This traditional Scottish sampler was designed by The Scarlet Letter. It is composed of many traditional Scottish needlework motifs arranged in a classic late eighteenth century format employing characteristic colors and stitches. The Palladian style villa, two stories high with single storey additions on each side, appears on many Scottish samplers of this period.
Most buildings stitched on samplers are fictitious reflecting favored architectural styles of the time. In some cases the structures are identified on the sampler, but most of the time they follow a pattern subject to the maker's whimsy in choice of color and surrounding natural motifs such as birds, trees, flowers and animals. The house is almost always fronted by a broad expanse of lawn or garden surrounded by stone walls, or, in this case, a forest with a picket fence. The design of the trees- simple stacked diamond shapes resembling evergreens- is another common element on Scottish samplers, as is the octagon with a motto surrounding a thistle (the motto here is "The Arms of Scotland"). The arcaded pattern bands of twisted stems with reversed floral motifs are a carryover from the seventeenth century.
The verse on this sampler is an acrostic: a poem where certain letters in each line spell out a word, a phrase, or in this case a name: Ann Short. The verse was derived from an epitaph on the tombstone of one Ann Short, buried in a Pembrokeshire church yard:
Am short, o Lord of praising thee,
Nothing I can do is right:
Needy and Naked poor I be
Short Lord, I am of sight.
How short I am of love and grace
Of everything I am short
Renew me, then I'll follow peace
Through good and bad report.
There are blank rectangular cartouches beneath the house and forest where you can stitch your own family names, initials and dates.
This is the final verse:
He who on God doth truly rest
Must be serene, and blest
Stitches used in the sampler are cross, petit point, counted satin, back, and double running stitch. On 35 count linen the finished sampler will measure approximately 19-1/2" x 24". It is recommended for intermediate level needle workers.