In early Amana, a young girl by the age of 10, would have learned many stitches to make up a sampler. If you look closely at the samplers before the turn of the century you can see the English Gothic letters, but only 25. The letter "i" was sometimes used instead of the letter "j". When the young girl became a young lady she started working on her trousseau which included pillowcases, tablecloths, bedsheets, socks, etc. Each piece would be initialed and numbered using the copper stencils as a pattern to stitch the numbers and letters. The stencils are rare and paper thin. A carbon placed under the letter or thin ink brushed on letters helped transfer the letters designs onto the fabric. Often the initials were embroidered in colored cotton threads and always neatly and nicely done.