Valentine’s Day in today’s world has become a grossly commercialized version of demonstrative love. In order to put some meaning back into Valentine’s Day and certain types of tokens of love with which it is associated, we should first remember that to give a gift is to give part of oneself. Tokens of our love and friendship need not be static or sugar filled! They have the ability to hold an emotional resonance that reverberates over time and can transport us to a particular place or time by evoking memories and prompting happy emotions.
I am amazed at the generosity and affection early sampler stitchers showed to each other or sometimes to a beloved teacher or benefactor. As I read, Quaker School Girl Samplers from Ackworth, by Carol Humphrey, I was incredibly inspired by the sampler, M. Quertier’s Sampler 1799, pg. 168, The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, with its “MQ to MN”, dedication lovingly stitched in a central wreath. Equally inspiring is the sampler displayed at Hill Top, Beatrix Potter’s house in the Lake District. Discussed on page 170 in the same book, this incredible sampler also has a wreath with initials, “OD to LB”, which is similar to the M. Quertier’s wreath. It also has a separate medallion with the “A token of love” sentiment added. Both samplers took their respective stitchers considerable time to stitch. Both are incredible examples of affection to their recipient. Just think of the feeling that was experienced upon receiving such a labor-intensive gift!
As a reminder, the church doors will open at 2pm for members with the meeting called to order promptly at 2:30.
Until next time, Happy Stitching!