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Couleur Tourterelle - What's new?
Cross stitch Reproduction sampler patterns

Latest News:
Couleur Tourterelle - Reproduction samplers by Meriem Chauvet 

All the latest news for Couleur Tourterelle Reproduction samplers, as published in Creative Poppy's newsletter.
>> see all Reproduction Samplers by Couleur Tourterelle


Couleur Tourterelle Original and Reproduction sampler side by sideMeriem Chauvet - Collector and Needlework designer

 

Meriem Chauvet, the designer behind Couleur Tourterelle, is an expert stitcher and collector of antique 19th and early 20th century samplers, mostly of French and European origin.

 

Every sampler tells a story. The designer brings each one back to life, researching every motif, painstakingly reproducing every stitch, even the most faded and frayed, seeking similar materials so you can reproduce it in its full glory. These exceptionally rich reproduction charts make you travel back in time and feel almost intimate with the stitcher of yore. A pure pleasure to cross stitch.

Couleur Tourterelle Reproduction sampler and Original sampler side by side


Travels with a donkey

 

This turn of the century French sampler, part of Meriem Chauvet's private collection, features a very attractive alphabet with ornate letters and a donkey motif, actually from an existing Sajou chart published decades earlier. Of particular interest is the use of double running stitch outlining some motifs in a contrasting color, in order to provide extra emphasis. A cross stitch reproduction sampler from Couleur Tourterelle.

Jeanne Podebon 1906 cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle

 

Jeanne Podebon 1906

Reproduction Sampler by Couleur Tourterelle
Jeanne Podebon 1906 cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle, zoom 1

>> see all Reproduction Samplers by Couleur Tourterelle


 

Two early 19th century reproduction Samplers

 

Well over 150 years ago, two young girls, one living in rural France, the other in Flanders, complete their sampler.

Marie Joséphine, no doubt the youngest of the two, carefully reproduces the letters her elders have taught her. By contrast, Catherine Elisabeth is already 16 years old. The central motif of her work is the biblical scene of Adam & Eve. Most interesting however is the bird cage on the right, a symbol of marriage (see detail on pattern page). Other motifs include a cradle and more domestic items. No doubt the young stitcher already had marriage in mind.

Both patterns are from Meriem Chauvet's private collection of antique samplers and the Couleur Tourterelle reproduction charts are exact replicas of the originals.

Marie Joséphine Brayard 1856 cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle
Marie Joséphine Brayard 1856
Reproduction Sampler by Couleur Tourterelle
Marie Joséphine Brayard 1856 cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle, zoom 1
Catherine Elisabeth Masson 1826 cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle
Catherine Elisabeth Masson 1826
Reproduction Sampler by Couleur Tourterelle
Catherine Elisabeth Masson 1826 cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle, zoom 1

 

Turn of the 19th century reproduction samplers by Couleur Tourterelle

 

From Meriem Chauvet's private collection here are two antique works reproduced in perfectly identical cross stitch charts. The antique samplers are still in their original frame. The first one stitched in woolen threads - bright wool colors having just been introduced thanks to innovations in dyes, and both are stitched on canvas, also an innovation of the time making it easier to stitch than linen, an ancestor of sorts of Aida fabric.

Zélie Lecoeuvre 1873 cross stitch pattern by Couleur Tourterelle

Zélie Lecoeuvre 1873
Reproduction sampler pattern by Couleur Tourterelle
Zélie Lecoeuvre 1873 cross stitch pattern by Couleur Tourterelle, zoom 1
B. Marsallat 1905 cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle

 

B. Marsallat 1905

Reproduction Sampler by Couleur Tourterelle
B. Marsallat 1905 cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle, zoom 1

 

Tracing back the origins of the motifs

 

What makes both these designs particularly interesting is that Meriem Chauvet has been able to trace back the origins of some of the motifs used by the stitchers.

In the case of Zélie, the stitcher picked four of her motifs from the 1852 issue of a women's fashion magazine of the time, "Le magasin des familles". The magazine was in black and white but included some extra sheets, one of them a color cross stitch chart, quite innovative too for the times. No doubt each issue of the magazine was preciously preserved in each household as this sampler was only stitched 20 years later.

