Sampler, Boston, Massachusetts, 1772, embroidered by Abigail Mears (American, American, b. 1758), satin, stem and eyelet stitches on plain weave linen, Bequest of Rosalie Coe, from the collection inherited from her mother, Eva Johnston Coe, 1974-42-13.
A Boston Sampler
This sampler, worked by Abigail Mears in 1772, is related to a group of embroideries known as the “fishing lady pictures.” The name originally referred to Boston needlework featuring the same fishing lady, but now encompasses a variety of related pastoral compositions, with or without the fishing lady. From the 1760s, the same types of...
Sampler, Baltimore, Maryland, 1823, embroidered silk in cross stitch on linen plain weave foundation, Bequest of Gertrude M. Oppenheimer, 1981-28-78.
A Baltimore Sampler
French-speaking Catholics, fleeing the bloody revolutions in France and the Caribbean, settled in large numbers in the Baltimore area. In 1791, priests from the Parisian Society of Saint Suplice established a seminary in west Baltimore conducting religious services in French, and it soon became the center of a rapidly-growing French community. Among the émigrés, both...
Sampler, Germany, 2015, designed by Heidrun Schimmel (German, b. 1941), Medium: silk foundation, cotton and polyester embroidery
Technique: embroidered on plain weave, Gift of Heidrun Schimmel, 2015-14-1
Thread Tracks Time
Heidrun Schimmel says that she has always been interested in the connection between fiber/fabric/textile and the human being, especially between the thread and the human. Perhaps a metaphor for human existence, stitching with thread tracks time, especially when employing the same type of stitch on the same type of cloth as Schimmel has been doing...
A traditional toran
The toran is a frieze hanging named after a sacred gateway in Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist architecture. In the Gujarati communities of western India, a toran is hung above the doorway to the main room of the house as a sign of welcoming. This particular toran appears to be in the Kathipa style, recognizable by...
Cushion cover, ca. 1900, England, embroidered by May Morris (British, 1862–1938), silk embroidery on linen plain weave, Gift of Mrs. Curtice Hitchcock, 1975-19-1
The Titan’s Daughter
May Morris will forever be in the shadow of her famous father William Morris, the chief protagonist of the English Arts and Crafts movement, and of her mother, the Pre-Raphaelite beauty Jane Burden. Yet she was an accomplished artist in her own right, a fact evidenced by the skillful design and craftsmanship of this cushion...
Chanin sample book
A Maker’s Record
After a decade of working as a designer and stylist in Europe, Natalie Chanin traveled to her hometown of Lovelace Crossroads, Alabama, to film a documentary, Stitch, about the southern quilting tradition. Ads placed in local newspapers brought in hundreds of stitchers, some formerly employed in Alabama’s once-thriving textile industry. Chanin created the fashion and...
1981-28 Matt Flynn 009
A Sampler by Martha Butler
Martha Butler’s 1729 sampler belongs to the earliest known group of Boston samplers, worked between 1724 and 1744. The style of the samplers evolved over time, but the majority of them feature Adam and Eve or the Garden of Eden, both important symbols of Puritan theology. Martha’s sampler is closely related to what is believed...
Keep Warm with a Smart Cap
This nightcap, dating from the late 17th or early 18th century, was made using a technique called crewel, a type of embroidery worked with wool yarn on linen. Since men had shaved heads or very short hair to accommodate their wigs during this period, they wore caps like this one to keep warm after their...
An Unfinished Embroidered Picture
In the 17th century, amateur embroiderers or their teachers could commission custom designs from pattern drawers. In Thomas Heywood’s 1607 play, “The Faire Maide of the Exchange,” a character known as the ‘Drawer’ takes detailed instruction for a handkerchief: In one corner of the same, place wanton love, Drawing his bow shooting an amorous dart,...