Friday, February 12, 2010

"Happy 201st Birthday, Mr. President!"

It's Abraham Lincoln's birthday, and I have to think that the President would get a kick out of receiving some Hallmark cards in the mail or birthday e-cards. He liked a good joke -- I suspect he'd like the goofy humorous cards over the serious ones.

Thank you, Mr. President, for preserving the Union during a terrible Civil War. If the American House had divided, who knows where we'd be? I might be blogging from another country, writing in another language and there would be no Gettysburg Address to stitch.  

Today marks another mini-birthday --  the first stitch of "272 Words" was laid down one year ago today.  What a year it's been . . . I didn't start out intending to write a chart. I wanted to stitch the great words of Abraham Lincoln during his bicentennial year. It was a crazy dream and I thought I could wing it and improvise along the way.

But a funny thing happened in the weeks following February 12, 2009 -- I started receiving emails and messages from Lincoln fans who proudly recited the Gettysburg Address from memory. Would there be a chart?  It soon became clear that I needed to draw a map of this journey, and that made all the difference.  

Thank you all, for your encouragement and suggestions. I ripped out more stitches than I stitched . . . but the result was, I hope, a simple and respectful presentation of Lincoln's words. Today marks the next phase of the creative process -- the individual interpretations of "272 Words" based on stitchers' personal choices. I'm thrilled to hear from stitchers who have chosen their favorite linen colors, linen counts and floss colors to make the design.  

I look forward to seeing your samplers, as we honor President Lincoln in the coming year. His tricentennial is only 99 years away! I'll set up a gallery to showcase the photos of your samplers. Thank you so much for joining me on this journey. You've made a dream into a reality.


  1. I picked up the pattern and supplies for 272 Words a few weeks ago. Haven't started it yet but can't wait! I'll be stitching over-1 on 32-count linen. So glad you decided to publish the pattern!

  2. Oooh, Jeanne--kudos to you for stitching over 1! I am ever in awe of over-one stitching (I've never been able to perfect that technique).

    I'd love to see a photo of your sampler. Thank you for keeping Lincoln's words alive!

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  4. Elizabeth, it turned out beautiful! even though we've never met, i'm proud of your accomplishment! keep up the great work!