I was thinking of doing that, but I thought folks on this message board would think I was a little less wacky than the gallery owner. :)
Thanks for the suggestion - I still might make the call, even if this piece was done 20+ years ago.
There was another man at the thrift store who stopped while I was comtemplating the sampler - He looked at it and said, This makes me want to cry that no one wanted Grandma's sampler."
Maybe Grandma lived (and died) here, and all the kids are out West, so they did't know the fate of the piece. I figured for the few bucks it cost me, I could at least give it a try to find it's family!