Salem Notforgotten

Late in 2016, a lovely fellow stitcher posted on Facebook in one of the stitching groups a suggestion to do a SAL beginning in June to honor the 325th anniversary of the Salem Witch Trials.  She had suggested we all stitch this beautiful piece by Notforgotten Farm called Salem Village.

While I love that piece (really anything by Notforgotten Farm) I decided that it was the perfect opportunity to stitch a piece that has been in my stash since 2008 when Karen V (sadly no longer blogging) gifted it to me – Salem Remembered by The Primitive Needle.

Part of the reason I have been wanting to stitch this piece was to honor my ancestor, Susannah Martin, one of those accused and put to death during the trials.

In doing some research on Susannah I found this: Lone Tree Hill, a famous historical site, bore a tablet on its westerly side marking the site of George and Susannah’s home. The boulder which marked their homestead has been moved to make room for a highway, and it can be found on the map where the highway crosses Martin Road in Amesbury. The marker lies nearby. George was one of the largest landowners in Amesbury. The inscription on the marker reads: “Here stood the house of Susannah Martin. An honest, hardworking Christian woman accused of being a witch and executed at Salem, July 19, 1692. She will be missed! A Martyr of Superstition. T.I.A. 1894.”

“A martyr of superstition” really says it all about this horrible time in our history.

It was important to me that in undertaking this piece I wanted to really delve into each of the names I was stitching and to reflect on what they endured.  We started the SAL on June 10th and I proceeded to complete each of the names by the date that they were put to death, beginning with Bridget Bishop the first to be executed.

I stitched this piece on a 40ct Lakeside Linen of unknown color with my own conversion (using what I had on hand).  I used Belle Soie Moss for the motifs and border, Silk N Colors Chestnut for the names, Gloriana Antique Gold Dark for the centers of the stars, and Silk N Colors Tuscan Olive (called for) for the background around the stars.  I wanted Susannah’s name to be prominent so I chose to use Belle Soie Red Fox for her name as well as for the stars.

Further information from my research: On Aug 29, 1957 the State of Massachusetts voted to wipe from the books the convictions of six women that had been unjustly accused of being witches 265 years earlier. Then Gov. Foster Furcolo signed the legislative intended to clear Susannah Martin, as well as: Ann Pudeator, Bridget Bishop, Alice Parker, Margaret Scott and Wilmot Redd.

However, while taking a graduate course on Salem witchcraft during the late 1990s, Paula Keene discovered that, although the legislators intended to pardon all six of the women in 1957, only Ann Pudeater’s name was listed on the official documents. Susannah Martin, Bridget Bishop, Alice Parker, Margaret Scott and Wilmot Redd were simply listed as “five others convicted of witchcraft.” Keene and state representative Michael Ruane worked together to redress the issue.[6]

On Halloween 2001, due to Keene and Ruane’s efforts, as well as the efforts of many of the descendants of the accused witches, Susannah Martin, Bridget Bishop, Alice Parker, Margaret Scott and Wilmot Redd were finally, and truly exonerated by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

On September 22, 1692 Martha Corey, Alice Parker, Margaret Scott, Ann Pudeator, Mary Easty, Samuel Wardwell, Wilmott Redd and Mary Parker were hanged at Gallows hill. These were the last hangings to take place during the Salem Witch Trials. I didn’t quite make my goal of finishing the last set of of names by the date of their death, but I had them finished by the end of the month.  And frankly, it’s quite chilling to realize that eight were hanged on the same day.

I started this piece on June 10, 2017 and finished it on October 3, 2017.  In the dedication of a new memorial at Proctor’s Ledge on the 325th anniversary the following was said.   “We would like to think that we’ve learned from the evil and traumatic choices made 325 years ago. We would like to think we’ve become better people,” Barz-Snell said. “The truth is the lessons of Salem are not just learned once, but must be learned and relearned by each generation.”

“From this time forward I hope that residents and visitors to Salem will treat the tragic events of 1692 with more of the respect they are due,” he said. “We need less celebration in October and more commemoration and sober reflection throughout the year.”

 

I am grateful for honoring my history.

Ten Years in the Making

As promised, I thought I’d share my 2017 finishes on the blog.  I already shared Mermaid Fraktur here, which was my first big finish of the year.  The next thing I decided to focus on was the Papillon Creations Mystery Sampler that was published in five parts in The Gift of Stitching magazine.  I started this piece when it first came out and copied Carol’s choice of 32ct Sandcastle by Silkweaver with the called for Vikki Clayton HDF silks.

