Saturday, December 1, 2012

Getting to Know Mary and Her Family

Shortly after my last posting, I heard from Kathy Lesieur, who is quite an authority on southeastern Pennsylvania samplers, particularly those from Berks and Montgomery County.  Kathy recently curated an exhibit at the Mercer Museum in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.  Kathy kindly shed some more light on Mary Katz whose sampler I recently stitched. 

Kathy wrote, How funny to see one of my girls from the exhibit at the Mercer. Mary Katz was actually from Montgomery County, not Bucks. She was born in the Barren Hill area of Whitemarsh, near Chestnut Hill. Her sister, Sarah's sampler and Sarah's daughter, Ann Catharine Streeper's samplers were featured in Vol. 2 of Finkel's "Samplings". Sarah's sampler is very similar to Mary's, but her bird is sitting on her rose tree. Their father owned a paper mill on the Wissahickon Creek and was one of the founders of St. Peter's Lutheran Church. He was also a trustee of the Barren Hill School. I don't have any information on the school, so I don't know if any of the girls stitched their samplers there.

I looked through my collection of old issues of Samplings and discovered I don't have Volume 2.  However, thanks to the kindness of Amy Finkel (M. Finkel & Daughter), here is a photo of Mary's sister Sarah's sampler.

It was a challenge, but I think Kathy and I have figured out Sarah's verse.
Sara Katz her hand and work this I leave to you when I lie buried deep in the dust and all my boans are rotten this you may see for to remember me for fear  I may be forgotten

Mary stitched her sampler in 1799 when she was 17 years old.   Her younger sister, Sarah, stitched her sampler in 1805 when she was 18 years old.

I found it fun to compare and contrast the two sisters' samplers. Mary's sampler (which I showed you in my previous blog post) is nearly square, but Sarah's is rectangular. Both samplers have a strawberry border.  Mary stitched a few of her strawberries in queen stitches, but Sarah used only cross stitches on all of hers.  Both girls stitched almost identical figures and a large parrot.  You may remember from my last posting that Mary's parrot was on the back of a chair; Sarah's is on top of the large floral and strawberry motif.  Mary stitched her floral and strawberry motif using just cross stitches; Sarah used queen stitches on her strawberries.

Sarah Katz married Leonard Streeper in 1809.  Below is a photo of the sampler that their daughter, Ann Catherine, stitched in 1836 when she was 10 years old (in her 11th year).  Perhaps she didn't want to be outdone by her mother and aunt, as she stitched two of those parrots!  Ann lived to the age of 93.

Kathy also told me about an exciting upcoming event.  On May 17 and 18, 2013, the Schwenfelder Library and Heritage Cennter in Pennsburg, Pennsylvania will hold its first Penn Dry Goods Market.  The event will include an antique textile show and sale with approximately 20 dealers, lectures, classes, and a Pennsylvania Dutch Dinner with the Dealers.  Boy, does that sound wonderful!  Kathy will keep me posted as more details are available, and I'll post the information in my newsletter.


Theresa Baird said...

Hello Ellen,

Thanks so much for sharing all the information. I was privileged enough to be able to see the Exhibit at the Mercer Museum with my friend, Ann. It was a wonderful treat for the eyes -- lots of pinballs and beautiful Pennsylvania German, Quaker and other samplers. Next door to the Needlework Exhibit, they had an apron exhibit. It was so interesting to see the aprons on display and really took me back to the 50's when aprons were always worn and many had the fruit motifs (especially cherries) and plaid borders. Thanks again for sharing Ellen.

Heart's Ease Examplar Workes

Margaret said...

So interesting! And so much fun to see the samplers of Mary's sister and niece!

Patti-Rocky Mtn Stitcher said...

WOw how wonderful!! The sampler is beautiful and to become personal withit makes it even more special. Like Margaret Cottam. My husbands family is from Clithiroe so was exciting to stitch something close to home.

Poussy Stitches My Love said...

Very beautiful ...

marylin from FRANCE

Karoline said...

So interesting to see the family of samplers.

Congratulations on finishing Mary