Greetings from Mass.! I am here, it's freezing cold up here, but it's a fun time as I got started with work on the Jacket Project
. Today I spent the day sewing paillettes (ahem, o'es, as they say in 17th century speak) and just had the most fun time meeting and chatting with the other sewers. I have taken a bunch of photos, but I am going to wait to post them because my camera is in the car (and it's too cold to run out for it). Also, I want to be sure what I can and cannot post online.
Anyhow, it's a great learning experience. First, I got to hold the pieces in my own hands. My breath pretty much sucked completely out of my chest when I saw it. It is such incredibly fine work. The photos don't capture how amazingly small the work is. Those flowers are incredibly tiny. The jacket is really small. Those stitches are incredibly even and miniscule. At first I could only just trace my (newly cleaned) hands over the piece.
The highlight of the day was when we got a backstage tour of the private collection, which includes three precious samplers. It was such a privilege to see the museums treasures--and to see the work close up that women worked so hard to make in the past. Unfortunately, two need preservation--and one is starting to show signs of deterioration. That sampler is a later one, but made by a descendent of pilgrim Miles Standish in the very early 1800s. It is unique since the girl who sewed it brought perspective into the house she portrayed. It also has, to my delight, a dog with lips! They are going to start fundraising as soon as possible to get it stabilized.
Then (squee!) shopping! I got to stock up on nifty items for my own embroidery supplies, too. The project leaders have some of the finest possble supplies available
, including handmade needles (kinder on threads), gilt silk twist and gold threads! I am in love with my new items! Even my teenaged nephews thought my loot was impressive, even though it all fit in a tiny little bag. Now, to sew something wonderful...like one of Laura's coif patterns
Thanks to all who asked about my drive. Despite a long backup as crossing the Bronx, the ride up to New England went smoothly. Actually, the delay worked in my favor--as I turned off the exit to my sister's house (comfortably at 9:30), the audio book I'd been listening to all day concluded. Perfect timing!