Rather than a carefully planned symmetrical sampler, Mary’s needlework is very much a one-off example of a young child’s nonsensical art. Very similar to the scraps of crinkled, paint-smudged paper that can be found in countless homes today proudly displayed on fridge doors.
We suspect that Mary was a very young child, possibly between the age of seven and ten. She loved bright colours, birds and dogs. Children do not strive for realistic depiction in their drawings, they tend to scatter objects in awkward places. They might draw a house on the left corner of the page and then, as Mary did, a water jug next to the house hanging in mid-air. What is most important to remember is that children’s art has its own logic.
There is often a variety of wisdom and information to be found on samplers. Some samplers convey a message, others knowledge. Samplers illuminate the lives of their makers when they document moral issues, family histories, personal experiences, and national events.
Following in the footsteps of those young girls (and boys) from centuries past, Nicola added an extra 12 rows to the reproduction, so that she could record a moment in time in her needlework. Therefore, there are two different versions of Mary Eliza McMillan, the true reproduction and Nicola’s adaptation.
The four graphs included in the download are:
Graph 1 ~ With an added dedication as per the model, a six-page colour symbol graph.
Graph 2 ~ With an added dedication as per the model, a six-page black and white symbol graph.
Graph 3 ~ The reproduction, a six-page colour symbol graph.
Graph 4 ~ The reproduction, a six-page black and white symbol graph.
The sampler is stitched entirely in cross stitch over two and can be stitched on linen or Aida. Mary is suitable for needleworkers of all abilities and would make an ideal “starter” project for those wishing to explore samplers.
Mary’s playful sampler has been reproduced with a palette of 14 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 30ct and higher. However, if you are stitching the sampler on 28ct and lower two skeins of 523/370 will be needed.
Mary stitched her sampler with cross
stitch over 2 strands of linen. The project can be stitched either on
Aida or linen. We would recommend a fabric close in colour to DMC shades
842 and 3033. We suggest Zweigart Light Mocha in
Please check the boxes above to have the supplies added to your order.