For obvious reasons it might be a good moment to look at the wonderful painting of Joos van Cleve (Germany 1485- Belgium 1540) from circa 1520 with the intriguing sampler on the foreground. Because of the outstanding on-line collection of the Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, New Hampshire we can look at the sampler from up close.
To enlarge the painting click: The Holy Family
Interestingly, the minutely painted sampler is still from pre-printed pattern book age. The sampler would be holy if it was made by Maria. The patterns of flowers, the amusing dog (could this be an addition of the painter?) and the rosette were all reproduced later, at least until the late 17th century on (Dutch) samplers.
It took a while, but this is how the cloth was folded by the painter. Do try this at home!
What remains ...Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!