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

WIPocalypse?? Oh, yes.

So I ran across this superb word on another blog and had to borrow it just for a moment. While I take no credit for this word, I do fully admit to being a victim of the WIPocalypse.

For my non-stitchy friends a WIP is a work-in-progress. It is a cross stitching project (although I am sure the term applies to other forms of needlepoint or crafty projects) that I usually keep in a gallon-sized baggie in a decorative box beside my stitchy chair (this refers to the niche a stitcher sets up as the stitching area, usually completed by the combination of a favorite and comfortable chair, a damn good lamp AND outside lighting, sometimes magnifying apparatus, a pillow, a place to set a chart for working, and for the lucky ones a floor stand on which to mount stitching projects. A stitcher lives in this chair and can be found there at any hour of the day or night pouring over charts or stitching or somethings ripping – this is called frogging and don’t expect us to be happy about a visit from the little green bastard.)

Now, back to the WIPs. My WIP box. The source of the WIPocalypse (yes, I’ve repeated the term several times now, I’m just loving it, please excuse…). I feel pretty certain that 1, sometimes 2 or 3, is the norm, as most stitchers have a personal project going, maybe a seasonal, and a gift piece or two. I have NINE. Excessive? YES. Could this mean I have trouble saying no? Bite off more than I can chew? Have lost my mind? Perhaps yes, yes, and yes. I think it just means I am bursting with creative energy and good intentions. So while I am drowning in my WIPs at least I am not lacking in short, and a few long-term, goals. So, as I’d like to incorporate my stitching adventures into my blog (hence the recent blog name change) I’d like to outline briefly, well I will TRY to be brief, the current projects that I have going.

I think I will do this in order of size:

1. Stained-Glass Window. This was a free chart from http://www.tinymodernist.com I am doing this project as a RAK (that is Random Act of Kindness, as I learned from another stitchy friend this morning…should I not have already known this from Oprah?)

Earlier this year I signed up on Facebook to do a pay-It-forward project for 2014. People signed up for mine, I signed up for theirs, and sometime this year I have to do something nice for the 5 people on my list. This project I am doing in all purples, includes a snazzy metallic purple, and is for the first lovely lady on my list. I took the time to gather some info about her so I’d know what she might like…and now that I am stitching it, I LOVE THIS PROJECT!!! I love the patterns, the lines and shapes and symmetry. I love it so much I might do one in the favorite colors of the other ladies on my list. So while this is ONE project at the moment, I am already searching for colors and metallics to do one in greens and one in earth tones.

2. Anna’s Gift. I had to name this one as it is a gift for my new niece Anna Elizabeth! It is a combination of 2 free charts called “It’s Good to be Green” and one simply called “Web Thank you Card”. SO, it’s a whimsical scene with a frog and a turtle and will have a birth announcement stitched across the top. I am getting my mother to contribute her handwriting in a few samples for me so I can design the lettering after her handwriting!! My mother has the most beautiful handwriting I have ever seen and it is cherished amongst her children. I have 2 weeks to finish this one as I am going home for a week at the end of March and want to take it with me as a gift. The colors are perfect and will match Anna’s room decor. This is my FIRST birth announcement! WHAT?? Yes, I have never done one. I didn’t mean to miss the other babies born into our family, I only wasn’t in a time and place in my life to do it before. Now I am. Bring on the babies!

3. Joan Elliott SAL on Facebook. For my non-stitchy friends, if you haven’t closed out the page in absolute boredom by now, this means Stitch Along. I signed up for this on FB after seeing the most adorable dragon and unicorn! I just HAD to jump in, with both feet, even though I am drowning in stitching projects! Joan Elliott is following the event and leaves comments from time to time. She got a good laugh at my photo update yesterday (which was photo-bombed by my dog!). It’s wonderful to participate as this is my first Joan Elliott and I enjoy that the designer is a part of the event. And who doesn’t love adorable little dragons and unicorns!? Ok, I know not everyone, but these will be perfect for Abby’s room. I just adore them.

4. I almost forgot to include this one because it is not bagged for starting yet but I include it because Abby and I both have committed to doing it and I have the charts. http://www.canadastitches.com It is for CHARITY!! My first charity stitch. Each owl square we stitch and send will be stitched into blankets for very ill children and infants in Canadian hospitals. I’d like to do something like this in the US as well. Very excited to use my hobby to bless others, and to use it as a teaching tool for Abby to learn about charitable acts. Plus, the owls we are stitching are ADORABLE.

5. Owlet Witch of Emerald Forest by Lena Lawson Needlearts. I saw this on Ebay. I nearly died. HAD to have it. I am stitching this one for myself and can’t wait to start. It’s bagged, colors ready, beautiful piece of linen waiting…for me to finish the current SAL so I can start on it!!

6. Birds of the Marsh Great Egret, from For The Love Of Cross Stitch, Jan 1999. I just fell in love with this pattern and I’m stitching it for my best friend Kitty, who has lovely coastal themes in her living room. The colors and fabric I have selected will be beautiful!! Just need to get started on this one as well…

7. Elsie and Charlie, made by Pic2Pat. This will be a BAP. Meaning, Big Ass Project 🙂 It’s time I made something for my sister. I want to make sure that I make something for al the members of my family and I have been putting off my sisters project for years. It’s one of those things you want to give your ALL to and do with the honor it deserves. My sister. My only sister whom I love dearly and of whom I could not be more proud. After months of searching for the right thing to stitch and coming up blank, I decided to stitch a beautiful portrait of her children, my niece Elsie, and my nephew Charlie. This is my first Pic2Pat undertaking and it’s about a 9 page pdf. Fabric -check, all 75 colors of floss – check, printed the chart-check and I am ready to roll on this one – after months of planning!!

8. Flight of Freedom, Dimensions Gold Collection. My FIRST Gold Collection. I’ll be doing this one for Robbie and his future man-cave. It was a gift from my mother for Christmas and I started on it right away. Learning to stitch by grid and to utilize the parking method as well. THIS HAS CHANGED my stitching forever. I’m almost half-way through with it. It’s definately a BAP at around 17,000 stitches!

9. This brings me to my biggest undertaking EVER. Please see my previous blog post for full details. I will be taking part in a Guinness World Book record-breaking event stitching George Washington Crossing the Delaware….not kidding. I’m joining a group of US stitchers and have committed to one panel of the project which we hope will break the world record and possibly take a place of honor in a museum!!!! It’s a 5 year project and my panel will come with a hefty 110 page chart. Yes. You read that correctly. Have I lost my mind? Yes, yes I have. I want to at least make history in the process!!! I will probably set a schedule and plan my work on this to stay on track and will blog further about it soon. I will be looking for support in gathering materials etc.

So … I’ll post pictures as I go along on these and come here to vent occasionally. I’m sure. But for the most part, as overwhelmed as I am feeling, I am doing what I love to do. Every day. I am chasing my creativity around like a quick little butterfly on the spring breeze and hoping to have enough flowers to catch my rest along the way. I am thinking of the people I love and how I can leave my legacy. I want to give, to share the things I love with others. I love my family. I love nature. I love my God and country. I express myself through written words and through crafting. I hope the world understands.

Now, I think I’ll get dinner started and get a little work done on one of my WIP’s. Have a blessed and creative weekend!!!