Friday, July 3, 2009

American Needlework


As we celebrate the birth of our nation I figured it was appropriate to celebrate the artist's who began the history and lineage of American needlework.
The above image is the supposive very first American Sampler embroidered by Loara Standish, a Mayflower passenger. The story says she embroidered it while waiting for a lover lost at sea. To read its history go here.

early American sampler

During the 18th century sampler designs changed to include the familiar bands around the sides to create borders and include motifs such as the alphabet and everyday scenes.

Rebekah Rider, 1820


Eventually schools were begun where young women learned to do needlework under the watchful eye of a teacher. The amazingly gorgeous sampler above was made by an 8 year old!

a detail of Betsy Ellis Huthchinson, 1831

Samplers often celebrated the genealogical pride of American heritage as seen in Saba Cushman's sampler- in which she notes her ancestors back to the original settlers.


As an artist utilizing the medium of autobiography and needlework I feel proud and honored to be connected to this amazing and inspiring lineage of American women. To read more bout these samplers go to the excellent website here.

3 comments:

Julianna said...

These are beautiful! I love that you're bringing back such an all American craft like all these pieces of history. I don't think that the art of needlework will ever go out of style!

susan m hinckley said...

Thanks for this post! I love samplers, and like you feel a connection with the needlework tradition that has played such a large role in the lives of the women who came before us.

I featured historic patriotic quilts for my 4th post -- great minds . . .

Joetta said...

def. will never go out of style- the story behind the hands will always keep it in fashion:)