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Friday, August 12, 2022

Crafting Patriotism

She was there to support and cheer for her oldest son, a swimmer. Yet while he was in the water competing in various meets, Vicki Hart was on the bleachers — and her hands were free. That’s one reason the Evansville resident was able to start and complete so many needlepoint projects. It turns out that Hart, a longtime needlepoint enthusiast, is quite patriotic, too.

Her first patriotic project was a pre-worked canvas of two Revolutionary War drummers and one soldier carrying the American flag. This needlepoint is a reproduction of a painting called the “Spirit of ‘76” by Archibald MacNeal Willard.

Hart’s second patriotic needlepoint project was a small fluttering flag on a pole. This piece was completed around 1975, just in time for the next year’s bicentennial, she says. Others — an ornament, a small stocking, a framed flag — came later.

Hart bought most of her designs from the Red Rooster Stitchery, a Newburgh, Ind., business owned by her good friend, Peggy Norman. Norman was an employee of the shop before she purchased it in 1981. This store in a red barn near the crest of the hill at 10044 West S.R. 662 is the go-to spot for a variety of needlepoint designs in the Tri-State area. One regular customer even drives from Providence, Ky., to see Norman’s latest inventory.

Norman says Laura Clements does almost all of the finishing work for her customers’ needlepoint designs. “It takes a certain talent,” she says. Hart definitely agrees. After all, her needlepoint projects aren’t just something to pass the time. Her projects take many hours to perfect, and they need those final artistic touches. But that’s fitting. The Red Rooster, after all, is “where heirlooms begin.” Thanks to women like Hart, Norman, and Clements, heirlooms like these will likely never end, either.

For more information on the Red Rooster Stitchery, visit www.redroosterstitchery.com.

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