To honor the life of this very interesting woman, I have created a cross stitch chart in the sampler needlework spirit of 19th Century America. Many young ladies of the time practiced needlework as part of their schooling. Taking some liberties, I designed this sampler by imagining what Mary herself might have created at the age of 14, having just moved in to this beautiful new home.
I have added a few symbolic touches:
- The cardinal is the state bird of Kentucky.
- Tulip trees are the state tree of Kentucky.
- The goldenrod is the state flower of Kentucky.
- The alphabet has a slightly darker A, B, and E (for Abraham's famous nickname). There are 16 teardrop-shaped flowers on the bottom row, denoting her marriage to Abraham (the 16th President) and the sadness that unfortunately visited Mary as a wife and mother. Of course, Mary wouldn't have known those details in 1833, but perhaps the threads she selected had some foreshadowing powers.
So, I present to you my very first cross stitch design and I am offering it to you for free. All I ask is that while you're spending time with your needle and thread, give Mary a thought or two and maybe a "thank you" for being the wife of one of our greatest presidents. I hope you will enjoy stitching this as much as I enjoyed creating it.
I designed this in all DMC colors. However, please feel free to use your own choice of floss if you would like a different look. I didn't have time to stitch a model (yet) but a natural linen/aida color would probably work best. The stitch count is 136 wide x 103 high. If stitched on a 14 ct. aida or a 28 ct linen/evenweave, the approximate size would be 9.75" wide by 7.375" high. Please use this very handy Cross Stitch Calculator to determine other sizes.
If you do stitch this sampler, I would LOVE to see your progress and your finishes, so please tag them on Instagram with #MaryAnnTodd1833
Click here to download from Stitch Fiddle (you will need an account, but it is free to sign up)
Thank you very much for coming by. Please leave me a comment below if you have any questions and I will reply!
~Susan (@fairskystitcher on Instagram)