Mini Ackworth Sampler

Date: 4/9/2006
Time: 1:30-4:00
Type: Meeting
Location: Glen Ellyn Library
Teacher: LMSG-Katie Simmer

Katie Simmer is presenting a workshop – the mini Ackworth sampler shown at the right.

In December 2006, a book by Carol Humphrey on the Ackworth School samplers and a CD-ROM of the entire sampler collection at the school will be released. In anticipation of both events, we will be stitching a miniature bellpull incorporating a few of the motifs typical of the Ackworth School.

The design is 2 inches wide by 8 inches long and is worked entirely in cross stitch. It is stitched on 32-count flax Belfast linen using 9 colors of DMC. Finishing instructions and bellpull hardware are included in the kit. Kit cost – $10. Deadline is March 12th.

Click on the picture for a larger image.


Before our program, some business items were discussed. Our membership chair, Jean Lieberman announced that the 2006
membership directory has been mailed. If you didn’t receive one, contact Jean. We have two new members
since the directory was printed, so Jean made printed labels to add them to the directory. Please see Jean
at the next meeting if you didn’t receive your additional labels.

We had a positive report from our treasurer, Katie Simmer. The board is considering ideas for a
charitable donation. The ideal case would be a donation to a smaller museum in the midwest to conserve
some type of needlework. If you have any suggestions, please contact Susan Balsai.

Elaine Hoagland, our program chair, reminded everyone that we will have a picnic in June at Susan’s
house. The meetings in July and August will be at the Buehler YMCA in Palatine. We hope to be back at the
Glen Ellyn Library in September. We won’t know the meeting locations for the fall meetings until July.

Our program was presented by Katie Simmer. She and her Phine Phriends produced a fantastic kit for
our enjoyment. We sure have talented members! The packaging on the kit was very creative, much
more impressive than most of the kits you buy. The thread was attached to a professionally printed card
through little heart shaped holes. All materials were packaged in a cellophane bag topped with a linen
printed paper tied with a pretty ribbon.

Katie told us the design of the kit was based on patterns from the Ackworth school which is still in
operation today in York, England. This Quaker school was founded in 1777 and both boys and girls attended. The students
were taught language, writing arithmetic and religion. The girls would have classes in needlework
while the boys studied science.

A girl would make four types of samplers while she attended the school: an alphabet sampler in simple
roman style letters, a darning sampler, an extract sampler containing a verse from the Bible and
a medallion sampler. The medallion sampler is often associated with the Quakers, but did not have a specific
purpose. The patterns were not used to decorate linens or clothes. They seemed to be an exercise in
geometry. Following the Quaker tradition, some were in stitched in a single color, others were polychrome, but never in bright colors.

The kit was original in both design and packaging. We were all very impressed. Thanks to Katie
and her Phine Phriends for the work they did to provide an entertaining and enjoyable afternoon for all thoses who attended.

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