Friday, July 13, 2012

...a sampler tale

Mr. Mugwump is not big on shopping. His biggest purchase most years is a new pair of running shoes. We have been married a long time so I usually spare him the shopping dilemma. Christmas, birthday...anniversary...I find something I like...he wraps it up. Not very romantic, it works for us and we are a pretty unconventional trio anyway. 

The sampler above is...a pending gift. I need some input from my wise and knowledgable blogger friends. This is an antique sampler...finally found one that didn't require a second mortgage. It is silk on silk and is dated July 21, 1818. It has been"preserved" on a sticky cardboard of some prevent future loss. My question is...who do I take this to for framing? My local needle shop? Michaels? I do not live in or near a big city with lots of fabulous framers. My selection is limited.
Any info would be most appreciated.

Oh, if you see Mr. M. don't tell him about the sampler. He doesn't know he's giving it to me fact, he hasn't even seen it...and I want him to be surprised!!!

I'll add a few more's a lovely sampler, but very fragile. It has a robin on it!

...looks like a robin to me.

I'll try to get some better pictures and post them next week. I took these in a hurry and omitted some of the great motifs.


Thank you for all the kind concern for Annie and her ear. She is feeling better and is her old self again. Your comments mean a great deal to me. Thank you.

Have a great weekend...stay safe.

Enjoy the day,


  1. Hi Robyn.... Hmmmm... I don't know where you would go for the framing of that beautiful sampler, but I do know that I LOVE it!! What a fabulous find, and a great present for yourself! Enjoy!!

  2. Hi Robyn, that red house just about made my heart skip a beat! I bet it's a wonderful sampler. I'll be honest, most of my antiques came framed, and I haven't re-framed them. I would be very careful about going to a place like Michael's though. I doubt if they have the skill or knowledge to preserve something that potentially fragile. Even if you needed to send it off somewhere, I would still go with a frame shop that has experience in this sort of thing.
    BTW, your gift giving situation is exactly like mine :)

  3. Robyn,
    What a wonderful sampler and a great gift from Hubby :) I would check around for people in your area who specialize in that type of thing for framing. Could you ask friends who they have gone to in the past? I hope you can find someone who recognizes the fragile nature. It will be well worth it!
    Glad Annie is feeling better! What a sweetie you have there!!
    Thank-you for your kindness and sweet words on my blog today too!
    Blessings and hugs!!
    Cathy G

  4. Robyn, I don't have any information for you on the sampler - sorry. If you do find someone to take care of it, will you post your findings? I have an antique family sampler that needs to be reframed and I'm hesitant about having it done.

    I love the fact that you shop for yourself. 2 years ago at Christmas I found a little snowman candle holder that I wanted, but felt guilty about just buying it in the midst of Christmas gift shopping. I ended up buying it, brought it home, wrapped it up and put "to mom" on the tag. Christmas morning I profusely thanked the kids and my husband - all 4 of them saying " I didn't buy that". Thank goodness I have a daughter who started laughing, saying "mom!".

    Have a great weekend. ~Ann

  5. Robyn, love the sampler.
    You and I have something in common...I shop for myself as well =)
    I find that's the best way to get exactly what I want!

    I didn't have a good experience with Michael's framing it would not be my choice.
    Good luck in finding just the right framer for you.


  6. Ooooooh, looks wonderful!!!!! Congratulations -- I love it! I'm afraid I'm no help with the framing issue. Good luck -- I'm sure someone out there will be able to help you out.

  7. Wow, I think that the sampler is beautiful!!! Framing is always hard when they are such odd sizes sometimes. I have had a little success with getting just plain wooden frames made to the size that I need. Not sure if Michael's will do that or not. It then has to be painted, but even black paint isn't too bad!! I feel your pain! I have several that I need to get to work on. I am planning to try to cut down an old frame. Not sure how that will work, but a friend's husband does it for her all the time! Maybe he can help me. If I get the instructions, I will pass them on! Good luck!
    Hope you are having a great summer!

  8. That is an absolutely GORGEOUS sampler Robyn!! Oh, I'm so, so, jealous!!! The colors are especially nice and early, and a Robin to boot! And RED!!!! (Did I say I was jealous?? Well, I am...but in the bestest of ways....) I have a (smallish) collection of old samplers....and most have come framed adequately (and I was promised, on acid-free backing), but I have had to have a few done. We have no one with that expertise even remotely close (there are such folk, but they are 4 hours away, and we don't travel much these days). But, I do have a framer that I have come to trust...she is not "archival," but she is careful - and she knows to use acid free backings, low UVA glass, etc. I would DEFINITELY not do a Michaels.... Sorry.... Professional framing is going to be more expensive, but that is so worth it. The only regret I have with my "regular" framer is that she doesn't have access to authentic period frames (and neither do I)....She can replicate some, obviously, but it's not quite the same....Wishing you the best of luck. (Pending gift??? Does someone have a birthday coming up or what???) Mr. Mugwump did good!! Smiles & Hugs ~ Robin

  9. I like your gift giving method. As for the framing, I used to mount needlework for a framer and that sticky backing board may have to be replaced. For framing we always used spacer strips of acid free mount board. I would contact a few professionals online with your questions, such as or for help. Maybe they can give you information to relay to a framer.

  10. I use to frame my cross stitches at Joann's. Under glass, I would have them do spacers. Hope our comments help you out. Take care, Janice

  11. I'm not a pro but I have had a lot of working with samplers etc. I do antique reproduction samplers. I would NOT go to Michaels. I don't think they would know how to handle such a precious piece. By the way it's beautiful!!! I would go to a very good framer and someone that works with needleart. Probably your local needlework shop could point you in the right direction. You want this done right and preserved as best they can. I'm on the fence about glass. If you do get glass make sure they definately put spaces in. That's a big thing to get. I have several samplers, some no glass and some with glass. I honestly can't say that there is a huge difference for me. I do not get the non glare glass only becuase I was told there is a chemical on that glass that can do some damage over time. One nice thing about glass is cleaning. The sampler won't get dusty under the glass. The nice thing about not having glass is the detail and 3 dimensional work. I did a lot of silk on silk gauze work and those I do have under glass. After all the work and hours and materials I put into a piece I then don't get cheap and get a cheap frame and just stick it in. I always get my things professionally framed and I have one source I use all the time, but that does you no help. I would take my time and find a framer that is familiar with framing textiles like this and know how to respect them. Just don't go to Michaels! I wish you luck and would love to see it when it's completed. Beautiful piece!!! Make sure the framer knows the fragility of the piece. This isn't just a quick piece of stitching on Aida. Good Luck!!


  12. Hi
    I love the sampler. Will be a great gift for you :) Thank you for visiting my site