Hannah and Ellen Wilkinson 1835 to 1841 ~ a printed booklet


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What an honour it is for Hands Across the Sea Samplers to reproduce this beautiful red sampler. The sampler has touched us so deeply. It speaks volumes about the special love shared between sisters.

Hannah and Ellen’s sweet sampler sampler is brought to you as a printed booklet and as an instant pdf download. Details of the instant pdf download can be found HERE.

The two sisters were born at Wincobank in the parish of Ecclesfield, Sheffield, to James, a farm labourer, and his wife Mary. Hannah was christened on February 24, 1824 and Ellen on November 20, 1827 at the Zion Independent Church in Attercliffe, Yorkshire, England.

Ellen tells us that “Hannah Wilkinson worked this first, second and part of the third Alphabet in the 11th year of her age and died May 12, 1835 aged 11 years and four months.” We believe that Ellen picked up her sister’s needle at the letter “N”.

The first verse that Ellen chose for the sampler was often used as an epitaph on the headstones of children.

The lovely bud, so young, so fair

Called off by earthly doom,

Just came to show how sweet a flower

In paradise could bloom


The second verse is taken from a children’s hymn book.


See the kind shepherd Jesus stands

With all engaging charms

Hark how he calls the tender lambs

And folds them in his arms


Both verses are poignant and make us think that Hannah was deeply loved and missed by her family. Hannah was buried on May 16, 1835 in Ecclesfield. Most probably in the graveyard at the Zion Church. Ellen finished her sister’s sampler on May 21, 1841, when she was 13 years of age. The sampler is very precious as it is all that remains to mark both lives.

The stitches used are cross stitch over one and two threads of linen. The sampler has been rated as suitable for all levels of ability.

Our grateful thanks go to Bhooma Aravamudan for exquisitely stitching the model of Hannah and Ellen’s sampler. 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.

Thread Legend

The sisters’ sampler has been reproduced using Soie 100.3 from Au Ver à Soie. We have provided conversions for Soie d’Alger and DMC. Estimated thread quantities for varying linen counts and the number of strands of thread used have been listed below.

The original sampler was stitched with cotton thread.


On 46ct to 56ct linen with 1 strand of Soie 100.3 #523 x 1

On 36ct to 46ct linen with 1 strand of Soie d’Alger #2645 x 2

On 28ct linen with 2 strands of Soie d’Alger #2645 x 5

On 40ct linen with 1 strand of DMC #347 x 2

On 36ct linen with 2 strands of DMC #347 x 3

On 28ct linen with 2 strands of DMC #347 x 4


** On 46ct to 56ct linen we recommend that you use Soie Surfine #2523 for working the cross stitches over one thread of linen.

Linen Sizes

The model was stitched using 46ct Zweigart-based linen that was overdyed to the shade Marbled Pointer from xJuDesigns. The original sampler was stitched on 36ct linen with cotton thread. We recommend that you use a thread, fabric, and a count that you enjoy working with.

The design area is 218 stitches (w) x 181 stitches (h). Our calculations have included a 3″ margin for finishing and framing.

28ct linen: Design: 15.57″ x 12.93″ Fabric: 21.57″ x 18.93″

30ct linen: Design: 14.53″ x 12.07″ Fabric: 20.53″ x 18.07″

32ct linen: Design: 13.63″ x 11.31″ Fabric: 19.63″ x 17.31″

36ct linen: Design: 12.11″ x 10.06″ Fabric: 18.11″ x 16.06″

40ct linen: Design: 10.90″ x 9.05″ Fabric: 16.90″ x 15.05″

46ct linen: Design: 9.48″ x 7.87″ Fabric: 15.48″ x 13.87″

56ct linen: Design: 7.79″ x 6.46″ Fabric: 13.79″ x 12.46″

52/62ct linen: Design: 8.38″ x 5.84″ abric: 14.38″ x 11.84″

Stitch Guide

The stitches used are cross stitch over one and two threads of linen. The sampler has been rated as suitable for all levels of ability.

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 from slipping through the intersections.