Thursday 19 July 2012

New Zealand Greetings - The Wyndham Sampler

Greetings to stitchers and those waiting in the cold for a bus in New Zealand, we here are growing gills and acclimatizing to a sub aquatic existence, which may mean we start to look as verdant as our lawns! Just so everyone is entirely clear - New Zealand has a thriving sampler and stitching society, with active researchers like well-loved Vivien Caughley, and fabulous stores like Heirlooms in Napier. Samplers travelled easily and lightly with those crossing the globe for a new life, as evidenced by this stunning sampler from the Wyndham and District Historical Museum in NZ, which was likely stitched by Mary Meikle in 1836. It is probable that Mary was born to Robert Meikle and Sarah McPherson in Lanarkshire, Scotland. Robert's name is worked in black, the custom being that he was deceased at the time of stitching. In fact, Sarah went on to marry Andrew Wilson in 1826, who would have become Mary's step-father. I particularly like the variation on the dedication: I have done this to let you see how kind my parents were to me. Which feels a little less remote than the usual - what good care my parents took of me. This is such a fabulous Scottish sampler with its large thistle, cupped garlands, row of family initials and the distinctive paired urns in the lower corners. But not only that, there are two darling confronting birds perched on a heart over the word Amor - Love. And look at the labelled deer and lepord. And for good measure, at the base is a Solomon's Temple above which the date stands with its quirky reversal of the numeral 3. For your copy of this sampler contact Sherelyn at Heirlooms, NZ or visit the Heirlooms web-site.


  1. Fascinating! I have a sampler dated 1833 which is so very very similar to this one having been worked my a young woman near Lesmahagow in Lanarkshire Scotland. Maybe they worked from the same pattern book or had the same needlework teacher? I'll have to go to Wyndham one day and have a look. I'm researching for a blog i'm writing about mine.
    Donald, Dunedin, New Zealand