It's no surprise to anyone in South Carolina that it is hot, hot, hot at this time of the year. Sometimes I feel like I should hibernate for the entire summer, but obviously I can't do that. I garden so I have to get out there to water my plants every day (and sometimes twice a day.) If we are lucky, maybe a few days during one week of the month we get some thunderstorms that roll through, but the rain is not very reliable. It's very frustrating when the wind kicks in and you can hear the thunder, but the rain doesn't fall where you are!
I have been busy putting the finishing touches on a lecture that I will give to a quilt guild next week. I am looking forward to seeing them! I also did some sewing. I worked on some of my quilting UFO's and did some redwork last week. What is new is the redwork! I hand embroidered before but never specifically did redwork. Awhile ago I ordered a book on Presidential Redwork. I stitched my first presidential portrait last week and it was fun and didn't take long. I think I will make some more - and who knows, maybe eventually I will have enough to make a presidential quilt!
This is President William McKinley.
The redwork is not actually framed, I just did that with my photo software for purposes of posting the picture. It's a small block of muslin intended to go into a quilt later on.
McKinley was the 25th President of the United States. He was the last president to have served in the Civil War. When he went to Buffalo, NY, for the 1901 Pan-American Exposition, there was a reception held for him and tragically, Leon Czolgosz, an assassin, stood in line to shake his hand. Czolgosz's hand was wrapped in a white handkerchief with the gun hidden inside. As McKinley reached out to take Czolgosz's "bandaged" hand, Czolgosz fired twice at the President. McKinley remained standing and was taken to the hospital on the Exposition grounds. One bullet produced a superficial wound, but the second bullet hit McKinley in the abdomen causing many injuries. The doctors were unable to find the bullet, left it in his body, and closed up the wound. At first McKinley appeared to be getting better, but eight days after he was shot, his condition rapidly worsened. He died at age 58 from gangrene surrounding his wounds.
Why did I begin my redwork with William McKinley? Well, there were two reasons. First of all, I will be talking about the Pan-American Exposition in my lecture next week and secondly, for a number of years I lived in a suburb outside Buffalo, NY. When you go to Buffalo, you can't help but notice the McKinley Monument. It is located in front of City Hall and is a 96 feet tall obelisk surrounded by Italian marble lions, each 13 feet long and weighing 12 tons. Many of the streets converge on its location - Niagara Square. The monument was dedicated in 1907 to the memory of McKinley.
It is so tragic that several of our presidents have been killed as a result of being out and about and meeting with the American public. Shootings are not limited to presidents either. I can't help but think about Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords who was shot while meeting face to face with her constituents or the bystanders who were killed at that time. No, we can't hibernate, but it would be nice to know we are safe!