Com­mon Threads

Pictures & Words Share Mean­ing in Sam­pler

Just Cross Stitch - - Contents - Ja­nis Lock­hart

Pictures & Words Share Mean­ing in Sam­pler

I n this third and last sec­tion of the Su­sanna Rambo 1836 Sam­pler, stitch­ers will cre­ate the bor­ders on the two sides and top of the sam­pler. If stitch­ers want to cre­ate a per­sonal sam­pler with this bor­der, they can sup­ply their own verses. Know­ing what the mo­tifs sym­bol­ize might help in cre­at­ing their po­etry.

All of the mo­tifs in the Su­sanna Rambo sam­pler serve to frame the sen­ti­ment that the young girl stitched in her par­ents' honor. The mo­tifs can be un­der­stood in re­la­tion to the verse: In this my par­ents love doth show For learn­ing on me they be­stow Then may I learn my God to fear And love them with a heart sin­cere Faith, love and right­eous­ness are ev­i­dent in these words as well as in the mo­tifs.

Crowns that ap­pear in sam­plers sym­bol­ize re­spect for a monar­chy, but they can ap­pear in sam­plers cre­ated in coun­tries with­out a monar­chy, such as in this Amer­i­can girl's sam­pler.

Crowns typ­i­cally de­note roy­alty, rank or no­bil­ity, es­pe­cially when stitched with ini­tials or a name near the crown. De­pend­ing on the sam­pler's coun­try of ori­gin, crowns can de­note sovereignty, fidelity, in­no­cence, faith or eter­nity.

At the bot­tom of the sam­pler there are two bas­kets of fruit, and the bas­ket in the cen­ter holds a bou­quet of flow­ers. The bas­ket of flow­ers rep­re­sents friend­ship, hope and love. A bas­ket of fruit can de­note health, hap­pi­ness and pros­per­ity.

At the sides of the sam­pler are straw­ber­ries on a vine. The straw­ber­ries are seen as a perfect fruit be­cause they have no thorns, pits or rinds. The berries de­note perfect right­eous­ness, an as­so­cia- tion with Christ. The vine stands for Je­sus Christ, also, in Chris­tian de­sign, as in the quotes, “I am the true vine …” ( John 15:1; “I am the vine …” John 15:5).

Whether you stitch the Su­sanna Rambo sam­pler as shown or you cre­ate a per­sonal sam­pler with Su­sanna's bor­der, it is good to know how the words and mo­tifs to­gether ex­press a co­he­sive mes­sage. The choice of words and sym­bols is a win­dow into the de­signer's mind and un­der­stand­ing of the world.


Sam­pler Mo­tifs and Sym­bol­ism by Pa­tri­cia An­drle and Les­ley Rud­nicki, Hill­side Sam­plings, 1st edi­tion 2003

Has­son, Janet S. “Ten­nessee Sam­pler Sur­vey” Ten­nessee Sam­ and www.Ten­nesseeStitch­

Hands Across The Sea Sam­plers, https://hands-across-the-sea-sam­

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