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

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Birth Sampler Progress

As a reminder - this is the source
Despite all the craziness in my life right now, I've been stitching away on the Birth Sampler like mad.  In fact, maybe it's the stitching that is keeping me sane.  My stitching time has been significantly curtailed, but I still manage to make progress.

 Somehow I managed to be in charge of the Christmas doings at the historical society.  This year we're doing two weekends - the theme is Christmas in the Civil War.  We're decorating two live trees with the types of ornaments they'd have on  them during the 1860's.  Those are not exactly falling off the shelf at Walmart, so we have to make a bunch of stuff.  The committee's been meeting once a week and doing that.  Also, I've researched music of the period, literature (specifically Christmas literature), food (had lots of help with that) and of course, how to entertain people in Civil War style.  We will have costumed interpreters (none of whom can be pinned down to an exact day or time) as well as a fiddler, a harp and flute group, and a Civil War era Santa.  Two speakers will talk about the war in Berkeley County and we're sure to have a partridge in a pear tree somewhere!  Whew!  And somehow we still have to take care of advertising.

In addition, we've been commissioned at the historical society to produce a research package based on a piece of property.  It's like one I did in 2009 for a house I was working on for our annual house tour.  The lady of the house was so impressed with the package that she's asked us to do one for a family member who also owns a property in the county.  It involves researching the history of the property and all the people who ever owned it.  Sometimes there is precious little you can find out about some people.  But, I've made steady progress on this project and know I will be able to complete it by Christmas Week.  Mind you, I am not complaining because I find this kind of work absolutely fascinating.

I've also been helping a client organize his genealogy.  He hopes we'll finish up before Christmas and he'll be able to give copies to his family members.

And I have several irons in the fire sewing client-wise, but I've been stuck on this curtain job I've been working on off and on for a couple of months.  I really don't like making curtains.  I find it unutterably boring.  I'd rather do anything but make curtains.  Suffice it to say, I've drug my feet on this project.  My client has been really understanding, but I know it's not fair.  So, I spent yesterday working on them and I found I was actually closer to being done than I thought.  One more measurement for hems and I'll be finis!  And after this - NO MORE CURTAINS.  Heck, I don't even sew curtains for myself.

But, on to the Birth Sampler -   Here's what I've done so far . . . As you last saw, it was the center block.  I've added the two birds . . .

As I worked on these, I thought about my mother's thunderbird pin.  She had one that she'd gotten as a teen in Colorado.  She wore it often and was really upset when she lost it when I was a teenager.  Somewhere, she found another, but it wasn't nearly as nice as the one she'd had.  I have that one now, but always keep my eyes open for one like mom had originally.  I think that these two birds are thunderbirds. 

Many tribes apparently have a thunderbird mythology.  The one that I heard from my mom was that the thunderbird was the messenger god and was responsible for thunder (by beating its wings) and for rainfall.  Not surprising that a farmer's daughter would know that story best.

Once I had the central row complete, I moved on to begin the bottom row.

The next block to do is the one with the two animals (see image at top).  I think that those are coyotes.  Coyotes can be wiley creatures, so I'll have to be careful in my counting as I stitch.

Alot of the stuff I've learned about the Civil War Christmas decorating and traditions is pretty interesting, but I'm not sure if you're really interested in it.  If you are, leave me a comment and I'll do an entry about it - maybe two!  Hope you enjoyed.


  1. I love the colours on the Birth Sampler, really bright and cheerful :-)

    I envy you the ability to make curtains, even though you say you don't enjoy it, i bet you get a great sense of satisfaction when they are complete :-) I have tried several times to make curtains i can never get the hem level, i don't think i have the patience for sewing so now i won't even attempt it!

    Hope all goes well with finding/making Civil War Christmas ornaments, please show them on your blog, i think it will make for interesting reading :-)

    Have a good week :-)

  2. Your sampler is beautiful. It must be a pleasure to stitch in those vibrant colours.
    I can make curtains but, like you, it is not my favourite thing to do and I don't like mending either!

  3. Beautiful sampler and your Civil War Christmas project sounds fascinating.
    I'm with you on the curtains. Can make them. Don't.

  4. Christmas in the Civil War sounds like a lot of work, but very interesting. I wonder if there is anything like that around here? The birth sampler is very colorful and beautiful! A lucky little boy to receive it. :)

  5. Oh, why oh why do I have to live so far away??? The Civil War stuff sounds so interesting--I would love to go to it and see all that you've come up with. Researching an old property--again--oh my gosh. SO interesting and intriguing!

    Nice progress on the birth sampler!


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