• Do you love Genealogy? Why not write for us? we're looking for volunteers to write articles for Family history. Please contact us for further information.

Victorian cross stitch task

sue ault

Well-known member
Posts
187
Likes
0
Location
Boston, Lincs
#1
Hello all,
Many years ago I purchased a vitorian cross stitch sampler, it was in red so I am assuming it may have been completed in a workhouse. I was told once that workhouses only had the one colour cotton ?.
There is a childs name and age and a year on the sampler, I have tried on various occations ttried to see if I can find this little girl.

Her name on the cross stitch is Eliza Bullock Dalby, aged 8 1842.
I can find Eliza dalby's and Eliza Bullock's but no Eliza Bullock Dalby's.
The cross stitch was obtained at either Sleaford or Stamford Lincolnshire, I know this doesnt say the little girl lived in Lincolnshire.
Any one fancy a go at trying to find this little girl, just thought it could be a bit of intresting fun. :confused:
 
Posts
139
Likes
0
Location
Columbia, MO
#5
The sampler is most likely worked in only one color, red, as Redwork Embroidery was very popular at this time. Redwork also called Turkey Redwork used a colorfast red cotton dyed using a technique for dyeing cotton developed in Turkey, a technique still unknown today by the way. This colorfast (thus could be washed over and over with ease) red cotton thread, and the resulting Turkey Redwork became very popular in the mid 1800's in many places in Europe. (Earliest date I can find is 1830) It was a popular way of teaching basic embroidery as it used only basic stitches, less thread and so was perfect for teaching little girls. Up until the Turkey red, embroidery not done in expensive silks was either blackwork or white work both of which were far more complex and time consuming to achieve. Redwork was made especially popular by the Kensington School of Needlework to the point that the split stitch used in Redwork became known as the Kensington Stitch. Use of less thread, easy stitching, and affordable thread meant that more linens could be decorated and more levels of society could have pretty linens at home.

That said little girls from poorer families were taught to handsew early. Samplers were rather like the writing books children use today to learn how to make their letters and a final exam all rolled into one. If you think about it a good sampler might win a girl a good place in service. If not that I am sure there were perspective mother-in-laws very interested in a girl's sampler.

I would love to see a picture of the sampler you have. There is a lot to be told by not just her sewing skills but what she did on the sampler.

I have probably told you more than you ever wanted to know about embroidery. Sorry about that but it is a passion.

Cheers!
Rune
 

sue ault

Well-known member
Posts
187
Likes
0
Location
Boston, Lincs
#6
Hello Rune,
firstly thank you for the interesting infomation and I can understant it being a pashion of yours. My sister belongs to the cross stitch guild and has produced some beautiful samplers herself. I will take a photo of both samplers I have as both are victorian. I will try to upload them but technology and myself differ greatly. I have been trying to find infomation on this little girl, so when I post the photos maybe you will see something I may have misse in the cros stitch.



best wishes



Sue Ault :D
 
Posts
139
Likes
0
Location
Columbia, MO
#7
I am really looking forward to seeing these samplers. Do you know what sort of cloth they are worked on? I know it will be discolored but if there is a hem and you gently pull a bit of it apart you may have a chance to see the original color. That might help as well. I am guessing bleached cotton or linen would have been more pricey. I'll try to pick my weaving teachers brains on this.
Oh and I embroider, not cross stitch. If this is true Redwork it will not be cross stitched. Have you sister take a look at it. She'll be able to tell you lots.
 

duckweed

Loyal Member
Posts
3,078
Likes
5
Location
Sheffield
#8
A relative gave me a sampler that has been handed down through the family but I must confess I haven't done much research into it. It is not the best of embroidery. I feel perhaps her heart wasn't in it.

When I was a little girl I used to embroider Antimacassar sets for my grandmother. I suppose that was my equivalent of a sampler. Lazy daisy, chain stitch, stem stitch and satin stitch mainly. My mother bought the sets ready printed with the pattern. I just had to embroider them.
 
Posts
139
Likes
0
Location
Columbia, MO
#9
Antimacassar sets. Wow I haven't seen one of those for donkey's ages. I hated them as a child when given housekeeping chores to do. The stupid things were always falling off or wouldn't sit straight and I could see no reason for them at all.

Before you put yourself down as an embroiderer DW the stitches you said you used are the basis of some really wonderful work. There are incredible fiber artists who focus on use of those lovely simple stitches. Check out books by Diana Lampe. (My personal embroidery guru.)

The sampler you have sounds like a treasure. Perhaps the maker was one of those girls who hated practicing her needlework so just stabbed the cloth and worked up anything so she could get out and do something more interesting. You may have a look into one of your ancestors everyday life and personality.
 

Similar threads

Top