Historic buildings, scenes, trees, people and animals represented in this tapestry are as unique as the stitchers who created them. Guided by the original painting, each embroiderer utilized an individual technique and style to bring the tapestry elements to life. With great pride, we present these stitchers.
Amos, Teber – Fort Stephens
Anderson, Sally – Godfrey Miller House
Anderson, Shelley – Springdale
Andrews, Mary – Mt. Hebron Gate House
Ashbaugh, Jane – Thorn Hill Manor
Crosby, Kathy – Handley Library
Douglass, Brenda – Springdale Mill
Ebert, Becky – Handley Library
Edmison, Lucy – Ambler Hill
Evans, Elaine W. – Willow Shade, Handley High School
Fraser, Maggie – Hopewell Meeting House
Glover, Rebecca – Locust Hill aka Steele House
Goff, Kristen – George Washington’s Office
Hawkins, Cindy – Christ Episcopal Church
Jackson, Barbara – Glen Burnie House
Keegan, Sheila – Vaucluse
Lakin, Pamela – Christian Streit House & Henry St. George Tucker Law Office & School
McHenry, Janice – Wayside Inn
Miles, Linda – Old Stone Presbyterian Church, Abram’s Delight
Morgan, Betsy – Daniel Morgan House
Nosova, Lyubov – Vaucluse
Partlow, Jackie – Baltimore & Ohio Station
Powers, Jenny – George Washington’s Office
Ryan, Karen B. – Hexagon House
Shull, Cissy – Stonewall Jackson’s Headquarters
Stratton, Kathye – Springdale
Strydom, Hildegard – Red Lion Tavern
Suter, Linda – Log Cabin
Sutter, Jennifer – Handley Library
Tatum, Lynn – St. Thomas Episcopal Church
Tidemann, Patti Lynn – Sheridan’s Head Quarters
Trobaugh, Diane – Belle Grove Plantation
Vassallo, Nina – Rouss City Hall
Wisecover Stephany – Frederick County Court House
Andrews, Mary – Old Lutheran Church Ruins; Monument to the Confederate Unknown; Cemetery
Bird, Kathy – Horse, Buggy, Trees at the Wayside Inn
Bomar, Margret – Military Camp; Fountain and Fence at Hexagon House; Mountains; Cemetery
Bull, Dorothy – Flag at Wayside Inn
Bushey, Alene – Horse and Buggy at Godfrey Miller House
Carter, Lucille Cohen – Tree, Wall, People, Dog at Steele House
Conrad, Cheryl – Garden Wall, Gate, Man and Horse at Glen Burnie House; Cedar Creek, Barrels and Sacks at Military Camp
Edmison, Lucy – The Military Bookman’s “Reading Horseman”; Cedar Creek at Belle Grove
Evans, Elaine W. – Train in the Mountains
Galounina, Irina – Wheatfield
Halliday, Caroline – Row of Trees at Springdale Mill
Jones, Gloria – Green Hills at the Bottom of the Tapestry
Laise, Kristen – Ice House at Belle Grove
Lowdermilk, Betty – Creek at Springdale Mill
McHenry, Janice – Bridge Over Cedar Creek
Moore, Cheri – Cannon and Trees at Belle Grove
Pence, Donna – Row of Trees at Belle Grove
Perez, Pachariya – Trees, Bird, Basket with Apples at St. Thomas Episcopal Church
Reaves, Alice – Fence, Gate at Valley Pike
Reid, Tessie – Stagecoach
Shipp, Charlene G. – Apple Orchards, Sheep in Pasture
Sloan, Carol – Camp Fire, Chicken, Horse, Conestoga Wagon
Strydom, Hildegard – Mountains
Suter, Linda – Ice House at Springdale, Lake and Ducks
Swift, Angelika – Wedding at St. Thomas Episcopal Church
Trobaugh, Diane – Fields and Smokehouse at Belle Grove
Weisse, Sarah – Cart at Springdale Mill
Vassallo, Nina – Flag and Cannon at Stonewall Jackson’s Headquarters; Fence, Flowers at Godfrey Miller House
Weisse, Sarah – Cart at Springdale Mill
TREES, BUSHES, FLOWERS
Carter, Lucille Cohen
Evans, Elaine W.
Perkins, Maria V.
Shipp, Charlene G.
Tidemann, Patti Lynn
Dishart, Ellie (6 years)
Weniger, Jaden (9 years)
Weniger, Jacob (9 years)
Perkins, Marina (10 years)
Perkins, Maya (8 years)
Swift, Sophia (9 years)
Carter, Lucille Cohen
Evans, Elaine W.
Tidemann, Patti Lynn
Carter, Lucille Cohen
Shipp, Charlene G.
Tidemann, Patti Lynn
APPLIQUE and ASSEMBLING
Evans, Elaine W.
I started stitching at a young age when my mother decided I needed to learn to sew so I could make pillowcases, etc. and have something to do on trips between duty stations. After taking a couple of classes in basic needlepoint after college in the 80s, I switched to needlepoint from embroidery. I then joined ANG when I moved to the Valley in 2005 to get additional experience and classes. Stitching is my relaxation time for the day. I used DMC floss (for windows) and an overdye white for house and overdye brown (probably weeks dye works for the overdye) for the roof with a balloon satin for the house, basket weave, scotch, and reverse scotch and probably long upright cross for the roof.
My grandmother taught me how to do redwork when I was 6 years old. Later on, she taught me how to weave with a loom, crochet, knit, and sew on a sewing machine. Soon I started developing my own approach. In 1970, while working as a school nurse, I joined a needlepoint group. After we moved to the Eastern Shore, I became an EGA member. At the local EGA chapter meetings I met people who were doing crewel embroidery. This embroidery technique became one of my favorites. Since 1999 I’ve been doing crewel embroidery. It makes me happy to create beautiful things.
Carole Andersen stitched trees and people at Vaucluse with crewel embroidery stitches. She used Appleton wool.
