Mary 395 1869 ~ A Bristol orphanage sampler

It is with great pleasure and grateful thanks to Claudia Dutcher Kistler of Dutch Treat Designs that I am able to present to you the reproduction of Mary’s enchanting Bristol Orphanage sampler. Regrettably, Mary did not record her surname on the sampler she so diligently stitched. The only clues she left behind are the year she finished her sampler “1869” and the number of the bed she occupied “395.” Each orphan has a heart-wrenching story to tell but our little girl, identifying herself by a bed number, has touched me deeply from the first moment I saw her.

With the help of the George Müller Charitable Trust we are going to tell you within the booklet the story of a Mary in their care that was the right age, at the right time, to make her the prime candidate to have stitched this sampler.


The design area is 378 stitches (w) x 396 stitches (h). Our calculations have included a 3″ margin for finishing and framing.

28ct ~ Design: 27.00″ x 28.29″ Fabric: 33.00″ x 34.29″ 

32ct ~ Design: 23.63″ x 24.75″ Fabric: 29.63″ x 30.75″

36ct ~ Design: 21.00″ x 22.00″ Fabric: 27.00″ x 28.00″ 

40ct ~ Design: 18.90″ x 19.80″ Fabric: 24.90″ x 25.80″

46ct ~ Design: 16.43″ x 17.22″ Fabric: 22.43″ x 23.22″ 

56ct ~ Design: 13.50″ x 14.14″ Fabric: 19.50″ x 20.14″

Whilst Mary’s sampler has been reproduced using silk from Au Ver à Soie, there are many beautiful reds available in cotton and silk threads. The orphans stitched their samplers on many different fabrics that were donated to the orphanage. You should choose the count and colour of linen or Aida that appeals to you. Our model stitcher chose 52/60ct Legacy Linen in Sycamore Seedpod and Soie Surfine 2681. What will you choose?

The shades of red from Au Ver à Soie’s range that caught our eye are: soie d’Alger 936 and 945, soie 100.3 499, 500, 779 and 2624, and soie surfine 2681 and 2779. As only one colour is used, we have given floss usage in meterage. A spool of Soie 100.3 is 50 metres, a skein of Soie d’Alger 35 metres, a hank of Soie d’Alger 315 metres and a skein of DMC 48 metres.

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