Recently, I've seen revived interest in the Marquoir Mystery Sampler. This design was produced in nine parts by Passion Broderie. People who stitched the sampler as the segments were released had no idea what the finished piece would look like. That was the mystery. For those who waited and stitched the sampler once all of the parts were published, there was no mystery. However the sampler is still called the Marquoir Mystery Sampler.
One year (I think it was 2006), my sampler guild, The Queen City Sampler Guild, decided that we would stitch this sampler as our annual project. It was loads of fun.
Click here to see the original design. My version is an adaptation that I created to tell the "story of my life in stitches". Instead of doing the nine parts that were in the original design, I reduced mine to six (two rows with three parts in each row). Here's my finished sampler.
I stitched the borders and the center two parts pretty much as they were originally charted. Here's a close-up of the left side of the sampler.
At the top are my parents next to my baby carriage. My father is dressed in black because he was an Episcopal minister and often wore black clericals. Although I didn't stitch as a child, I decided to add a child's sampler since sampler stitching is so important to me. I was born in June so I decided to stitch "June" on the little sampler. To the right of this little sampler is my sampler guild's logo, a crown with a needle going through it.
Below my parents I stitched an orange tree because I grew up in Florida where they are so common. In fact, the orange blossom is the Florida's state flower. Next to the tree is one of the dogs I had growing up. The three children are my brother, Frank, my sister, Evelyn, and me on the far right.
The figures just below me as a child are Tom and me. The church represents the one in Orlando where we got married.
Below the numbers is the first house we owned in Cincinnati. (I took the liberty of adding a second chimney for balance.) Below the house is a ship with Tom and me as we begin our journey together. The lighthouse is similar to one in St. Augustine, Florida. St. Augustine is halfway between Orlando, my childhood home, and Jacksonville, where Tom was raised.
And here is the right side of the sampler.
Our story continues in the lower right corner. The little black dog represents our first dog, Pippin. Above Pippin, are our children, Carolyn and Stephen. Each is next to a baby carriage. Above their baby carriages are our Sheltie, Maggie and our cat, Muffin. To the left of the numbers is our current home where we have lived since 1986. (Again, I took the liberty of adding a second chimney for balance.)
The upper right corner represents travel--places we have been and places we want to visit. To the left of Tom and me is a windmill representing The Netherlands. To our right is a generic castle. Below us is a country church. And to the right of that is the Eiffel Tower. At the time I stitched this sampler I wrote that I had been to Paris twice but had yet to see the Eiffel Tower in person, because all I had seen of Paris was the Paris airport--twice. Luckily, a couple of years ago we were able to properly visit Paris, and I even went up in the Eiffel Tower.
I hope you've enjoyed this look back in time as much as I have enjoyed preparing this blog post.