“Make much of precious time” Elizabeth most certainly did in the year 1829 when she finished this delightful sampler. Stitched with a cheerful palette of 15 colours including a mouth-watering orange which sits so well against the glowing reds, pretty pinks, restful blues, rich greens and golden olives. Her colours caught our eye together with her sweet motifs. Whilst Elizabeth does not give her age, we sense that she was a young girl and this may have been her first sampler. The original was worked with wool on a coarse linen.
We were unable to identify our Elizabeth as there are numerous Elizabeth Atkinsons listed in family history records in the period during which Elizabeth lived. Many of the motifs Elizabeth stitched we see on the “Solomon Temple” samplers and have associations with the northern counties of England. She has stitched 7 sets of initials. The inclusion of family initials is a feature that appears on many Scottish samplers. The surname of Atkinson is particularly common in Northern England and is very similar to the Scottish surname of “Aitchison.” We suspect that the sampler was stitched either in the far North of England or in Scotland.
The design area is 281 stitches (w) x 220 stitches (h).The stitches used are cross stitch over one and two threads and Algerian eyelets. The sampler is suitable for needle workers of all levels of ability. The model of Elizabeth’s sampler was stitched by Nicola whilst travelling by road, air and sea; in hotel rooms and lobbies; in a ship’s cabin and on deck; and whilst lying in the shade of palm trees on secluded beaches in the West Indies. The sweet motifs and size of the sampler make this an ideal project to stitch whilst on the move or watching the world go by. We hope that you will enjoy stitching Elizabeth during your vacation too.
Remember that just like the longest journey begins with a single step, so does each sampler begin with a single stitch. All stitches begin the same way, by pushing the needle through the fabric, first one way, then the other. The only difference between one type of stitch and another is where you put that needle and how you manipulate
The stitches used are cross stitch over one and two threads and Algerian eyelet. The sampler is suitable for all level of abilities.
Cross Stitch ~ When working Cross Stitch the top stitch should always lie in the same direction for a neat and uniform finish. Depending on the count of fabric you are using you may wish to substitute over 1 cross stitch with tent stitch.
Algerian Eyelet ~ There is one stitch laid to every thread so when stitched over 2 threads there are 8 stitches laid to create an eyelet. Elizabeth applied tension to open the centre hole of each eyelet. Do not tug on the thread using your needle as your thread will soon break. Instead apply pressure by pulling on the thread close to the stitch. Even tension should be applied so each individual stitch sits well within the eyelet.
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.
Elizabeth’s sampler has been reproduced with Au Ver à Soie 100.3 silks on 46ct Weeks overdyed Zweigart linen in the colour Straw. The skein quantities listed below were calculated using 1 strand of d’Alger and 2 strands of DMC on 36ct fabric. The original sampler was stitched on linen in a colour closest to DMC shade 738 and measures approximately 16.25 x 15.50 inches.
The stitches used are cross stitch over one and two threads and Algerian eyelets. The sampler is suitable for needle workers of all levels of ability.
Remember that just like the longest journey begins with a single step, so does each sampler begin with a single stitch. All stitches begin the same way by pushing the needle through the fabric, first one way, then the other. The only difference between one type of stitch and another is where you put that needle and how you manipulate the thread.
Soie d’Alger / DMC / 100.3 ~ Colour Description
F20 x 1 / 543 x 1 / 211 x 1 ~ Beige brown ~ ultra light
525 x 1 / 832 x 1 / 022 x 1 ~ Golden olive
945 x 1 / 347 x 1 / 681 x 1 ~ Salmon ~ very dark
1735 x 1 / 931 x 1 / 486 x 1 ~ Antique blue ~medium
1843 x 1 / 522 x 1 / 108 x 1 ~ Fern green
2625 x 1 / 720 x 1 / 293 x 1 ~ Orange spice ~ dark
2757 x 1 / 926 x 1 / 468 x 1 ~ Grey green ~ medium
2915 x 1 / 3712 x 1 / 494 x 1 ~ Salmon ~ medium
2936 x 1 / 815 x 1 / 109 x 1 ~ Garnet ~ medium
3046 x 1 / 3685 x 1/ 222 x 1 ~ Mauve ~ dark
3724 x 1/ 3051 x 1 / 707 x 1 ~ Green grey ~ dark
3726 x 1 / 520 x 1 / 705 x 1~ Fern green ~ dark
3744 x 1 / 829 x 1 / 048 x 1 ~ Golden olive ~ very dark
3842 x 1 / 3024 x 1 / 401 x 1 ~ Brown grey ~ very light
4523 x 1 /3064 x 1 / 093 x 1 ~ Desert sand
The design area is 281 stitches (w) x 220 stitches (h). Our calculations have included a 3” margin for finishing and framing.
28ct ~ Design: 20.07″ x 15.71″ Fabric: 26.07″ x 21.71″ 30ct ~ Design: 18.73″ x 14.67″ Fabric: 24.73″ x 20.67″
32ct ~ Design: 17.56″ x 13.75″ Fabric: 23.56″ x 19.75″ 36ct ~ Design: 15.61″ x 12.22″ Fabric: 21.61″ x 18.22″
40ct ~ Design: 14.05″ x 11.00″ Fabric: 20.05″ x 17.00″ 46ct ~ Design: 12.22″ x 9.57″ Fabric: 18.22″ x 15.57″
56ct ~ Design: 10.04″ x 7.86″ Fabric: 16.04″ x 13.86″
Correction 1: Please note that the “arm” of the vase should be filled in with Orange Spice 2625/720/293