Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Birthday, America!

On February 12, Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday, I began stitching "272 Words," a sampler featuring the full text of Gettysburg Address. Because this is Lincoln's bicentennial year, it seemed logical to begin the sampler on the President's birthday. But when considering a completion date I chose July 4th largely because Independence Day is one of my favorite holidays.

Until a few weeks ago, I hadn't realized the double significance of July 4th as a completion date, compliments of President Lincoln himself. If one does the arithmetic, Mr. Lincoln's famous intro, "Four score and seven years ago," refers to the events of July 4, of 1776.

Today I present photos of the unframed piece. My stitching frame is too small to stretch the entire length and breadth of the sampler. Therefore, with your patience, I present closes-ups of the sampler from various angles. In August I'll publish a photo essay of "272 Words," after it is professionally stretched and framed. A frame will bring the sampler to life.

The final photo shows the sampler, minutes after it was completed yesterday -- 143 days after the first stitch in February. It seemed to me, that a ray of sun beamed onto the work table at the moment the linen was liberated from its frame. I quickly snapped the photo, not noticing the wrinkled linen after months of handling, or the funny way it draped across the table. It was finished. Stitchers know that feeling of elation -- the last stitch is as exciting as the first.

Thank you for joining me on this July 4th, as we celebrate our nation's 233rd birthday. It has been an honor spending these last few months with you, and I look forward to our conversations during the coming months.

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The Gettysburg Address, by President Abraham Lincoln

"Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation . . .

. . . conceived in Liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."

"Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live."

"It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this."

"But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.

"The world will little note, nor long remember what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us . . . "

". . . that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom . . . "

. . . that government of the people, by the people, for the people . . . "

. . . shall not perish from the earth."


~ Wrought by Elizabeth C. Gorski of New York City
on July 4, 2009 ~


  1. Congratulation,,it looks great and I cant wait to see it framed,,I have been keeping an eye on it for the last month..Great Job....

  2. CONGRATULATIONS!! Woo hoo... can't wait to stitch it!

  3. Oh my Goodness it is fabulous. I read the GA a few years ago for the first time and was just stunned at the words. Is this design going to be available for us to stitch??

  4. Just stunning! So much work and love! You did a wonderful job on this! I can't wait to see it framed!

  5. Congratulations! It's a wonderful tribute to Lincoln. Good to read the address once more. Especially on July 4th.

  6. Hallelujah! Finished at last and on time. What a beautiful work of art. The font is beautiful, the colors appropriate, the words worthy of setting down as eternal truth.
    It was worth every second of your time, and I bet you feel wonderful today!

  7. Liz,

    I have no cross words for you on this marvelous accomplishment.

    Kudos to you.


  8. Congratulations! It's just beautiful. Really, really beautiful. Breathtaking, in fact.

  9. Theresa a.k.a TerryJuly 4, 2009 at 12:39 PM

    BRAVA! I am giving this the standing ovation it deserves!

    Liz, you should be very proud of yourself; I know I am very proud of you.

    We will raise a toast tonight to this magnificent piece.

  10. What a wonderful and inspiring piece! I am completely amazed at your masterpiece. Are you planning to offer it as a pattern? I would love to buy it. Thank you for showing your progress and the completed work.

  11. It is magnificent! Congratulations!

  12. I LOVE IT!!!
    CONGRATS TO YOU FOR AN AMAZING FINISH!!!I look forward to seeing the framed piece...oh, and I love the stars! Nice touch!

  13. Good friends,

    I'm so grateful for your comments, which mean the world to me. What an honor it has been to work with Lincoln's words, and commit them to fiber and linen. After a few days' break, I'll return with the second phase, the preparation for framing. I'll also ask your advice on the best way to iron the piece. (In my bleary-eyed state last week, I didn't trust myself with a hot iron!)

    After "272 Words" is framed, I'll decide whether or not to publish a chart.

    Good Sunday to you all, and enjoy the rest of your July 4th weekend. Now, it's back to Wimbledon . . I'm rooting for Roger to make history! (But I miss Nadal -- he's my favorite...)

    Many thanks and hugs to you all, see you in a few days . . . ciao!


  14. I love it so much it makes me weepy reading it. What an incredible and pivotal time for our nation. The Address gives glory to those who fought and a commitment for the living to cherish what was won. Living in the South, the memories are still acute for the elderly who had parents and grandparents who were participants in some way. My husband's grandfather remembers the stories his father told of taking food to a regiment that he had relatives. Risking his life to feed the menfolk. Thanks for sharing the journey. I hope you are charting this for sale because I would love love love to stitch it!

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  16. What a stunning piece (and tribute) you have lovingly created with your needle and thread!

    Looking forward to seeing it framed!

  17. I have been following your blog since finding it a couple months ago. What an awesome project. Congratulations on your finish!

  18. Oh Liz it's just beautifuli and very moving. I just love it!! You've done an incredible job making your goal of the 4th. I have always loved this speech and it's a joy seeing it stitched. I will be watching to see it framed and hoping you decide to publish. It's a great achievement! Congratulations 10-fold!

  19. It's gorgeous and congratulations to you - a job VERY well done!!

  20. Bravo, Liz! Your sampler is, as others have already stated, truly stunning! You have created an heirloom.

    Please, please publish the chart. I would LOVE to stitch this beautiful tribute to Abraham Lincoln.

  21. I think it is a stunning finish and gorgeous sampler and being that I live close to and have visited many, many times Abe's boyhood home - I would love to stitch this too - I think a chart would be a rousing success :)
    Can't wait to see the frame you choose!

  22. Like so many others, I have followed your amazing creation, and I am in awe of the beauty and the impact of these words, so many years after being spoken. What a wonderful journey, and I count myself among those who would be honored to have the chance to stitch this piece also! Beautiful! Nancy

  23. I know I am late to the game here - I just found your blog tonight...but I had to write to say how amazing this piece is! Congratulations on a wonderful finish. I will now be looking out to see it framed. I, too, would love a chart for this! Meredith