Martha Morris 1844 – Printed Book


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Martha has stitched a large sampler. The original sampler is sectioned into three definite parts and she has used her linen wisely, packing in as many motifs as she could.

 The top third is dominated by some very strong and popular motifs. She gives us a little boy and girl along side the Tree of Life with Adam and Eve. The line is finished with a Dutch or Flemish-style house. There are areas of England with such architecture. Maybe Martha was inspired by a building near where she lived. 

There are elephants and crowns and, possibly they are turkeys above the Tree of Life? 

The middle section is dominated by the verse

To My Ever Honoured Parents

On this fair canvas does my needle write

With love and duty both I this indite
Each pleasing

View each finished line appears

To shew the improvement of my growing years

With gratitude to God my heart I raise

That I am early taught to seek his ways

For this my constant care both morn and night

Shall be to give you comfort and delight

And in these lines dear parents I impart

The tenderest feelings of a grateful heart

and looking at the way Martha has had to position that very last line, it would suggest that she stitched the whole section first before placing the verse, which is bordered on either side by a three pronged bush and a cute little squirrel. This section is separated from the bottom third by a strawberry band; a familiar band pattern in samplers, usually used as a complete border. 

The bottom third is a cornucopia of flora and fauna. It’s almost as if Martha has taken her inspiration from the explorers of the day and has crammed as much as she can into the space. There is a large central potted flower motif, topped by a spectacular butterfly and bordered with crowns. Two cute little owls finish that top row. More flowers and trees fill the bottom space, with dogs and other animals filling in any spare spaces. Martha has used her linen well. A pretty, but simple flower border encases the whole sampler.

Stitched in cross stitch over 2 with some Algerian Eyelets and Satin stitch she is suitable for those who wish to stitch on Aida and Linaida.