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New Zealand Sampler

is the name of the company
Vivien Caughley
New Zealand


Viven is currently involved in a project that requires a lot of research throughout New Zealand

The aims of the project are:

  • To create a database of Samplers in New Zealand, including those in public ownership,
    and tell their stories, especially the chapter that includes New Zealand, where possible
  • To create a database of Samplers made in New Zealand, and tell their uniquely New Zealand stories
  • To create a New Zealand Sampler Directory, with public institutions with Sampler collections
    providing details of how a visitor can see them
  • To encourage contemporary New Zealand Sampler makers
  • To communicate findings between all interest parties

Excerpted from Vivien's website  - www.newzealandsampler.co.nz

What is a Sampler?

A pattern:  a collection of needlework patterns, as letters, borders etc.
to be used as samples, or to display the skill of the worker.

(Webster's Unabridged Dictionary,  1913)

What is a New Zealand Sampler?

  • A Sampler that was made here
  • A Sampler that was brought here
  • A Sampler that was once here, but is no longer here
  • A Sampler that quite simply IS here, and about which we know very little else

Excerpted from Vivien's website  - www.newzealandsampler.co.nz


Designs published by the New Zealand Sampler  -  original & reproduction samplers  -  are:




NZD  25.00


Dutch Alphabet


NZD  20.00







Code:  NZS:WYN

NZD  35.00




Code:  NZHS

NZD  50.00





Click on the design images for materials required and stitches used to create the needlework pieces

Click on the book for details of the content

 All of the above are available for purchase from  Heirlooms


New Zealand Sampler Gathering

A weekend where like-minded needlewomen gather to share their love of samplers


Another weekend is planned for the first weekend in August of 2017 at Taupo

VENUE:   Manuels   (Millennium Resort)                     DATES:   4  -  6  August 2017

          REGISTRATION COST:   To be advised
Will include the following -
 Lunches  (Saturday & Sunday)
Morning & Afternoon Teas  (Saturday & Sunday)
Lectures & Tutors Fees

Needlework Fabric & Threads  (for class projects)
Dinner  ~  Friday Evening  (optional)          To be advised
Dinner  ~  Saturday Evening  (optional)          To be advised
NOTE:  Special accommodation rates are available at Manuels & Oasis Beach Resort

The contact person for Sampler Gathering is -

Judy Clearwater
2 Ravenwood Drive
Forrest Hill
Auckland   0620

Phone:  09  410  9403
Fax:  09  449  1425
Email:  f.clearwater@xtra.co.nz


New Zealand Sampler Gathering


Published in the Fall 2006 (Volume #44) issue of the Sampler & Antique Needlework Quarterly magazine,
Vivien Caughley wrote an article on the first NZ samplers stitched -
Hand-Stitched Legacy: Two Colonial Samplers from New Zealand".
This was the beginnings of Vivien's passion to research and record our NZ sampler heritage and part of this process was to have a weekend where like-minded needlewomen could gather to share their love of samplers.
Therefore, the first
Sampler Gathering was held over the last weekend of July 2007at the
Tongariro Lodge, Turangi

The lodge is situated on 22 acres of land, surrounded by separate chalets,
on the banks of the Tongariro River and at the foot of the Tongariro National Park.
It has absolutely superb seminar and accommodation facilities and maximum comfort levels.

The programme included classes by New Zealanders - Olwyn Horwood, Elizabeth Darrah & Vivien.
Special emphasis was on traditional counted thread work and New Zealand's own cultural heritage.
Evening speakers were New Zealanders - speaking about New Zealand needlework and samplers
and the conservation skills for samplers.

Vivien again had another article published in the Winter 2007 (Volume #49)   issue of the
Sampler & Antique Needlework Quarterly

"Stitched in Time : Conserving the Otago Settlers Museum's Sampler Collection"
and due to the overwhelming success of the inaugural Sampler Gathering,
the second Sampler Gathering was held over the last weekend of July 2009.

And as per the first Sampler Gathering, all attendees experienced a very enjoyable time!
Apart from three ladies, all those ladies who attended the first Gathering were there, plus new comers.
Such a response shows the desirability and enthusiasm to be a part of this great weekend
to experience the ambience of the venue, the wonderful meals and the atmosphere
of being gathered together with friendship and the mutual love of needlework and passion for samplers of old.

During the weekend there were -
Needlework Classes:  a pre-1769 sampler and  a memento Gathering sampler
Tutors:  Olwyn Horwood  (Blue Ribbon Sampler designer)  &  Elizabeth Darrah  (La Chatelaine)
Lectures:  Community Embroidery ~ teaching through samplers  (Patricia Flemming)
The Bagworth Sampler  ~  currently in the Rakiura Museum, Stewart Island   (Nick Lambrechtsen)
Coronation Samplers  (Vivien Caughley  ~  NZ Sampler)

There was also an amazing display of old samplers from various attendees private collections,
plus displays of reproduction samplers or samplers designed and stitched by attendees.

At this weekend, attendees were shown the stitched model of The Wyndham Sampler  -
a reproduction of a sampler which is currently on display
at the Wyndham and District Historical Museum, Wyndham, Southland

The design for this was made available for purchase for the very first time.
Sampler model was adapted and stitched by Olwyn Horwood.
Sampler was charted by Elizabeth Darrah.
Biographical notes and stitching instructions were prepared by Vivien Caughley.

Subsequently Vivien has had another article published
in the Sampler & Antique Needlework Quarterly magazine (Vol. 55 - Summer 2009)
on Celia Brown’s sampler.

Celia Brown was the daughter of Church Missionary Society missionaries from England
who arrived in New Zealand in 1829.
Celia was born in 1837 and stitched her simple sampler in 1847.


The third, fourth & fifth Sampler Gatherings were held over the first weekends of August  2011, 2013 and 2015
at the prestigious Millennium Resort - Manuels at Taupo
and, once again, wonderful weekends.
The number of attendees has continued to increase with each gathering,
certainly an indication as to the increasing awareness and respect for a wonderful weekend. 


Lots of lovely samplers
on display
sampler designs
for purchase
during the
Sampler Gathering


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