August Newsletter
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Dear SNADers,

Happy World Embroidery Day! To celebrate, we’re beginning a yearlong journey to stitch the world’s longest band sampler. In this issue, we have a brief history on early band samplers to remind us of their purpose and early significance as domestic women’s pattern books — which reminds me of their evolution into the seventeenth century as needlework teaching tools for young women, where often each band’s technique became more and more complex.

From my view, building this school and careers for embroidery teachers is much the same as the progression of these samplers. Giving our instructors the opportunity to grow and encouraging relevance in the larger needlework community is important to being integrated in this field, both personally, and as an organization. I want to thank the Royal School of Needlework’s USA Summer School and the Embroiderer’s Guild of America, Greater Pacific Region Seminar, for inviting our instructors, Annalee and Lucy, to teach in their programs, respectively, this past month. These opportunities provided practicums in professional development allowing our instructors to engage with and learn from other embroidery instructors, set their teaching skills into a different environment, and towards keeping our perspectives refreshed as we continue to build our programs and further develop our teaching strategies.

In this issue
- Do you know why band samplers were long and narrow, read about this and more: A Brief History of Band Samplers
- Save the date! September 13 for our Burlesque dessert extravaganza
- Learn about Quilter, LaQuita Tummings and her lifelong pursuit of creating with fabric

Enjoy the final month of summer!

A Brief History of Band Samplers
Samplers first appear in historical text in the early 1500s. A 1502 expense document of Queen Elizabeth of
York states: “…for an elne of Iynnyn cloth for a sampler for the Quene'[1].” In 1530, John Palsgrave published an encyclopedia with the following entry under ‘sampler’: “exemplar for women to work by; example.”[2] These early textual references mark the approximate entry of samplers into common use. 

T.190-1960.H x W: 42.6 x 36.2 cm, Victoria & Albert Museum, Embroidered linen with colored silk and metal threads, seed pearls and beads, Sampler (England), Jane Bostocke, 1598,
Photo: The earliest dated British sampler.
Around this time, band samplers, strips of fabric, often linen, with embroidered or needleworked text and designs, served as pattern records in decorating clothing, textiles, upholstery, and so on. Sarah Halsey, SNAD Board Member and president of the Bay Area Sampler Guild, explains, “coming by linen during this period was not easy – it was expensive and families wanted their garments to last.” Early on, we see samplers used for documenting letters and numbers. Women could initial their household linens, “so when they were laundered and spread out on a big grass field to dry with everyone else’s laundry,” they were easy to sort and retrieve.
By the late 1600s, and more heavily in the 1700 and 1800s, schoolgirls worked band samplers as class exercises. This is a critical and fascinating period in history: for a long time, these samplers were one the few established means of education for women. Learning to decorate linen meant a means through which to learn reading and writing, a vehicle for teaching girls what they otherwise would not learn. Looking back on history, band samplers allowed for a way out of illiteracy.

, T.25-1938.Mrs. H.A. LongmanBequest of Band sampler, linen, embroidered with polychrome silks in cross, satin and eyelet stitch, H x W: 15.3/4 x 8.5/8 in, The Fitzwilliam Museum, Photo: Sampler (England), Anne Tricker, 1711 Queen Anne,
As the printing press became more widely available and printed materials more common in the mid 1600s, sampler making began to change. In approximately 1523, Johann Schönsperger from Augsburg, Germany published the first printed textile guide.[3] It was sold across Europe, allowing for a sharing of styles and patterns in a way that would have been impossible a century prior. Across countries and cultures, we begin to see design elements borrowed and copied without credit.[4]

There are two main types of traditional band samplers known to have been worked in the 1600s: polychrome and whitework[5]. Common stitches (double running stitch, long arm cross, marking cross, and Montenegrin, all of which allow for pleasant patterns on the back of the sampler as well) were worked in grid-like sections.

