In my travel teaching days and prior to my retirement, every October for about six years I used to teach decorative painting at a three day retreat in Ligonier, PA. After lunch on Sunday afternoon when everything had wrapped up for another year, my girlfriend and I used to travel to Lancaster County for two days to unwind and shop.
Lancaster County is particularly beautiful at that time of year. All the shops and houses are decorated for Fall, the leaves have started to change color and there’s a slight crispness to the air, especially in the evening. The last time I was there, amongst my many purchases, was a spray of rudbeckia…or black-eyed susans as they are more commonly known…and a salt glazed pitcher from Eldreth Pottery.
Just last week when I was doing a walk-about in my gardens, I decided to cut some rudbeckia and bring them indoors to enjoy. Almost instantly, I was reminded of my Memories of Lancaster County painting which I immediately unpacked from amongst my Fall decorating items.
When I saw it again, the idea come to me about taking my original line drawing and working it into a stitchery project. Here’s what I came up with.
I then traced my line drawing onto the right side of the background fabric with a Micron, red ink permanent pen using my light box. If you don’t have a light box, you can trace the design using a window during the daytime.
I then backstitched the design with DMC 115 floss. This is a variegated floss which transitions from a dark crimson to cherry red many times throughout the entire length of the floss thereby creating interesting shading and highlighting. One skein will do.
When the stitching was completed, I trimmed the background fabric to 12” x 15”.
I used a dark red Civil War fabric for the 1” inner border and a brown with red design Civil War fabric for the 2” outer border. I then hand quilted it right through the stitched design as was done with traditional redwork and used a different red fabric for the binding.
It is my intention to use my completed sample either as a swap or PIF gift. I invite you to throw caution to the wind and to use your creativity when you stitch this pattern. Please feel free to change the colors or to enlarge or reduce the pattern as needed.
Enjoy and as always…