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Mary 395~1869, A Bristol Orphanage Reproduction Sampler ~ Hands Across The Sea Samplers

    Nicola tells us " Claudia Dutcher Kistler of Dutch Treat Designs is the proud owner of Mary 395. There are similar characteristics featured in every sampler that was stitched by a girl living in George Müller’s orphanage in Bristol.  These samplers all share many of the same alphabets and motifs, but each girl made her sampler unique.  It is by these similarities that we know these pieces are Bristol orphan samplers.  Mary 395 contains many of the elements that confirm that this sampler was stitched in the orphanage.

    Mary’s sampler was done in plain cross stitch with red cotton thread on high-count fabric. These samplers might not showcase the most challenging needlework techniques, unless you agree that doing cross stitch on fabric where the common thread count was 70+ threads per inch presented enough of a challenge.  The format of many earlier (1860 – 1870) Bristol samplers was similar to how Mary stitched hers: alphabets at the top with motifs at the bottom.

    The one thing Mary did not stitch was her last name on her sampler.  The number “395” was her bed number at the time she stitched her sampler.  The George Müller Charitable Trust still has the records for the children they cared for, but none of those records include their bed numbers.  The children were moved within the houses as they got older, so they did not keep the same bed or number.  Mary left us no other clues.

    So who was the girl that stitched this sampler?  With the help of the George Müller Charitable Trust we have made an educated guess as to who our Mary was.  If Mary Stead did not stitch this sampler, she stitched one similar to it.  All of the girls had to stitch a red thread sampler before they left the Homes.  Mary Elizabeth Stead was 15 years old in 1869, which would have been the right age to complete a sampler.  She shows up on the 1871 census, age 17, living at the orphanage.  She was released from the orphanage in 1872 at the age of 18.  The story of the life of Mary Elizabeth Stead, that we have been able to find, is shared elsewhere in this booklet.

    Stitch count is 378 W x 396 H. Sampler is completed in Cross stitch only.

    Model was stitched on 52/60 count Sycamore Seed Legacy Linen from Access Commodities and stitched with Soie Surfine colour #2681.  We have also suggested additional counts including 36, 40 and 46 for you to choose from. Please choose the appropriate thread for your linen count when ordering.
    For the lower counts, we have ordered hanks of Red silk  to insure you are covered for yardage.  All thread quantities listed for 36 and 40 count are for stitching with 1 strand. If you stitch with two strands, you will need to double your quantity of floss required.

    Please check the boxes above to add the chart, linen and threads to your order.


    Mary 395~1869, A Bristol Orphanage Reproduction Sampler ~ Hands Across The Sea Samplers

    Item# HATSM395
    Price: See Options For Pricing
    Mary 395 ~ 1869 Bristol Orphanage Reproduction Sampler:
    53 count Sycamore Seed linen from Access 18" x 29" (2" allowance on all sides) ~ $21.25
    Soie Surfine 2 spools ~ $19.00 For 53 count linen
    46 count Vintage Buttercream hand dyed linen from Lakeside Linens 36" x 27" ~ $95.00
    Soie 100/3 from Au Ver a Soie 5 spools ~ $29.75 For 46 count linen
    40 count Vintage Buttercream hand dyed linen from Lakeside Linens 36" x 27" ~ $89.00
    36 count Vintage Buttercream hand dyed linen from Lakeside Linens 36" x 27" ~ $86.00
    Soie d'Alger Silk Thread 45m. hank ~ $42.95 For 36 OR 40 count linen
    Quantity