Sarah Spencer c. 1870 ~ A Little Gem


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This delightful sampler is brought to you as the third in a series of “Little Gems” that are available in this time of global crisis as a .pdf download by Hands Across the Sea Samplers.




This sampler makes us smile! It is so cheery with its splashes of red and abundance of flowers.

Sarah Spencer is a very common name in England so we were unable to research our Sarah. You will note the reversed “S” in Sarah. It is not unusual for young children to reverse letters when they read and write but Sarah stitched the letter correctly in her surname. She could have simply got it wrong and did not take the time to correct her mistake. However, that does not tally with the neatness of her stitching and the diligence she showed in completing her sampler. We think it could be her way to record that although her name was spelt with an “S” it is pronounced differently like a soft vibrated “Z”.

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

With grateful thanks to Linda Clews who exquisitely stitched the model for Sarah. 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.

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 

Thread Legend

Sarah’s sweet sampler has been reproduced with a palette of 8 colours from Au Ver à Soie’s range of Soie 100.3. We have provided conversions for Soie d’Alger and DMC. Only one spool or skein of each colour is required for 40ct and above. On 36/37ct and under two skeins of 3734/3011 is required. On 32ct and under two skeins for 3734/3011 and 945/816 is required.
Soie 100.3        Soie d’Alger    DMC               Colour Description
 072                      5383                     927                   Grey green ~ light
148                       2532                      3822                Straw ~ light
177                        4622                      760                  Salmon
274                      3734                      3011                 Khaki green ~ dark
295                       2636                      3830               Terracotta
499                      945                        816                  Garnet
523                      4623                      347                  Salmon ~ very dark
531                       2216                       935                  Avocado green ~ dark
Sarah's sampler can be stitched either on aida or linen. The model was stitched on Legacy Linen in Sycamore Seedpod. For a lower count of linen we would recommend Legacy Linen Corn Tassel in 37ct or a colour similar to DMC shades 712 or 739.
The design area is 197 stitches (w) x 173 stitches (h). Our calculations have included a 3” margin for finishing and framing.
28ct: Design: 14.07" x 12.36" Fabric: 20.07" x 18.36"
30ct: Design: 13.13" x 11.53" Fabric: 19.13" x 17.53"
32ct: Design: 12.31" x 10.81" Fabric: 18.31" x 16.81"
36ct: Design: 10.94" x 9.61" Fabric: 16.94" x 15.61"
40ct: Design: 9.85" x 8.65" Fabric: 15.85" x 14.65"
46ct: Design: 8.57" x 7.52" Fabric: 14.57" x 13.52"
56ct: Design: 7.04" x 6.18" Fabric: 13.04" x 12.18"

Stitch Guide

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.


Chart Correction

We apologise for an error in the chart. The last honeysuckle flower head was not correctly centred on its base.