Help us create the World’s Longest Band Sampler!

In celebration of World Embroidery Day, SNAD launched the creation of the World’s Longest Band Sampler, and we need your help! We invite you to create a band of your own to add to our sampler. You may either create one band all on your own or consider getting together with a group of friends to create a band together! This is an ongoing project with no set due date.

Catherine McCausland, San Francisco, California

As we receive submissions, they are posted to our online gallery here. Check out past works for ideas and marvel at the work of your fellow stitchers around the world!

A Brief History of Band Samplers:

Early English samplers of the 16th Century were collections of repeat patterns and motifs worked onto a narrow strip of linen, serving as pattern books for samplermakers to use as references for stitching handkerchiefs, tablecloths, sheets, towels, napkins and cushions. Looms of the 16th Century were not wide (6-8 inches), and these samplers often had lengths three times their widths. The patterns were stitched in bands across the width of the samplers, and the longer the fabric, the more patterns one could record. Patterns on band samplers belong to the embroidery traditions developed in Islamic Egypt 300 years earlier; Arabic style geometric patterns and stitches arrived in Europe through Mediterranean trade with Islamic Spain. By the late 1500’s, patterns, including small flowers and animals, influenced by German and Italian decorative designs and border patterns from imported Eastern carpet designs gained in popularity. The stitches were strategically counted onto the ground fabric to produce reversible patterns, most commonly, double running, cross stitch, long arm cross, marking cross and Montenegrin.

Sampler, Anna Buckett, 1656. Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Anne Forkin, Peachtree City, Georgia

How to create your own band!

All of the completed bands will be sewn together at SNAD to create one long band sampler! For this reason, it is important that the bands are of a uniform size.

The finished dimensions of your embroidery must be 9 inches wide and between 3-5 inches tall, plus a 1-inch seam allowance on all 4 sides. Your embroidery should only be in the central part of the fabric (see diagram). The seam allowance will be used to sew the bands together and there should be no embroidery in these areas.
In keeping with traditional embroidery samplers, we want to learn about the stitcher! In your embroidery, please choose as many elements from the following list as you feel appropriate:
1) Your name
2) Your location
3) Your age
4) The date or year of creation
5) We also encourage you to include any imagery that is important to you! For
example, this could include an image of your house, your family, pets, or other things you like such as sports, travel, or your hobbies.

Technique & Fabric
Please stitch your band using any embroidery technique you like, and on any fabric you like, so long as it can be readily stitched to another band!

When you are done
1. Mail it to SNAD!
Please mail your completed band to the address below and it will be added to our sampler:
San Francisco School of Needlework and Design
850 Battery St, Suite 200
San Francisco, CA 94111

2. Fill out our Google Form!

Thank you for helping us create the World’s Longest Band Sampler!