I was really pleased with how it came out -- true to the original and fun to stitch. The animals at the bottom are a hoot, and I love that windmill. I called it Ragamuffin #1: Ann Harrison 1830, because it really is in a ragamuffin-state....kind of a dusty little orphan in ragged clothes.
I got better at shopping for samplers, and as my reproductions became popular, I was able to spend a little more money on the originals, shopping at antiques dealers in addition to finding my bargains on eBay. Since that first purchase, I hadn't really purchased what I considered to be Ragamuffin #2, until now.
This is my next little orphan. I believe her to be an American Quaker sampler, and there is a date of 1811 stitched on it, but only a partial name. The alphabets are what make this a ragamuffin. Due to dyeing techniques, black thread often fell away, and boy, did that happen with this sampler. A designer told me this week that among other things, a black dye job included ingredients like iron (which rusts) and horse urine (which is...well...horse urine.)
Lucky for me, I practically stole this sampler for just $130.00 on eBay, and even though ANOTHER designer friend of mine thinks I'm a crazy girl, I'm going to piece this baby back together by adding Quaker style alphabets at the top where they are missing, and by filling in the missing letters on the alphabets that are still there.
The rest of the sampler is in fantastic shape. It's actually all in silk and is stitched on approximately 28/34 count un-evenweave linen. This means, of course, that the reproduction is going to come out taller than the original. I love the springtime colors and that simple see-saw border with a berry at each peak is fabulous. What do you think?