Sunday 22 November 2009

Jacqueline Hélin's Mary Wigham is Framed

Another wonderful Mary Wigham adventure is safely home and framed beautifully. This time by Jacqueline Hélin in France. (You can see more images of her sampler on her blog.) When Carol Humphrey and I first studied the Ackworth School samplers around 5 years ago now, we hazarded guesses about how long they would have taken to complete, given that they were stitched in the girls' spare moments. So all your Mary Wigham's have contributed to understanding just what degree of time commitment might have been involved. We must factor in to some extent that the new samplers have been worked from an existing chart and in all probability there would not have been a chart for the original. But on the other hand, many of you have created stitched variations, the design of which is also time-consuming. You might like to consider what other factors would have affected the elapsed time taken, such as available daylight and candlelight. How comfortable would you have felt stitching by candlelight? Have you ever stitched by candlelight? It would be very interesting to hear your experiences.


  1. Another wonderful Mary! This is the sampler that never ends, and I, for one, am very glad! Even though I have moved on to other projects, it`s so much fun to keep coming back and seeing more beautiful Marys. C`est magnifique!

    I have tried...emphasis on stitch by candlelight and kerosene lantern when the power has failed during a storm. It is very tiring on the hour and I had to quit. I don`t know how they did it!

  2. Oh, I would love to read people's experiences stitching by candlelight. I think it would be extremely difficult. I was in Williamsburg a few years ago, and came across a young woman stitching by an upstairs window in one of the houses I toured. She had to be right by the window, as it wasn't a very bright day and the house was quite dark. Of course, she had "young eyes", so could see better than I would have been able to. And the Ackworth scholars would also have young eyes. Still, I'd think that candlelight would play lots of tricks on you.


  3. So much more power to those girls. Of course having 10 - 12 year old eyes as opposed to 65 year old eyes certainly would make a difference. Today I also need magnification to stitch on many of the things I do!
    Jacqueline, your sampler is lovely...I only hope mine turns out as nicely.

  4. I have tried to stitch in candlelight when the house I previously rent had the power off almost every night for almost a week. I have to agree that it is very tiring and I was afraid that if a quake happens then the candle will hit my piece (earthquake occurs more often these past years in my country — Indonesia, since the tsunami 2004).

    however, I got used to it after a few minutes, although I was still afraid about the quake and getting my piece burnt *laughs*. maybe it's the "young eyes factor"... I'm 22.

    I just visited this blog for the first time yesterday and would like to start working on the Mary Wigham soon. is it OK for being this late?

    I like this blog, it is very informative.

  5. It will be wonderful to have you join us stitching the Mary Wigham Sampler, Fei, everybody is now in different stages of the project - many are projecting a start of next year - so you will not be alone. Just email me by clicking on the Angel on the right hand side-bar whenever you need advice - I am always here to help - Jacqueline