The Sampler Issue—Call for Submissions PieceWork Summer 2025

From practical to fanciful, samplers are a great way to study crafts of the past.

Pat Olski Jun 3, 2024 - 3 min read

The Sampler Issue—Call for Submissions PieceWork Summer 2025 Primary Image

"Spot" sampler of assorted geometric and floral motifs, Netherlands, 18th century. Bequest of Gertrude M. Oppenheimer, 1981-28-51. Courtesy of the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

When most people hear the word samplers the first thing that springs to mind is the work of schoolchildren: letters of the alphabet stitched painstakingly in cross-stitch on linen, sometimes accompanied by a solemn message, and sometimes embellished with designs including houses, flowers, or pets. However, samplers of all kinds of needlework have been worked for centuries, sometimes by very skilled crafters.

The PieceWork Summer 2025 issue will focus on samplers that incorporate all different kinds of textile techniques throughout the ages and around the world. From the French word essamplaire or the Latin exemplum, sampler means an example. These textiles were worked for a purpose, often as a record for people to refer to either before the introduction of printed material or for those who couldn’t access or afford books. The creation of a sampler gave the stitcher practice in working the techniques that they would need later. More than just a practice piece, reference, or curriculum, samplers were also made for trade—for salesmen and stitchers to exhibit their wares.

We are looking for examples of needlework samplers for all different cultures and techniques: such as German darning samplers, African fabric-dyeing samplers, and Spanish lace samplers.

PieceWork’s primary focus is on historic and traditional needlework. Please send us your submissions for the Summer 2025 issue for project ideas and articles about samplers and sampler history from all over the world. We are interested in a large variety of techniques including punch needle, embroidery, needlepoint, knitting, crocheting, tatting, macramé, lace making, or any other technique that you can think of that is suitable for this theme.

Share an interesting fiber tradition from any time frame or place—we can’t wait to see your ideas! We welcome submissions from everyone, from experienced stitchers and enthusiastic beginners to researchers passionate about the historical significance of textile techniques.

Forms and information: 

Online Submissions Form PieceWork Summer 2025

PieceWork Contributor’s Guidelines

PieceWork Photo Guidelines

Questions? Contact us at [email protected]. 

Submissions due: July 1, 2024

We will notify you of our decision: July 2024

If selected, your finished articles and projects are due by September 23, 2024

Do you want to be added to the PieceWork Call for Submissions email list? Sign up here.