A friend e-mailed me the other week to let me know that the museum in Smith's Falls was putting on an exhibit of redwork embroidery, if I was interested, although she wouldn't have time to go. Interested? Heck, yeah! I didn't actually know Smith's Falls had a museum, even. The website, when I took a look, described it as a house with period Victorian furnishings, and a two-storey privy. Since my mother is also a fan of old houses and furniture and needlework, I passed the info on to her, and we decided we had to take a look.
The museum turned out to be a very nice house. Only one staff member there at the time, so we got to poke about on our own, which is the most fun way to do it anyhow. Generally I don't want a speech on who lived there, and we know how people lived already. For us, it's a little more like a showroom, a place for ideas and comments. "I've got some redwork pillow shams in that exact pattern.""Look at the sampler on that wall. I need to make one like that sometime.""Come take a picture of the pantry. That's what I want mine to look like."
They had turned the space above the summer kitchen and shed into a gallery space, and part of that was more redwork, both new and old, from the collections of two friends. And didn't we have fun looking! Unfortunate that I didn't manage to take better pictures.
My fingers are itching to do some embroidery. Redwork napkins maybe - I loved the ones we saw there, even though I use napkins once in a blue moon. Maybe handkerchiefs would be more useful.
And I want to graph the sampler we saw.
And try rickrack/crochet edging.
We did see the two-storey privy as well. Separate shafts for each floor. Doubtless very convenient. And in the gift shop there was a reprint of Catharine Parr Traill's "Pearls and Pebbles" which I hadn't seen before, so that was a nice find that came home with us. Definitely a worthwhile trip.