Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Sampler is finished!

Click to enlarge, use back button to return
At last the project is completed!  I have a great feeling of satisfaction to see it finished and framed, to me it is a tangible link with the past.  As I stitched, I imagined Grace, perhaps 9 years old when she started the sampler (it took me a year and a bit to complete, and I imagine she didn't finish it in a week!), concentrating, trying to get the stitches 'just so'.  I remember myself, at about 9 years old, my grandmother helped me stitch a large 'D' in the corner of a hankie for a present for my Dad, and how hard it was to get the stitches even.  I imagined Grace sitting by the fire in the warm kitchen of the farmhouse, asking her mother 'I've finished the alphabet Mother, what will I do next?' and her mother answering 'Well, think of the things you love - the flowers, and the birds, and the animals, and think how you can stitch them' and the second row of motifs was the result.  Perhaps.  I also fancied I saw a patriotic theme in the bottom half, with the red, white and blue, the crown in the centre of the bottom line, and the star images to each side, with the daffodils of Cornwall.  Maybe.  It was at the end of the Napleonic wars after all, and Lord Nelson was the hero of the day.  Anyway, I have had a lot of fun with the project, and now it hangs on my bedroom wall where I can look at it every day, and think of the places and times I stitched - sitting with my aunt when she was so ill, at home in my favourite chair, in Germany last year, visiting my daughter's grandmother. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Progress Report on the Sampler

I've been working hard on the sampler, and am pleased with the result so far. Have reached the text now and it is proving a real challenge, as Grace stitched it over a 1x1 thread count - might have been OK for her young eyes, but my 63 year old eyes are being challenged, even with very strong magnification! I shall persevere tho - the colours are guesses I'm afraid, the original is so faded with nearly 200 years that it is impossible to guess with accuracy what the colours were.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Grace Hutchen's Sampler

The original sampler. Click on the pictures to view them properly.

This is as far as I've got, using PC Stitch (a program available on the 'net for creating your own cross stitch patterns). It has been very painstaking work, using several photos I took when I visited the distant cousin who owns the sampler. I took the pictures in the highest resolution I could, so I would be able to zoom in - and that has been incredibly helpful. As it is counted cross stitch, you have to be able to see each thread, and digital photography makes that possible. As for the colours - they are so faded, the best I can do is make a guess at the density of the colour, mostly it is possible to pick the hues, but as to how bright the colours were, it is impossible to say. It will be great fun stitching it tho. What would Grace have said, had she known her sampler was still around in 2009?

Here is the story of how I found the sampler.

I had got the shipping record from NSW for James Harvey, my great grandfather's brother, and I noticed under the column 'relatives in the colony' the name of Grace Jelbart, aunt, living near Bathurst. Jelbart being a relatively uncommon name, I thought I would see if there were any descendants still in Bathurst. No, but I found a very good sprinkling of them further West, in the Parkes area. I wrote to each of them explaining my mission, and bingo! several replies. The Jelbarts had taken up land near Parkes and one of the descendants still farmed there. We set up an interesting correspondence and he mentioned that he had seen a sampler some years previously, and would try & track down it's present whereabouts. He sent me a photo in the meantime, and my appetite was well and truly whetted! I did need a better picture if I was to re-create the sampler, so I was thrilled when the sampler showed up again, and it's current owner was very pleased to let me see it and take photos. We arranged a meeting and had a lovely afternoon exchanging family gossip - one of the best spinoffs to family history is the meeting of distant cousins.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Family Tree

This is as accurate as I can be at this time. The entry in red is my direct ancestor, Robert Harvey. More about him later. You will need to click on the image to make it larger so you can read it.

Trewoofe C1936

This was Trewoofe just before the Harvey's left. Pictured is Miss Phyllis Harvey. The photo was taken by Gwen Morison, daughter of David and Revina Morison of Newcastle, NSW.
Posted by Picasa

Trewoofe c1990

This is how the house looks now, after it was extensively restored by Mrs Margaret Powell, present owner of the house. When the Harveys owned it, it was whitewashed, typical of Cornish farmhouses.
Posted by Picasa