August 17, 2011 - 5:51 pm

A Schoolgirl’s Work

Here we are again, with a new book, which means a book giveaway for you!  This time it’s for Blackbird Designs’ latest, A Schoolgirl’s Work: Samplers from the Spencer Museum of Art.  Barb Adams and Alma Allen joined with the Spencer Museum of Art to share historical schoolgirl cross stitch samplers from the years 1710 to 1841.  Also included are 11 projects inspired by the samplers for you stitch.  Here are some of the projects you will find in the book:

Ann's Sewing Tray

Polly's Sewing Box

So Fade My Hours Needlebook

Where Flowers Bloom

Darling, right?  The book also includes samplers from 24 different schoolgirls and the history and detail behind each.  For example, you learn that the reason the letters “J” and “U” are omitted in a sampler is because they were not part of the early Latin alphabet and that “I/J” and “V/U” were interchangeable until the 1750s.

Here is a taste of these delicate, historical samplers:

Jane Davison, American, age 15, year 1710

Aplonia de Kuypers, Dutch, year 1759

Hannah Hawthorn, English, age 19, year 1809

Mary Ann Melten, American, age 9, circa 1800

Polly Hix, American, age 13, year 1834

I am so impressed at these girls’ skills at such a young age!  The samplers are just beautiful and the history fascinating.

If you’d like a chance to win a copy of this book, simply post a comment.  Tell us about your cross stitching.  What are your favorite types of projects?  Do you cross stitch more than you quilt?  If you don’t cross stitch, is it something you’re interesting in picking up?

We’ll be choosing TWO winners early next week, so get your comments in soon!

31 Responses to “A Schoolgirl’s Work”

  1. I used to cross stitch a lot, but now quilting has taken over most of my hobby time. But I keep thinking I really want to get back to the cross stitch again. Thanks for the opportunity to win this beautiful book.

  2. I love cross stitching, and ladies at BBD is a favorite of mine. I cross stitch just as much as I quilt. This new book has been on my “want” list since I saw the “sneak peeks” on their blog. Thanks for the chance to win.

  3. I used to be an avid counted cross-stitcher until I learned how to quilt. I still have kept everything. Couldn’t bear to give it away because it was my first love and I keep telling myself I will go back to it one day. I especially love historical samplers. This book is right up my alley!

  4. I used to do alot more counted cross but changed to quilting more. NOW I’m back to do both and it’s about equal.

  5. I remember cross stitch from my childhood.

  6. Would love to win Blackbirds new book, always try to track their cross stick and quilt books down… almost everything they do…..Now I just need to figure out how to use my time more wisely to get everything made :-)

  7. I used to cross stitch a lot of samplers before I took up quilting. I might take it up again if I win this lovely book. Blackbird Designs are some of my favorite quilt patterns so these samplers would fit right in with the quilts.

  8. I enjoy cross stitch to some extent. I’m not a fan of tiny little stuff. My eye’s are getting to bad to do things to tiny. I have some t-shirts and some sweat shirts that I have done on waste canvas. That’s big enough to see. I think I really would rather be quilting though.

  9. I rediscovered cross stitch last year and learned to stitch on linen. I love the style of the Blackbird Designs books…such wonderful photography. I can hardly wait to see this new one.

  10. I can’t believe I’ve been doing cross stitch again. Looks like a great book. I can hardly wait!

  11. I’m a lifelong quilter, but usually have a cross stitch project going on as well. Samplers are my favorite and I love Blackbird Designs — all their stitchery. Their applique patterns are beautiful — I’ll never have time to do all I want to do. I like books with a bit of history and this looks like a good one!

  12. As a quilter and a stitcher who has made many samplers depicting the age old style, this book is definitely something I have to have win or buy. I saw a few ideas that took me over the top of the moon. Thank you for the chance to win.

  13. I cross-stitch more than I quilt, here lately. Since I have two little ones, it is easier to put away my cross-stitch than to put up my quilting. I just love, love, love Blackbird Designs and cannot wait to get my hands on this book. I never really knew the historical perspective of samplers and now find that it is very interesting to read about. Thank you for this amazing give-away!!

  14. I love to cross stitch and Blackbird Designs are the best! I can’t wait to add this book to my BBD collection. Thanks for a chance to win!

  15. I have been cross stitching for over 30 years. When I discovered reproduction samplers and linen, just about every other type of stitching left me.

