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.