Sarah's Samplers

Gay Ann Rogers Needlework


Sarah's Samplers:

1. Adaptation and 2. Inspiration

Complete kits for both samplers, plus the graphs for and a photo of the original Sarah's Sampler

$112.00 includes shipping.


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Sarah's Samplers

Instructions for both samplers

1. and 2.

Instructions for both samplers plus the graphs for and a photo of the original Sarah's Sampler (no threads, no canvas).

$58.00 including shipping.




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The Story of Sarah's Sampler

About the time that I started working on my portrait of Victoria in earnest, I found this little sampler stitched by Sarah Radburn in 1857.


This is what interested me: Sarah's Sampler is a marking sampler showing a very simplified crown and several coronets for English nobility, not as I would stitch them today, but as someone envisioned needlework patterns in mid-19th century England, about 20 years into Queen Victoria's reign.


I am guessing that Sarah was a young girl in training to go into service and by stitching the sampler she learned her letters and the order of English nobility. If I am right, she would have completed her training and gone to work in the downstairs of a house, much the way some of our favorite characters worked downstairs in Downton Abbey.


160 years later, I found Sarah's Sampler and bought it so that I could tinker with it. If you scroll down, you will see what a good time I had with it.

On the left is the original sampler from 1857, scroll down to see what I did with it.

Below you will see what I did: I reproduced Sarah's Sampler --

sort of. I stitched it in Cross Stitch over 1 Mesh rather than over 2 meshes and it made a tiny 'Adaptation Sampler'

After I completed my tiny Adaptation Sampler, I did a second sampler where I used Sarah's Sampler as my inspiration, but I stretched a bit and had quite a good time. Below you will see 'Inspiration Sampler'

On the left: the original

Below: my tiny reproduction.

This photo shows the difference in size between the original and my 'Adaptation Sampler'.

Below: a photo of my little Adaptation Sampler.

Notes on 1. 'Adaptation Sampler


This is the first time I have tried to reproduce an old sampler. In the end I made a rew changes but I hope I kept the spirit of the original.


I started out on linen and I stitched over 2 meshes, as Sarah had done all those years ago. I lasted for part of the top band and then decided to switch to an ecru congress cloth and Soie d'Alger.


Almost all the way through, I stitched in Sarah's spacing. I changed the spacing only in a few places where the smaller Cross Stitch forced me to do so.


The original, Sarah's Sampler, is 7 1/2" wide x 14" tall on 24 count linen; my tiny sampler is 4" wide

x 7 1/2" tall, or just over half the size, on congress cloth 8" wide x 12" tall.


I charted the original as Sarah stitched it, except for the border which I did in a simple Double-Running Stitch. The graphs for the original are included with the instructions for my adaptation.


Scroll down for kit descriptions.

Notes on 2.Inspiration Sampler


Here are some of the changes I made from the Original:


My first change: I stitched the titles of nobility in order of their rank..  Did you notice on Sarah's original sampler that the order is not correct?


I speculated why Sarah changed the order and guessed she rchanged the order because of the length of the title 'Viscount'. Did she do this or was it on the original pattern?


The second change I made was a playful one: I gave myself the title of 'Countess of Counting' and the coronet that goes along with it.


The third change: I added some colors of silk, noteworthy a white and a tan, and I made some fancy borders.



There are two versions of Inspiration Sampler: in one I smade myself the 'Countess of Counting', the correct coronet and all.


In the second version, I commemorated Queen Victoria.


The pattern includes instructions for both versions,:

you choose which you wish to make.


Inspiration Sampler is larger, 5 1/4" wide by 9 1/4" tall on congress cloth 10" wide x 14" tall.

Sarah's Sampler

The Original


I stitched two samplers, one adapting the original sampler,

 the other using the original as inspiration.

1. Adaptation of Sarah's Sampler


Instructions include graphs for both the original and my adaptation.

Comparing size of the original and my adaptation.

2. Inspiration from Sarah's Sampler


Instructions include both  versions:

Counting Countess and Queen Victoria

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Kit Contents

The package contains two kits,

one for Sarah's Sampler Adaptation,

one for Sarah's Sampler Inspiration,

and the graphs for and a photo of the original sampler.


There are four colors of Soie d'Alger for


and five colors for Inspiration.


I tried separating them into two offerings but decided they belonged together. For one thing, shipping a tube with canvas is so expensive and it divides the cost if there are two canvases in the tube.


Shipping outside the U.S.

I no longer ship outside the U.S. You need a U.S. address.


Consider which has worked well, and my friend Arliss Link will ship packages to you for a small fee.

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October 17

The sale has finished.