In the case of B. Marsallat, two of the motifs, the running dog and the beehive were picked in separate Sajou catalogues. Those charts were monochrome.

xxx - Zélie Lecoeuvre 1873 (cross stitch chart)
Zélie Lecoeuvre 1873

xxx - motif picked in the August 1852 issue of women's fashion magazine “Le Magasin des Familles” (cross stitch chart)
Motif picked in the

August 1852 issue of

women's fashion magazine

“Le Magasin des Familles”

xxx - B. Marsallat 1905 (cross stitch chart)
B. Marsallat 1905
xxx - Motifs picked in two different issues of Sajou catalogues (cross stitch chart )
Motifs picked in two different issues of Sajou catalogues

 


 

Symmetry & Asymmetry

 

How do you achieve balance in a sampler?  Here is a wonderful example - an amazing late 19th century French sampler, that has newly joined Meriem Chauvet's private collection - where most of the sampler is laid out symmetrically, motifs mirroring each other, yet the large asymmetrical flower in the basin provides life and movement. Each of the elements of this sampler are lovely for themselves, the elaborate alphabets, the carnation border, the delicate birds, but it is the whole, as it was no doubt carefully put together, that provides this stunning visual impact.

This Reproduction Sampler is brought to you by Meriem Chauvet of Couleur Tourterelle.

Jeanne Bernard cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle
Jeanne Bernard
Reproduction Sampler by Couleur Tourterelle
Jeanne Bernard cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle, zoom 1
Jeanne Bernard cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle, zoom 1Jeanne Bernard cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle, zoom 1Jeanne Bernard cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle, zoom 1

 


 

Travelling through time and color

 

 

Meriem Chauvet, the designer of Couleur Tourterelle collects old samplers, looking for the smallest detail that tells its story, analyzing the slightest traces of fibers on the wrong side - those that have resisted light and hungry moths - bringing colors back to life, identifying every single cross stitch, even when it is shifted by a single thread of fabric.

Thanks to her painstaking efforts, samplers regain the splendor of their youth, such as this trio of works of French origin and dating from mid 19th century onwards. Stitchers have always loved color and when colorful woollen yarns became available, they certainly knew how to make good use of them!

 

Anaïs Hermitte 1856 cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle
Anaïs Hermitte 1856
Reproduction Sampler by Couleur Tourterelle
Anaïs Hermitte 1856 cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle, zoom 1
Marie Cantain 1877 cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle
Marie Cantais 1877
Reproduction Sampler by Couleur Tourterelle
Marie Cantain 1877 cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle, zoom 1
J st A cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle
J st A
Reproduction Sampler by Couleur Tourterelle
J st A cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle, zoom 1

>> see all Reproduction Samplers by Couleur Tourterelle


 

A rare cathedral and a wonderful story by Couleur Tourterelle

 

Meriem ChauvetCouleur Tourterelle's designer always amazes us with the discoveries she makes, just by observing a sampler - closely it must be said because she spots the smallest capricious cross stitch - and digging through archives . One of her recent finds is a cathedral stitched in 1841 byFlorentine Picard. She learns there isn't one but two twin samplers and goes on to tell us the story of two little French country girls living in neighboring villages, stitching two almost identical samplers a few months apart. What a wonderful story a sampler can tell!

 

The 2nd sampler presented here, that of Maria S, is not stitched by Maria Sadella as would appear, but by a 11-year-old girl, with an anonymous surname. The two samplers, stitched 13 years apart, have interesting points in common.

Florentine Picard 1841 cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle
Florentine Picard 1841
Reproduction Sampler by Couleur Tourterelle
Florentine Picard 1841 cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle, zoom 1
Maria S 1854 cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle
Maria S 1854
Reproduction Sampler by Couleur Tourterelle
Maria S 1854 cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle, zoom 1

 



New finds by Couleur Tourterelle, including a sampler stitched and signed by 18 young girls

 

Meriem Chauvet's collection of antique samplers has been recently enriched with two antique French finds, including quite an exceptional sampler. Thanks to the painstaking efforts of Couleur Tourterelle's designer, cross stitch charts are available for any stitcher to reproduce those little gems.

 

The first work is a cute little sampler, probably stitched by a very young one, balancing traditional motifs and ones that would appeal to a child.

