The George Washington Project – One Year Anniversary

To live a fulfilled life, we need to keep creating
the “what is next”, of our lives. Without dreams and goals
there is no living, only merely existing,
and that is not why we are here.
– Mark Twain

 

We all want to be a part of something BIG, to do something special and unique with our lives. It is just human nature to want to leave a legacy. Cross stitchers are no different, stitching and crafting carefully, patiently, and producing finished pieces for themselves or loved ones. These works of art take hours, weeks, months, YEARS of time to complete. Let me introduce you to one of those projects that takes years… a venture that is a collaboration of 112 stitchers from all over the United States.

 

THE George Washington project.

George painting

Washington Crossing the Delaware, 1851, oil on canvas, 378.5 x 647.7 cm, by Emanuel Leutze, now featured at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

 

 

The George Washington Project is a coming-together of 112 US stitchers, The United Stitchers of America, who will join their talents together to stitch the famous Washington Crossing the Delaware painting. This grand undertaking is the brain-child of Heather Russell of McAlester, Oklahoma. Heather has spent countless hours organizing, planning, creating the charts and kitting up the supplies for each stitcher. Her vision for this project is immeasurable. We thank you deeply Heather for your commitment to making this project happen!

Facebook pages were created for the project and several admin were added: Heather Russell, Lisa Kirk, DeNitaAnn DeValcourt, and Margie Herreres. They worked very hard to organize our group, to answer questions for us as we work along, to provide guidance or files that we need, etc. and for their assistance we issue them a hearty THANK YOU!

OUR MISSION

Our WHY, if you will, is varied amongst our stitchers but the primary reasons I understand after interviewing some of them and by following along with our Facebook groups is that we want to beat the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest cross stitch. We want to be involved with a PATRIOTIC  project that, when completed, could be featured here in the US (we hope to be in a museum, when completed.) And, it’s just COOL. Most of our stitchers just have the general feeling that we are doing some thing AWESOME.

PROJECT DETAILS

The George Washington Project, being done by the group called United Stitchers of America, is a 5 year project. This project will be an estimated finished size of 333 inches by 213 inches, that is an estimated 28 by 18 feet. Our work is being stitched on 18 ct  Aida fabric which was donated by our sponsor Wichelt.  Sullivans is sponsoring us by providing the floss for all our stitchers. There are 233 colors used and 9446 PAGES of cross stitch pattern, divided into grid squares (see pic. Below) between the 112 stitchers. The grid squares are counted horizontally, left to right, and each stitcher has a grid square. Most grid squares involve a 100 page cross stitch pattern, although there are some smaller panels, as you can see in the picture. For example, if you count over to panel 77, which is my panel, there are 100 pages of pattern and 37 colors for this panel. When it is completed, it will be sent back to Heather who will collect all panels and stitch them together into one grand final piece

*OUR SPONSORS –  I have to thank our sponsors who helped to make this project possible.  Wichelt who provided the fabric for all of our stitchers to use. And Sullivans who provided all of the embroidery floss. Thank you for your gracious donations and support for this project—you will forever have my business!!!

** The current Guinness Book of World Records for the Largest Cross Stitch is held by  The Battle of Grunwald, by a group of Polish stitchers, and measuring 32.38 x 13.97 feet.

George gridding
The pattern of grid squares represents the different panels assigned to the stitchers.

SHOW YOUR SUPPORT

We have a blog and a Facebook group and would LOVE to have your support for our efforts. What YOU can do to show your support…

  • SHARE this article on all of your social media platforms (links at the bottom of the page)
  • Join our Facebook group, follow along, and offer your support to our stitchers,
    United Stitchers of America
  • Our United Stitchers of America blog is currently under maintenance..but I will add this information as soon as it is back up and running

  •  UPDATE: THE BLOG FOR OUR GROUP IS NOW WORKING :

    United Stitchers of America BLOG

     

     

    Now, let me introduce you to a few of our stitchers!

     

Rebecca Hill

Rebecca Hill
Fredericksburg,VA
Project Manager, Army Veteran
Panel #110

“I stumbled on the project for Stitching George a little by accident. I was looking through a group and saw it and went… YES! As a Army veteran, and American history instructor, this project just called to me! I was excited to be accepted into the project, and feel history being stitched under my fingers. It has been fun to give little tidbits of information to my kids as I work on the project and watch their interest in history grow as well.”

Rebecca is a hard-working woman who wears many “hats,” such as blogging book reviews, project manager, college history adjunct, social media manager, blogger, and mom extraordinaire 🙂 You may find her at:

A Tale of Two Pages Blog
Twitter
Instagram

 

Timothy 3

Timothy Johnson
Coconut Creek, Florida
Flight Attendent
Panel #40

“I heard about this from one of the angels working with Rainbows. Thought wow I can be the only boy. Woot woot. Means the world to me to be a part of history and making a legacy with the other angels working on this. Being part of a team of super talented stitchers is a blessing with stitching historical art.”

