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Allison Aller, quilt artist and one of the winners of the DMC Memories Contest, has been busy the past few months creating a hand-stitched quilt to commemorate her visit to France and the DMC Factory.
While creating her commission for DMC, Allie has been blogging about her progress, taking photos and showing us details of the quilt in progress.
Her final entry on the project can be found on her blog. This entry features amazing photos of her stitching journey while making the quilt, along with her thoughts about making selections for the batting and backing.
Allie has also used materials collected during her trip, including beautiful French trims, fabrics and notions, found during her visits to local shops and outdoor markets.
It sounds like she and her sister Mary (photo to the left) are having a wonderful trip, as are the other winners!
Allison has been able to meet up with the other trip winners, Louise Doney who took her husband along on her journey, and shopkeeper Patti Chambers of Threads Needlework in East Petersburg, PA. You can read more about all three winners here.
Allison writes, “The trip has been fantastic. Mary and I have packed our days with both a few planned events – the bike tour of Versailles including Marie Antoinette’s Village, with a picnic along the Grand Canal, which was wonderful, and a meet-up with my Aussie friend Sharon Boggon at the Musee d’Orsay (photo to the right).
Today is Montmartre, tomorrow the DMC tour which we are all so looking forward to, and then Wednesday a revisit to my favorite place, Notre Dame, to climb the towers. Mary wants to go to the Museum of Decorative Arts.
Patti and her best friend have also been enjoying their trip, as you can see from this image of them at Versailles. You can see photos of their adventures in Paris on the shop’s FaceBook page.
And check out this wonderful group photo of our winners, touring the 268 year old DMC Factory in Mulhouse, France.
From left to right you’ll see Louise, Allison and Patti, surrounded by many of the beautiful threads and fibers produced by DMC and enjoyed by stitchers around the world.
Have a wonderful time, everyone!
The DMC Memories Contest winners are getting packed and ready for their trip to France, including a tour of the DMC Factory and a visit to Paris. I know there are many of us who would love to tuck ourselves in their suitcases and tag along on this awesome adventure!
Contest winners, Allison Aller and Louise Doney, are each bringing along a companion – and will probably have a stitching project tucked in their carry-on bag for the long flight to Paris. We hope they have a wonderful trip and can hardly wait to hear about their trip.
To help send them off, I’m posting their winning entries – in case you have not yet seen them – and will also be posting other entries we received for the contest over the next few weeks. There were so many interesting and wonderful Memories that it was certainly a difficult choice.
Meanwhile, enjoy the winning entries…
Allison Aller’s Entry:
I sit on the couch awkwardly holding a hoop taut with cloth, and carefully pull the needle through. I am five years old, and Granny Mary is teaching me the running stitch…
Across the years and through my soul that stitch ran on… once through a sampler as I grieved my way through 10th grade, soaking up my wild grief at losing my mom. I calmed myself by embroidering intricate counted diagrams after school, learning early on what a balm for the soul stitching is. Then those colored threads danced their way through my jeans as I decorated Hippie Dreams in college; they skipped along borders of baby bumpers, and formed playful designs on quilts for my kids. Clowns, choochoo trains in bold colors – all that stitching made me heal and smile.
But then my threads sought the deeper, undiscovered patterns of the artist. I followed them through the years of solo work in my studio, exploring beauty, pushing boundaries, practicing the discipline of my needle: I’m a musician enthralled with my instrument. The colored melodies run through my fingers, singing with my stitching!
I’mll always thrill to holding new DMC threads in my hands, certain that their running stitchies will lead me peacefully through troubles, gratefully into circles of love, and beyond, into the music of the shperes.
And now… my niece Qwen sits beside me, awkwardly holding a hoop taut with cloth, pulling the threaded needle through. She is five years old… (© DMC – All Rights Reserved)
Louise Doney’s Entry:
Our parent’s 50th wedding anniversary was two years away, but Daddy was already reminding us seven children of the big celebration there was going to be. I realized we needed to do something special and soon came up with the idea of constructing a “Memory Quilt” with counted cross stitch squares depicting their life together. Most of the women in the family could stitch so the idea was generally accepted. Many planning sessions followed to decide which family highlights would be included. The storyline started with a poem to our parents and included the church they were married in, the home we were raised in, the family tree, events such as picnics, Christmas, Pinochle cards , and travel experiences . All in all twenty 10×10 squares of Aida stitched with DMC floss were included, with the last square depicting a woman stitching and the names of us women and our relationship to our parents . At the “Big Party” we unveiled a hand quilted queen size quilt which of course was a huge surprise to our parents and more than half the room was in tears. The quilt was featured in the local newspaper and has won people’s choice awards in needlework shows.
