Roland-designs , Virginie's blog.

"Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God's handwriting." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, 9 May 2021

Roland-designs news - May 2021


Preserving our needlework heritage

Dear friends of Roland-designs

It’s spring and with it comes the spring showers! I won’t complain as the ground does need a good watering, so I’ll use this rainy Sunday to send you the latest news from Roland-designs.
The past couple months I have worked on charting samplers from 1803 to 1859, the little girl who stitched the earliest sampler would have been born around 1795 – Just thinking about it and touching the fabric and threads she touched makes me feel linked in a way to our distant past. Time passed and since then we have improved our lives in so many ways, yet we still share the same interest and skills for needlework. I hope that in stitching reproductions of these samplers you will also feel a connection with our humanity and heritage.
We are still living in very uncertain times, but we won’t let that stop us from enjoying the moment and indulging in lots of creative pursuits. At present I am working on something I had never stitched before – a needleroll. I made a mock-up and have now started on the stitching; it will be a free pattern and I’ll announce on my social media when it is available.
If you have any thoughts on samplers, antique samplers, and stitching of reproductions I would love to hear from you. You can write me directly at:
Have a wonderful Sunday.
With care
Virginie Lykins

Ann Blanchard sampler 1803
Eliza Islip sampler 1853
Mary Ann Batty sampler 1859
The samplers are available on the website and ETSY

An updated version of this pattern is available on ETSY and the website.

You can also read about my original blog post about the pattern here:

Friday, 2 April 2021

Antique school samplers

I would like to present to you two small school samplers from my personal collection:

The first one was stitched in 1853 by Eliza Islip and the other in 1859 by Mary Ann Batty.

School samplers are rarely perfect and as expected both Mary and Eliza did not count properly and sometimes stitched over one thread, or two, or three, this made it impossible to align the design exactly so I took that into consideration when charting it. When re-charting antique samplers I aim to stay as true as possible to the original, but in such cases have to slightly adjust the design to make it fit into a grid.


Mary Ann Batty sampler

Notice the 'over three threads' mistake

Stitching replicas of antique samplers is quite popular and you don’t have to follow the pattern exactly as it is, you can change/adapt it or simply pick out your favorite alphabet or motif.

However, if you are a purist and want to stitch it exactly as it was made a hundred years ago (or more), I would recommend stitching it in natural fibers (cotton, wool, silk) on linen or Penelope canvas; if that was what the original was stitched on. The colors may be faded or subdued now from years of exposure, but most antique needlework would have been quite bright and even gaudy.

Artisan or home dyed floss are particularly attractive, but be careful not to get your embroidery wet as some dyes can run.




 If you would like to stitch the samplers, the pattern is available here:


Eliza Islip on ETSY

Mary Ann Batty on ETSY

#rolanddesigns #maryannbattysampler #elizaislipsampler