Timothy is a flight attendant who travels the world. “George,” along with his other cross stitch projects have traveled the world with him. He has entertained all of us so much with his humor, wit, and hysterical pictures. He runs an inspiring charitable Facebook group that you can find here:

Rainbows For Peace and Comfort

 

Christina

 

Christina Ward Jarrell
Claremont, North Carolina
Freelance writer, Poet, Blogger
Panel #77

“It is a great honor to be a part of this project. I am excited to be a part of history and to honor my love for my country through my craft. It is wonderful to see so many different people coming together and working together to make this project happen. So far I have made some wonderful friends through this experience. I look forward to seeing this project to completion.”

Christina lives in rural North Carolina with her family. She is a writer and poetry blogger who has a great love for nature. She is the author of this Fiddleheads & FLoss blog. You may find her other pages here:

Fiddleheads & Floss on Twitter
Instagram

 

Lisa Kirk

Lisa Kirk
Cottondale, Florida
Tupperware Manager, Avon rep.
Panel #6

“When I was a young girl I spent parts of my summer with my grandmother. One summer day 35 years ago I remember her teaching me to cross stitch. My first project was a small motif. However, the memory was something much more and will remain so. I got involved in this project through a friend and then came on board as admin for the Facebook group and our blog. I have a few reasons but the main reason is because Heather’s mom had the vision of this project. Heather started it and then her mom passed away. It’s a great tribute to not only History but her mom.”

Lisa is a manager with Tupperware and an Avon representative. You can find her here:

Tupperware
Avon

 

gail2.png

 

 

Gail Bindewald
Bettendorf, Iowa
retired
panel # 13

“I love this project because it is a grand adventure and it depicts a great moment in our history. Being a retired federal government employee just heightens my patriotism.”

Gail is happily retired. She enjoys keeping her family and friends updated on her progress via her personal Facebook page.

 

 

 

773C2DB1-48AA-4BED-A533-524A6183D33CSharon Kay Drake
Riverdale, California
Disabled
panel #23

I love history and cross stitching, it was a great way to combine the two. I also visited Pennsylvania and went to Valley Forge. Got to go inside Washington’s headquarters and walked all around the place. It was a wonderful experience for me.

Sharon is disabled with terminal cancer, Multiple Myeloma, the 2nd leading blood cancer after leukemia. Thanks to stem cell treatment, she is thankfully in remission. Her positive attitude and can-do spirit are inspirational to us all. (I have tears in my eyes while writing this.) Sharon we are so happy to have you with us on our journey and our prayers and well-wishes are with you to REMAIN in remission!

*************************************************************************************

So today, on George Washington’s Birthday,
we celebrate the one year anniversary
of this endeavor. We are all at varying levels of completion on our panels. Here are a couple of pictures of my current progress to give you a visual.

progress 2.jpg
The hanging threads are embroidery floss that is “parked” into the next square in which they will be used. This technique is called the “parking method.”

progress

Thank you so much for reading about this exciting cross stitching adventure. we hope you will follow along with our progress!!

 

 Never be afraid to chase after
big dreams or big opportunities.
No matter WHAT your talent is…
use it for something great.

Christina Ward

 

(Please share.)

Flosstube Video 1 – Two-Handed Cross Stitching and Parking Method

Hi fellow stitchers and the curious stoppers-by, it’s a dreary North Carolina day and perfect for stitching. Some of you are aware that I am participating in the United Stitchers of America : Stitching George Washington project and I have been meaning to post a few updates. It is nearing the end of year one of this project and my panel#77 is coming along. I am currently stitching pages 9 and 10.

A fellow stitcher and I were discussing stitching methods. She stitches the “classic” cross stitch way (one hand holding the hoop or q-snap, and one hand stitching) which is how I learned but had to abandon due to some health complications. I created a video for her and my group, but wanted to share it here for my cross stitching followers.

You can find it on my NEW Flosstube channel:

 

 

Trust me, it’s pretty raw and my cat is howling hysterically in the middle of it, but still a good demo of two-handed cross stitching and parking method. Please remember  to like and comment to let me know your thoughts. Thanks you! Happy Stitching!

Christina

How Keeping bullet Journal Can be Excellent for mental Health

I decided to start a bullet Journal after seeing it come up in conversation on a penpal group that I frequent on Facebook. Well, if there is a buzz about anything in a crafty department, then I MUST INVESTIGATE.  I have been thoroughly obsessed with looking through Pinterest, Instagram, all sorts of Google searches so that I can see what the buzz is all about and I am HOOKED. What an insanely great idea!

