Researching symbolism in samplers

Researching symbolism in antique samplers is new to me, so I wanted to collect resources that I could use to satisfy my curiosity.
I plan to return to this post and update it over time. I am also starting to think about which symbols would be important for me, creating my own personal sampler.

Why did Sara, aged ten, add more than ten crowns, a squirrel, and an owl to her sampler? We will never know for sure. Other symbols that are frequent in Swedish samplers are religious images like crosses and Adam and Eve.

As a modern woman 😊 I asked ChatGPT to create a list of symbols and their meanings:

  1. The Tree of Life: Often represented the continuity of life and the connection between all living things. Stitched with its roots in the ground and its branches reaching up towards the sky.
  2. The Crown: Symbolized achievement and success, used to represent the idea of a young woman achieving her goals and being recognized for her hard work.
  3. The Heart: Symbolized love and affection. Used in samplers created as gifts for loved ones.
  4. The House: Symbolized family and home. Often included in samplers to celebrate the importance of family and community.
  5. The Anchor: Symbolized stability and hope. Often included in samplers as a representation of faith and the idea of being grounded in difficult times.
  6. The Butterfly: Symbolized transformation and growth. Often used in samplers to represent personal development and the journey of life.
  7. The Hourglass: Symbolized the passage of time and the transience of life. Included in samplers as a reminder of the fleeting nature of existence and the importance of making the most of every moment.
  8. The Fleur-de-Lis: Symbolized royalty and nobility. Often used to represent the French monarchy or the Virgin Mary.
  9. The Peacock: Symbolized beauty and vanity. Often used to represent the importance of outward appearance and self-presentation.
  10. The Quilt Pattern: Used in samplers to represent the importance of community and the value of friendship and cooperation.

Chat GPT listed the following credits but was not able to give further details: Betty Ring, Carol Humphrey, and Gloria Seaman Allen.