Monday, March 5, 2012

Antique Thread Winder Sampler (Needle Adventures)

Antique Thread Winder Sampler

Published under the Needle Adventures name in 1992, Antique Thread Winder Sampler is a medium sized band sampler.   The photograph above is courtesy of Lara Hartley.

The Needleart Nut is stitching this publicly on her blog as well.


Thread Winder with Threads and Chart, Courtesy of *Ndlpt*

Materials list:
10 x 12 inch white? tan? Congress cloth
Caron's Waterlilies silk floss in Flamingo #095
Au Ver a Soie's Soie d'Alger silk floss Violet Antique #2911
Au Ver a Soie's Soie Perlee silk perle (may substitute DMC #8 ecru) - 2 spools

Mother of Pearl Thread Winder

A thread winder is needed to complete the design.  The photo above appears to be the type that Loretta sold with her kit for this design.

Apparently some charts were sold by Loretta with a mother of pearl thread winder.  You can just see one in the plastic envelope in the photo above, thanks to *ndlpt* who allowed me to reuse her eBay sale photograph of the threads, chart and thread winder.

Lara has started stitching the sampler.  Here is the description of her beginning with a photograph of some of the threads the design calls for. Lara is using DMC #8 perle instead of Soie Perlee. (Sorry, Lara has deleted her blog so I think these items are not longer available.)

Here is a photograph of the sampler as far as Lara has gotten.  She says the Maltese Crosses along the bottom and right side are still lacking at this point.  I believe an antique thread winder is supposed to go where the quarter is placed,

Unfinished Antique Thread Winder Sampler, All Photos Courtesy of Lara Hartley

Close Up of Bands Along Top

I've also seen a version of this on eBay with a totally different cover page but with the original supplies including the thread winder.  See photo above.

UPDATE: Since an antique thread winder is supposed to be attached to this sampler when it is finished, I thought I would find examples of various reproductions so you can see what Loretta intended to be placed on the empty spot.  Thread winders are the 19th Century version of those white cards you wind your floss around to store it.  The only real antique thread winder I've seen in person was made from bone in this shape.

At the bottom of this page you can see horn versions that are rectangular.

If the thought of bone or horn thread winders creeps you out, there are some lovely wooden ones available.  These are flower-shaped and very pretty.

These are more traditional in shape, but made from woods just as lovely.

Kelmscott Designs has some beautiful ones in many shapes, from birds to rabbits to fish and butterflies.  They appear to be mother of pearl.

You can also find Victorian metal reproductions.

When you win the lottery, you can indulge in antiques.,c=Sewing_Thread_Winders,id=96.15.html

The Silk Mill in England has some lovely mother of pearl thread winders made in China.


  1. This is beautiful. Is this available for purchase. Thanks Mary

  2. Mary, you can ask Lara if she is willing to sell the pattern by going to the links and posting a comment on Lara's blog. Buying from Lara or finding the pattern on eBay or in stash sales is the only way to get the pattern, however. Loretta Spears is dead and her family has not been willing to sell her designs (in fact, they told folks who asked that all the originals had been destroyed). Sorry.