Photo: Sampler (Italy or England), ca. 1600, cutwork, H x W: 36 x 7 in, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Purchase by subscription, 1909, 90.68.23.
By the late 1500s, patterns, including small flowers and animals, influenced by German and Italian decorative designs (monochrome organic forms) and border patterns from imported Eastern carpet designs, gained in popularity. Arabic-style geometric patterns and stitches arrived in Europe through Mediterranean trade with Islamic Spain, many belonging to the embroidery traditions developed in Islamic Egypt 300 years earlier.
As fashion changed over the centuries, sampler styles stayed close to their long-established designs. This is an indication that tradition, inheritance, and education were important aspects of sampler-making. For example, Elizabeth Mackett’s 1696 sampler features needlelace and patterns that were popular in fashion fifty years earlier.[6]
Hand-worked band samplers evolved from valuable artistic and decorative sources, to modes of educating youth, to collectible treasures, now housed in the world’s most prominent museums.
SNAD has just launched The World’s Longest Band Sampler project, and you’re invited to participate! We want to stitch together bands from our friends all over the world, into one massive piece. Please visit our website for more information.
[1] “Needlework Samplers,” Bay Area Sampler Guild, accessed July, 2018,
[2] Clare Brown, Samplers: From the Victoria & Albert Museum (London: Victoria & Albert Museum, 1999), p 7-11.
[3] “A History of Samplers,” Victoria & Albert Museum, accessed July 2018,
[4] Clare Brown, Samplers: From the Victoria & Albert Museum (London: Victoria & Albert Museum, 1999), p 7-11.
[5] Kathy Staples and Lynn Tinley, "Some Honest Worke in Hand..." English Samplers from the Seventeenth Century (Greenville, South Carolina, 2001), p 7-15.


A Fundraiser for San Francisco School of Needlework & Design

Google Community Space
188 The Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA 94105


Please join us in celebrating the artists of the Stitch-at-Home Challenge: Burlesque!
Satisfy your sweet tooth at our dessert table, feast your eyes on an exhibition of needlework from around the world, and indulge your craft cravings with embroidery demonstrations and activities. Burlesque-themed costume encouraged.

Tree Mask by Pam Heyda
What's Happening with the Burlesque Challenge?
The Stitch-at-Home Challenge: Burlesque is due on August 15. We've received some amazing submissions so far. Keep 'em coming!

Kim Beamish                                        Nina Burnsides                                       Holly Dumont
Kreinik Thread Tutorial Part 4: Trellis
Featured Artist: LaQuita Tummings

Carrousel, 1987, hand embroidery, appliqué, hand quilting, beading, needle punching in the lion's mane, 65x70.

Needlework Origin Story
My mother encouraged me to learn traditional crafts. She taught me to sew and crochet before I was 12 years old. I credit my maternal grandmother for my love of quilting. Despite not knowing her. I started to make quilts after seeing quilts she had made. I have been quilting since 1976. In 2008 I took a class with Susan Else and realized that fabric can be used a medium for sculpture. 

Materials and Artistic Process
I am a self-taught quilter (I took my first class in 1999, so by then my bad habits were firmly formed). I have used beads, floss, ribbon, commercial fabrics and paint all in the same piece. For many years, textiles have been the primary material that I use when I create, but I will use anything that appeals to me. When I see something (a leaf, a building, a place) I might think, what is it I like about this? What would this look like if. . . I am not really a good planner. I work very organically. Most of what I do I consider an “experiment”.


Once upon a time,  2010, beading in the letter O, embroidered text, hand piecing, appliqué, and hand quilting, 38x32. "There is a version of the Rapunzel tale that involves radishes, which I craved with my youngest."

On Being an Individual
I find that I don’t really fit into a category. I think that sometimes people don’t know what to think about what I create, which is ok. Sometimes I feel like an outsider primarily because I don’t see people doing something different. I make things to please me. For many years I was the youngest person in the quilt guild/organizations.  The most important thing a creative person can do is be themselves, whatever that is. Don’t be afraid to create what you see in your mind. What you imagine is valid. Experiment. Do what pleases you.

Natural, 2015, hand quilting, appliqué, 3d and beaded elements in the ants making their way to her hair and in the bee among the flowers, 30x33.

Check out LaQuita's Etsy shop, "ontheq"!

Bring your friends to a late-night stitch in
Spread the word by sharing our new Meet Up page on social media!
A quiet environment to focus on your craft
Every last Wednesday of the month, from 11am - 9pm
Check them out here.

