I have had this miniature antique sampler in my collection for not long time. The stitched area measures 7 1/2" square. It is signed M.Baduel and dated 1869. I tried to research it and couldn't find any information, and it is not surprising since there is not much data I have. Google advised that surname Baduel has French origin, that it is. While I listed this sampler on E-bay, the more I looked at it, the more I hoped this sampler wouldn't be sold. I was slowly falling in love with it, and simplicity was the key. Simple, but elegant design; simple, but beautiful color palette. Another thing I love about it - it is not perfect, the stitches are done different directions, the border's sides are not symmetrical due to misplaced cross stitches. Simple decision I have made: it stays with me.
The sampler was framed under the glass.
Upon taking it out of its frame it was discovered that the edges of the sampler were trimmed with a ribbon and attached to the cardboard with stitches, actually the stitches were sewn through the cardboard damaging the ribbon.
The ribbon itself was attached to the edges of the sampler with fine running stitch. First impression I had it was done by sewing machine, but looking on the backside of the sampler it was obvious that the running stitch was used.
It is always exciting to see the backside and reveal the colors that were initially chosen by the stitcher. I wish this sample is signed by the first name that I could address properly when talking about the stitcher. I wish I would know her/his age as well.
This dark spot in the center of the sampler bothered me.
After closer studying the backside of the sampler where you can see this dark spot in the shape of cross, I presume that this is the way M.Baduel marked the center of the sampler where probably she/he started stitching.
Another interesting thing I've noticed that one of the round balls (at the bottom of the scroll on the right side border) was stitched with switched colors. These balls are consistently stitched with light ecru color in the middle and bright goldish color around. That particular ball is stitch with reverse colors: bright goldish color in the center and ecru around. Perhaps it was the first ball M.Baduel started stitching and didn't like the colors, so switched them and finished the way it is presented. By the way, I planned to stitch that ball exactly the way how the sampler shows, but was so engaged into the process that forgot about it. I realized I made this mistake only when the sampler was finished and had to take the stitches out and re-stitch.
I charted this sampler in late hours and counted 4 colors.
I waited for the next morning with anticipation to choose the ground fabric and the colors.
The original sampler is stitched on 40 count linen with twisted fine silk that still has luster look, 1 over 2.
When it comes to the silks my choice was Au Ver A Soie Gobelins silk. It is slightly thicker than the original silk thread, but I liked the twist and effect that Gobelins silk gives.
As for the linen, I decided to stitch on 46 count.
I loved the subtle look of colors on the front side, and at the same time original bright colors on the backside.
It was a hard decision which set of colors and linen to choose. Finally I decided to stitch with dull colors on darker over dyed linen.
However, when I laid down my first stitchers with Blueish color, I realized that the color of blueish silk on the linen seems to be much brighter than on the spool.
My frustration faded after I finished stitching the border. I love the color.
When I started stitching I didn't use the pattern I charted, I decided to stitch referring straight to the sampler since my purpose was to reproduce it each step the way M.Baduel stitched it due to not visible inconsistency in her/his stitching. First thing that I realized that I miscounted the colors. There are total of 5 colors in this sampler. I missed one due to the colors being faded and I couldn't see very well at night hours when I worked on the chart.
You can see here on the right side of the border that the stitcher misplaced her/his stitch shifting the border to the left.
Also some stitchers were misplaced at the bottom of the border making this gap possible. I thought to place my initials and 2023 year there but changed my mind.
First set of the alphabet in blue is finished
The second set of the alphabet didn't take long to be finished due to the interesting font. I think M.Baduel simply "wrought" it without using any pattern, this is how unusual it looks like. M.Baduel stitched letter M twice at the right bottom corner of the sampler, the year 1869 is executed in the same color that I missed and that is used in the center of each corner rosette and in the scrolls.
The whole sampler was finished over the weekend and measures 5 1/2" square, when the original sampler measures 7 1/2 square including the ribbon.
I simply love how the colors of the Au Ver A Soie Gobelins silk are playing in the Sun. Simple design that brings much joy!
I think this design will look nice finished with the beads as well.
I haven't decided yet on finishing, but it will be a different story!
If you would like to stitch this design, the PDF pattern could be found HERE.
The model is stitched on 46 count hand-dyed Espresso Bristol linen by Fiber on a Whim with Au Ver A Soie Gobelins silk (5 colors), measures 5 1/2" square.
Small things make big days!