Needlework, Finishing, Designing, Quilting, Some Discoveries and Adventures in Stitching from Windy Ridge Designs

Friday, January 7, 2011

Follow Up on Spirit of America

Blu asked me about the gold stars on the Spirit of America piece.  She wanted to know if they're glued, stitched, etc. to the front of the piece.  I told her that they attach to the strings and the strings hang freely in front of the woman.    Then I decided to elaborate on my answer here.
The designer's preference for completing this project is that it be stitched on perforated paper.  That's how she shows it done on the picture that accompanies the chart.  However, I'm not exactly sure what you're supposed to do with these wonderful women once you've stitched them on the paper.  The instructions tell you to back it (to cover all your stitching) with fabric or felt; so I'm assuming it's supposed to be some sort of ornament.  My problem with that is that ornaments turn - so you will be lucky to see all that stitching you've put such effort into.  Remember the witch I did?  I did her like an ornament and ended up not being happy about it.

So, when I decided to do "America" I stitched her on linen (which the designer also says can be done in the writing accompanying the chart).  Stitching the piece on perforated paper really gives it a 3-D look which is very appealing.  I wanted to retain as much of that 3-D feel as I could while still stitching on the linen.  I'm going to frame her in a shadow box frame.  When I went to Michael's they had them, on sale, and I was fortunate enough to have a coupon that would give me 40 percent off, even on a sale item.  Framing her in the shadow box will allow that string of stars as well as the gold bows at her wrists to stand out - framed under glass in a regular frame they'd all be squished under the glass.

Hopefully this weekend I'll be able to get her into the frame and show ya'll a final result - actually completely finishing a project!!  YAY!  That will  be a big step in the right direction.  Thank you all so much for your kind comments - and keep those questions coming!

Yesterday, my husband took me to Mt. Vernon - home of George Washington - for a combination Christmas and birthday present.  We had a WONDERFUL time.  I had been looking forward to seeing the Grist Mill and Distillery that I'd missed when I was there last year.  Unfortunately, they are open seasonally April to October.  I was really disappointed.  But, I asked if it was OK for us to go there and look around outside.  Sure, they said, that's no problem.  On our way out we stopped.  There was only one other car in the parking lot and a "Guy" up by the Grist Mill.  We noticed that the guy had the door open and I said 'oh, look, it really is open'.  "Guy" of course heard me, went inside and closed the door.  Oh.  Guess it's not open.  So we go about looking around outside (it really was pretty).  "Guy" comes back outside, but closes the door behind him.  By now, we're close enough to talk.  I said that we understood the place was closed and that was OK, we wouldn't bother him.  We come in peace sort of thing.  He explains he's waiting to meet someone.  I go about taking pictures.  He and my husband are talking.  Then, my husband is calling me (by now I've gone all native, walking down the grassy slope toward the creek, taking pics, etc. paying no attention to anyone else).  Annoyed, I turn back to look at my husband (who is interrupting my photographic genius)  w-h-a-t?????  and he's motioning me to come back.  Sometimes this is a good thing because he watches out for me.  I generally don't look below my knees and have walked into some interesting places (and things) while I'm busy taking pictures.  I'd probably walk off a cliff.  So, first thing I do is look to see what I've gotten myself into now, but I'm safe.  Now I'm confused.  He motions again.  Stubbornly I stay where I am.  I've walked all the way down that hill, now I have to walk back.  And I don't want to have to heave my fat *** up that hill twice.  Smart man, he realizes what's going on in my head - can see the wheels turning so to speak - so, he points.  He's pointing toward the door of the grist mill where "Guy" is standing - now with the door open and he waves.  OH!

Mill Race

I trotted my fat *** up that hill lickity split and "Guy" takes us inside while my husband says to me that "Guy" has generously offered to give us a private tour.  WOW!  It was SO COOL!!  And "Guy" was really, really nice.  He took us around, explained stuff, was very patient with my ignorance of mill operation, showed us the fine flour, the regular flour and the bran, told us about the grinding wheels (the ones for flour come from France and the ones for corn are made of native granite) and I took LOTS of pictures inside before my battery died. 

Grist Mill Southern Exposure

We ended up introducing ourselves, but "Guy" will go nameless on the off chance that he wasn't supposed to do what he did and I don't want to get him in trouble, because he was so nice.  But anyway, thought I'd share these two pictures with you on the off chance you might be interested or curious.  Oh, the distillery actually makes and sells whiskey now.  "Guy" and I had a lively discussion about whiskey (which we both enjoy) and I recommended to him my favorite 'varietal' which is Jameson's Red Breast - yum! (sadly I haven't been able to find it available in the US).  But, I digress . . .   Hope you enjoyed!


  1. Your Spirit of America is beautiful!

    How fun that you had a little private tour - a feel good story for sure!

  2. How fortunate! I haven't been to Mount Vernon for a long time, but I also enjoy it very much.

    I am wondering whether you could frame Spirit of America without squishing the stars, if you were to use a spacer or two between the mats?
    She is so beautiful on linen.

  3. I don't think I noticed a mill at Mt. Vernon, although I haven't been there in a while. My dad, a retired teacher, has a "summer job" tending to a working grist mill (1654). He grinds the corn and while doing that, explains to the visitors what's going on. (Dexter Mill in Sandwich, MA). His one complaint is that even in the summer, the mill is chilly because of the cold water running down the race.

    I thought of you this morning as I was pulling DMC threads to do a PS design--Christmas Ark. The colors are so dull! So I thought--Katherine would never put up with these colors--she'd change them!

  4. Oh, and I forgot to say how much I've enjoyed Spirit. If I were to frame it and didn't use a shadow box, even though normally I glass everything, I think I might frame it glassless.


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