The book below is one I've had saved on my computer for a while. It's available free several places on the Internet. If you search on Jacobean crewel embroidery pictures, pictures from this book will turn up. I printed it out and brought it home. But it looks so unprepossessing and, well, short, so I dismissed it and hadn't read it. Duh! Sew Now This has a nice post about the book.
Last night I picked it up and in three pages many of the questions I've been asking, about the timing of the embroidery style not fitting what I'd expected, about design sources, etc. all answered, right there. At my fingertips. sigh... Of course, this is now the book I'm reading. I finished the English Domestic Embroidery book. So, if you're at all interested in Jacobean Crewel embroidery this is the book! (read it first)I'm also reading Joan Edwards Crewel Embroidery in England. I read through it when I bought it used back in the 80s, but don't really remember it (Chicago used to have some great used bookstores and antique shops with book stalls--both are rare today. I'm very lucky to have been able to shop back then). I'm really enjoying it--it's a very warm and friendly book. The author puts the embroidery (and embroiderers) in the context of their times--how they lived in the 16th-18th Centuries.
I'd mentioned before that I was thinking of a form for my sampler stitches. I didn't want to do just a line-type sampler in a square of fabric, but something with a form. I've thought from the beginning of doing a pocket. I really like pockets. But I didn't want to get lost in designing...this is about the stitches not the design so much. So I came up with this rather abstracted design. It has a "floral" element and a "leaf" element I can use to show shading and filling stitches. It has mounds that would work for either line stitches or shading and filling stitches. And stems. I could add another central motif if needed. You can probably see all my erasures and redos in the "final." So this is where I am right now. What do you think about this design for a stitch sampler?