The Isle of Marken was once an island in the Zuider Zee, reputed for its fishing. The islanders had their own way of dress which did not include a coat - and so the people of Marken always called strangers 'coats'. Marken is now a tourist destination, not far from Amsterdam and you can visit the museum and see inside one or two of the old homes. Because the homes were small, the Marker women would finish their cleaning early and so have time left for knitting and stitching. Perhaps there is a lesson there for stitchers! The Marker stitched designs are very distinctive and many derive from very early Venetian patterns. This Tree of Life is found on many Marker Samplers and I hope you will enjoy stitching it - I hope I shall still find time to stitch while the family is here! Perhaps when you have enjoyed this sampler you might like to try the wonderful Sampler of Motifs from Marken by Margreet Beemsterboer.