As a child my mom always told me, “Idle hands are the devils work”. I am sure her intent was to encourage me to help around the house. Pretty sure...at least I think so. My goal was to finish so I could busy my hands in other ways. Early on I discovered needlework. I found using fairly simple materials such as linen and thread pulled thru with my needle resulted in rows of neatly stitched xxx’s. Before I knew it I would have a beautiful finished design to give to my mom to decorate our home.
Over the years as I gained a little more experience. I stumbled across antique samplers which intrigued me because they touched on a variety of my interest, stitching, history and genealogy a perfect combination for me. I continued to do more research and found out my area had a Sampler Guild which gave me an opportunity to meet more sampler lovers and to learn more about them. Before I knew it I had acquired quite a personal collection of antique samplers which I wanted to share. In 2011 I began offering sampler reproduction charts for others to stitch along with original designs as part of Black Branch Needlework.
As I worked on many projects like many needleworkers doing my best to keep all of my materials organized. Most of the threads I used were sold on small cardstock paper tags with a hole for the thread and a hole at the top for shops to hang on their thread boards for display. I began using a binder ring to hold mine together. After a few years I wanted to jazz up the ring and began making pendants with stitching related images. I enjoyed them so much I began to give them as gifts to my stitching friends and eventually offered them to store owners during the Nashville Needlework Market.
Over the past year the interest for the thread keeps(c), needle keeps(c), scissor keeps(c) and necklace keeps(c) has continued to grow. I am continually reevaluating my business. One of my first steps was to evaluate my business name and whether or not the name accurately reflected all components of my business. As I went thru this process a theme began to become apparent.
My passion for antique samplers is in part due to the story of the needleworker who worked on them so many years ago, the accessories tend to represent fond memories and are loved by many within and outside of the needlework world. I kept coming back to one of my favorite antique sampler verses, when this you see remember me. Young girls who stitched this verse so many years ago would never have imagined 200 years later their samplers are still cherished and they are remembered. Made me think about all the memories we gather along the way. We pick up a few here and there and over time we have a Sampling of Memories.
Over the years I have been blessed to gather many of my memories with my husband - Craig. Our three boys William, John and Lance along with our menagerie of pets continue to provide plenty of excitement for us to add to our memories for years to come.
When this you see remember me and bare me in your mind.
Let the World say what they will say.
Speak of me as you find.