As I mentioned, I started this piece when it was first released in March of 2007.  I completely fell in love with that beautiful red silk A.  The colors were just so pretty and the specialty stitches gave it a fun texture.  This piece has long been languishing though and the reason for that is  because I could already tell I was going to run out of one of the silks.  There is no worse feeling than knowing you’re going to run out of a thread that is no longer available.  Vikki had long since closed down her thread dyeing business.  But, I decided this piece had sat too long untouched and so I put it on my Year of WIPs list.  And in March of this year I pulled it out of the closet to stitch on.  I’d basically finished parts one and two and was mostly finished with part 3.  This is what it looked like when I took “before” photos for my Year of WIPs album.

When I picked it up though, I just really wasn’t feeling the love.  I was having a hard time actually wanting to stitch on it.  In fact there were nights I just didn’t stitch because I didn’t want to stitch on this.  But then I went to a stitchy meetup at my LNS and brought this with me, since it was already on the q-snaps and strangely enough dedicated time on this piece got me in the groove with it.  So, I just kept going.  And then the inevitable happened.  I did, indeed, run out of one of the colors of silk.  I posted my saga on Instagram and before I could even blink the sweetest stitcher offered to send me her spool of that color so that I could finish my piece!  So, I worked around that color and kept going.  And when it arrived a few days later, I was back in business.  Sort of.

The silk I’d run out of is that blue/green/teal variegated of the peacock.  And her skein was close but was more blue/teal with no green.  But, at this point I was going to make lemonade out of lemons regardless and get this done.  And of course the biggest motif in the whole piece was down in that bottom right corner (part 4) in Deep Sea.  So, I fudged it.  I pulled a green that was as close as I could get to the original and I interspersed that green with the teal/blue of the borrowed Deep Sea.  And I think it looks fine.  With everything going on in this piece, it doesn’t really catch your eye.  So I’m pleased with that.

Part 5 of the pattern was the center, and the designer actually gave three different options for the center.  One was for a marriage or anniversary, one for a birth announcement, and one was an alphabet with a big peacock in Deep Sea.  When I started this piece I’d intended to stitch the peacock.  But, by the time I was actively working on this in March I decided that it would be a great piece to commemorate our tenth wedding anniversary.  I hadn’t stitched anything for the occasion, so this would be perfect.  And, if I pushed hard, I could finish it in time to give to Eric on our eleventh anniversary in April.  So, I decided to go for the anniversary choice for the center.  And it’s kind of Adam & Eve-ish too, so that’s a bonus.

I did the personalizations – the years, the 10, our initials.  And there were two cartouches on this piece that were charted with nothing in them.  I decided to put an L in the top one (right above the peacock) and then at the bottom I had just enough room to put Texas – where we met and were married.

I finished it literally the day before our anniversary and then was in a panic about how to frame it.  Square frames aren’t easy to come by and usually the biggest you can find them is album size (12 x 12″).  I needed 15 x 15″ at least.  But that evening when we were out shopping I spied a piece of pre-framed “art” at Garden Ridge that appeared to be the perfect size.  So, the next morning while Eric was sleeping I slipped out of the house and went to purchase it.  I popped out that “art” and had already laced and pinned my piece so I could pop it right in.

And I’m thrilled with how it looks.  And I’m saddened by the fact that this piece literally took me ten years to finally finish it for what turned out to be a sum total of twenty stitching days once I picked it back up again.  That’s right, twenty!!!  UGH!  So March 2007 to April 2017 and commemorating our ten year anniversary back in 2016.  Which I wouldn’t have done if it hadn’t been sitting here unfinished.  So, maybe it’s perfect timing.  And thank goodness through the kindness of stitchers who are willing to bail a girl out when she runs out of silk!!

I’m so happy with how it looks and I’m happy to have it done finally.  Happy ten years, my love.  Here’s to another ten.

I’m grateful for ten years and the kindness of stitchers.

Cliff Notes from 2015

Stitching Bags

Hello, friends!  Thanks so much for your comments on my last post!  For those of you who saw that post pop up on your blog feed and noted how glad you were I was back to blogging, I wanted to fill you in on what happened.  Last December I migrated my blog from Blogspot over to my own domain.  If you go to the old blog address you will automatically be redirected to the new location.  So, I’ve been blogging at my new location throughout 2015 but unfortunately it didn’t occur to me that my feed over at Bloglovin’ or similar blog readers never got updated to the new address.  So, if you were looking for updates via a blog reader, rather than heading to the blog directly, it appeared that I haven’t updated my blog in a year!  The feed should be fixed now, so you will get regular updates as I post.  So…please take a look back at my older posts if you’d like and see what I’ve been up to.  Also, you can subscribe to my blog by hovering over the Contact tab at the top and clicking on Subscribe to our mailing list, which will send you new posts by email.

So, since it’s January and since you may have missed several of my posts from 2015, I thought I’d do a little recap of what I’ve been up to.

