Only three colors are used in this sampler, but a great variety of patterns and stitches, including cross, double running, Montenegrin and Italian cross, eyelet, and straight. The patterns might have been drawn from this piece to embellish cuffs, sleeves, cloaks and collars, and they depict acorns, daisies, peas in a pod, stars, carnations, oak leaves and honeysuckle: objects in nature familiar to a seventeenth century homemaker. A piece like this was invaluable for practicing patterns and stitch techniques before committing them to a precious piece of clothing. The densely worked designs demonstrate how the materials were valued, in not that a bit of space was wasted, and the stitching extended clear to the selvages of the linen.
Origin and date: England, 1625
Linen count and finished size: 35 count, 5-3/4'x29'
Stitches: Cross, double running, Montenegrin cross, Italian, eyelet, straight
Source: Private collection