Welcome to The Scarlet Letter

The Scarlet Letter produces reproductions of the world's finest samplers, found in museums and private collections. Exquisite materials are assembled to recreate these masterpieces of needlework, and kits are complete with detailed instructions and stitch diagrams, enabling the modern needleworker to reproduce these pieces exactly as they were originally made in centuries past.
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TSL Newsletter

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Our Scarlet Letter Years

Our Scarlet Letter Years is a place for samplers lovers to meet, chat, share their stitching and samplers, support each other and appreciate the reproductions and original designs of Marsha Parker.


TSL Galleries

Visit our customer gallery to read some of the letters and emails we have received along with photos of finished samplers stitched by our customers. In our awards gallery, you'll see Scarlet Letter Samplers that have won blue ribbons and other awards.


Pineapple Border Welcome



Blessed are the Sons of Peace

Blessed Are the Sons of Peace is a needlework picture in the style of the middle eighteenth century. The title of this exciting and vibrant needlework picture comes from a psalm written by Isaac Watts (1674-1748), whose works inspired many verses stitched on samplers and needlework pictures during and long after his death. I wish to thank Sigrid Eckel for so beautifully stitching the model. More photos are available here.
Updated July 27, 2016

Two Antique Samplers made by Catherine Elizabeth Buchanan

Catherine Buchanan
Catherine Buchanan

Catherine Buchanan's first sampler, stitched in 1796 when she was ten years old, begins with sectionalized letters of the alphabet. The latter sampler stitched in 1798 features two verses with freehand stitched floral bands above a delightful scene. See more photos.
Updated July 22, 2016

Beadwork Slips - Antique Sampler

Beadwork Slips

Late 19th century beadwork slips applied to cotton muslin ground featuring images of dogs, a cat, a rooster, birds, flowers, a castle, a monkey in a tree, and an elephant, various sections joined by multi colored beads. Very unusual, bright and colorful. See more photos.
Updated July 10, 2016

The Milkmaid - New Reproduction Sampler

The Milkmaid

From before the early eighteenth century, a change in attitudes regarding nature in western art evolved, resulting in a bucolic, pastoral ideal: an inhabited landscape, lush with flowers and fruits, featuring shepherds and farming activities, usually with a hint at romance. The actual lives of the shepherds and farm workers depicted were exaggerated and romanticized to the extreme. This ideal sort of landscape as depicted in many eighteenth and early nineteenth century art works can be attributed to the Romantic movement, rather a broad artistic and aesthetic concept that appreciated a return to Nature in its purest elemental sense. Wordsworth defined Romanticism in reference to poetry as "emotion recollected in tranquility". It represents a place to escape from the rigors of the real world: an idealized world where roses grow as tall as trees, and sheep and cows munch languidly in ever-fruiting orchards. More about the Milkmaid
Updated June 21, 2016

Eleanor Holmes - New Reproduction Sampler


Eleanor Holmes stitched this sampler when she was twelve years old using a variety of stitches including cross over one and two threads of linen, four-sided, eyelet, and cut and drawn work in the outermost border.
Updated June 21, 2016

Hannah Turner - Antique Sampler

Hannah Turner

Born in 1841, Hannah Turner made this sampler at the unusually advanced age of eighteen years. It features a grandiose version of Solomon's Temple surrounded by flying angels, birds perched in trees, pots of flowers, stags, dogs, and two human figures, with a four sided floral border.
Updated June 13, 2016

Sneak Previews

Catherine Buchanan

Catherine Buchanan stitched this sampler in 1798. Here are a few details of her sampler, which should be charted and available in September 2016.

Anonymous Band Sampler
The Anonymous band sampler has been reversibly stitched and measures 5 1/2" x 36". A small section of the top is pictured here, both front and back, which retains its beautiful, unfaded color. I hope to release this in the autumn of 2016

Once these samplers have been charted, the antiques will be available for sale.
Updated June 3, 2016

Margaret Muir - New Reproduction Sampler

Margaret Muir

This highly unusual Scottish sampler stitched by Margaret Muir retains its brilliant color on both front and back and incorporates many traditional motifs found on Scottish samplers as well as some unique variations.
Updated June 2, 2016

BETSY ADAMS circa 1770 - New Reproduction Sampler

Betsy Adams

Betsy Adam's sampler was designed after a piece stitched in eastern Massachusetts in the last quarter of the eighteenth century. It incorporates many traditional sampler motifs popular during that century.
Updated May 30, 2016

ANN WALTON 1836 - New Reproduction Sampler

Ann Walton

A year before Queen Victoria was crowned, Ann Walton stitched a pair of sweet little samplers depicting a young boy and a girl at play. The boy is holding a hoop and a stick, and the girl holds what appears to be a basket in one hand and a bouquet in the other.
Updated May 30, 2016