Episode 5

The biggest thing I did last year in the Cozyegg universe was to start a video podcast!  So far I’ve recorded ten episodes and I am absolutely loving this new venture.  You can tune in via YouTube or right here on the blog.  I am working on getting my feed over to iTunes as well.  If you’re not familiar with podcasts (they are more prevalent in the knitting community than in the stitching or quilting community, I think), it’s basically a video blog post where I talk about what I’ve finished, what I’m working on, what I’m reading, any new stash enhancements, etc.  I talk about stitching, quilting, and knitting. You can watch the first episode here.

In stitching, I finished several things.  Early in the year, I stitched two of these little Faith ornaments that I turned into book weights.  One was for me, and one for a friend.  I made some color changes and used threads that I had on hand.

Eric and I celebrated our ninth wedding anniversary in April, which is the willow anniversary.  I wanted to stitch something for him and decided to stitch a block from Village of Hawk Run Hollow that had willow trees in it.  I personalized it with our wedding date.  Unfortunately, I haven’t taken proper photos of this one yet, so you get a screen capture from Episode 4.  I love how it turned out.

The biggest finish, though, was five years in the making.  I can still hardly believe it’s done.  This piece will definitely be getting its own blog post, but here’s a sneak peek… And They Sinned.  So, more to come on this one for sure, with details of the changes I made and the personalizations I did.

ATS

And then towards the end of the year I stitched a couple of gifts (photos to come in a later post) and some exchange ornaments for both guild holiday parties (you can see my ornaments here and here).

On the quilting front, my big finish was way back at the beginning of the year.  I decided to get moving on finishing off some of these old quilt WIPs that had been lingering around forever.  So, I started with the oldest one – my very first quilt from 2002.

If you’d like to see more of the quilt or read more about it, you can find that blog post here.  It was hugely satisfying to finally have this one quilted and bound.

I made several bags in 2015 too, starting off with a tote for a gift that featured the Hazel the Hedgehog pattern on both sides.

And it was so stinking cute I decided I needed a hedgehog too.  So, I made a mini quilt to keep.  Of course I mixed it up a little bit by giving my hedgehog a little bit of a punk look.  (Neither of these photos is really great, unfortunately but you can get a better look in Episode 2.)

I attended a few “in town retreats” over the year that were very helpful in getting a good bit of sewing done.  I started and finished this Tula Pink quilt top that I’d been drooling over since seeing a model made up at the Dallas quilt show a couple of years ago.  Please pardon those two black spots in the middle of it.  Seriously, you lay a quilt top down in my house and this is what happens.  I’m going to send this one out for custom quilting.

Tula Squirrels

Next up, I finished another old quilt top that is made entirely of novelty cat fabric.  I know, it’s so bad it’s good.  It felt good to check another one off my list.  I want to back this with some Lizzy House Catnap fabric or perhaps some Sarah Watts Cat Lady fabric, just to attempt to make it a little more awesome and a little less awesomely horrible.  Photos to come on this one (maybe).

Cat quilt

In November, I attended Glamp Stitchalot hosted by Pink Castle Fabrics and got to learn techniques from Katy Jones, Tula Pink, Violet Craft, Jeni Baker, Alison Glass, and Sarah Fielke.  I talked about my experience in Episode 10, but will also be doing a blog post soon.     Glamp Stitchalot

And finally, I finished yet another quilt top over Thanksgiving.  This was a BOM from like 2004ish called Pansy Park by Thimbleberries.  I worked on this over two weekends at the in town sewing retreat and when I took the photo below in November, all it was lacking was one side of the burgundy inner border and then the big leaf print borders on all four sides.  And then voila, it was done!  And it is huge, so I’ll have to find somewhere to take a photo of this beast so I can share.

Pansy Park WIP

And finally, I took up knitting last year.  I went to DFW Fiber Fest in the spring and I had set myself a goal of relearning to knit before I went, which I accomplished.  I posted about my knitting journey here.  And after knitting a few dishcloths and a garter stitch scarf, I jumped into the deep end of the pool and decided to knit my first shawl, the Weigh It Shawl #1 by Susan B. Anderson.  I will most definitely be doing a whole post on this project, but I couldn’t resist sharing it here.  It’s knit with Miss Babs Yowza in the Zombie Prom colorway and I love it.  I was determined to get it done in 2015 and I finished it on December 31st – whew!

Shawl

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little recap of my 2015 creating and explained what craziness happened with my blog feed so that you can get all caught up on those posts you may have missed.  I will be posting on a more regular basis in 2016 and will definitely be continuing the podcast too.  I hope that 2016 is treating you right so far and that you are enjoying your projects.  I’ll be back soon to share my plans for the new year and what I’m working on.  Have a great week!

I am grateful for my first shawl!