Sally Anderson has been sewing since childhood and quilting for many years. Since she never met a hobby she didn't like, she decided to try embroidery. Her primary interest is in wildflowers, and she devotes most of her spare time to studying and teaching about them through her involvement with the Virginia Native Plant Society. Sally also loves to hike, read, and grow vegetables.
Sally stitched Godfrey Miller House in satin stitch with some chain stitch outlines. She used cotton embroidery threads.
I have been stitching as long as I have been married, almost 47 years. Being married to an International Airline Pilot left for some long days, so I found a hobby that quickly became a passion, needlepoint. That passion grew into being a shop owner with my best friend for more than 8 years. We then had a wholesale design business, which grew out of the classes we taught in the shop. I loved going to the American Needlepoint Guild (ANG) National Seminars and was very fortunate to be asked with my partner to run the Seminar Shop for three years. In addition to my ANG membership, I am also a member of the Embroiderers’ Guild of America (EGA).
I love to bead on canvas, cross stitch, quilt and work with wool felting. There just aren't enough hours in the day! I look forward to the day I can teach my two grandchildren to stitch!
In stitching the Springdale house, I worked on Congress cloth, a 24 count canvas ground. I worked with many different threads, among them were silk, wool, cotton, silk and wool blends, and lots of overdyed threads. An array of different stitches helped to create and convey all the areas of the house and the grounds. It was especially fun to use wool roving and actually felt the trees around the house.
I learned to embroider from my grandmother when I was young, and I continue to enjoy doing all kinds of needlework. When I retired from teaching, I decided to move back to Winchester, my home town. I was pleased to learn about the Shenandoah Valley Tapestry and wanted to be involved. It has proven to be a fabulous project and I am proud to be associated with such talented artists!
The buildings that I worked on for the Shenandoah Valley Tapestry Project were the Mount Hebron Cemetery Gatehouse, the Old Lutheran Church Ruins, and the Monument to the Confederate Unknown.
These structures were stitched on 28 count linen, as it was mostly surface embroidery. I was aided in this project by outlines, pictures, and charts for the painting that the tapestry was made from. There was also a listing of suggested DMC floss colors. In many instances, in the interest of following the colors in the charts and picture, variegated threads were used, as well as a combination of threads.
Several trees and plants that surrounded the buildings were stitched mostly with variegated threads as well as Whisper Threads.
Stitches used were Algerian eye, arrowhead stitch, stacked French knots, bullion stitch, button hole stitch-triangle, cable stitch, loop Cretan stitch, decorative feather stitch, regular feather stitch, leaf stitch, fishbone stitch, flat stitch, maidenhair stitch, basket stitch, and close fly stitch. Solid areas were stitched in satin stitch, encroaching satin stitch, long and short stitch, surface satin stitch, buttonhole filling, and cross stitch filling.
I began stitching by filling in windows, outlines, and individual stones in the church wall. From there I progressed to working on the buildings, one area at a time. I chose colors from the suggested floss colors in the chart. Some of the stitching had several colors. I chose the ones that seemed to match the picture most completely. Satin stitches and long-and-short stitches provided some depth and texture.
Borders were worked around the windows of the gatehouse and the church wall with cable stitches or simple back stitches. Because the stitching area was so large, there was much use of long-and-short stitches for filling in those spaces. Back stitches were used for outlining the buildings. Satin stitches were the panes for the windows. Finally, flowers, vining, and trees were worked in a variety of stitches, as well as French knots.
Stitches that were chosen seemed to follow the lines of the outline and the makeup of the material in the structures themselves. The stitches worked had to be studied and practiced carefully because, in some cases, these were stitches I had not done in a long time!
I was born and raised in Winchester and I am a proud Virginian. I am so excited to be a part of this Tapestry. What a history with a book, a painting, and now a handwork Tapestry! I chose Thorn Hill to stitch because of growing up with the Custer family who lived there for many years.
I am a former needlework shop owner (The Queen Stitch) and a needlework designer (Trinity Designs), both located in Leesburg, Virginia, where I have lived for 26 years.
Counted thread is my passion and I stitch every day! I love samplers, sampler motifs and canvas work, which really started my love of needlework in 1979. I truly enjoy stitching gifts for others! My designs, based on traditional motifs, celebrate, commemorate, and honor friends and family and their lives.
Elizabeth was born in Connecticut, lived in California, and has resided in Winchester for the past 26 years. In 1988 she learned to do counted cross stitch. This is what she favors since retiring in 2011. She has learned how to work with stained glass, has a love of reading and travel, and most of all enjoys being with family and friends.
My introduction to “sewing” came from my Grandmother, with whom I spent two weeks, by myself, each summer for many years. Hours were spent on her treadle machine creating things of beauty for my doll. She also introduced me to stamp embroidery, knitting, and crochet. One of my treasured possessions today is the Medallion crochet tablecloth she made years ago with #30 Cordonette.
Over the years I’ve tried most techniques done with a threaded needle. Surface embroidery is my favorite. I’ve been to several EGA, ANG, and NAN seminars and attended the RSN when they ran classes in Perry, Iowa. My husband has always encouraged my needlework interests, my legacy for our family, something few men have after leaving their life’s work regardless of its importance. “Sewing mends my soul!” and has brought with it my many lifetime friends.
Lily Britton is a self-taught embroiderer who joined the guild in 2015. She is a confident beginner to hand stitching and loves all things needle and thread. She is an artist and a quilter and combining them both is her passion. Lily is a true Jersey girl - not wishing to live anywhere else.
My Grandmother taught me to cross stitch and embroider as a young child. From there I taught myself how to do crewel work. Then in 2000 I joined the ANG and was taught how to needlepoint. Over the intervening years I have been an officer of my local chapter several times. I’ve worked on several volunteer needlepoint projects: the banner for Fairfax County Search and Rescue, a reproduction of a Martha Washington cushion for Mount Vernon, and a wingback chair for Blair House, where visiting dignitaries stay while visiting the President of the United States. To me needlepoint is a relaxing pastime that can make the dreariest day seem exciting just by watching the progress on the piece that I am working on at any given time.
