Some of you may know that I have a special place in my heart for the creepy and macabre. When I first started designing, I decided to create tombstone samplers, hoping there were a few stitchers out there who would enjoy having such a collection. I quickly found out, however, that I was in the minority – especially when I first attended market and a few shopowners, upon seeing the Emma Nettles model, exited my suite as quickly as they entered.
However, this did not deter me, and now I have soon-to-be eight headstones in The Exhumeplary Collection. Almost all of them have an obituary included with their owner's tombstone (albeit purely fictitious), and all lived their lives in "the town of Stratham." (Pronounced STRAT-um, and also imaginary.)
Since there is a newly-designed death in Stratham, I decided to take a walk through the cemetery as it stands so far. I'd love it if you'd join me!
Meet Emma Nettles… an ill-tempered widow, yes she was. She met her fate by falling into a well in 1636.
Many years ago, the word "AEtat" was used on tombstones as an abbreviation for anno aetatis suae, which is latin for "in the year of his/her age." Read in modern English, Emma's headstone would read, "She finally departed this life May the 19th, 1636, aged 74 years and 6 days." The fine print on her stone reads "The one she loved most lies 'neath this headpost."
I'm thinking about using that for Mike's, should he pass before me. heehee.
This is sweet Jane Withers… she was kindhearted, and lived with her sister until her death at the tender age of 22 in the year 1640…
Jane's tombstone has always been my favorite, and is the only one actually displayed in my home.
This is the Tomb with a View stone, but the residents of Stratham know it better as Mehitable Grubb's final resting place….
Mehitable was much talked-about in town, as she was divorced 7 times. She died in 1709.
Here is Eliza Pennance…
Not much is known about poor Eliza, other than she died in 1726. You see, when I first started coming out with these tombstone charts, I included their obituaries on a small piece of paper, inserted into the chart. I called these inserts "toe tags," and somehow I've lost Eliza's. If someone out there has one of the first runs of Eliza's chart and received a toe tag with it, I'd love to hear what the heck happened to her.
Next on our cemetery walk is the lovely Tillie Figg. Tillie was warm, welcoming, and truly a righteous, Godly woman. Her husband, Amos Figg, was devastated to lose her…
A year to the day later, in 1808, Amos joined her in Heaven…
Btw, it was Amos who founded The Stratham Timepiece, his quaint little clock shop. Amos never owned his own time piece, however, stating that "God's timing is better than mine anyway."
Here is Dead Man's Chess, which is a standard-sized gameboard (when stitched on 32 ct. linen) of headstones. Some of the townsfolk interred here are Josephine Hill, Jane Farrow, Goody Martin, and the Reverend Wuller. There is even a blank headstone to add your own name, if you dare…
And so we reach a new plot in Stratham's cemetery.
But first, here's me, standing on Emma's grave…
I'm kind of afraid to go to sleep tonight now.
As I was saying, there's a new grave to stitch, and the funeral will be on October 20th during the Online Needlework Show. My new releases will be on the Kelmscott Designs page, so if you're interested in purchasing any of them, let your local or online shopowner know.
Meet Eulalie Long…
Eulalie was a kindly, charitable woman, and she died in 1789, leaving behind her husband, Ethan Long. She is stitched on 36 ct. Vintage Sand Dune using both Needlepoint Inc. silks (222 and 967) and Belle Soie (Peacock, Vanilla Pudding, Scarecrow, Orchid, Attic Tea, and Poison Apple). Her stitch count is 199 x 216.
I'd like to thank Nicole Neville for a beautiful job on the model!
Thank you for taking the time to walk through my little collection. I hope I haven't disturbed you too badly… but I did warn you in the beginning. 😉
(These graves would probably be more fun/creepy to stand on if it was dark out…)