Some history from the past, for a great event of the (next) future

Einführungsdatum: 21/01/2012
Hi everybody there!
First of all, let me tell you that the post you're just about to read... Is going to end on Monday! Yes, just like a fiction, let's put it this way Though with nothing unreal: it's all true!!! Both the beginning you're going to find here below and what you're going to find out on right on Monday!
So, let's go and... Make yourself at home
I've written so many times, just here in our blog, how I'm a "pure cross stitcher", though many of you know me mainly as the quilter of Casa Cenina Cross stitch is definitely my first love, in the world of craft, and it's also the one I always choose, again and again, over and over, whenever I need to relax and get away from everyday "rave". Like probably many of you, I'm a self-taught stitcher. After all, another definition that perfectly fits me is that of "daughter of progress": I love the Internet and I've "exploited" it at most to learn, both as far as cross stitch and a whole lot of other things are concerned!
Nevertheless, it is just in the colored industry of needlework that old-time girls, too - who, of course, could not rely on all the media we can now count on and, even less, had access to education - could anyway take advantage of quite a powerful training: that offered by samplers, from the latin "exemplum", meant as "something to be imitated" According to what has been reconstructed by our dear friend Maria Concetta Ronchetti on the history of this kind of needlework, the first written reference to samplers was found in the pages of an accounting book of the year 1502 and belonging to the court of Elizabeth of York, the wife of King Henry VII, where the price of a "linen cloth to be used for a sampler for the Queen" was noted.
However, stitching small images or "points de marque" on a cloth, as an exercise of style, is something that's always existed and it's documented on some ancient Egyptian archeological finds. But it was only at the beginning of the 16th century, that samplers acquired an actual name, as showed by the above-mentioned book
The most ancient sampler that has come to us is called "Jane Bostocke Sampler", it dates back to 1598 and can be seen at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. This little masterpiece was stitched to celebrate the birth of a baby girl called Alice Lee, two years earlier (and this also gives us an idea of how long it took, to stitch this sampler... A matter of fact that, after all, hasn't changed so much in modern times, has it? ) and her author - Jane Bostocke exactly - was a cousin of the newborn and was buried in a village not far from the family's house, where she most probably lived too. The figurative elements in the upper part of the sampler echoed the crests of the family and served as reference point for more or less skilled stitchers, just as in the best sampler tradition, where samplers aimed mainly at being a reliable way to "measure" the ability of their stitchers
And, in fact, from the 17th century on, with the increasing spread and circulation of needlework books and models, samplers started to enter more and more into the role of "samples" of the skill of their stitchers, originating the appearance of new patterns, alphabets and even decorative stitches, such as split stitch, chain stitch, blanket and cross stitch, together with hem stitch and other complex stitches... But this story goes on and, believe me, the best is yet to come!!!
So, hear from me after the weekend and a big hug to you all

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