Tuesday, June 13, 2023

June 2023 Meeting

And they keep coming - great DVHSG Meetings that is.    Our meeting was called to order by President Linda D. and the normal announcements and reports were made.

Treasurer’s Report was given.  Membership is presently at 173 paid members.   At today’s meeting we welcoming an additional 5 members as well as a guest who was checking out DVHSG.   We hope she enjoyed it and wants to become a member.  

The Treasurer’s Report included the balance in the Conservation Fund.  Linda gave a brief overview of  the Conservation Fund to the new members.   The Guild takes donations as well as a portion of member dues to set aside for conservation.   Each year, applications are accepted and reviewed by the Conservation Committee.   The Committee evaluates the project and makes a recommendation to the Guild as to their selection.    In the past, we have donated to historic societies and museum from Connecticut to North Carolina, such as but not limited to, MESDA, Chester County Historic Society, Gloucester County Historic Society and Winterthur.

Existing member, Lisa D., shared her Floss Tube handle - Lady Huzzah Presents.   Check out her first Floss tube.

Program Coordinator outlined upcoming meetings -

- July - Zoom - Linda Stolz of Erica Michaels Designs - Discussion and tour or home and studio.

- August - Zoom - Jennifer Richardson of Violets and Verses, discussion on Shaker Samplers with options to purchase patterns at a discount through the end of August.  Flyers for sign up will be included in your newsletter.

- September - In person - Michelle of Michelle Ink will treat us to her wonderful silver works.  Michelle offers high quality reclaimed silver in a moldable form.  She will explain the process and share options.  Participants will then we able to ‘mold’ silver into charms, needle minders, strawberry toppers and more.  Michelle takes all the molded silver her studio to prep for firing, polishing, etc. and will return directly to participants via US Mail in 6 to 8 weeks.  Flyer for sign up will be included in your newsletter.

- October - In Person - Annual Garage Sale - Members bring charts, notions, etc. to sell.   The Guild encourages members to donate a portion of proceeds from sales to the Conservation Fund.  At the end of the sale, any items not sold and that the owner doesn’t want to hold on to, will be boxed up and taken to Fireside Stitchery for eBay sales.  Great bargains and unicorn charts can be found!

- November - Zoom - Janis Note of Noteworthy Needle will be designing a Thimble Box for DVHSG.   The project will be kitted and offered for pre-stitch.  The meeting will be a demonstration on assembling the stitched piece.   Watch for the flyer for sign up for the complete kit.

Sample of the thimble box - this is her July Birthday Thimble Box

- December  - In Person - Annual Holiday Brunch and Exchange.   Stitched smalls with a sampler theme are exchanged on a voluntary basis.   Whether you decide to participate or not, this is always one of our best attended meetings.   Good food and great eye candy looking as all the exchange pieces. 

- January - Zoom - Members share any needlework related gift items they received.   We also will showcase pieces stitched throughout the year from current Designer of the Year, Plum Street Samplers.   A new designer of the year will be chosen for 2024.  

- February - Zoom - Our 2024 SAL - Hummingbird Sampler, from Samplers Not Forgotten, will start.   A schedule will be provided for the monthly goals to complete the piece by February of 2025.  Flyer to sign up for the kitted sampler will be in an upcoming newsletter.

- March - TBD

- April - In Person - Jackie duPlessis of It’s Fineally Finished will teach one of her samplers.   More information will follow.

We will be launching a “Secret Stitcher”  year long group.   Participation is voluntary.   Parameters will be shared.   The basic idea is you will get the name of a fellow guild members and several times a year you will send that stitcher ‘trinkets’ while remaining anonymous.  More information will be coming.  We hope to launch this in July.

Nomination Committee - Members were asked of their interest to sit on the Nomination Committee for this year’s officer election.   Positions open this year are President and Secretary.  

Today’s Program

We were treated to a wonderful presentation on Bristol Samplers by Kim Young of Sassy Jacks Stitchery in Asheville, NC.  Kim has a vast knowledge of Bristol Samplers having visited the George Muller Orphanage in England.  Kim acknowledged Claudia Dutcher of Dutch Treat Designs, an authority in Bristol Samplers, who accompanied Kim on both her trips to the orphanage.   Claudia and Kim each own several Bristol Samplers.  

What is a Bristol Sampler?  These are samplers that were part of the studies of orphans in this Bristol Orphanages from the years 1836 when the first 30 orphans were taken in my George and his wife Mary.  By 1849, they opened their first ‘house for orphans, housing as many as 400 per house.  By 1870, they had constructed 4 more similar houses on the site, Ashley Down Orphanage north of Bristol, England.  Over 18,000 children passed through Ashley Downs.   The records at the orphanage are exceptional and if you believe you have a Bristol Sampler they will be glad to do the research to see if the stitcher lived in Ashley Down.

At the time the Muller’s started orphans tended to go to homes for founding which we not more than workhouses and per George, entirely inadequate.   Although run with Christian principals, there was no religious discrimination.   The criteria was that children needed to be born in wedlock, one or both parents deceased and the child had not family capable of taking them in.   Muller, from Germany, patterned his application process similar to what he observed in Germany.  

The Mullers did not solicit donations but rather felt “God will provide”.  Each child was taught to read, write and learn a skill for later employment.  Boys were did learn to sew but their focus was learning ‘outside’ skills.    As was the fashion of  the time, needlework became a girls resume of her skills.  Wealthy people often sent their laundry out and needed someone skilled in stitching to mark their clothing and linens to identify them.  

Bristol Samplers are most commonly stitched in red on was we presume as bed linens or 70 count fabric.   They used what they had.   There are green as well as multicolor samplers but the red are definitely the more common.  Bristol Samplers consist of several rows of alphabets, numbers and common motifs.   Bibles, crowns, birds, keys are often found on Bristol Samplers.  Sets of initials and numbers stitched in the alphabet area referred to the initials of siblings and friends and the numbers refer to their bed numbers.   Other than religious samplers, motifs were just for learning.   Needlework was an outward display of social status and the presumption was a good needleworker would make a good wife, good housekeeper, etc.  

The until colored samplers are thought to have been done by the more advanced or interested stitcher.

Many of the samplers have been charted.   

    Harriet Salt, Hands Across the Sea, original on 70, stitched with red thread (not silk)

    Margaret Churchill, charted, similar to Harriet Salt but includes building, bed number and house number.

    M. H. Smith, charted by Claudia Dutcher, a ‘tic-tac-toe’ ;about including the Bristol Squirrel.  


    Mary Ellen User, 1873 - Charted by Sassafras Samplers (Sassy Jack’s) - Alice Ellen lived to be 80 years old.  Her sampler includes alphabets, numbers, Roman numerals, initials, bible, bands and corner motifs.  

 Phots found on internet through search on stitcher’s name from various sites including by not limited to Claudia Dutcher, Sasssy Jack’s and M. Fickle and Daughter.

Kim will be providing a flyer to share will all members of DVHSG not just those in attendance of the meeting.  The flyer will include a 15% discount code for Sassy Jack’s until the end of June.  She will also be including the Red February Sampler from her SAL last year.  

As for her brick and mortar store, she hopes all the permitting issues will be resolved and open for in person patrons by August.  

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