Pamela Darney, sampler and needlework designer and Loudoun Sampler Guild member, has been stitching since she was 17 years old. She took up the craft after living in northern Maine, where many find it's best to have an indoor hobby during the winter months. When Pamela started stitching, there was no Internet to browse or even local stores to meander through. Sampler books and Maine Antique Digest were her primary sources of inspiration. And since, like most young girls, she could never afford to buy patterns, Pamela started designing her own.
In early adulthood, Pamela graduated from college with a degree in architecture, as she has always had a mind for creating and improving designs. She notes that one can tell the age and origin of a sampler by the architecture of the houses they feature. Her attention to such detail and reverence for the historical content of her sampler designs has earned Pamela high recognition with her fellow needleworkers.
Pamela looks forward to being a first-time instructor at the Williamsburg Needle Arts Festival 2015 and sharing her joined-linen technique at the event. Pamela believes sharing the history of samplers is important. She says, “As I look at samplers, it really is leaving your mark -- a permanent mark -- behind. Needlework is the only way that women had their creativity stamped."
It's amazing to wonder about the girls stitching these samplers; that their work would one day be admired and sell for millions of dollars. Were they stitching for a creative or educational outlet? What was once a necessity is now our hobby."