Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Agnes Scott, 1810 by Denise

Several years ago, Denise DeMore from Duxbury, Massachusetts stitched Agnes Scott, a Scottish reproduction sampler. I saw Denise’s beautiful sampler in person when I stayed in her lovely home. I asked her if she would send a photo for the blog and also write something.

Denise wrote, “Agnes was the stitch-along one year in Ellen's newsletter, and I was not familiar at the time with her reproductions or other designs. I quickly became a fan though. I had been stitching since 1997 and decided to do this stitch along as I loved reproduction samplers and the red and green lettering caught my eye along with the fact that I love houses in samplers. Another good reason was that the monthly stitch along would help me stay on track. Alas I have to admit I did not finish it in one year. It took me well into the second year to complete but I stuck with it and am very proud of my accomplishment.

“I remember when I first decided to do this piece. A woman, Jo Fornier, put me onto this reproduction by Ellen. We had conversed through Ellen's newsletter several times and found we lived near each other though we had never met. We agreed to meet at The Sampler in Plymouth, Massachusetts one Saturday morning, to first go for breakfast and to discuss what we were working on. Jo was fabulous. She brought her Agnes Scott on a scroll frame and wrapped in a pillow case. It was gorgeous and I fell in love with the colors of the alphabets and that scroll work around them made it jump out to me. Jo insisted I should try something this big.

“Shortly afterwards, Agnes became the stitch along in Ellen's newsletter. It was the perfect way to get me motivated. I went back to the Sampler Shop. Back then Elizabeth Creeden owned the shop. Based on what I was telling her I wanted to do, she began asking me questions which I really couldn't answer. She quickly called Ellen on the phone and discussed the color of the linen. Was the color supposed to match the original as it looked today or was it to match the original when it had originally been stitched more then two hundred years ago? I had no idea what they were talking about and I was only hearing one side of the conversation, Elizabeth's.

“I was fairly new to stitching and had only completed a few samplers from charts that I had purchased at a small local shop which had recently closed. I couldn't believe you could just call up a designer on a Saturday and speak with her about the piece. Elizabeth assured me it was alright and proceeded with the conversation. Elizabeth, after she finished speaking with Ellen, quickly pulled everything together for me with the exception of a few silk threads and the chenille thread that she had to order. But I was well on my way to starting the piece. I was so relieved Elizabeth could figure the whole thing out and get me started.

“Each month I would try to stay up with the group but my work travel schedule interfered at times. I had mostly done cross stitch and had recently learned Algerian eyelets. But that was about it. I loved doing the satin stitches and the running and back stitches to make the curly cues around the letters and other places. I stayed as close to the pattern as possible as I didn't want to make any mistakes though I am sure there are some along the way. I am sure I had to rip out and start over in places, but interestingly enough I don't remember any of that. And I guess that is why I have completed several other large samplers and interestingly enough have been injecting some smalls here and there to give me that since of accomplishment. I hope you enjoy seeing Agnes completed.”

(The photo below is an enlargement of the bottom center.
You can see the chenille grass on either side of the door.)

Denise did a beautiful job stitching the sampler. She also does her own framing. Denise, I hope you enjoyed stitching this sampler and that you now enjoy having it on the wall of your dining room.

The original sampler belongs to my friend Moira Brown, who asked if Tom and I would like to reproduce it. Of course, we said “yes!”

The sampler was already conservation framed, so we chose our colors from the front of the piece. Besides the chart, the product package includes a photograph of the antique sampler and also an essay on Scottish samplers that Moira wrote for us.

Thanks, Denise, for sending photos of your completed Agnes Scott for my blog.


Lily said...

Ellen, thanks for posting this sampler. I'd love to stitch it for my son and DIL who were in Scotland this summer.
Does Moira brown still have a shop?
Thanks for your interesting blog. I enjoy reading it.

woolwoman said...

Hi Ellen - I loved hearing Denise's story of stitching Agnes. It is a wonderful sampler and you did an awesome job with the repro and Denise did a great job with the stitching. Denise is one of the many wonderful people I have met along on my journey in the sampler world. I visited the Sampler Shop when in New Bedford last summer for the sampler symposium - brought back fond memories of a great trip - another enjoyable time with good friends. Mel

Margaret said...

This is yet another piece I want to stitch someday. It's so beautiful -- I love Denise's story! And her version is just lovely.

AlessandraLace said...

cool!!really amazing!!! hugs

Anonymous said...

ooo so lovely sampler

Michele said...

I am currently working on this sampler. I cannot quite tell from this picture or from the chart about the direction of the satin stitches on the floral band or the green and white columns by the fence. Do the stitches go in the direction the lines are on the chart, or are those lines drawn in different directions to show where the individual colors go. Let me know if I did not explain m questions well.

MM said...

Very cool. I actually attended Agnes Scott College located in Decatur, GA! (Named for the Scottish mother of the man who founded the school in 1889)