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The Needleworker of the Year 2000

$1,000 Grand Prize Winner
Carol Spurlock
Nominated by Ginger’s Needle Arts and Framing
Austin, Texas
Prize sponsored by The National Needlework Association

Maple Leaves
Artist Statement

I first saw Margaret Murton’s design, Maple Leaves, in the book, Fruits of the Harvest, by Hugh Ehrman. It was done as an eighteen inch square cushion in wool. I had just taken a class in silk gauze petti-point and knew immediately that I wanted to translate this design into silks on 42 count silk gauze.
I found close matches to the Appleton wools specified in the original in Madeira silks except a mauve which, in the silks, was just a little too purple to go with the other colors. I decided to try a green that I felt went with the other shades and conveyed that end-of-summer tired green I wanted.
About half-way through the stitching, I realized that I wanted a border around the main design. I happened upon a patchwork quilt pattern book and saw the nine-patch design, Maple Leaf. Ideal! The border is stitched with two threads in a satin stitch and, because the stitches are so short, the back of each stitch was laid as carefully as the front so that no twists would affect the appearance of the stitch. I then added a four-hole wide satin stitch around the border so that the gauze would not show at the edges.
After several years of work, I finally stitched in my initials and the year, and mounted it just in time to enter it in our local stitchery guild’s biennial show. The judges gave it a merit ribbon and the attendees awarded it People’s Choice. I cried.

—Carol Spurlock

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