Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sunday Morning

So sorry I missed posting yesterday. It was a busy day. My mom and I went to a local quilt show where they had over 500 quilts displayed. It was quite a sight. I brought my camera to take pictures of the quilts and the quilting. Since I purchased a long arm quilting machine a year ago, I wanted to see how others quilted the quilts. Got lots of ideas.

Afterward we stopped at yummy Panera for lunch, Verizon to get new updated phones for each of us, and WalMart for fabric that I use to make doggie bandannas for the local Golden Retriever rescue group—As Good As Gold. We got our Murphy from them about 5 years ago, and he is a wonderful dog. I try to buy cheap fun fabric but need it to "read" all over because I first cut 22" squares and then cut the squares on the diagonal. Then I serge the bandannas on my serger—much easier than turning over tiny hems with my iron. As Good As Gold has what they call Meet & Greets where people bring their adopted dogs so show how terrific they are in order to get others to adopt this great breed. They hand out adoption forms and take donations whenever possible. If someone gives a $5 donation, they get to choose one of my bandannas. I seem to have made a million of them this year as Chicago and it's suburbs host many meet and greets each month.

When I got home, I lounged around and finished one book and started another before dinner. Did not get into the new John Grisham one—not keen on stories of rural Mississippi misfits. It's going back to the library tomorrow! My neighbor started me on a short fun mystery series about a gal who is a former police woman and is now a pet sitter in southern Florida. She seems to fall into murder investigations. The one I finished yesterday was Cat Sitter on a Hot Tin Roof.  This is the fourth book in the series. They are fast and fun. The author is Blaze Clement. The others are:  Curiosity Killed the Cat Sitter, Duplicity Dogged the Dachshund, and Even Cat Sitters Get the Blues. 

On Friday I said I was going to tell you about the two samplers that I found after giving a talk to a local Questor's group. The one above is what I call the A. H. 1806 sampler. Don't know whether or not it is English or American, but it is a beautiful delicate sampler. Because she did not stitch her name on it, I was unable to trace it's origins.

When we first started reproducing samplers in 1987, there were few choices of linen—white, cream, natural, and tea. Natural seemed the closest to the brown that many of the antique sampler fabrics turn. We used 35 count natural linen and stitched this sampler using only one strand of thread to maintain its delicacy. It measures only 7.5" x 6.75".


The gal who owns the A. H. sampler had another in her collection. It is the Catharine Louisa Chamberlain sampler. The photos of these two antique samplers are skewed because I was unable to remove the samplers from their frame and had to shoot through the glass! The owner of this sampler knew nothing of its history, but because Catherine stitched the name of her town, Williamstown, Massachusetts, on her sampler, I was able to trace her back in time. And two friends and I were able to travel to Williamstown (home of Williams College) to see her grave site. A gal at the local history center tried to find the tombstone but it had sunk into the ground. She was then able to get the cemetery to restore it to its original position. You can see the very light area that was buried for many years. The dark area was exposed to the elements.


The close up shows a hand with the finger pointing towards heaven. Catherine, known as Kate, died of an undetermined illness in 1853 at age 19. The church records had burned in a fire. In 1853 many members of Kate's family moved west to  Beloit, Wisconsin. Some later filtered down into northern Illinois where this sampler was found at a yard sale. 

The interesting thing about this small sampler (5.5" x 8.75") is that she must have had only a small amount of the plum color. If it had been me, I would have stitched my name with this color, but maybe she didn't receive the thread until she had already stitched her name. 

When we reproduced these antique samplers, I researched the history of the each girl, and we included this in with the chart. I feel that it is nice to know a bit about the person whose sampler one is stitching. 

After quite a few years of not selling my reproductions, Lydia at Wyndham Needleworks persuaded me to reintroduce the sampler charts for sale. She is currently carrying them as is Attic Needlework and Mad Stitcher


In going through my photos of the stitching that I have completed over the years, I found the photo of my house done in needlepoint. It was a class through my local ANG chapter. When we signed up for the class, we sent a photo of our house to the teacher and she made up a kit with the threads to complete the project. It was a fun thing to do. My house looks pretty much the same years later except I painted the front door a beautiful shade of red which I should have done years ago as it really accents the house!

Bye for now. --Nancy


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