Marie Rousselet cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle
Marie Rousselet
Reproduction Sampler by Couleur Tourterelle
Marie Rousselet cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle, zoom 1

 

The second sampler is remarkable, by its width of course, but especially because it was stitched and individually signed by 18 young girls, all students of the class of Madame Tougas, in a rural school in Normandy. The piece features 8 large cross stitch alphabets, some of which denote the influence of Art Nouveau - the work was completed in 1904 - and is a true masterpiece and witness to its time.

Madame Tougas - 1904 cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle
Madame Tougas - 1904
Reproduction Sampler by Couleur Tourterelle
Madame Tougas - 1904 cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle, zoom 1

 



Two new reproduction samplers by Couleur Tourterelle

 

The first sampler is from England and features a psalm. It has a particularly elongated shape. 

Create in Me a Clean Heart cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle
Create in Me a Clean Heart
Reproduction Sampler by Couleur Tourterelle
Create in Me a Clean Heart cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle, zoom 1

 

and one of Spanish origin - almost monochrome except for two tiny touches of color. This one is by contrast a long band.

Manoela Estadella cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle
Manoela Estadella
Reproduction Sampler by Couleur Tourterelle
Manoela Estadella cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle, zoom 1

 

In search of Lost Time

 

This sampler was stitched as a keepsake of a young girl's stay in the Normandy seaside resort of Cabourg. The place is famously known as one of the setting of Marcel Proust's literary work "In search of Lost time" including "In the shadow of young girls in Flower". We do not know the young stitcher's age, but she might have come across Marcel who also sojourned as a boy with his parents in the 1880's, long before he would become a famous writer. 

Hortense de Frocourt proudly signs her name on the sampler, repeating her initials in several places. There is great elegance in the way the sampler is composed and the choice of letters and motifs. The little steamboat motif, a reminder of the seaside location, would at the time have been considered a "modern ship" as opposed to a sailboat.

 

Hortense de Frocourt 1887 (Reproduction Sampler) cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle

Hortense de Frocourt 1887 (Reproduction Sampler)
Reproduction Sampler by Couleur Tourterelle
Hortense de Frocourt 1887 (Reproduction Sampler) cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle, zoom 1

 

"Marquette" and "Marquoir"

 

For the word "Sampler" in English, the French language distinguishes two types of needlework. This work (left), about 20 earlier than the one above, is the more simple marquette, probably the first work of a young stitcher, using a single color on rustic linen fabric. Originally marquettes consisted of just letters and numbers stitched for practice. This one however was embellished with four elegant borders and the young stitcher was able to personalize her work with some motifs of her own.

The reproduction sampler (right) was turned into a tiny pin-cushion by Meriem Chauvet (stitched over 1 thread on finer fabric). The chart however is the exact reproduction of the original.

V Hamel 1868 cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle

V Hamel 1868
Reproduction Sampler by Couleur Tourterelle
V Hamel 1868 cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle, zoom 1

 

The linen maid's alphabet & numbers

 

The tradition of "marking" household linen goes back at least a century further before that and was already cited in the encyclopaedia published by Diderot and d'Alembert between 1751 and 1772. The image below is an extract of the original illustration of the Linen maid's Alphabet & Numbers, left (source: gallica.bnf.fr / BNF). 

 

The alphabet was passed on from generation to generation as can be seen in the E. Loir Sampler where every letter and number is replicated in the exact same format (notice the shape of number 5)

 

Linen maid's cross stitch alphabet - Diderot and d'Alembert's Encyclopaedia - 18th century
Original illustration from the Diderot and d'Alembert Encycopaedia (left) 

 

Detail of  E. Loir Reproduction Sampler (right)

E. Loir cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle, zoom 1

 

An 1823 poem dedicated to a beloved grand-mother

 

While many English language samplers include long texts - often scripture or prayers - French samplers rarely include any text beyond a couple of words.

This sampler dating back to 1823 (original pictured left) is an exception: a poem composed by a 9 year-old stitcher expressing her love for her beloved grand mother, maybe the person who taught her to stitch. As the young girl was born in 1814, the grandmother must have lived through the 1789 French revolution and Napoleonic reign. Notice the typographical style and simple ornamentation characteristic of the period.  

c. Boffy 1823 cross stitch Original sampler

C. Boffy 1823
Reproduction Sampler by Couleur Tourterelle
c. Boffy 1823 cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle, zoom 1

 

The Catholic church in 19th century samplers

 

After the revolutionary times, the Catholic church regained its huge influence in France. By contrast with the work previously shown, the church altar - be it surrounded with flowers - was often a prominent theme in samplers and could be depicted in intricate detail.

