Samplers from A to Z

June 25, 2009


samplers from a to zThis is a delightful alphabet book for adults. Pamela A. Parmal, Curator of Textiles and Costumes at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston compiled this small, yet informative, book. It was published in conjunction with the museum’s exhibition “Common Threads: A Showcase of Samplers” (March-July 2000). Each letter of the alphabet highlights a technique or element found in samplers. Some of the entries are obvious such as A for Alphabet, B for Band Sampler and C for Canvaswork. Other examples draw on the more unique. The letter O is for “origins” which showcases one of the earliest surviving samplers excavated from Egypt. It dates from 1300-1420. Trade samplers, which represent the letter T, were used by professional embroiderers to demonstrate their skill and to illustrate the available stitches and designs. The book features samplers from the museum’s extensive collection. Each letter is accompanied by a full page photograph of the sampler as well as a close-up of that particular technique or element. To buy this unique book go to the store at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston ( or


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