Finished embroidery: a new doll’s house sampler kit in the ‘Ackworth school’ style

The sampler frame measures two by two and a quarter inches, and the sampler itself is stitched on 32 count evenweave fabric

This is the third sampler design that is being featured as a giveaway chart in Dolls House World magazine (the March issue, number 222), which is on sale now. If you get yourself a copy, you can stitch the design from the colour block chart included in the magazine. You’ll need a piece of 32 count evenweave fabric, a size 26 tapestry needle, and some Anchor stranded cotton.

This is the cover of Dolls House World this month, so look out for it!

If you prefer to buy the full kit from me (which includes a stained and varnished wooden picture frame, to mount the sampler in), then you can take advantage of the special offer in the magazine to get 25% off the usual kit price. Just quote the Discount Offer Code listed in the magazine when you buy online from my website, and you can buy the sampler kit for £6 instead of £7.95.

This ‘Ackworth’ style of sampler is much more unusual than the ‘band sampler’ type, or ones with a phrase or saying on them stitched in rows that we usually see. The Ackworth school was opened in 1779 near Leeds, Yorkshire. It was a boarding school run by Quakers, taking in both boys and girls, where the girls were taught embroidery of a very distinctive kind. The surviving samplers from this school have in recent years become very collectable, due to the unusual way that the girls stitched their sampler designs. Rather than the more common designs of the time, where lines of alphabets and numerals took pride of place, they used a method of stitching medallions freehand on the fabric, which gives a very pleasing, but naïve, look to the samplers. It is thought that this was a way to teach them about mathematics, particularly fractions. The phrase ‘A Token of Love’ is taken from wording used on items made by Ackworth schoolgirls as gifts, but still using the same medallion style of decoration as on the samplers. I have interpreted this style for one twelfth scale, to make a sampler which would be suitable for any late Georgian or early Victorian doll’s house.

Kits for this design are available from my website


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