The three examples below show to which extent: with the first one implying an altar by its layout, the second depicting the interior of the church in amazing detail, and the third one - probably a personal interpretation - replacing the center altar with a monumental basket of flowers and adding more fantasy, birds in particular.

E. Loir cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle
E. Loir
Reproduction Sampler by Couleur Tourterelle
E. Loir cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle, zoom 1
Marthe Bouquière cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle
Marthe Bouquière

Reproduction Sampler by Couleur Tourterelle

 

This sampler is also remarkable by its pink linen fabric background, often found in samplers of the Toulouse region (South West France). Designer Meriem Chauvet offers a solution for achieving the same color background using Zweigart pink linen and dyeing it with tea to soften the color.

Marthe Bouquière cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle, zoom 1
Thérèse Barral 1843 cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle
Thérèse Barral 1843
Reproduction Sampler by Couleur Tourterelle
Thérèse Barral 1843 cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle, zoom 1

Wool and color

 

Later samplers tend to be more personal, including birds and other ornamental motifs. With wool thread gradually replacing silk, samplers feature a larger number and brighter colors. Here are some examples of colorful samplers of the second half of the 19th century in France

Mathilde Pecherans cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle
Mathilde Pecherans
Reproduction Sampler by Couleur Tourterelle
Mathilde Pecherans cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle, zoom 1
Françoise Cusin 1867 cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle
Françoise Cusin 1867
Reproduction Sampler by Couleur Tourterelle
Françoise Cusin 1867 cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle, zoom 1

and an example of a Dutch Sampler of the same period

Mina Nagelhout 1864 cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle
Mina Nagelhout 1864
Reproduction Sampler by Couleur Tourterelle
Mina Nagelhout 1864 cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle, zoom 1

 

Tapestry motifs

 

The sampler is representative of late 19th century European samplers where richly colored tapestry designs were starting to be published and stitchers picked motifs of their choice to embellish their samplers. This stitcher, living in a rural part of France, picked several motifs for her sampler, a lady and a gentleman in 18th century attire, as well as two parrot motifs.

Celestine Leduc 1886 cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle
Celestine Leduc 1886
Reproduction Sampler by Couleur Tourterelle
Celestine Leduc 1886 cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle, zoom 1
Celestine Leduc 1886 cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle
 

 

The original sampler (shown left) is very faded.

When charting the reproduction sampler (right), Meriem Chauvet kept close to the original colors seen practically intact on the back (further right). 
She points out that Célestine used knots to secure her threads, many, many knots!

Celestine Leduc 1886 cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle, zoom 1

 

Early 20th century

 

This relatively "modern" sampler features a very interesting mix of early 20th century styles. 

The top part of the sampler features a single alphabet with large elaborate monogram letters similar to those seen in white embroidery.

The two charming bird motifs, as well as the central motif are certainly stitched from one of the models popular at the time.

And surrounding the sampler is a remarkable Art nouveau border. It is stitched in pink, with very dark flowers and long protruding pistils.

This shows the remarkable way stitchers have been able to follow the needlework trends of their times, yet at the same time producing some very personal and remarkable works. 

Gilberte Maleinge 1924 cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle
Gilberte Maleinge 1924
Reproduction Sampler by Couleur Tourterelle
Gilberte Maleinge 1924 cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle, zoom 1
Gilberte Maleinge 1924 cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur TourterelleGilberte Maleinge 1924 cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle, zoom 1Gilberte Maleinge 1924 cross stitch reproduction sampler by Couleur Tourterelle, zoom 1

 

More Reproduction samplers by Couleur Tourterelle  Couleur Tourterelle - Reproduction samplers Cross stitch pattern logo

 

Couleur Tourterelle - Reproduction sampler patterns are now available as instant downloadable patterns, on Creative Poppy's website.

 

The easy-to-read charts come both as Black & White AND Color charts. They include a digital friendly one page chart ideal for reading on a digital device. 

 

All charts feature a photograph and description of the original sampler, and offer several options for stitching the reproduction either close to the original, or in other threads and fabric counts.

 

There are more Reproduction samplers by Couleur Tourterelle available on Creative Poppy's website, and many more to be added soon.
>> see all Reproduction samplers by Couleur Tourterelle


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