The section that I worked on was the trees behind the Wayside Inn and the flag and flag pole. It was stitched on 24 count linen, the threads used were boucle, Weeks Dye Works and other overdyed threads. The boucle was couched down, and for the over dyed threads I did bargello, cross stitch variations, and scotch stitches. For the flag pole I used a satin stitch to cover a small straw using splendor, the gold top was done in a modified Rhodes stitch using a gold Kreinik. The flag itself was made with a piece of blue ribbon, the stripes were done with ribbon floss with French knots scattered on the blue to represent the stars.
A California girl now living in Delaware. Lucille has had a strong interest in, and appreciation of, needlework and other handwork since a very young age although she did very little needlework from the time she was a Girl Scout earning her sewing badge until she was in her 50s.
In the summer of 2005, Lucille and her husband moved back to her home state from Maryland where they’d been living to care for her elderly mother, and she began to quilt, which she found empowering. In 2011, she took a three-hour introduction to embroidery class at a quilt shop in Orange County, California, to learn the basics in order to be able to do surface embroidery for a quilted wall hanging. There was no going back from there! This is where the magic happened and the flame of interest in needlework she had always carried inside her became a bonfire!
After moving to Delaware in the fall of 2013, Lucille joined the Brandywine EGA Chapter in January 2014. This is when she began to learn and stitch seriously.
The handwork Lucille enjoys best is various types of surface embroidery as well as counted work, canvas work/needlepoint, bobbin lace, needle lace and needle tatting. While she tends towards the type of handwork many might call “tedious,” she doesn't like what one might call “fiddly.”
Currently, Lucille is a plural member of several EGA Chapters within the Mid-Atlantic region. She is also a member of the Seashore Chapter ANG and the Diamond State Lacemakers Guild. Lucille also studies crewel embroidery under the mentorship of Canby Robertson. Her other interests are jigsaw puzzles, reading, and watching cooking shows, travel programs, tattoo competitions, historical fiction series, as well as news and documentaries on TV. Lucille loves dogs and has four rescue dogs. She also enjoys having some cat-facetime when visiting friends who have cats.
The thread Lucille used to stitch her slips for the Tapestry was DMC six-strand floss in the colors recommended and provided by Elaine Evans. The appliqued path that was a part of one of her slips was done with a 100% cotton fabric and stitched down using 100% cotton Aurifil thread, which is one of her two favorite brands of sewing threads (the other is Superior) to piece her quilts. The stitches Lucille used on her pieces included: detached lazy daisy, colonial knot, French knot, satin, straight, turkey, and stem and outline stitches.
My mother ran a decorating business, which included a sewing room. This was where I learned to hem sheer curtains and pinch pleat draperies. Thus, the background I brought to the Shenandoah Valley Tapestry Project was the ability to hide stitches when appliqueing the roads, buildings, trees, tents, people, etc.
I did create one of the slips, a man walking a horse in front of a brick wall at Glen Burnie house. The backing fabric was Kona cotton, onto which the man was drawn and embroidered, along with the bricks of the wall and the columns. The wall was covered in ivy, which was free style stitching on my part. The horse was of microfiber suede with the features being added as embroidery.
I have enjoyed crocheting, knitting, counted cross stitching, and embroidery since I was 12 years old, mostly creating personalized gifts for friends and family. It was an honor to be invited to participate in the Shenandoah Valley Tapestry Project.
After a few lessons in “yarn art” from various women on our committee, I used wool thread to complete the image of the Handley Library building for the tapestry.
Becky Ebert and I also made sure everyone on the library staff at the time had an opportunity to add a stitch or two. It was extremely rewarding to contribute my needlework skill to the depiction of the building where I take such pleasure in working and serving our community.
Though born in Nebraska, I've been a Loudoun County resident for over 50 years. My earliest stitching memory is of my maternal grandmother teaching me to darn socks. Both of my grandmothers and my mother were gifted at “handwork” and sewing and taught me various techniques through the years. I've been a member of the Loudoun Sampler Guild for more than 20 years and with the Winchester EGA for five-plus years. Though I mostly stitch counted thread pieces, I can “get by” in small bits of most styles of stitching and especially enjoy goldwork and beading.
Becky is the Archivist for the Stewart Bell Jr. Archives at the Handley Regional Library and the Winchester Frederick County Historical Society. Becky joined the Tapestry Project in 2015 and, along with other library staff, stitched the Handley Library for the Tapestry. Becky also led all Tapestry events at the Handley Library and organized the Tapestry Houses Tours.
Lucy Edmison was a self-taught embroiderer (crewel and canvas work) for many years before joining The Embroiderers’ Guild of America in 1983 and The American Needlepoint Guild in 1989. She has since designed and taught projects both for her chapters and the region.
Currently Lucy is the President of the Winchester Chapter of the EGA. Lucy has played the leading role in the Tapestry Project, finding solutions and mentoring aspiring embroiderers. She stitched the Ambler Hill and the Military Bookman, appliqued numerous slips, embellished large areas of the tapestry, assembled the tapestry panels and mounted the tapestry onto the frame.
Amber Hill was stitched in surface embroidery with wool and silk threads on two plies of Kona cotton. The Military Bookman was stitched with cotton, silk, and wool threads on Ultrasuede and then applied to the background. The sword (made by Mike Fraser, Sylvan Treasures) and the book were attached separately.
Elaine started her career in interior design, then architectural design, and progressed to being a needle woman. She is currently working as a fiber artist in Middleburg, Virginia. Evans has taught needlework on the local, regional and national levels as a member of the Embroiderers’ Guild of America and the American Needlepoint Guild. Evans has been active in many aspects of needlework as a designer, instructor, curator, and exhibitor. She has been an active member of several local chapters, serving on boards, and has been a regional representative.