My parents are gone now and I am the lucky keeper of this treasure and I know that the colors of the DMC used will stay bright for future generations to enjoy, along with other projects I continue to stitch with my #1 thread choice DMC!
(© DMC – All Rights Reserved)
Happy Stitching everyone, and join me in wishing Allison and Louise a bon voyage!
The Lebanon Daily News (LDN) recently featured an article featuring Louise and one of her beautiful handmade treasures. The quilt shown, created by Louise and her family members, was the inspiration for her DMC Needlework Memory and won her a trip to Paris to see the sights and tour the DMC factory.
You can read the full article here.
Her quilt features different blocks that featured different important events in her family’s life, and was embroidered with DMC Threads. Louise says, “Every person who’s ever taken a needle in hand knows the DMC company,” Doney said. “The factory has been around for 300 years and is still in operation today. Every needleworker has used DMC floss.”
Nice job, Louise! We hope you enjoy your trip.
I love my job – especially when I have the opportunity to hang out with fun, creative needle artists like Allison Aller, one of the winners of DMC’s Needlework Memories Contest!
While the offices for DMC USA are located in New Jersey, there are several of us who live remotely, and it was such a wonderful surprise to learn that Allison lives near me on the opposite side of the country.
After Allison returned from a trip after taping class for Craftsy (check her blog for the air dates!), we were able to get together for dinner at a local bistro in our area. We had a great time chatting about needlework.
Just before dinner I presented Allison with a special tote filled with DMC Needlework Supplies, as well as a memento of her upcoming trip to Paris. It was so much fun to hang out with someone who loves needlework as much as I do!
The winning entries can now be seen on our web site, including the winning entry from Louise Doney of Pennsylvania and Florida, and information on the winning shop, Threads Needlework run by Patti Chambers.
We hope they all have a terrific time in France!
DMC collected Memories from needlework enthusiasts dreaming of winning a week in Paris. The contest resulted in hundreds of entries being submitted. Each was read by a panel of judges and scored based on how inspiring, memorable, sentimental, nostalgic, and relevant they were to needlework and DMC. After scoring the entries the contest ended in a tie.
Rather than randomly selecting one winner, DMC will send both stitchers to France. “The two Memories entries that received a tie score were so moving we had no choice but to award the grand prize to both,” said Steve Mancuso, DMC’s Vice President of Marketing.
Tied for first place are Allison Aller of Washougal, Washington (shown to the right) and Louise Doney of Mt. Gretna, Pennsylvania and Jupiter, Florida (shown below, left).
Ms. Aller and Ms. Doney will each spend a week in France including several days in Paris and a trip through the French countryside to Mulhouse, France to tour the historic 268-year old DMC factory and archives. “This is a trip that only DMC, the world’s oldest and most prominent needlework thread company could offer,” added Mancuso.
In addition, the contest included a grand prize trip to France for the owner of the independent needlework shop named on the winning Memories contest entry. “Independent needlework shops are the lifeblood of this art. They pass on their passion for needlework to new stitchers ensuring the art survives for future generations to enjoy. We wanted to thank them for their continued support,” said Mancuso.
Threads Needlework of East Petersburg, Pennsylvania, a relatively new store, was Ms. Doney’s needlework shop. Its owner, Ms. Patty Chambers, and a co-worker who has been her best friend since 7th grade, will tour France and see how the threads used to create their stitching memories are made. Ms. Aller did not note a needlework shop on her Memories entry.
“Stitching has enriched and at times, saved my life,” said Ms. Aller. “Every word in my Memories entry was from the heart.” Ms. Aller’s Memories entry, written in a poetic style, described what “a balm for the soul stitching is.” Ms. Aller’s sister will be joining her on her trip to France.
“We talked about the contest at our EGA guilds and I read about it on blogs, then finally decided to write my Memories entry after encouragement from a close friend,” said Ms. Doney. “I have a lifetime of memories since I started stitching as a child, but the one that meant the most to me was about the quilt all the women in my family and I made for our parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. The quilt told the story of their life together.” She plans to take her husband as her guest.
We knew how rewarding needlework was to stitchers so it was gratifying to have them personalize their deep emotional connection to their stitching in the form of a cherished needlework memory,” said Joseph McCabe, President/CEO DMC North America/South America, Global Director DMC Sales & Marketing
We’ll be posting additional information and their winning entries here on the site very soon.
Congratulations to our lucky winners – I know you’ll have a fabulous trip!