Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Long May She Wave!

I’m looking forward to spending Saturday with some needleworkers right here in Cincinnati where I’m teaching my Long May She Wave needlecase. What a perfect time to present this project—right between Flag Day (June 14) and Independence Day (July 4).

Although the finished case is only 2-7/8 x 1-7/8 inches it has 21 different stitches! Yes, 21!! Two charts are provided—one for the 13-star flag attributed to Betsy Ross and the other for our current 50-star flag. Because the project is so small, I think lots of those in class will easily be able to have it completely finished in time to display on the 4th of July.

I’ll share some US flag history while the class is stitching.  I’ve been brushing up on my facts including the roles Francis Hopkinson, Rebecca Flowers Young, Betsy Ross (of course), and Mary Pickersgill played in making flags for the US. I’ve also practiced cutting out a perfect 5-pointed star with one snip of the scissors.

I learn some new historical facts to add to my presentation each time I teach the class. For example, this time I finally figured out why both the Quakers and today's Episcopalians (derived from the colonial church) claim that Betsy Ross worshipped with them. This fact had puzzled me ever since we visited Betsy's home and Christ Church in Philadelphia ten years ago.

Betsy's parents, Samuel and Rebecca Griscom, were Quakers.  Betsy was the eighth of their seventeen children.  Betsy met and fell in in love with John Ross, the son of the assistant rector at Christ Church. John and Betsy were both apprentices to William Webster, a local upholsterer.  The Quakers did not approve of inter-denominational marriages. Betsy and John eloped.  They had to go across the Delaware River where they were married in a New Jersey tavern by William Franklin, Benjamin Franklin’s son. Betsy’s and John’s marriage caused Betsy to be cut off from both her family and her Quaker meetinghouse. Betsy and John worshipped at Christ Church. They sat in the 12th pew, and on some Sundays George Washington would be in a nearby pew.  John was killed in 1776 in a munitions explosion.  Betsy returned to the Quaker faith after his death.

I wonder what new facts I'll learn the next time I do this class.


Jennifer said...

Oh I wish I could come! Looks so fun and I bet it is interesting indeed.
Have fun!!
Feathers in the Nest

Kay said...

Loved the mini history lesson! Wish I lived closer to be part of the class!

Teresa said...

I love anything Americana, wish I was near by to attend the class.
Teresa's Heartfelt Stitches

Robin said...

Wow, so very interesting. Thanks for sharing the history.

Bertie said...

Thank you for your lesson Ellen. I was always under the impression that Quakers were tolerante people, learned something again here:))