Growing up in Virginia I have always had an appreciation of history, antiques, textiles, color and handwork. It was only natural that my love of antique sampler’s evolved into Black Branch Needlework. Our name comes from the creek and original farm that once owned the land where our home now stands. Our samplers are reproductions or adaptations from Antique Samplers purchased over the years with the goal of bringing them back to life. Many were selected because they were not the most beautiful sampler when purchased, or their colors, fabric or threads didn’t hold up over the years, many have not been very well taken care of and some were probably only one step short from being disposed of.
However, these are the samplers I am drawn to. The process begins by charting the design one square at a time. Selecting the linen fabric, which provides a fresh backdrop to the hand-dyed silks and allows the rich vibrant colors to blossom against the linen. Stitched by hand the same as she once did to create the finished sampler. Once completed I can't help but wonder would she be pleased to know her work continues on.