Tagged ‘Rosemary’

Show and Tell August

August 17th, 2008 by Jill Hall

Betty-Anne, Rosemary and Abigail all brought lovely show and tell objects to the last session. Wendy kindly photographed for me, as I had very cleverly “lost” my camera in the trunk of my car. We missed getting a snapshot of Rosemary’s gorgeous Victorian style beaded scissors case, with the beaded fringe and beaded neck cord.

Here is a photo of some of Betty-Anne’s doll beds. She has made eight or nine of them illustrating different historic styles of bed hangings. She brought these two to show.

And this is Abigail’s blackwork truly-a-sampler. She adds to it as she finds designs she wants to record, has used at least one (the double acorn on a garment) and in working another discovered she never wants to use it again. That’s just how samplers were used in the early 17th century.

And here is a picture of Lacey modeling her Plimoth souvenir hat and holding the coveted Janet Arnold book. Lacey dyed the yarn with madder and Penny knit it for her. Turns out the Virginia girl collects winter hats. I’ve been told it gets cold in Virginia. Mmm-hmm. (Lacey spent ten years in Germany, where it really does get cold. We just like to tease her.)

Lacey headed home about a week ago, and we all miss her very much. She’s promised to come back for the exhibit opening in May. This is Emily’s last week with us and today she’s fighting off a cold and valiantly soldiering on with the green canvas suit. She’s determined to finish it before she has to go home. I’m not liking the empty nest.

Our next embroidery session starts Friday August 22. We’ll have several embroiderers and a lacer or two. There’s still room if you have some time, come and join us.

What Do We Do?

March 27th, 2008 by Tricia

A few days ago, Robbin did a great job of describing a typical session in the comments but I would like to add to her commentary with a photo journal of the last session. This journal is courtesy of my father, Bill Wilson, an amateur photographer. He was accompanying my mother for the day while she stitched on the jacket. They had come from Michigan to see the grandkids, but since my mother was my stitching mentor and an avid embroiderer, she couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work on the jacket.

During the session, we all laughed a lot at the sheer number of photos my dad took (350 to be exact!), but through his zealous need to document, we have some insights into the workings of our day that we can share with those of you thinking of coming out and joining us. Bear with me over a few blogs and keep your eyes out in the background for little visual nuggets. I have carefully chosen photos since I had great material to work with!

Plimoth Plantation’s Programs BuildingTypically we start around 9 am with breakfast nibbles and everyone rolling in and finding the wardrobe department which is housed in this building along a road from the main parking lot. The nibbles are hand baked by Marcia from the food department and I typically skip breakfast and drive all the way from Boston to see what the delicious offering of the day is. I do blame Marcia whole heartedly for my need to go on a diet this year! Jill and the staff welcome the stitchers and help them find stations to sit at. Depending on the traffic (Boston is notorious), I roll in before 10 am and everyone is ready to get started as introductions have been made. For those who are new to the project, we give them a doodle cloth in a hoop and ask them to work about an inch of reverse chain followed by a small bud shape in detached buttonhole. This helps to break the ice and allows myself and Wendy to look at their technique and give tips to improve the look.Starting with a doodle cloth. Typical hints are the need to twist their needle a bit to retain twist while working or to put more or less stitches in a row of detached buttonhole to help match others on the jacket. Sometimes we find that a stitcher is more comfortable with a different stitch such as trellis or ceylon and we move them to work on motifs that use those stitches.

Once the doodle cloths are underway, we start working with stitchers that are returning to find them a jacket frame to work on and decide on a motif to start with. Here, Tricia and Rosemary deciding on the next motif.Rosemary and I are talking about a sleeve and what needs to be done on it and discussing color variations to the motif from the instruction book. Once our returning stitchers have some starting direction and are off to the races, we go back to some basic information.

Here I am reading from the instruction book. We have a set of instructions that are used by each stitcher for reference. It contains basic info such as how to fill out the record sheet, don’t eat in the room, etc. It also has different views of the jacket at the V&A we are working from to help identify what color to use as there are many variations, we have discovered. Then there are directions for the stitch types followed by detailed directions and pictures of every motif on the jacket being worked.Tricia going through the working procedure.

