Monday, January 2, 2012

Grandma Hootie's Girlhood Needlework Sampler

One of the most unique Christmas presents I received this year was from my sister-in-law, Sarah Larson.  The antique needlework sampler, pictured above, was made by Sarah's maternal grandmother, known to all her grandchildren as Grandma Hootie, about 100 years ago. Sarah's mother had kept it since Hootie's death several years ago, and after Sarah's mother died, it was passed on to Sarah.


The more I study this piece, the more intrigued I am.  I am guessing Hootie was probably 8 or 9 years old (just learning cursive) at the time she made the sampler.   I love the girlish printing and cursive mix, written in pencil, to identify each of the stitches she practiced.  She had some difficulty spelling "feather."  And Hootie clearly loved pink.  Most of her practice rows and her monogram in the center of the piece are all worked in pink floss.


Who was Hootie's teacher, I wonder?   Was it her mother or grandmother, or was she in a needlework class? There are "utility" stitches as well as embroidery stitches:  a bound buttonhole, two types of hand-worked buttonholes, and three types of hemming stitches.  But there are many embroidery stitches, and three sections with cutwork or open work designs.   What a treasure!

What was your most unique or unexpected gift this holiday season?



LeAnn aka pasqueflower


  1. That is an awesome gift! What a cool sister-in-law to have passed this heirloom on to you! Happy New Year!

  2. What a treasure! And a little piece of history :)

  3. I love this. definitely a treasure.

  4. Oh, how lucky you are to have such a unique and inspiring piece of needlework!

  5. Very cool! I love family treasures. My daughter made me a piece she saw on Pinterest. She painted a board aqua (my fav color) after masking off the word "home" and pounded tacks in the shape of my home state South Dakota with another nail heart around my hometown Redfield and she did that old fashioned string art with white cotton thread. The state shape is all string "rays" and the heart is open and she removed the tape to leave the word Home in natural wood on the bottom. Very cool!