This Hyssop/Handwork project was different than my usual commission as it took me back to my first love of hand-embroidery. Back in the days of the dinosaurs, my kindergarten teacher taught all of us (girls AND boys (traditional roles were just beginning to be blurred)) how to do basic embroidery stitches, I am guessing to improve our fine motor skills. We used burlap and acrylic knitting wool. Somewhere in my parents’ attic, there may be even be an ancient remnant of my first stitching endeavor. In any case, I moved onto needlepoint and crewelwork at age 9 and actually won an EGA award at the local level when I was in elementary school. In junior high, I put down the needle and focused on academics until I was out of college. Once I was an Army officer’s wife with a little one in tow, I started to stitch again. Cross-stitch and quilting were very popular pasttimes at Ft Knox but needlepoint? not so much. So my neighbor Melissa taught me how to cross-stitch and my other neighbor Laurel taught me traditional hand -piecing and quilting. I was a handquilter as opposed to using my machine for quilting as my machine couldn’t handle it. Once I bought the Bernina, that changed. I still love handwork but just don’t have as much time so I do a lot more by machine. So when this commission arose, I jumped at it. Apparently there is a formal group of retired doctors who had privileges at Georgetown University Hospital. Now that they are retired and their wives want them out of the house (kidding!), they regularly meet for lunch. They call themselves the Georgetown Romeos which stands for Retired Old Men Eating Out.
Oscar Mann (the intended recipient) has been spearheading the group for years but is now stepping down. In appreciation for his work as coordinator, the Romeos all signed a tablecloth that is apparently an actual linen from the restaurant where they have met for decades. They started signing the tablecloth before I saw the project, otherwise I would have suggested methods to improve the symmetry.
I think this is such a nice gift for someone who has everything! I have only met one of the members but if they are even half as delightful as he is, then this is definitely a fun-loving group. The contact was a Notre Dame alumnus who graduated in the same class with Regis Philbin.