Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Hunt for Cornelia VanDerveer

In my newly acquired quest for reproduction samplers, I happened to come across one sampler that happened to strike my eye as it was stitched by someone with the same last name as a friend of mine from high school. This friend, Alicia VanDerveer, was the star of our high school musicals and a friend of mine who shared several classes with me (and assorted passage of notes!) throughout high school. Recently, I was pleasantly surprised to receive a Facebook message from Alicia! As I had lost touch with her over the years since high school, it was a most welcomed surprise to suddenly hear from her out of the blue.

This note from Alicia just so happened to occur in the midst of my recent hunt for sampler kits on The Scarlet Letter site, and I was intrigued when I came across a sampler stitched in the 1800's by Cornelia VanDerveer.

On a whim, I sent Alicia the link saying something like "Perhaps this sampler was stitched by a relation to you?" Alicia responded enthusiastically, thinking it could possibly be stitched by her grandmother or great-grandmother whose name was Cornelia. She decided to investigate this a bit further, and through her search of her genealogy it just so happened that she did have a relative by the same name who lived in New York State around the time period this sampler was stitched! Unfortunately, it wasn't her grandmother's sampler (she was actually named Cordelia), but Cornelia Ann was definitely a fifth cousin whose dates matched up to the time and location where this sampler was thought to originate, so this is definitely a piece from Alicia's family ancestry!

Alicia contacted Marsha from The Scarlet Letter, and although Marsha at one time did in fact own the original sampler by Cornelia, she had since sold it and couldn't provide Alicia with its whereabouts today. So, we're on a quest to find out where this original piece may have ended up! It could very well be hanging in a museum gallery, or hanging on the wall of a private collector's home. If anyone happens to read this blog who may have further information about the original's location, I'd love to hear from you so I could pass the news on to Alicia.

In the interim, Alicia decided to purchase the reproduction kit from The Scarlet Letter, and I told her I would stitch it for her as soon as my current model stitching assignment is completed. I received the kit in the mail yesterday, and am excited to begin this piece. The silks are lovely shades of pinks, greens, taupes and creams. Please contact me or leave a comment on how to reach you if you have any information regarding an original Cornelia Vanderveer sampler. Thanks so much with any help in our quest. Have a great weekend.


  1. Oh how I have enjoyed this post. The world is such a small place and how amazing to find a sampler that has a link to your friend.

  2. What a super sampler - and I'm so happy to see you doing a Blog!! Cograts and welcome!!