Now Whilst My Hands Are Thus Employed

Now Whilst My Hands Are Thus Employed

A new exhibition catalog will be available from Witney Antiques in June titled Now Whilst My Hands Are Thus Employed. The samplers in the catalog cut across all levels of society embracing both the affluent and the poor and stands as a testament to the skill and perseverance of the young and their talented teachers. Whether worked with a view to future employment, for pleasure or in order to be the mistress of a large household, they illuminate the lives of girls and young women going back over 300 years.
Updated May 15, 2016

Rachel Briault - Antique Sampler

Rachel Briault

A rare bi-lingual Huguenot sampler featuring two full length figures and verse. Rachel Briault was born on May 26, 1760 and baptized the following month at La Patente French Huguenot Church, Spitalfields. It is astonishing that she completed the sampler when she was only eight years old
Updated May 14, 2016

Eliza Hall 1795 - New Reproduction Sampler

Eliza Hall 1795

Eliza Hall made these two small samplers in Chipping Norton, a small market town in Oxfordshire. Each one was stitched with silk thread on linen, the edges bound with watered green silk ribbon. The pictorial sampler could depict Eliza's home or school (although blue buildings are rarely seen in the Cotswolds). Eliza's other sampler, dated 1795, requires only cross stitch.
Updated March 21, 2016

ELEANOR HOLMES, Aged 12, 1817


This antique sampler made by Eleanor Holmes could be Welsh. It has been stitched on linen using silk and fine wool threads with a beautiful cut and drawn work outer border. The next four sided border consists of stylized roses surrounding horizontal rows of alphabet and numeric tests executed in a variety of stitches including cross, eyelet, and four sided.
Updated March 21, 2016

Early 17th Century English Pattern Band Sampler - New Reproduction

Early 17th Century English Pattern Band Sampler

This unsigned, undated early English band sampler from the collection of Nicola Parkman was sewed circa 1630, and captures qualities I particularly associate with the earliest English band sampler: prudence and frugality. I assume this to be an "exemplar" to emulate one’s life and work. I like to imagine that the thoughts of the women of the time, most of whom embroidered for their homes rather than for whimsy or professionally, are captured in these intensely stitched horizontal bands of stitches. Later, the more practical "marked" goods (bed linens, night shirts, table linens) they recorded and chose to embellish with these patterns were much admired in clothing and other household articles.
Updated February 12, 2016

Amelia Boyce - Re-Released!

Amelia Boyce

Amelia Boyce, a pictorial sampler demonstrating two popular art forms of the early 19th century, has been re-released
Updated January 19, 2016

A Scottish Sampler Cira 1800 - Re-Released!

A Scottish Sampler circa 1800

A Scottish Sampler circa 1800 which features a red mansion house has been re-released. This sampler was formerly called "The Red House Sampler".
Updated January 19, 2016


Ann Grimshaw

I have some out of date calendars from 1995, 2000 and 2002. The calendars may be out of date but the enormous full color photos are not. The calendars are $4.00 each or all three for $10.00 while supplies last.

Updated January 11, 2016


I have some 45 meter hanks of Au ver a soie, soie d'Alger silk available in a variety of colors, at a reduced price. If you plan to participate in the 2016 Ann Grimshaw SAL and wish to be creative with color, other than stitching the sampler in its original all black scheme, you might like to ponder color combinations from what I have available. The sampler requires 14 mini skeins, or one and one half hanks of silk to complete on 35 or 40 count linen.
Click for more information on available colors and price. .
Updated November 15, 2015

Antique Sampler Gallery

We have created a new section illustrating many of the antique samplers that have passed through The Scarlet Letter over the years, including many that have been reproduced. The new Antique Sampler Gallery includes photos and a description of each antique with a link to the reproduction kit, if one exists. You'll also find a link on the reproduction kit page so you can view the original antique sampler, if the photos are available.. We hope you will enjoy these photos and that they will be valuable for dating samplers.
Updated September 17, 2015

Chimneypiece - Reproduction Sampler


The last Chimneypiece kit has been sold. The only thing I have left is instructions and sampler drawings. I'm offering those for $10.00 each and quantity is limited. The drawing of the sampler is done by hand and is not a complete graph of the sampler.
Updated September 13, 2014

Gallery Updates

We have updated our customer gallery with a picture of Amy Ball stitched by Jill Lyons.
June 30, 2015

More New Items

If you want to see more items that have been recently added, check out our list of new items. It shows all items that have been added to the TSL website during the past year. You can display the list at any time by clicking on the cherub logo in the right column of any webpage.