Evans is currently an active member of the Winchester Chapter of the Embroiderers’ Guild of America. She has been a juried member of EGA Fiber Forum, participates in several quilting groups, has exhibited locally, regionally and nationally in Sacred Threads Quilts Exhibitions, and the “Inspired by National Parks” traveling art quilt exhibit appearing in related catalogues.
Elaine was one of the first to join the Tapestry Project. She played a critical role in the process of interpreting the painting into needlework. Elaine stitched the train, Willa Cather’s Willow Shade house, and the John Handley High School.
Maggie was the President of the WEGA at the time when the Tapestry Project started. Thanks to Maggie the WEGA members became the core group of the Tapestry stitchers. Maggie is an accomplished embroiderer and quilter. She stitched the Hopewell Meeting House.
My mother taught me to sew 4-H projects as a child. I continued to sew garments as 4-H projects through my senior year in high school, which led to a home-economics major in college. I discovered crocheting, knitting, and embroidery during my high school years. They continue to hold my interest to this very day.
In the early 1980s I discovered the Embroiderers’ Guild of America. This opened my eyes to the many techniques available. I also belong to the American Needlepoint Guild, The Loudoun Sampler Guild, the Apple Valley Needle Threaders Quilt Club and the Piecemakers Quilt Club.
I take classes to learn and improve my stitching technique as often as possible. Having learned many techniques, crewel and surface embroidery remain my favorites.
Maggie stitched Hopewell Meeting House on two layers of off white. Kona cotton. She used DMC, Cottage Garden, Blanc Neige threads. Stones were stitched in satin stitch, windows and doors – in diagonal satin stitch, window frames and gutters – in long straight stitch, roof – in long couched single stitches with couching 1/8” apart (bricked), front steps – in back stitch, grass and flowers – in back stitch, feather stitch variation and snake stitch, chimney corners and edges – in back stitch. The people figures were made as slips with Ultrasuede and then appliqued to the duck fabric.
After the embroidery was complete, the house was cut out with 1/8” seam allowance on all sides. The house was appliqued onto the ground duck cloth of the Tapestry with cream colored silk sewing thread after grading the back (2nd layer) of the Kona cloth. Fray Check was used on all inside corners before cutting into these corners for turning under. Roxanne's Temporary Basting Glue was used to hold edges in place while appliqueing to duck cloth. After two hours of basting and applique, one line of back stitches was buried in the long front gutter to secure the house to the duck cloth. This would eliminate the house from “bubbling” up from the duck cloth.
Aimee has always enjoyed the arts. Her mother enrolled her in art lessons at an early age, and art continued to be her favorite subject in school, even through college. Except for a Home Economics class in junior high, Aimee had no formal training in stitching. As the youth services librarian at The Handley Library in Winchester, Virginia, she began to offer the Stitch a Story program in 2015. Under the direction and instructions of Kathi Bird, Irina Galounina, and Nina Vassallo, Aimee enjoyed learning new stitches. With encouragement from these ladies, Aimee stitched a tree, a bush, a butterfly, and eventually some people for the tapestry. She is now a member of the WEGA and assists with the Stitch a Story program that is offered monthly at The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley.
Irina lives in Stephens City, Virginia. Together with her career in HR and publishing, she is taking art classes and is a co-founder of the Multicultural Club Collage. Being fascinated by the art of embroidery, she joined the Winchester Chapter of the Embroiderers’ Guild of America in 2014 and became one of the key drivers behind the Shenandoah Valley Tapestry project.
Irina stitched the wheat field at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, numerous trees and flowers, grass, and helped mount the Tapestry onto the frame. Needle painting has become her passion.
Rebecca Glover was born in Washington, DC, and has been a long time resident of Northern Virginia. After retiring from the federal government, she and her husband relocated to Winchester in December 2013. Her mother taught her to sew and knit when she was around seven years old. That led her to learn embroidery, stamped cross stitch, crewel and needlepoint. In the late 70s she rediscovered needlework with the resurgence of counted cross stitch - her favorite! Rebecca loves being with her three daughters and their families, and most of all her five grandchildren.
She enjoys knitting, making greeting cards, and playing an occasional game of Mahjongg.
Kristen has lived in a variety of places and enjoyed what each had to offer. Winchester has especially provided opportunities to be involved in the community through its rich and notable history, its natural surroundings, and its opportunities in community service. She was honored to assist the late Elizabeth Engle and the Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society in the printing and marketing of the painting whose image was so generously donated to the Society by Margaretta Barton Colt and Page Huff Dillon in the 1990s. More recently, over 20 years later, she was honored to stitch George Washington’s Office as a part of the Shenandoah Valley Tapestry and see the painting take on “new life” through the talents of many in the creation of this elegant work.
Cindy was born in Roanoke, Virginia, attended Virginia Tech, and studied Clothing, Textiles and Related Arts. Her hobbies include needlework, knitting, reading, gardening, and sewing. Cindy’s grandmother taught her to sew and encouraged her progress. Cindy was making many of her own clothes by the time she was 10. She continued making most of her own clothes until her kids came along, then she made many of their clothes.
Cindy became interested in needlework in the late 70s as a college student. Cross stitching in particular became quite popular at the time.
Barbara began serious stitching after she attended a stitching display at Oatlands Plantation in Loudoun County in 1981. At this show she discovered an EGA group met there once a month, so she joined at their next meeting. Later Barbara was introduced to an ANG group that met in Herndon. When she moved to Winchester in 2004, she learned there was an ANG meeting in Harrisonburg. She joined this group and the EGA group that began about 2010 in Winchester.
Barbara Jackson stitched the Glen Burnie house on 24 count canvas ground using DMC floss.
