Saturday 31 December 2011

The Earliest Quaker Sampler * New Needleprint Chart For Download * Elizabeth Pim 1729

This sampler is most remarkable because until it was noticed by Micheál & Elizabeth Feller in the Friends’ Historical Library in Dublin, the earliest known sampler presenting Quaker motifs was dated 1775 (Betty Ring Girlhood Embroidery Volume II, page 292). Strictly speaking a double sampler, since it is composed of two joined cloths which stand as designs in their own right, it is signed and initialled Elizabeth Pim for 1729, 1730 and 1731 - some 45 years earlier! The Pims are a notable County Laois family. John Pim arrived there in 1659. One family member, Sarah Pim Grubb was sister-in-law to another Sarah Grubb, née Tuke of York, famous for her founding of Clonmel School, her links to Philadelphia and her account of Ackworth School. By the early 1700s the Pims were well established and there are a number of candidate Elizabeths for the maker of this sampler. The most probable candidate is Elizabeth who in 1749 married George Newneham. This would explain the initials EN and the date 1750. Elizabeth Pim’s repertoire of motifs includes those we normally associate with Ackworth School in the UK, but in addition there are distinctive motifs that appear again on the later Sarah Harris example of 1786 It is interesting to note that although the left portion of the cloth is relatively plain, the right portion has the scattering of capital letters, so well known to us from Ackworth School samplers. Ireland has been relatively overlooked in the research into Ackworth School samplers. However, given that the Quaker school at Mountmellick was established there as early as 1677, and that boys were also taught to knit and that these motifs worked in wool were probably samplers of knitting patterns, then their origination in Ireland is something that should be seriously researched. Ireland was also the source of many migrants to the east coast of the USA which could explain why similar samplers have found a home there. You can work Elizabeth’s cloth as a single sampler - we have removed some of the empty linen between the two to bring the motifs closer together than on the original - or as two separate samplers. The entire work measures 307 stitches wide by 272 stitches long and when worked on 32 count linen results in a finished piece of 19.2” (49cm) wide x 17” (43cm) long. You will need to add a margin around all the edges. To work 2 panels allow for 160 by 272 stitches and 10” (25cm) x 17” (43cm) linen for each. Click here for more details.

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