zweigart-based linen in Straw from Weeks Dyeworks.
100.3 1 strand 46ct / SDA 1 strand 36ct / DMC 2 strands 36ct / SDA 2 strands 28ct / DMC 2 strands 28ct ~ Colour Description
002 / 5381 / 928 / 5381 / 928 ~ Grey green ~ very light
022 / 1753 / 3852 x 2 / 1753 x 3 / 3852 x 2 ~ Straw ~ very dark
072 / 5384 / 926 / 5384 / 926 ~ Grey green ~ medium
070 / 934 / 892 / 934 / 892 ~ Carnation ~ medium
071 / 1711 / 3753 / 1711 x 2 / 3753 ~ Antique blue ~ ultra very
080 / 3821 / 677 / 3821 / 677 ~ Old gold ~ very light
152 / 2145 / 730 / 2145 / 730 ~ Olive green ~ very dark
278 / 4622 / 223 / 4622 / 223 ~ Shell pink ~ light
344 / 2912 / 224 / 2912 / 224 ~ Shell pink ~ very light
356 / 1714 / 931 / 1714 x 2 / 931 ~ Antique blue ~ medium
425 / F18 / 422 / F18 x 2 / 422 ~ Hazelnut brown ~ light
427 / 1713 / 932 / 1713 / 932 ~ Antique blue ~ light
491 / 2136 / 895 / 2136 x 2 / 895 ~ Hunter green ~ very dark
494 / 2915 / 3328 / 2915 / 3328 ~ Salmon ~ dark
499 / 2925 / 816 / 2925 x 2 / 816 ~ Garnet
518 / 4625 / 902 x 2 / 4625 x 2 / 902 x 2 ~ Garnet ~ very dark
519 / 4526 / 3862 / 4526 / 3862 ~ Mocha beige ~ dark
523 / 4623 / 3350 / 4623 / 3350 ~ Dusty rose ~ ultra dark
525 / 4214 / 975 / 4214 / 975 ~ Golden brown ~ dark
531 / 3736 / 3011 / 3736 / 3011 ~ Khaki green ~ dark
542 / 2245 / 782 / 2245 / 782 ~ Topaz ~ dark
580 / 3833 x 2 / 371 x 2 / 3833 x 4 ~ 371 x 3 Mustard
696 / 3416 / 844 / 3416 / 844 ~ Beaver grey ~ ultra dark
703 / 5386 / 3809 / 5386 / 3809 ~ Turquoise ~ very dark
756 / 3726 / 520 / 3726 x 2 / 520 ~ Fern green ~ dark
2646 / 2926 / 814 / 2926 / 814 ~ Garnet ~ dark
The design area is 260 stitches (w) x 303 stitches (h). Our calculations have included a 3″ margin for finishing and framing. If working on an uneven linen such as 62/52, we would recommend that you orientate your linen so that the higher count is on the horizontal for this particular sampler.
28ct: Design: 18.57″ x 21.64″ Fabric: 24.57″ x 27.64″
30ct: Design: 17.33″ x 20.20″ Fabric: 23.33″ x 26.20″
32ct: Design: 16.25″ x 18.94″ Fabric: 22.25″ x 24.94″
36ct: Design: 14.44″ x 16.83″ Fabric: 20.44″ x 22.83″
40ct: Design: 13.00″ x 15.15″ Fabric: 19.00″ x 21.15″
46ct: Design: 11.3″ x 13.17″ Fabric: 17.3″ x 19.17″
56ct: Design: 9.29″ x 10.82″ Fabric: 15.29″ x 16.82″
62/52ct: Design: 8.39″ x 11.65″ Fabric: 14.39″ x 17.65″
Anna Sophia’s 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.
The sampler has been rated as suitable for confident beginners through to advanced needleworkers.
Cross Stitch ~ is made up of two stitches worked over one or two threads. You should make all your stitches cross in the same direction for a neat and uniform finish.
You have to be careful not to pull the thread through the intersection of the woven linen threads. The warp and weft fibres are not “interlocked” at intersections; they simply pass over and under one another. As a result, when stitching over one thread, some stitches can slip and disappear. Lay your stitches away from the direction you are working. This prevents the thread slipping through.
A good magnifier will help you see the small stitches. Even if you have sharp vision, a strong magnifier (preferably a lighted one) will reduce eyestrain and allow you to see each stitch much larger than life.
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.