Polly Gould sampler
Polly Gould’s sampler was made on a green dyed linen piece. She also embroidered letters and numbers. Polly included a verse possibly from a poem as well as information about her age and the day she created her sampler. “Without genius learning soars in vain and without learning genius sinks again their…. The sprightly reign. Polly Gould’s sampler wrought in the eight year of her age, August 7, 1811.”
A sampler is a piece of cloth with sewing and embroidery stitches. The earliest samplers were created in Europe in the 16th century by professional needle workers. The samplers were a way to sew their favorite stitches and patterns for later use.
By the 17th century young girls, usually five or six years old, were taught to learn to make a Marking Sampler. They practiced their stitches to make letters of the alphabet or numbers and maybe a few geometric shapes. When the girls were older, they learned to stitch verses from a poem or create simple scenes with animals, trees, flowers and even people. A Marking Sampler was important because as a homemaker, you needed to stitch numbers on all your linens to keep track of them.