Thursday, March 3, 2011

A finish and a history lesson

Hello dear readers!

It was a beautiful, crisp, sunny day here in the Shenandoah.  I am looking forward to the first day of spring but cannot help but wonder if there is not one more snow up Mother Nature's sleeve! 

I do have a finish to announce...I put the last stitch in Ferry Farm Cherry Sampler on Monday night!  This was a SAL with my dear friend Robin (no blog.)  She finished hers on Saturday which gave me the incentive to put the pedal to the metal and get mine finished as well! 
Ferry Farm Cherry Sampler
by Homespun Elegance
Weeks Dye Works Linen 28 ct. Natural
Called for DMC threads

I enjoyed stitching this was quick (only eight Saturdays worth of stitching!) and the colors are lovely! 

The history behind the sampler is what really makes this one stand out, at least for me.  For those of you who do not know, Ferry Farm Cherry Sampler was designed to honor the family of George Washington.  Sandra Sullivan of Homespun Elegance included detailed historical information about why she designed the sampler and the significance of Ferry Farm with the chart.  I did a little of my own research as well and I would like to share with you the story behind the Ferry Farm Cherry Sampler. 

George Washington was born on Pope's Creek Plantation in Westmoreland County, Virginia in 1732.  Westmoreland County is located on Virginia's "Northern Neck" and only a few short miles from Confederate General Robert E. Lee's Birthplace, Stratford Hall.  The "Northern Neck" is the northern most peninsula of Virginia with the great Potomac River to the north and the Rappahannock to the south.  The Washington family moved from Pope's Creek when George was 3 years old.  When George was six, the family settled at Ferry Farm in Stafford County, Virginia, near Fredericksburg.  It was at Ferry Farm that George "grew up" with his mother, father and siblings.  The famous "Cherry Tree Legend" of George chopping down a cherry tree and telling the truth about it, still permeates our culture and is alleged to have occurred at Ferry Farm.  A 2008 excavation at the site of the Washington's home at Ferry Farm unearthed a wonderful and ironic find.  Fragments of enameled creamware were found that dated back to 1765-1775, the latter part of Mrs. Washington's residence, and some shards were found to have a cherry motif!  Sandra Sullivan, of the Homespun Sampler worked with the George Washington Foundation to create the sampler.  The cherry motif on the enameled creamware along with the initials of the Washington family members who lived at Ferry Farm were used to make up the sampler.  If you would like more information about the sampler or about the history of George Washington's boyhood homes, here are the links:

George Washington's Birthplace

George Washington's Boyhood Home - Ferry Farm

Homespun Elegance - Ferry Farm Cherry Sampler

Thank you for humoring me and I hope that the history lesson was informative.  One of the reasons I love needlework so much is because of the rich history behind it.  The feeling of being a part of something that has lasted not just generations but centuries.  And it is not only the samplers that amaze me but the people who either created those wonderful works of art or just inspired them. 

Till next time dear friends,


Glenna said...

I loved the history lesson, and I'm so embarassed: do you know that I live in Stafford County and have never been to Ferry Farm? Shame shame. I love that little sampler also.

Unknown said...

Beautiful! and wonderful story of history. Thanks

Ranae said...

Beautiful and unique
Thanks for sharing

Robin in Virginia said...

Terrific finish on your Ferry Farm Cherry Sampler and wonderful history lesson! Love your new photo collage header as well!

Margaret said...

Beautiful finish! I love the history lesson too. So cool!

Laurie in Iowa said...

Congrats on your lovely finish. Thanks for the history lesson.

Loraine said...

What a fabulous finish! I love this sampler, and certainly the history adds to the uniqueness of the piece. I love that this was designed after some of the original creamware! Thanks for sharing! I think I will be adding this one to my stash now.

Cindy in Virginia said...

Valerie~I just stumbled across your blog through another blog, I am excited to see that we must live near each other...I live in Winchester now, originally from Roanoke, then school in Blacksburg, then Arlington, Vienna, and now here. Where do you live? I absolutely love all of your Virginia samplers, I need to do some of these!

Raven/Missy said...

Your sampler is gorgeous! Well done!

Bertie said...

Beautiful finish:) and thanks for the history, great reading.
Have a fabulous weekend.

Chocolates4Breakfast (Terri Malinovich) said...

What a beautiful finish, Valerie! Loved the mini -history lesson, too. I lived in VA when I was in fourth grade and studying VA history made me a life long history buff and a lover of all things Virginian! I still consider myself a Virginian although I've lived in MI for almost 25 years.

Katrina said...

Gorgeous sampler, congrats on the finish and I enjoyed the history lesson!!!

Love your new header too :-).

Suzanne said...

This is such a beautiful finish! Thank you for the great background history.

Siobhán said...

How neat!! I love your finish. It's beautiful, but I think the history behind it--and the interest you have in the history--makes it all the more special. I just LOVED reading your blog post. I love history and all things Washington.

The Scarlett House said...

A wonderful post and info to go along with that sweet sampler, Valerie. I love things that commemorate something like that. Thanks for sharing with us.

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