Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Queens Revisited 

In 2004, Eileen Bennett and I co-designed some sampler bands in honor of the six wives of Henry VIII, a Tudor Terror when it came to domestic bliss.

We decided to each take the responsibility for researching the lives and preparing a band for three of Henry's spouses. Eileen, being the icon of sampler designers, got first choice of queens and picked Catherine of Aragon, Jane Seymour and Katherine Parr. I designed bands for Anne Boleyn, Anne of Cleves and Kathryn Howard.

It was a fun project. I set the size of the bands. They were all one width but varying heights (within limits). Eileen chose the colors we would use and provided a useful alphabet. Neither of us saw each other's designs until we reached Rockome Gardens where we would present the designs at a Country Evening event at the National Counted Cross Stitch Show. It is a design only distributed to the participants of the event as a limited edition, so it is special.

We had a fun evening with games and a bit of Tudor history aided by slides as we explored Henry's marital habits.

I know at least one stitcher, Adana Adams, has completed the project because she blogs about it in her blog, Confessions of a Midwest Stitcher. She used imagination in her interpretation by adding the names of the Queens and stitching a crown for each of these historic wives. I'm glad she enjoyed the evening and stitching her sampler and I can't wait to see it at Rockome this year. Come to the show in June if you'd like to see Adana's sampler as well.

I don't know how Adana manages her crowded life as an executive in the healthcare industry, a stitcher, and a busy family member. Do read her blog if you'd like a taste of stitching-from-the-heart of a stitcher from the heartland.

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OK, I'm normally not a sampler kind of stitcher, but I want that chart! Do you sell them? I checked the site and couldn't find them.

BTW, I'm having outgoing email problems. I've tried to email you and thank you for the wonderful care package that you sent before Gulf War. It was a *smashing* success! It's a problem with my ISP -- for some reason, your ISP is blocking my ISP -- and they're pointing fingers at each other!

This design has never been sold. Some 30+ stitchers who attended the event have a kit.

Eileen and I have talked from time to time about doing something with these bands as a charity project. It may come out in the future for that purpose.
Oooo, very nice! And did you get the idea for the band for Anne of Cleves from the Holbein portrait? It looks a bit like the embroidery in her headress.

With the Showtime series The Tudors out now you and Eileen might want to think about making the pattern available this year. -Catherine
Yes please, that would be a great idea, I'd definitely be willing to make a donation to a worthy charity in return for the pattern.
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