Just finished the instructions for Ann Merchant. This past week I had a great time at my LNS. I went over with Ann Merchant (the original) in tow and selected the Needlepoint silks for the design. We carefully checked the back of the piece for clues of what the original colors were back in 1838. And then, pulled and pulled colors to match them up! What did we ever do without the hundreds of thread choices that we have now? I also selected the fabric for the sampler. Again, we took our clues from the back and I chose Weeks Dye Works Parchment linen, 30 count. The original design was a 29 count and I wanted to keep the size as close to the original as possible.
It is remarkable that the original sampler has no holes in the linen. There are some threads that are very worn but still in tact which made it hard to chart those areas....But with several magnifying glasses, I was able to study it carefully and I believe it is charted as accurately as humanly possible. The original came to me unframed so I'm assuming by the aging the piece, that it has been unframed for many years. I plan to have her professional framed to preserve Ann's work for many years to come. We are so fortunate to be able to find some of these old samplers...I feel like I am preserving our American heritage...one stitch at a time.
I have asked a local guild member to stitch Ann Merchant. I usually stitch all of my work, myself. But I have several projects waiting for my attention and another sampler to reproduce. I am so excited about Ann Merchant, as soon as she is stitched, she will be ready to market and you will be able to find her at your LNS.