In my head, samplers are regular organized pices of needlework , usually with a psalm or poem incorporated. A bit like this one , made quite a long time ago.
According to wikepedia they did not start like this. Women used them to record a stitch they had seen and did not want to forget. This was in the 15th and 16th century . The samplers were 6-9 inches wides and were totally covered in stitches. They were highly valued and often passed down through the generations. By the 18th century they became a way of showing skill at stitching and at this point started to incorporate religious or moral quotations.
So I have gone back in time , and I am making a felt sampler to record the effect of stitches, added before felting , at the prefelt stage and after felting. This sampler is currently just about to start the stitching after the final felting stage and Is pretty disorganized affair. I have tried to keep to a purple /pink theme and tested hand stitching and machine stitching. Until I read up about the origin of samplers , I wasn't so happy with my work. But understanding the history has made it all make a lot more sense. Here and some examples of my stitches so far.
Stitching onto pongee and then felting it all in . The transparency of the silk , means the underneath stitches are visible. Not so good. Underneath some stitching at the prefelt stage , I like the couching , but the chain has become too loose as the fibres shrunk.
Stitching on bought prefelt , with my machine and adding it on top of the fibres. Quite effective.
Some stitches made after prefelting. I like the effect of the knots and the pleat, but I am not so sure about the blanket stitch around the eyehole.