Roland-designs , Virginie's blog.

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

Sunday, 11 November 2018

God moves in a mysterious way - Antique sampler from 1886


I love adding new, and interesting pieces to my sampler collection. This sampler comes from the UK and features in delicate and tiny cross stitch the famous hymn by William Cowper (1731-1800) “God moves in a mysterious way…”

The stitching show skill, and was undoubtedly worked by an adult. The piece in un-signed, apart for the words “Grandpa’s hymn 1886”

As far as I know William Cowper never had any children, so I assume this hymn must have been a personal favorite of the grandfather who was the beneficiary of this beautiful embroidery; worked presumably by an adoring grandchild.  

The frame was damaged and not worth saving, so I had the seller send it to me only on the card the needlework had been stitched to. I was a little concerned when it arrived as it had visible signs of bug damage, namely the tell-tale sign of having been eaten and burrowed through ! I carefully examined it, even ripping a bit the cloth in the back to make sure there were no live bugs, or eggs. The last thing I want is a colony of critters eating their way through my cupboard ! Thankfully it looked like whoever did the damage had long gone, but just for safety sake I’ll keep it apart from other items until I can get it framed properly.


In the middle of the fifth verse the poor stitcher had obviously ran out of thread and had to change to one of a slightly different color. A good reminder to make sure you have enough thread to complete a project, and if possible from the same dye lot to make sure the colors are uniform.  





Evidence of a little bug having burrowed their way through the embroidery

Details - You can see how the cloth was lighter before from the marks where the frame had been,

Tiny cross stitches


The full sampler

God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.


Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs
And works His sov’reign will.


Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.


Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.


His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flow’r.


Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.

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