Explore the amazing world of samplers in the July/August issue of PieceWork. Some form of what we now call “samplers”—the physical examples of a work that needleworkers used to remember, communicate, and preserve patterns, stitches, and color combinations before books and printing—probably were in use circa a.d. 500, and some embroidery samplers excavated in Egypt have been dated to as long ago as 1250. Long before instant communication, before printing, even before books, knitters, crocheters, embroiderers, lacemakers, and sewers relied on their stitched samples and samplers. Sample books and samplers from the past along with step-by-step instructions for making your own fill the pages of this special issue. And we’ve included the winners of our 2010 Heart Ornament contest!