Dyed and Gone to Heaven – An Online Magazine and Needlework Resource  

In our Gallery - a Sampler Fest...

Loara Standish Sampler
Collection of Pilgrim Hall Museum



(Left) Loara Standish circa 1653 American, Plymouth, MA (Courtesy of Pilgrim Hall Museum)

(Right) Detail of Loara Standish sampler

Loara Standish sampler, circa 1653. Made by the daughter of Captain Miles Standish, probably when she was in her teens. It is the earliest known American-made sampler and the earliest known sampler with a verse. As was typical for the time, Loara Standish's sampler is long and narrow with patterns arranged in horizontal bands. Stitches, worked in counted thread embroidery, include Montenegrin cross, long-armed cross, back, outline, eyelet, double running and arrow-head. The rose, carnation, oak leaf and an intertwined "S" are among the stylize floral motifs above the verse:

Loara Standish is my name
Lorde guide my hart that
I may doe thy will also
My hands with such
Convenient skill as may
Conduce virtue void of
Shame and I will give
The glory to thy name

The Loara Standish sampler is provided courtesy of Pilgrim Hall Museum and the Pilgrim Society. Pilgrim Hall Museum is in the center of historic Plymouth, MA. Through its exhibition of Pilgrim possessions, Pilgrim Hall tells the story of America's founding and traditions in stirring detail. The mission of Pilgrim Hall is to educate the public about the significance of the Pilgrim experience by preserving and interpreting an evolving collection. For more information, see their website at http://www.pilgrimhall.org

The following samplers shown below were provided courtesy of The Scarlet Letter and include works from both current and previous collections: Hannah Albertson, Ann Scutt, Mercy Field, Kezia Young, Elizabeth Peach, Rhoda Ann, Lucinda Spencer and Elizabeth Harborne.

The Scarlet Letter produces reproductions of the world's finest samplers, found in museums and private collections. This collection encompasses four centuries, from seventeenth century aristocratic England, to nineteenth century rural America. The inspiration for their samplers is drawn from the actual handwork of our foremothers. In addition to reproducing works from museum collections they also actively buy and sell high quality authentic antique needleworks.

For more information, see The Scarlet Letter website at http://www.scarlet-letter.com or e-mail them at samplers@scarlet-letter.com

Samplers from The Scarlet Letter


 Kezia Young 1798 American, New England (Courtesy of The Scarlet Letter)



 Rhoda Ann 1814 American, New York (Courtesy of The Scarlet Letter)


 Mercy Field 1833 American, Chester County, PA (Courtesy of The Scarlet Letter)


 Elizabeth Peach circa 1800 Probably American (Courtesy of The Scarlet Letter)


 Lucinda Spencer 1830 American, Vermont (Private Collection)


 Hannah Albertson 1813 American, Chester County, PA (Courtesy of The Scarlet Letter)

 The Old Sampler

Out of the way, in a corner
of our dear old attic room,
Where bunches of herbs from the hillside
Shake ever a faint perfume,
An oaken chest is standing,
With hasp and padlock and key,
Strong as the hands that made it
On the other side of the sea.

When the winter days are dreary,
And we're out of heart with life,
Of its crowding cares aweary,
And sick of its restless strife,
We take a lesson in patience
>From the attic corner dim,
Where the chest still holds it treasures,
A warder faithful and grim.

Robes of an antique fashion,
Linen and lace and silk,
That time has tinted with saffron,
Though once they were white as milk;
Wonderful baby garments,
‘Broidered with loving care
By fingers that felt the pleasure,
As they wrought the ruffles fair.

A sword, with the red rust on it,
That flashed in the battle tide,
When from Lexington to Yorktown
Sorely men's souls were tried;
A plumed chapeau and a buckle,
and many a relic fine,
And all by itself the sampler,
Framed in with berry and vine.

Faded the square of canvas,
And dim the silken thread,
But I think of white hands dimpled,
And a childish, sunny head;
For here in cross and tent-stitch,
In a wreath of berry and vine,
She worked it a hundred years ago,

In and out in the sunshine
The little needle flashed,
And in and out on the rainy day,
When the merry drops down plashed,
As close she sat by her mother,
The little Puritan maid,
And did her piece on the sampler,
While the other children played.

You are safe in the beautiful heaven,
But before you went you had troubles
Sharper than any of mine.
Oh, the gold hair turned with sorrow
White as the drifted snow,
And your tears dropped here, where I'm standing,
On this very plumed chapeau.

When you put it away, its wearer
Would need it never more,
By a sword-thrust learning the secrets
God keeps on yonder shore;
And you wore your grief like glory,
You could not yield supine,
Who wrought in your patient childhood,

Out of the way, in a corner,
With hasp and padlock and key,
Stands the oaken chest of my fathers
That came from over the sea;
And the hillside herbs above it
Shake odors fragrant and fine,
And here on the lid is a garland

For love is of the immortal,
And patience is sublime,
And trouble a thing of every day
And touching every time;
And childhood sweet and sunny,
And womanly truth and grace,
Ever can light life's darkness
And bless earth's lowliest place.

Mrs. M.E.Sangster

Poems of Home Life
American Tract Society, N.Y.C., New York 


Elizabeth Harborne 1647 English
(Courtesy of The Scarlet Letter)

Elizabeth Harborne 1647 English

Ann Scutt circa 1680 English (Courtesy of The Scarlet Letter)

Ann Scutt circa 1680 English

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CARON email: mail@caron-net.com