After exploring this unique form of self-expression, I have come to a few conclusions regarding how this journey is helping MY MIND. It appeals to all of those little OCD corners of my brain that shout when something isn’t quite right and urges me to make a list, clean a room,  organize a bookshelf or stay up all night jotting down ideas. It allows me to reign in my SQUIRRELY BRAIN and put it into little neat boxes that helps me feel grounded. I look forward to being able to compare my sleep patterns to the patterns of my headaches, compare my exercise patterns to see if on those days I notate better sleep or happier mood… organizing my pen pals, and notating some of the harebrained ideas that bounced around in my head. You never know when those ideas may come to fruition!!

First, let me detail the parts of a personality that bullet journaling would appeal to and a few benefits of starting your own Bullet Journal…so that you can decide whether or not this could be THE THING for you. I will make a few suggestions for pages as well. Feel free to comment pics of your favorite pages if you are a fellow Bujo-er.

What Bujo can do for you…

* Bullet journaling is super ORGANIZE-Y. Seriously who doesn’t need a little bit of help keeping their schedule organized? Yes, I do keep a calendar in my cell phone, and I am not knocking our super-techy norm, but one day this week my phone wouldn’t charge and there was a brief moment of absolute panic. It helps to have a calendar in my cell phone but there’s something very special about writing an activity down that makes it real for me. I am often saying to someone that if I don’t write it down,  it does not EXIST in my world.

* Bullet journaling appeals to your inner list-maker. Is there anything more satisfying really than to check off a box on your to-do list? The feeling of accomplishment when you can scratch off an item from your to-do list will continuously feed your self-esteem, while the list-making itself will help you organize those racing or disorganized thoughts. If you are a list-maker like me,  then get your pen (or in my case multiple pens, containers of markers, metallic, gels, etc.) ready!  Because the bullet Journal is yours… designed by you and for you. Your list can be whatever font,  length,  or topic you choose. And it won’t get lost in the car,  buried in the bottom of your purse, or misplaced in your stack of mail as easily perhaps as your phone. And let’s face it, your phone already has UMPTEEN tasks going on and doesn’t give you that nostalgic, smell-the-paper experience.

* Bullet journaling  helps you take a look at your life and set goals. Your bullet journal combines several things in one place to help you compartmentalize, and look over your life stats according to YOU…not according to likes, comments, and the often unkind online community. It is an organizer, a tracker for anything that you would like to keep track of,  a creative outlet, a reference tool for all sorts of important information that you want to keep track of, a dream journal, A Prayer Journal, a mental health tool,  a scrapbook, a memory keeper… the list goes on. It a place to organize both your life and your thoughts into one awesome place where you can go to get your head together. It is helps you to achieve your goals and focus on your strengths. It is an excellent resource to use for self- improvement in any area of your life.

* Bullet journaling is, quite frankly, the cheapest hobby I have ever adopted. All you need is a blank journaling notebook of your choice and your favorite pen and you are all set!  I would suggest a few other things… but I will get to that in a moment.

* Bullet journaling allows you to be your own best cheerleader. Encourage Yourself, be good to yourself, collect favorite scriptures and quotes all in one place. Does the color yellow make you happy? Do yellow! Whatever inspires you, fills you, and makes you do YOU more fully…embrace it in the pages of your Bujo.

* Bullet journaling is perfect for the obsessive mind. If you are a worrier or over-thinker this is the perfect hobby for you. It helps you to simplify things that you are mulling over and over into something that looks organized, neat, and efficient. I have often told my children that worrying is a symptom of mental boredom, and that getting creative is the perfect way to relieve that boredom. Worry is merely creativity gone wrong. Capture that mental energy in the pages of your Bujo and organize those wandering thoughts into charts, or doodles, or plans.

* Bullet journaling is easy and can be personalized to your taste. It can be as simple and minimalistic as you want it to be, or it can get crafty,  go all out and be covered in washi tape,  polka dots and accordion style pull outs! (Warning here…looking up bullet journal page ideas on Pinterest is a WORMHOLE).

* Bullet journaling allows you to work on your handwriting,possib ly learn some new fontsor doodles, or maybe learn to do calligraphy. It gives you an excuse to use those fun colored pens that you’ve been storing up in your desk drawer. (Another warning here, new pens can become an addiction!).

* Bullet journaling DOES NOT HAVE TO BE PERFECT. And neither do you!  This is YOUR LIFE IN PROGRESS so make your journal any way you want.

* It is created BY YOU… FOR YOU!!! THERE ARE NO RULES!!!

 

Does any of this appeal to you? Well it certainly does to me. It appeals to all of those little OCD corners of my brain that shout when something isn’t quite right and urges me to make a list, clean a room,  organize a bookshelf or stay up all night jotting down ideas. It allows me to reign in my SQUIRRELY BRAIN and put it into little neat boxes that helps me feel grounded. I look forward to being able to compare my sleep patterns to the patterns of my headaches, compare my exercise patterns to see if on those days I notate better sleep or happier mood… organizing my pen pals, and notating some of the harebrained ideas that bounced around in my head. You never know when those ideas may come to fruition!!