I began embroidery as a young child. My mom did a lot of sewing and crafts and got me started on embroidery because she wouldn’t let me use her sewing machine. I do not remember ever not doing some sort of needlework; I must have been a few years old when I got my first sewing cards – stiff cardboard with a printed design and holes around the design that you sewed with a shoelace-type cord. You could unsew the cord and start over again. I have done almost every type of needlework: stamped designs, surface embroidery, sewing, knitting, crochet, quilting. In my late twenties I discovered counted cross stitch and other counted thread and haven’t looked back. Also, I “rescue” linens and have a displayed collection of old embroidered pictures I have collected at antique shops and thrift stores and three antique samplers.
My interest continues today, mainly in counted thread of various types.
I am a charter member of Loudoun Sampler Guild, a current member of Oatlands EGA, and previously a member of EGA in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and in Monterey, California. I have made many friends and met many nice people through guilds and shops.
A co-worker who has lived in Winchester his whole life told me about the Tapestry Project in the spring of 2017, and I attended the exhibit at the Handley Library that Saturday. It was very impressive! Seeing the individual pieces up close and personal and hearing from the author, the painter, and those who organized the Tapestry Project was exciting.
In August I attended a meeting of the Winchester EGA and agreed to do the bushes at the bottom corners. Not as impressive as the houses, but needed nonetheless. It took some shopping to find an appropriate printed fabric, and trial and error to figure out the right number of layers and technique; I was happiest with two layers of printed cotton and one layer of dark green flannel, with #12 cotton perle in various colors for the embroidered grass. In one of the pieces I snuck in my initials behind some of the grass.
I’m proud to be part of this historic project amid so many talented people!
When I was growing up, my father was a naval officer. This meant that we moved every few years and had many new and interesting experiences. During my freshman year in high school we lived in Yokohama, Japan. I attended a very small (35 students in the upper grades) French convent school. One of the required classes was needlework. I had learned the usual crafts at home and in the Girl Scouts, but this was more advanced: we smocked baby dresses, knitted, and embroidered cut work table cloths. At the time I found this to be unsuitable for a “modern woman,” probably because I was one of the least skilled.
After college and graduate school, I moved to New York City which has been my home ever since. After a few years, I started a private practice in psychotherapy. I found a beautiful office in a brownstone owned by Harris and Margaretta Colt. We became dear friends and I spent many happy years there. During that time, Defend the Valley was researched, written, published, and celebrated; I even attended the launch party weekend in Winchester. When Margaretta told me about the Tapestry Project, I immediately volunteered.
I fell in love with needlework at a very young age. I remember watching my mother embroider and my grandmother crochet. I would sit at my mother’s feet and wait for a chance to pull the needle to the back of her work or to hand the floss to her when she wanted a color change. I loved the low squeaking sound that the needle made while being pulled through the cloth. Her fingers tapping on the fabric as she adjusted it in the hoop always seemed to quiet my spirit. She taught my sister and me a few embroidery stitches during a summer break. Although my sister was always pleased with her stitching, I was constantly taking my stitches out in my quest for the perfect stitch. As I conquered one stitch, my mother gave me another. Gradually, I added many stitches to my list of accomplished stitches as well as different stitching techniques.
Over the years I have taught needlework to my two daughters, granddaughters, and a great niece. Hopefully they will keep needlework alive in future generations. In 2015 I won a ribbon for a needlepoint project I entered in the Woodlawn Needlework show. Today counted cross stitch, quilting, and felted wool are my favorite means of artistic expression. I was happy to be one of the stitchers for the Shenandoah Valley Tapestry Project.
I stitched “The General” Stonewall Jackson. I used felted wool, leather, and assorted wool and embroidery floss.
Kristen Laise lives in Winchester and has been the Executive Director of Belle Grove Plantation in Middletown since 2013. When time allows, she enjoys hand-quilting and cross stitch. One of her favorite buildings to talk about at Belle Grove is its ice house and so it is fitting she stitched this feature for the Tapestry.
Pamela Lakin is originally from Western New York. She moved to the Winchester area in 1997. Pam’s love of stitching is for cross stitch and quilting. Pam is a member of the Winchester Chapter of The Embroiderers’ Guild of America (WEGA), Apple Valley Needle Threaders and Evening Stars Quilt Guilds.
Stitching is one of my favorite pastimes. I was surrounded with stitching items from my grandmother. She did many afghans and embroidered pillowcases and doilies we used daily. My mom sewed my dancing outfits and crocheted delicate doilies. My love of stitching began 34 years ago. I have tried a variety of different stitching, but cross stitch and quilting are my favorite.
I live in Winchester, VA with my husband, Kevin. I love spending time with my family.
Throughout my life I have always enjoyed some form of needlework. My mother taught me to knit, crochet, and sew when I was young, but since then I have done quilting, embroidery, needle punch, cross stitch (in particular samplers) and needlepoint. Recently needlepoint is the most rewarding and challenging, learning to select different stitches, threads, beads, and embellishments for my work.
Over the years, needlework has fed my soul and helped me get through 40 years of corporate work. I particularly enjoy sharing my passion with other stitchers and now that I am retired can spend so many wonderful hours stitching and spending time with friends who stitch.
I was delighted to be able to participate in the Shenandoah Tapestry project. I used needlepoint techniques to stitch the trees, bushes and lawn around Ft. Stephens and the cows, trees, and bushes around the Springdale Mill. Threads used were made of wool, silk, silk straw, and cotton. Needlepoint stitches included basket weave, French knots, long and short stitches, lazy daisy, diamond ray, Hungarian, slanted gobelin, interlocking gobelin, and diagonal mosaic.
Janice McHenry is a Virginian born and bred, and she is proud to be part of this work showcasing Virginia history in stitches. She specializes in needlepoint and surface embroidery, and she is always excited to learn a new technique, work with a new fiber, and learn from other stitchers’ experiences. Janice is a member of the American Needlepoint Guild and its NOVA and Potomac Chapters.
