The Project In
Over the last 3 years I have amassed quite a collection of vintage needlework kits and patterns. If you’ve had the opportunity to read any of my other posts then you may have noticed my affinity for Pennsylvania Dutch folk art.
While recently I have been hard at work attempting to finish my large floral state map, I have made the mistake of running out of one of the main colors needed to complete the project. In the meantime, I have worked on this lovely little Jane Snead Sampler, Irish Hex kit. So far, it had been a joy to work. It has not been without challenges.
First, the amount of thread that is provided by the Jane Snead Sampler to complete the project has been quite exact. This does not leave much room for error. I really wanted to use the threads and color scheme that came with the kit and I was not sure that they would be practical as this kit dates to the 1950’s based on the information that the seller passed on to me when I purchased the kit. I quickly discovered that the embroidery threads are in fine shape and have worked out well. The amount of gold thread was unusually small and of course, this is where I made my “mistake”.
I am not satisfied with a few of the areas that I worked in gold and I would very much like to go back and re-do, but that does not seem to be an option because the gold thread is all gone. All of the threads provided are vintage and from J.& P. Coats. I may decide to do a quick search to see if I can find more of the gold but it is unlikely. The gold thread included came in single strands without the corresponding color number (paper wrap). So, even if I am able to find a match to this 66-year-old thread, I may not be able to find the exact shade of gold. Pictured below is a previous Jane Snead Sampler (hex mark) that I worked on a few years ago.
Jane Snead Samplers
A few years ago I was luck enough to happen upon an Ebay auction for several of these original Jane Snead Samplers (original according to the seller). They do seem to be original but this observation is based upon appearance and the word of the seller. I have worked with vintage cotton embroidery floss in the past and the floss from the kit does seem to be vintage. All of the kits were well sealed and in excellent condition.
The linen and thread are of high quality. The instructions leaflet included, is in decent shape. The instructions are fine, not great but no complaints. The kit mostly calls for satin stitch and long-short stitch, I don’t consider myself as skilled or proficient at either of the two stitches. I have used both stitches many times but I find satin stitch to be frustrating as I can never achieve the perfection that I want. Not even close, unfortunately. My long and short stitch is fairly awful. I have attempted it several times but still haven’t quite gotten the hang of it. Nevertheless, I have enjoyed stitching this kit, so far. I doubt that I have stitched this well enough to be hung on the wall with pride.
In trying to learn more about the origins and history of the Jane Snead Sampler, I haven’t made much progress. From what I can gather, the mail order company, based out of PA, has long since gone out of business. There are stores on both Ebay and Etsy which are selling what appears to be leftover stock.
So, I stitch along. There are several large areas left to stitch. I will be sure to post photos when the project is complete. Have you purchased or stitched a Jane Snead sampler? Please comment below. I would love to hear how it went and any other comments that you have. Happy Stitching!