On my trek up to Baltimore this weekend, here is how I found the flag. We're sewing the three large sections together!
These ladies were sewing the completed Blue Canton with the stars on it to the short section of stripes.
Each seam was getting several rows of stitches to make sure the seams are reinforced.
Cathy and I spent our time turning up and stitching on the hem that runs along the Fly end of the long stripes. Since the Fly end of the flag is the one that really gets flapped in the wind, after turning the raw edge up about an inch, and turning it over again, we stitched close to the fold, then went back and ran a row of stitching close to the outside folded edge. Other stitchers will go back and stitch three more rows on the hem to really reinforce it.
It's never dull when we go up to the project, along with several park rangers we were visited by our resident Mary Pickersgill and Dr. Beanes :) Mary is our own Katie Bopp who has been a very active stitcher on the project and always willing to stop and help visitors learn a little about the history, and help them put a few stitches in the flag. And I really don't know who the guy was who portrayed Dr. Beanes...
...But he was a very important part of the history of our Star Spangled Banner. Dr. Beanes was a prominent resident of Upper Marlboro during the War of 1812, who was captured by the British after they had taken and burned Washington DC and they took him onboard they're ship out on the Chesapeake Bay as a prisoner of war. If Francis Scott Key, a well known lawyer in the area wasn't tasked to go out and negotiate Dr. Beanes' release, then our national anthem wouldn't have been written when the two watched the bombardment of Fort McHenry from the ship. ~ I think it's so interesting how seemingly small events affect the course of history :)
Anyway, the flag is coming along, and after I had left on Saturday, Mimi Dietrich sent me this photo of the Blue Canton completely attached to the short stripes by the end of the day, and the long stripes had been clipped on and the 42 foot seam was ready to be stitched!
**As of today the long seam is stitched! You can go over to Mimi's Blog and see the progress and photos through today! All is coming together and we're looking toward the big finish by the 22nd :)
This past weekend was Heather's wedding, so our week was filled with visiting, rehearsing, dining, primping and just enjoying family. But after all the festivities were over and while my mom was still visiting from Kentucky, the little ones and I took her up to Baltimore to visit the Maryland Historical Society and add a few stitches to the Flag Project. While Elsie was watching this stitcher work on a star, she was asked if she wanted to pull the thread through to complete the lady's stitch (sorry I didn't catch this nice stitching volunteer's name).
Well that's all it took, and Elsie was hooked. She watched intently as Miss Beverly sat down to show her how to stitch on one of the stripes.
She gave lessons to both Elsie and my Mom...
...teaching them how many threads to count over and the size the stitches should be.
...Then it was Elsie's turn to take her first stitch :)
Next Granny got to take a few stitches.
My mom's not new to stitching ~ she's pieced and quilted many a quilt by hand so she was a natural. It was special for Elsie to get to stitch on the flag with her Great Granny :)
Then Elsie got some pointers from Miss Mary Ann on how to hold her left hand underneath to feel the tip of the needle coming through the material and make sure her stitches were going all the way through all the layers.
And there were even pointers on how to thread a needle when her needle slipped off the thread once.
Then she peaked underneath to see how good her stitching looked on the back side.
After being away for a week, I went up to Baltimore to work on the Flag Project again today, and this is what I found ~ Stars!
Here's where the short stripes are in the process (these are the ones that go next to the blue field of stars).
And the long stripes are coming along too!
But the focus this week was on getting the stars started on the blue canton. Mimi Dietrich is the lady in charge of the stars. During the week she worked with a group of stitchers to lay out all the stars, position them in their "spangled" configuration and get them basted in place. Here she is showing some volunteers (Kathy & Polly) how we are to stitch them for consistancy.
I got to work on stitching a star today too :) Each of the 15 cotton stars is 24" across from point to point and will be basically stitched down twice. Here the stars are being appliqued on what will be the back side of the flag.
We're using 1/4" long stitches to catch a good bit of the blue wool since it is a pretty loose weave. Then the flag will be turned over, and the blue fabric will be cut away leaving a seam allowance that will then be reverse appliqued down. That will become the front of the flag, and you will be able to see the stars from both sides.
As I left today, much progress was getting made :)
Don't forget to tune in to American Patchworking and Quilting Radio tomorrow online to hear more about the Flag Project and Kristen Schenning and little ol' me talking with Pat Sloan! You can listen live at 4:00 p.m. EST This Link, or download the podcast later.
So I have some exciting news to share ~ I'm going to be chit chatting with Pat Sloan on her American Patchwork & Quilting Radio talk show on Monday afternoon! You can go Here to listen to the show live at 4:00 p.m. EST on Monday, August 5th ~ Don't worry, I'm sure I'll remind you a time or two before then, but you can also go back and listen to the podcast if you can't catch it on Monday :)
After chit chatting about quilty and designing stuff, I'll be staying on with Pat for a second segment to talk about the Stitching History Project along with Kristin Schenning, the Director of Education at the Maryland Historical Society. The Star Spangled Banner Recreation Project is Kristin's brainchild, and she has done a fantastic job of coordinating it along with her right hand person, Sydney Jenkins.
...And speaking of the Flag Project, here is a progress photo that I took while I was there last Sunday (I got to go upstairs to the auditorium's projection room and take some photos for a little different prospective). You can see stitchers busy working on a section of long stripes on the left, and the short stripes on the right, and someone was stitching on the last row of the blue field at the top of the photo. This week, as we speak, the stars are being layed out and basted down to the blue field and the applique will commence. I'll be going back again on Sunday and will take some more photos :)
And I'm excited to share that the Kickstarter campaign goal was met! There are going to be other ways to support the project in the near future, so stay tuned :)