*Stitch-in on October 24th is cancelled!*
Hotel Discounts for SNAD Students!

Wonderful news for our out-of-town students: A number of local hotels have opted to participate in a discount program with us. Some of the hotels include Kensington Park, The Marker Hotel, Hotel Triton32One Hotel, The Alise Hotel, Villa Florence, Galleria Park Hotel, Hotel Vitale, and Hotel Kabuki. If you’d like to know more about this program, please email us at
Spotlight on August Classes
Studio Sessions
August 3, August 9, August 10, August 17, August 24Studio Sessions are designed to be a space for creating any embroidery you can dream of, big or small. Bring a project you have been working on that you need help with, or come with ideas and we can help you bring your creation to life from scratch!
Embroidered Portraits
August 4-5
 Create your own embroidered portrait! There are many ways to approach creating an embroidered portrait. Blackwork, stumpwork, appliqué, needlepainting, or just a simple outline are all effective ways to create a likeness. Bring in photos of yourself, your idols, or your love ones as inspiration and we will take you through the process of how to design and stitch a portrait. Learn how to transfer your design onto fabric, how to make a stitch plan and how to choose the right threads for your piece.
Technique Tasters
Goldwork: August 12
Stumpwork: August 12
Appliqué: August 30
Try out different embroidery techniques! Each three hour class covers a different technique: crewelwork, needlepainting, goldwork, stumpwork, blackwork, whitework, needlepoint, and appliqué. You will have a choice of two different designs within each technique.
Lunch & Learn
August 15

This lecture series between San Francisco Embroiderers’ Guild and San Francisco School of Needlework and Design will offer informative and interactive presentations or workshops.

In August, Molly McLaughlin will present an overview of Crazy Quilting construction and embellishment, with examples from then and now. You will learn a little history and a little how-to, and have some hands-on practice.

Molly McLaughlin's Crazy Quilt, 'Mermaid'
Mountmellick Embroidered Collar Inspired by the Victoria & Albert Museum
August 25
This class will cover a style of embroidery, which originated in County Laois, Ireland, called Mountmellick embroidery. Students will construct a collar, which can be worn or used for decoration. A variety of techniques will be covered, including satin stitch, bullion knot, palestrina knot, straight stitch, french knot, feather stitch, buttonhole stitch, Mountmellick stitch, and the construction of a collar.
Friday Favorites
August 31
One Friday each month, choose one of our most popular designs. Each design takes two class sessions to complete, with homework in between, allowing you to work at your own pace and get the most out of each class.
Class Schedule & Registration
Hand & Lock at SNAD in October:
Setting up home for one week at SNAD, Hand & Lock will be teaching the famous embroidery technique, Tambour beading, from Oct 22-26. Register here. Or, join them and learn the beautiful art of monogramming from Oct 24-26. Register here.

July Highlights
Lunch and Learn students listened to a lecture by local artist Sarah Pedlow. Sarah teaches historical embroidery traditions from Hungary, Romania, Portugal, and Ukraine.

The Social Justice Sewing Academy presented their projects centered around environmental, racial, and political justice. Then, they had a group workshop with Lucy!

Exploratorium After Dark: Bling welcomed SNAD back to host a sparkly pin making activity.

Creativity Explored, and organization that gives artists with developmental disabilities the means to create and share their work with the community, joined us for a lovely visit.

We hosted a booth at Sunday Streets in the Mission this past month. Guests stitched on our giant, communal peace sign and chatted on a beautiful afternoon.

For July Friday Favorites, we saw both familiar and new faces!

Staff members from the Contemporary Jewish Museum learned goldwork with Lucy 

Give the Gift of Stitching!
To purchase a SNAD class gift certificate, visit and click the menu at the bottom right-hand corner of the homepage. You can make a gift from $35 to $250.
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SNAD Hours
SNAD is open to the public Monday through Saturday, 9:30-4:30,
as well as for scheduled classes on Sundays. 

Our building front door at 360 Post Street is locked on Saturdays and Sundays,
however a security guard should be in the lobby to help you enter.  If not, please call us at 
415-604-1104, and we will come down to get you.
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