Sarah Ellis 1823 – Printed Book


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Sarah’s stitched a small sampler with a design area is 196 stitches (w) x 270 stitches (h).  Her original sampler measures 9.5″ x 12.75″ but she has used her linen well and has managed to fit nearly 16,000 stitches into this small space mostly in cross stitch over 2 with saw tooth bands in satin stitch, which makes her suitable for a beginner.

 The saw tooth bands divide the sampler into four sections.  The top section is alphabets in both upper and lower case.  The second section is packed full of motifs of plants and birds bordered by two “Christmas trees”.  The third band contains the verse, bordered by two large sprays of bluebells.  The final section is Sarah’s attribution, and here on the model, we have made a change from the original, which she stitched in the palest green.  The booklet contains full notes of the change for those who wish to stitch as Sarah did.

 The verse Sarah has used was written by Jane Taylor (1783-1824)

“There is a day belongs to God alone. He chooses Sunday for his own.
And we must neither work nor play because it is his Sabbath day.”

 Jane, Taylor was a prolific writer of verse, came from a very well-known non-conformist family.  This verse appeared in “Original Hymns for Sunday Schools, 1812” and other Methodist hymnals. Jane also wrote the popular English lullaby “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”

It has been impossible to identify which of the many Sarah Ellis, born around 1812 is the heroine of our sampler. Stitched on fine linen with silk thread it indicates that she could have come from a family with some social standing.

The booklet is produced in full colour with both colour and symbol blocks and there is a page overlap of 5 rows for ease of use when changing pages.

The model is stitched in the vibrant colours taken from the back of the original, but the muted colours of the front are so attractive, that both palettes have been given.  There are conversions for both AVAS and DMC threads.

The model was beautifully stitched on Lakeside Linen Vintage Lentil, in AVAS silks for Mill on the Floss Samplers by Bonnie Olson.