More tomorrow


Leap Day

March 2nd, 2008 by Jill Hall

buffetHere are more pictures from Friday. The first two show thebanquet transformation of the laundry room into a lunch room.

Remember how Beth said that some embroiderers knit? Here’s Rosemary with her first stocking (for us). She’s already knit two pairs of gloves, one larger and one smaller (the smaller ones fit me perfectly). This is the leg of a stocking and represents 17 hours of knitting.

RosemaryI think I mentioned how there was so much going on. Everywhere you looked, someone was busy working. Wendy was sitting at one end of the room. She was using the sunlight from the window to finish that pansy on the back of the jacket.


Behind Rosemary you can see Penny and Shaina working. They’re at the opposite end of the room from Wendy. Shaina’s working on entering the contact info for the last couple of dozen people who ordered embroidery or lace kits. Penny is mending some of the knitted items in preparation for the museum opening in just three weeks.

We’ve had an amazing response to the request for volunteer knitters. We’re now getting a couple finished items in the mail every week. We’re up to 13 pairs of stockings and 8 pairs of gloves. A few interpreters have come in to pick up their period clothing in preparation for opening, and have had the opportunity to choose a brand new pair of stockings and/or gloves to use for the season. It’s hard to explain just how happy a new pair of woolly stockings makes an interpreter, but there is a “happy stocking dance” that spontaneously happens when we take the lid off the stocking storage bin. Thank you to everyone who has been helping to make the happy stocking dance possible.

The Very Busy Day

March 1st, 2008 by Jill Hall

Yesterday was the first day of a new embroidery session. This time we’re in the Wardrobe office; Accomack is being renovated. So much happened yesterday that it seemed like several days, and it will probably take me several days to tell you all about it.

For now, here’s a picture of Tricia getting everyone up to speed with the stitching manuals and the data collection sheets. We had two returning embroiderers (Rosemary and Melanie Anne) and four new ones. That’s our intern Alex in the front. She’s been practicing the embroidery stitches for several weeks, and yesterday was moved to the real jacket. She stitched a fine pea pod, and was justifiably proud of it.

In the middle of the day I asked her how it was going, working on the jacket after stitching on a doodle cloth, and she said that at first when Tricia said it was time for her to move to the jacket she thought – wait! don’t I need to practice some more? I think it’s like that for most people the first time they stitch on the real piece. getting started

We had so many people working yesterday that Penny, Shaina and Kelley had to rearrange the office and set up two long tables to accommodate everyone. It kind of looks like a sweat shop, doesn’t it?

One of the many things that happened yesterday was a productive meeting of the spangle questers. More on that, with photos, soon.

Friday Morning

February 8th, 2008 by Jill Hall

Karen asked, in a comment on The Spangle Quest post, whether a blog or list on this blog can be set up for the lacemakers to get together. I have absolutely no idea whether that can be done; I’ve asked Rich. He’ll know.

doodledThis morning the embroiderers gathered in Accomack to begin another session of work on the jacket. I have a picture of, from left, Susan, Tanya, Cheryl and Melanie warming up with doodle cloths while (in the second picture) Wendy carefully considers which motifs should be the next ones worked. Here she’s surrounded by sleeve parts. You can really see how much progress is being made. Sure, there are still big white gaps, but there are more colored bits, and by Monday there’ll be more yet.wendychose

Yesterday, Penny let me know that since October we’ve sent out 84 knitting kits. That’s a phenomenal response to our call for volunteer knitters, and I greatly appreciate each and every knitter’s contribution. Rosemary came to stitch today and brought a completed pair of green gloves. She also brought one completed purple glove; the second will be done soon. In addition to Rosemary’s, we’ve already received 4 other pairs of gloves and at least 6 pairs of stockings. That’s some quick knitting.

It’s not all work, of course. We eat, too. Here are Tanya, Susan, Chris and Cheryl admiring Marcia’s work. Today we had sauerbraten meatballs with sour cream rolls and “embroidery ladies apple pudding.” I wonder if Marcia is now inventing new recipes just for us. This was special yummy, like a deluxe apple crisp.

The next embroidery session is scheduled for Friday February 29 – Monday March 3. I have a few people signed up. If you’d like to join the party, email me at jhall@plimoth.org

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