Janice stitched Wayside Inn using DMC, Needle Necessities, Simply Shaker, Neon Rays threads, Planet Earth Silk Ribbon and variety of stitches: burden, kilim, cashmere, encroaching oblique gobelin, pavilion diamonds, medieval mosaic, etc.
Linda learned how to sew, quilt, and do many forms of needlework from both her mother and grandmother. With little time to pursue these hobbies while working, in retirement she has now found the time to return to these pastimes. Her primary joy is in quilting and creating new patterns and trying new stitching techniques.
For the Shenandoah Valley Tapestry slips, Linda used a relatively new technique known as thread art... painting with thread.
I have been doing needlework most of my life, thanks to a mother and grandmother who loved it and taught me so much. They did mostly quilting and embroidery, while I leaned more toward knitting, crewel work, and counted cross stitch. I've enjoyed the satisfaction of seeing my work displayed at Mount Vernon and Belle Grove shows, and even received a few ribbons.
As soon as I heard about the Tapestry Project and was invited to take a stitch, I knew I had to become involved. Since the larger houses and buildings had already been assigned, I was happy to fill in whatever spots were needed – doing trees and also the cannon and cannon balls.
I thoroughly enjoyed meeting the many talented stitchers and am proud to have been a small part of this worthy historical project.
Betsy Morgan is a needlework designer and international embroidery instructor, having taught all over the US, Canada, England, Australia, and New Zealand. She has been stitching for more than 55 years and is never happier than when she has a needle in hand. Her favorite techniques are counted thread and stump work.
Betsy stitched Daniel Morgan house on 32 count ivory linen using counted thread techniques - mostly satin stitch, mosaic stitch, back stitch and tent stitch. She used Gloriana 12 ply hand dyed silk flosses. The lady in front of the house was stitched on 40 count silk gauze using tent stitch.
Lyubov (Lyuba) is a retired internist doctor. She is a full-time grandmother and a gardener. Lyuba took her first needlework lessons at her school in Moscow, Russia, when she was a little girl. At that time stitching was part of general curriculum. Lyuba’s first project was a summer dress. She made it all by herself and embroidered it with cherries and leaves.
When Lyuba’s children grew up and she had more time for her hobbies, Lyuba fell in love with cross stitch embroidery.
Once visiting her sister, Nina Vassallo, who lives in Winchester, Lyuba went to the Shenandoah Valley Museum. There she saw a print of Page Huff Dillon’s painting, depicting historic buildings of Winchester and Frederick County. Nina told Lyuba about the Shenandoah Valley Tapestry and introduced her to the project participants. Every year since that day, during her visits to the US, Lyuba stitched numerous trees and parts of the Vaucluse building for the Tapestry. She did that with joy and the hope that the Tapestry would be admired by many generations to come.
Like many stitchers, I was taught to stitch by my mother. I am currently a full-time student at the Shenandoah University, majoring in history. I am a mother of two wonderful sons and very fortunate to have a lovely daughter-in-law. My pride and joy is my granddaughter Abigail (Abbie).
On December 20, 2013, I was honored to have my cross stitch pieces on display for my first exhibition. That was such a thrill! I mainly stitch the Mirabilia’s Ladies, but I have recently done some samplers.
Jackie has been involved with needlework since her teens. She started with crewel embroidery. When counted cross stitch became popular in the 80s, she fell in love with it. Jackie and her husband owned a needlework/framing shop in Stephens City for 17 years. They sold the business and moved to Florida for 10 years and then returned to the Winchester area. Jackie enjoys being with her friends and family and to stitch.
Jackie embroidered the Railroad Station in cross stitch, satin stitch and long and short stitches. She used cotton and some hand dyed threads.
I stitched trees using mixed satin stitch, long-short stitch, weaving stitch (baskets), and French knot (apples).
Mary (aka Maria, Masha, Mariya) is a mother of three and a full-time educator. She learned how to cross stitch as a little girl and had a lot of practice with various stitches when she became interested in sewing.
Mary has been a member of the Multicultural Club Collage since 2012. She was there when the idea of a community mural was born and then it became the Shenandoah Valley Tapestry Project.
As a graduate of the Arts School in her hometown in Russia, Mary appreciates “painting” with any media. This year she really enjoyed learning the French knot embroidery technique and applying it to her tapestry slips.
I’ve been stitching for fifty years. I’m originally from Buffalo, NY, but I’ve lived in Winchester since I was three years old. My husband, Sam, and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two sons and two beautiful granddaughters.
My grandmother was instrumental in getting me interested in embroidery when I was probably around ten years old. We would use the iron-on transfers on pillowcases. As a teen, I became interested in crewel embroidery, and I still have a pillow that I made. About thirty years ago I discovered counted cross stitch and that has been my passion ever since. I’m very excited and honored to be a part of the Shenandoah Valley Tapestry Project.
Although I lived in many East Coast states and Frederick County in Virginia for many years, I was born and grew up in Staunton, Virginia – a true Shenandoah Valley girl! Because I observed family sewing and crafting, I enjoy all types of needlework. I am an EGA member and also a member of SAGA, with smocking as my favorite type of stitching.
The stagecoach appealed to me because of my Staunton-to-Winchester life connection and the detail involved – I love detail! Using both cotton and silk floss, the coach and horses came to life with layers of stitching detail so they could travel along the Valley Pike.
My hands have been busy with needle and thread since I started making doll clothes as a child. I moved on to making my own clothes as a teenager and then trained in apparel design as a young woman. It was a short lived professional career, but my hands never stopped taking needle and thread to fiber of all kinds throughout my life. It became second nature to me. I've always loved to do handwork and am drawn to the handwork of women through the ages. I collect old samplers and do mostly cross stitch myself, but I do love the variety in embroidery. My days are spent doing both and also making beaded jewelry.
