The society newsletter says:
Young women and children from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries learned to sew and embroider a variety of stitches and become dexterous with the needle as they created a needlework or darning “sampler.” Good needlework was considered essential and an absolute necessity if you were wealthy or poor. Women made or supervised the making of all clothing and household goods and the decoration of these articles. It was a mark of honor to be admired for these skills.On Sunday, 22 January, Lynne Bassett will speak at the museum on “The American Sampler: Needlework in New England, 1700-1850.” Bassett was curator of textiles and fine arts at Old Sturbridge Village for five years and is now a freelance museum curator.
Bassett is the editor of Massachusetts Quilts: Our Common Wealth and coauthor of Northern Comfort: New England’s Early Quilts, 1780-1850. She has spoken at Colonial Williamsburg, the Museum of Fine Arts, Winterthur, Historic Deerfield, and the Peabody Essex Museum, among other sites, and has been elected a fellow or member of the American Antiquarian Society, Massachusetts Historical Society, and International Quilt Study Center.
Lynne Bassett’s talk will take place at the society at 10 Governors Avenue in Medford starting at 2:00 P.M. The exhibit can be viewed on Sundays, 12 noon to 4:00 P.M., or by appointment, through 26 February.
(Shown above is a sampler made by Deborah Robins in 1750—not part of the exhibit, but an example of what young women in Boston were making in the mid-eighteenth century.)