    I love Blackbird Designs and can’t wait to have this book in my collection. Winning it would be awesome…thank you for the opportunity.

  16. I have never cross stitched before. Looking at these beautiful pics makes me want to learn. This book looks absolutely amazing. I’m a quilter that is now interested in cross stitch. Thanks for posting pics from this book and for the opportunity to win it.

  17. I love cross stitching, my favorite of what I’ve done are the seed packs. I’m going to combine them all into a quilted wall hanging.

  18. Samplers are a very special part of cross stitching. They are full of history and a record of the maker’s skills. They are a part of the stitcher’s soul. I love to stitch them and ‘distress’ them so they look old and have a character all their own. Samplers are the only cross stitching I do now. The book looks like an amazing addition to anyone’s collection!

  19. I was an avid cross stitcher for quite a few years and actually have one going right now, But Quilting is my most favorite passion… for now anyway!

  20. Cross-stitch was how it all started years ago. I’ve had a needle and thread in my hands doing something ever since — cross-stitch, embroidery, sewing, and quilting. Love it all!

  21. My mother taught me cross stitch years ago and I’d gotten away from it in favor of embroidery and hand applique. I would love this book to inspire to start again!

  22. Cross stitch was the first needle art I learned (along with simple sewing) as a very young 5 year old, from my mother. I can not ever remember a time when my mom didn’t have a cross stitch project going. She taught me this simple art as I sat and watched her stitch while waiting for Dr. appointments, my father to come home from work, and many other everyday scenarios. My mother gave me 2 incredible gifts over the years; the ability to stitch (embroidery, cross-stitch, needlepoint, crewel, sewing, dress-making, reupholstery, and custom drapery/bedding). And second, the belief that I can do anything I put my mind to. I’m very thankful for these gifts! They have served me well over the years. I did not learn to quilt until I was about 30 years old. My most recent love is primitive rug hooking but I am always hopping around between the needle arts. I do love the style of this particular Cross-stitching book. It embodies heritage, gentleness, dedication, a heart for God, and hospitality which are such important elements in the life that I pass on to my three daughters.

  23. I have done cross-stitch for decades, but the newer hand dyed threads make it exciting all over again. Blackbird Designs is my favorite designer, of quilts as well as cross-stitch.

  24. I love cross-stitch and anything that Blackbird Designs puts their name of has to be good. I am in awe of School girl samplers – it is hard to believe that these young girls created such beautiful works of art.

  25. Young girls certainly worked hard on handwork. Young ladies today don’t usually sit down long enough to do handwork.

  26. CROSS-STITCH and quilting are my passions! And I love everything the Blackbird girls create. I would be thrilled beyond words to be able to win such a fantastic prize! Thank you for your generosity.

  27. These designs could lure me back to cross-stitch!

  28. I mostly quilt now but still have all of my cross stitch supplies and UFO’s. Speaking of-I started a wedding sampler for someone and she divorced before I finished it! Thanks for the chance to win this beautiful book!

  29. I stopped stitching 20 years ago when all the local shops closed. After caring for parents, I have picked up the needle once again, but still need motivation. I started a blog to be more accountable and it’s helping. Except for smalls and accessories, samplers and santas are my main projects. My attempts at quilting, shall not be mentioned. Thank you for offering a wonderful giveaway!

  30. I learned it by my Grandmother and she like to stitch Samplers. My works are not so difficult mostly hearts , biscornu´s,small projects, but I will try out more. My Granny loves Blackbird Designs and I look around, because I look for a design, what I can stitch as Gift for Christmas for my Granny and found your site. Very nice Idea with this giveaway and so nice patterns. My Favourite is Polly´s Sewing Box, think I can stitch it without help.

  31. I love cross-stitch and am a beginner quilter. I learned to cross-stitch from my mother when I was very young. I advanced over the years to stitching on linen and using different types of floss. I taught my son and daughter to cross stitch and they both have entered projects in the local county fair. They both have won Grand Champion and Best of Show ribbons for their work. The last few years I have found a passion for samplers. I love the history and the meaning behind the samplers. They were something that was beautiful and useful in their everyday life. There was so much time put into these pieces. The young ladies and women who did these samplers put pieces of themselves into the work. They represented their likes and dislikes, their talents and their families. I will be teaching a class of young home schooled girls the art of the sampler this fall. This book would be a great asset to my library to show them examples of the school girl samplers that I will be teaching about. Thank you for the opportunity to win this book.

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