I am a member of the Nassau Chapter of EGA and heard of this project from a member in another state while I was my chapter’s President. Since my granddaughters have grown up in Virginia, I wanted to leave them the legacy of stitching something substantial on the Tapestry, which will hang there for years to come. I thank everyone responsible for this delightful experience.
The Hexagon House, although one of the smaller buildings on the tapestry, was an architectural oddity for its day, and I wanted to give it all the texture I could to play up its architectural details. I kept to DMC cotton floss for the house but tried to depict the bricks of the house and its pale yellow shade by combining two shades of yellow and stitching a brick bond. To capture the roof tiles I used a variegated shade of rust colored floss, wanting to mimic the light reflecting off the tiles. The gingerbread on the porch, its railings, and those on the cupola were kept free of the surface to show some three dimensionality from the surface stitching underneath.
The background of the trees was first made off the linen’s surface by layering hand dyed silk and hand dyed roving between solvy and then overstitching it freestyle with green thread on my sewing machine. Then I dissolved the solvy and waited for it to dry. I made this “green fabric” large enough that I could lay it down in a single piece onto the linen slip and contour it around the house. Before blind stitching it down, I stuffed a bit of fiberfill between this “fabric” and the linen slip to give it some poof. Once I stitched it around the contours of the house and tree tops, I added embroidery stitches to delineate between the trees and then stitched the trunks and branches on top of all this green. I then added lighter green roving in the places where the willow trees were to be and embroidered their weeping branches over the roving. I then added their trunks.
All in all, it was an enjoyable challenge to work on this gem of architecture. Winchester is lucky to have all these beautiful and historical buildings.
Before I retired from my 32-year career of teaching English in Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland, I attended a seminar at which I learned that a person should not merely retire from something but should retire to something; during retirement, a person should continue to “work, learn, and play.” In 2015, I retired, not only from teaching, but also from the big metropolis. My husband and I moved to charming Winchester, VA. Then, I set to work to seek the activities that would fulfill my new purpose and my new goals in life. Ultimately, I discovered the Literacy Center, a quilt guild, an embroidery guild – and a community project, newly underway: The Shenandoah Valley Tapestry project. I joined other volunteers at the Literacy Center, and I joined the two guilds. I also joined the Tapestry project.
Crafting runs in my family: Several of my maternal family ancestors were renowned for their white work and their cut-work embroidery. Since I was 8 or 9 years old, I have enjoyed various crafts: quilting, knitting, crotchet, and embroidery. Over the years, I have self-taught blackwork, hardanger, drawn thread, pulled thread, ribbon embroidery, and several others.
For the Tapestry project, I created the sheep in the field and the three apple orchards. Below are my notes for that work:
Cissy is a native of Winchester, Virginia. She is currently the Executive Director of the Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society, a post she has held for 40 years. She was a member of the original 1995 committee that selected the buildings appearing in the painting on which the Tapestry Project is based.
Although I’ve been doing handwork of some type since I was 7, I have come to needlepoint late in life. Previously I’ve done Jacobean crewel, sewed clothing, made quilts, knitted and crocheted, completed many cross stitch pieces and, alas, tried a couple of needlepoint projects by reading a book. After retiring in 2002, and wanting to learn needlepoint, a friend suggested private needlepoint lessons from a founding member of the Shenandoah Valley Needlepoint Chapter of ANG. For almost a year, I drove 150 miles round trip each month for what turned into half-day learning sessions. That progressed into membership in two chapters and many, many projects.
The Tapestry Project resulted from a visit by Irina Galounina to the Piedmont Chapter of ANG. Several of us took on portions of that project after hearing her enthusiastic description of the embroidery guild efforts. My small portion is in the lower right corner of the tapestry—a campfire, chickens, a horse and a wagon. Most of the stitching is in cotton floss and some silk, i.e. chicken tails. The wagon cover is Ultrasuede.
I was born in the Free State of South Africa. After graduating from a boarding school I continued my studies at the university to get a pre-school teacher qualification. I taught at a non-profit pre-school for 20 years and was the principal for about 14 years. I am married; we have two children and four grandkids.
My mother did a fair amount of embroidery and it always fascinated me. In school we learned home economics. Sewing was a big part of the classes and my favorite. I did not do much embroidery until later in my life and am mostly self-taught.
Hildegard stitched the Red Lion Tavern. She used couching for the roof and shaded satin stitch for the walls with back stiches for the mortar. This was done using DMC stranded cotton. The windows were done in satin stiches with DMC floss and Kreinik for sparkle. The man on the sidewalk was done on solve (wash away plastic) and appliqued on. The trees were embroidered with chenille silk and couched down with DMC.
Linda is a retired systems engineer who is now enjoying not being an engineer. She was introduced to embroidery when she was very young. Her family is from the Ukraine, and in her youth embroidery was used everywhere as a means of celebration - such as embroidered basket coverings for Easter - as well as a means of decoration - such as tablecloths and clothes. It is from this connection that Linda has now decided to reinvigorate her love of embroidery and sewing. She loves sewing, quilting, embroidery, and all things fabric.
Linda is past President of the Winchester Chapter of the WEGA and has been a central member of the Tapestry Project. She stitched the very first house for the Tapestry, the Log Cabin, and later added the running dog, the curious cat, the ducks, and the happy cow - her Tapestry animal family.
Not being a detailed stitcher, where counting stitches and creating tiny elements are important –the Log Cabin was right up my alley. Log cabins were constructed of rough logs with primitive chinking, and their chimneys were built of rocks and stones found in the surrounding fields. My imprecise and somewhat eclectic stitching matched what this Log Cabin needed. So the Log Cabin it was!
I started my search to create the logs and chinking and found some craft twine for the chinking and some brown rough wool threads for the logs and for the door. So far, so good. Then came the chimney – a bit of a challenge. Finally, after eliminating many thread choices, I found a fuzzy kind of gray wool blend that might mimic a rough stone texture – and it worked, too! But how about the roof? I tried many, many threads to no avail. Moving onto the possibility of using fabric – I found some that kind of looked like what I thought an old roof would look like and it worked! Voilà – the Log Cabin was created.
