Thursday 27 May 2010

Quaker Bright!

A dear friend emailed me today and happened to mention in passing how bright she thought the pinks were for Sarah Harris' sampler. It is true - and you can probably see yourself from the pictures that this is not a subdued palette. But it has me asking myself, why is it that we seem to expect samplers to be mellow in colour and also harmonious in the selection of colour? Sometimes when I am able to inspect the reverses of old samplers, I am literally groping for sun glasses, the colours are so bright and, one might almost say, dissonant. On some samplers, particular those of Friesland, it appears as though colour threads were just picked at random with no thought for the overall design. And I had the same feeling when looking closely at Sarah Harris, there too it seemed as though threads had been pulled with apparent serendipity. On this Quaker sampler we have both sides of the coin together - bright clashing pinks and reds with more muted and serene olives and greys offering areas for the eyes' repose. It is much brighter than we would expect a Quaker to be. So perhaps we need to revise our expectations and start thinking Quaker-bright! And how about a Trifle from Sheffield? Perhaps there is someone from from Sheffield who knows of a Quaker school in their city - we would love to hear.


  1. I'm sure everyone *made do* and used whatever they had in their stash. No nipping to the local stitching shop to pick up exactly the right thread!

  2. I wonder if bright colours were chosen because this was the only outlet the girls had for colour and design?

  3. Ohh, those colours look lovely together.
    When I started Sarah Harris, I thought the colours were mad! But I stuck with them, because it made for such a nice change. I honestly believe I have never, in all my stitching life, used these pinks, but why on earth not? They look vibrant!