Wednesday 1 January 2014

Happy New Year From The Boy In Blue

The text on this sampler of 1900 reads: An English Ship An English Crew Parents be Proud of Your Boy In Blue When This You See Remember Me When I Am Far Away From Thee. I presume this was stitched by a male. It was often a problem on boats, particularly those at sea for any length of time, to keep boredom at bay and to stop the men from quarrelling and fighting. Traditional remedies included perpetual scrubbing of decks and cleaning jobs, carrying out war manoeuvres. Sometimes plays were performed. Of course, there was always mending to be done which required thread and needle, so it is not impossible to conceive of men stitching to pass the time peaceably, is it? I am particularly fond of jigsaws over the Christmas and New Year holidays - so my wish to you in 2014 is Just Peace Together.


  1. Love that sampler and your thoughts upon men off at sea possibly stitching. As a male stitcher, I particularly like the idea of men who were comfortable enough in their own skin to take needle and thread to create something lasting and beautiful. Best wishes to you for a happy, healthy New Year.

  2. Charming sampler. I'm curious to know in which collection this is found. Thanks.

  3. Kevin, there are a number of examples of men's stitching related to the sea. In particular their shore going clothes which were decorated hugely and survived because they weren't worn that often. As a sailor and a stitcher I love these stitched artifacts too.