So with that as a brief introduction to Bullet journaling, here are a few notes about how you can get started with your Bullet Journal.

Getting Started

° Step 1: Get a notebook. You can use a plain journal with no lines on the pages, a gridded journal with a dot grid (which seems to be popular in the bullet journaling Community), or a plain old spiral notebook that’s been sitting in the back of your desk for three years. It doesn’t matter what Journal you choose to use as long as it’s one that you like!  I, personally, will not be carrying my bullet journal with me as I will continue to put my appointments into my cell phone calendar, for later relaying into my bullet Journal. But if you choose to carry it with you,  as a lot of people do, keep in mind the size of your bullet journal and the weight so that it will fit in your purse or your pocket or your computer bag/book bag. (My first Bujo was a vintage Journal given to me many many years ago by my mother and it is covered in a floral fabric.)

° Step 2: Writing supplies! Collect your favorite pens in the house and get them all into one place. I have all of mine in one of those $1 baskets from the Dollar Store with a couple of organized sections in it. I have them sorted by regular pens, gel, metallic markers, highlighters and markers and fountain pens. Some markers,  colored pencils or fountain pens may bleed through your Bujo pages so you may want to use a test page in the back of your Bullet Journal. Use this space to write with each utensil before you use it to make sure that it does not bleed through the paper too much and it looks satisfying to you on the paper. I keep my pens together because if you set up a color guide on any of your pages, you will want to make sure you stay consistent with the colors of pens that you are using throughout that “spread”. Some people create an elaborate color scheme and then later minimalize it to use less colors. The good thing is if you don’t like the way you’re doing something,  YOU CAN CHANGE IT!!  If you absolutely lose your mind over mistakes then you may want to have a pencil and eraser to map out your pages before you put them in ink. Also if you are a Washi tape junkie… this is the thing for you!! Other supplies include a small ruler for making straight lines, clear tape if you need it for attaching little inspirational card,  etc.  I would suggest some stencil sheets.  I have some left over from scrapbooking days and I use them on nearly every page.

° Step 3: Create an index in the front of your Journal. You will want to notate every entry that you make into your book and what page those entries are on so that they can be found quickly. ( If your Journal does not have numbered Pages, then you will want to number them.)

° Step 4 Create a key. There is a way to use the standard original symbols that are recommended for bullet journaling, however I just made up my own. Put a key in the front of your book so that you can reference it and pretty soon you will remember all of your symbols and colors and dots and you’ll know what it means. This gives you a way to prioritize your notes, find things quicker, and relocate to-do items to other days if you need to carry them over.

° Step 5: Create a year at a glance page if you choose. I did not do this. If you think it would be helpful you may do that in the beginning of your book. You will want to create month at a glance pages, and I would just do the month you are entering… don’t skip ahead and do a bunch of months at one time. That way you have the option to change your format if you like. Make sure to leave space for notes and to-do lists. I did not do a year at a glance  but I just went straight into some collection pages and then my month at a glance page and weeks at a glance pages. These are the pages you will use to stay organized in all of your activities and keep up with your to-do list for each day, possibly your dinner menu list, and shopping list for each month and week.  There are many, many ways for you to set up your calendar. I did Google searches and look through Pinterest and Instagram and found lots of ideas on how to do this. If you are not a super busy person and don’t have many appointments, you can do a monthly spread and then just have fun with customized pages. Mine is a lot less appointment oriented and a lot more personal growth oriented.

° Step 6 Get creative with your pages. Are you a shopping fanatic but can’t remember what you buy and where you buy it? Make a shopping page!  Are you a pen pal-er and want to keep up with your pen pals? Make a pen pal tracker! Make a page to track your exercise program or smoking cessation program. Make a page to brainstorm ideas for birthday presents for your spouse. Make a sleep tracker page to track how much sleep you are getting and how well you slept. Create a mood tracker system with cute little doodled emojis!  The possibilities are endless.my favorite spreads are my books to read spread,  gratitude Journal, prayer list,  and helpful scriptures for areas I am trying to improve in my life. This is called a collection. It is a certain topic that you make a page on that you are collecting information about or listing about Etc.

Make a Brain Dump page!!  This is exactly what it sounds like. On those days you have too much running around in your mind,  dump it out on your Brain Dump page. The good thing is you can make as many of those pages as you would like!

Get creative and Bujo your life.

 

I hope you’ve learned something new or found some inspiration. If you love Bujo, share what you love about it and how it helps you stay sane. Share pics of your favorite pages or ideas. Thanks for stopping by!!

 

°°°christina°°°