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)
    • 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

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.)

Doe Season in Mamma’s Kitchen ~ a poem about my childhood

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Doe Season in Mamma’s Kitchen

 

Every week or so Daddy brings home a stiff-legged,
russet-colored doe and hangs her by her feet on my swing set.
Mamma blinks her eyes away and silently wipes
down the aged green countertops
with a dilapidated kitchen sponge.

He is careful with the knife in the afternoon sun,
b
lood mixing with sweat,
dripping from his elbows.
The dirt below is painted a muddy sienna
that stays for days.

We are careful where we step,
remembering the blood that had
drained from her nose.

Daddy works quickly.
I turn my eyes from the tongue, hanging there
f
at, limp, pink.
Mamma defrosts the freezer with hot water
that runs across the floor.
We mop it up quickly,
slip out of Daddy’s way as he carries each
veiny lump to the counter.

He washes them carefully.
They drop and slap loudly in the sink.
He wraps them, marks them,
arranges them in piles on the table.

Mamma prepares the flour and the skillet.

 

Christina Ward, 2019

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My childhood was a humble, but blessed one. I grew up in a family of 7: my parents, my 4 siblings and I, in a 2 bedroom, one bath “mill house.” My father was a deer hunter, as are most of the Uncles in my family. I remember gathering around them to hear their “deer stories” which were basically long, drawn-out tales of their hunting adventures. You will never meet a finer bunch of hard-working, nature-loving, down-to-earth men as these.

My final year of college I wrapped up a minor in English with a “concentration in writing” as there was no writing minor available to me, by taking a class in environmental writing. This class was designed for me. I was the only student. I began the words that would eventually become this poem while in that class. I wanted to pay tribute to the legacy of deer hunting and the genuine, deep love for the environment in my family.

A word about deer hunting and the environment: Due to habitat loss and fragmentation, would-be predators for deer (other species populations) have been forced into smaller areas as they retreat from areas they once roamed and hunted freely. Ecologically speaking, the numbers of prey species outnumber their respective predators. When the predators are removed, the populations of the species they would normally prey upon can reach unsustainable levels which could lead to too much competition for food and subsequently starvation, among a host of other issues. The US Fish & Widlife service and state Fish and Wildlife Services are crucial in monitoring population trends and setting hunting parameters which are then used to monitor key populations. The fees collected from hunters to maintain their hunting licenses also contribute to environmental conservation projects.

For more information:

US Fish and Wildlife: Hunting

Article on Hunting and Habitat Conservation

***Trophy hunting of big game  and endangered or threatened species, however, is another matter. I will offer NO argument in favor of that travesty.

Thank you so much for reading my poem. I understand this is a subject matter that can be difficult. I grew up very conflicted with my LOVE for deer (as equal a time my father spent hunting, we spent loaded up in the car driving at a snail’s pace through local state parks to look for, count and watch the deer) and my desire to understand why people would want to hunt them. I understood my father hunted and fed our family but as a child, it was still difficult to accept. I am grateful now to have a better understanding. Again, thank you for reading “Doe Season in Mamma’s Kitchen.”

Please see some of my other poetry on environmental issues, nature, and wildlife. Together we all play a very important role!

Hoppy-Toads in the Summer ~ a poem

Green Lacewing ~ a poem about these beneficial garden insects

Cornucopian Dream ~ a poem for my fellow Earth lovers

Dear Mr. Valentine

A hastily written but mightily felt wish of the heart…

 

Dear Mr. Valentine,

 

You sleep next to me like a happy rock.
As night rolls over into tomorrow,
I sit staring at our future.
Two creaky rocking chairs are there
Gnawing at the porch as we rest our aching backs
And laugh until breathing hurts our ribs.
Waterfalls and grassy balds and eagles
We’ve shared will occupy our minds
As we, together, will forget to say
The things we forgot that we meant to say
And laugh, still more.
This tea is so good, you’ll say.
I made it for you, I’ll say.
We are great old people aren’t we, Babe?
We’ll agree.
Just like we’ve always said we would be.
Dear Mr. Valentine,
as you lay there sleeping
As the night turns over to February 14,
I just want you to know I don’t need any flowers.
I remember all the ones we have seen.
I don’t need a ring or shiny things.
I remember the suns and the moons we’ve seen.
I don’t need you to say a bunch of romantical things.
I see them in the way that you still look at me.
Just promise me that
We will make great old people someday.

 

Christina Ward
2/14/19

 

 

Because sometimes you just decide it’s Valentine’s Day, and there are things to say. To the “happy rock” sleeping next to me, Happy Valentine’s Day.

Thank you for reading…Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

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