When I was invited to participate in the Shenandoah Valley Tapestry project, I decided to stitch the tree at the St. Thomas Episcopal Church and a wedding couple. It’s hard to say what kind of embroidery techniques I used, but I stitched from the heart and with great pleasure. I would call it “soulful stitching.” For the first time in my life I had a chance to participate in a big embroidery project.
I worked with silk and cotton threads. I also stitched some trees around Handley High School.
Lynn Tatum has always loved crafts. She learned how to sew and embroidery stich at an early age from her mother and grandmother. Lynn’s parents were leather craftsmen in California, often letting Lynn use the left-over leather scraps to make buttons and keychains to sell at craft fairs.
Lynn went to school at the Air Force Academy and served as a pilot in the Air Force, where she met her husband. Lynn is now a Boeing 767 Captain for United Airlines and continues her love for sewing and stitching in her free time. She passed on her love of sewing to her daughter, Krista, who is passionate about sewing reversible “theme” dog scarves.
Lynn was thrilled to join the Tapestry team and volunteered to stitch the St. Thomas Episcopal Church because she often rides her bike by the church on country road bike rides. Lynn used a variety of embroidery stitches for her work on the church. The embroidery thread was cotton and 2-3 strands, depending on the stitch used.
I remember fondly my very first stitched piece when I was a teenager. I love working with needle and thread and stitch every single day, even if it is for only a few minutes! In the last few years, I have been stitching professionally for several designers. In this day of modern technology, it is very satisfying to sit down with a piece of linen, a needle, and thread and create something with my hands as many others have done for hundreds of years.
I stitched the Barton brothers for the tapestry; I used cotton thread and stitched them over one, so they would be the right scale/size for the tapestry.
It was such a pleasure being involved in this wonderful project!
Patti started embroidery in 1971 when she made paraments for her new church. Then she made counted cross stitch pieces of all the historic sites of Moorestown, New Jersey. Over the years Patti made a lot of needlepoint and counted cross stitch projects. She especially likes to make “grandmother pictures” for all her friends. Two years ago, Patti bought an embroidery sewing machine. She named this machine “Patience,” after William Brewster's daughter, who is an ancestor in Patti’s family tree. She’s having fun figuring her out! Patti likes to quilt and make decorative objects with Patience. She also enjoys beading and working with children, introducing them to simple stitching tasks and projects.
Patti stitched General Sheridan’s Headquarters, including the American flag and the image representing the General on his horse. She worked the slip on a linen ground using several types of fibers and stitches. For the Headquarters, Patti stitched the building, outside columns, flag and flag pole using DMC six-strand cotton floss and used DMC perle cotton for the railings. She used the brick stitch on the building to represent the masonry and the satin stitch on the columns. On the stairs, Patti used a regular cross stitch and laid-in a straight stitch between each level of the steps for definition. For the roof, she once again used a regular cross stitch. The American flag is stitched with DMC six-strand floss using a split stitch for the stripes and the seed stitch for the stars. Patti stitched the flag pole and knob on top using the long-arm cross stitch and French knots for the knob. She used both alpaca and angora wool for the body and tail of the horse, respectively, stitching the body using a split stitch and turkey stitch for the tail to give it more dimension. The bridle is done with Kreinik #4 gold braid.
Diane Trobaugh began stitching as a Girl Scout and member of 4-H in the Washington, DC area. Needlepoint became her art form of choice. She joined the American Needlepoint Guild in Northern Virginia and served ANG in several capacities at the national level: Bylaws Chair, Vice President for Chapters and Areas (now VP for Membership), President Elect, President 2000-2002, Nominating Committee member, Development Committee member, Development Committee Chair heading the organization’s first major capital campaign for its endowment fund.
When she moved to the Valley, Diane and three other Northern Virginia “transplants” were instrumental in the founding of the Shenandoah Valley Chapter ANG (a 501(c)(3) non-profit) and served as the chapter’s first President, subsequently as Vice President for Programs, and as Treasurer.
Belle Grove Plantation, including the house, outbuildings and surrounding fields, were stitched on 24-count Congress cloth. The primary threads were silk and cotton with many being tone-on-tone (many shades and tones of the same color). Different stitches created the various architectural features of the buildings and the distinctive landscape elements.
Nina Vassallo was born in Russia. She graduated from medical school and worked as a physician for 40 years in one of Moscow’s clinics. Nina now lives in Winchester, Virginia. More than 25 beautiful cross stitch works adorn Nina’s home. She has a tradition: after finishing her stitching, she brings it to Collage Club meeting for ‘One Picture Show,’ as she calls it. Nina played one of the key roles in the Shenandoah Valley Tapestry Project.
Like so many stitchers, I learned to embroider at my Granny's knee. Over the years I moved on to crewel work. Since I also love history, samplers became my passion and cross stitch is a way to combine the two.
In 1995, I became a charter member of the Monticello Needlearts Chapter of EGA and have held all the offices for that chapter. Several years later I was invited to an ANG meeting. Being impressed with the friendliness of the members and interested in learning needlepoint, I quickly joined the chapter.
I only stitched a very small section of the cemetery on the Tapestry but was thrilled with the chance to share in this wonderful experience.
I learned my first embroidery stitches from my grandmother when I was in grade school. When I got to college, I got involved in other needlework projects, learning from magazines or kits. Now I have excellent teachers in my friends in the embroidery guild. I was born in Winchester and have lived most of my life here. By chance I live on the same street where I grew up!
Janet learned basic embroidery in fifth grade and has tried surface embroidery, crewel and quilting, as life has permitted. She considers herself a beginning embroiderer who is having a great time learning from the ladies of the Winchester Chapter of the Embroiderers’ Guild of America.