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Image Size:  15" x 11"

Silk and hand-dyed cotton fibers 
18 point linen needlepoint canvas

Occasionally individuals ask us to hand-paint TALLIAFERRO designs onto needlepoint canvas. This is always a challenge--to maintain the integrity of the original crewel design while accepting the limitations, and at the same time exploiting, the parameters of a different medium. 

We met Jo Thomson, a fascinating lady of great elegance and style, at the Woodlawn Annual Needlwork Exhibition in 2008. She and a friend passed through one of our crewel demonstrations where we had hung various framed crewel pieces around the room below the original cartoon for each work. She was taken with A Mum for Ethetlene and said she'd love to do it in needlepoint. We considered and thought it might be a challenge so we agreed to meet and discuss the project.

A wonderful friendship developed as we worked up the design for the needlepoint. Fortunately, Jo likes to work in 18-point, which was necessary for capturing the detail of the original crewel. Accustomed to working much smaller pieces, Jo was nothing if not intrepid to launch herself into such a large, complicated work, and we were touched to learn that this was going to be the first needlepoint she worked and kept for herself. We enjoyed being with her as she decided what final form the piece would take (a cushion for the couch in her tasteful living room), selected her color scheme, and we had a marvelous time shopping together for fibers.

Jo Thomson heads up a boutique financial planning firm in the high-powered world of metropolitan Washington, D.C., which she thoroughly enjoys, but unwinds in the evenings needlepointing through the late television news. She worked uncomplaining of the minor mistakes we made in transposing the design, for which we are grateful.

From a designer and teacher's standpoint, the process was so instructive--we were affirmed in our belief that many needleworkers would exercise a tremendous creativity within a given project, if they only had the confidence in their own taste and esthetic. Adding one's own creativity to that of the designer makes the final product so much better. We would hope that more needleworkers would take advantage of it through color and material selection and purpose.