Thursday, July 2, 2009

Cowgirl...Belle Starr - Bandit Queen

I'm sure you have already figured out that I love Cowgirls! Growing up in Texas... I've always wanted to be was a "real" cowgirl. When I was younger, going to the farm, doing farm things, riding horses...just being away from "civilization"'s was always a respite for for just be away from the day to day life in the city.

My current read is "Texas Tears and Texas Sunshine". The book title is a description of familiar quilts that were created by Texas women of long ago. This book is a first person account of women who were part of creating Texas...Indians, mosquitoes, eye witnesses to the "Runaway Scrape", statehood, the Civil War, fever epidemics...all told through their tears and their sunshine.

This brings me to Belle Starr - Bandit Queen (as she was later dubbed.) Her real name was MYRA MAYBELLE (Belle) SHIRLEY STARR(1848-1889). If you Google her you can find out many interesting things about her and her life (some true...some legendary.)

Some of her family settled her in Collin County. There is the Shirley Hardware Store in Anna, TX (now a museum). The Shirley's also built a house in McKinney...the very house Miss Janice owns! She's done research on the Shirley family and on her house and has discovered many interesting facts about their early arrival to Collin County.

Her house has gone through many renovations since 1917...but I think it's cool to have a house that has "real" history attached to it!

Since finishing her Cowgirl Library I've had a "project" rattling around in my was just a matter of executing it in the way I imagined it! Miss Janice loves the mystery surrounding Belle Starr and has several items that she's purchased regarding her life story.

There are not a lot of pictures available of Belle Starr, but I knew there were enough to complete my project. I began with an old quilt that was in pretty bad shape. There were enough pieces that I could use and I liked the red and blue that would tie in with Miss Janice's library.

I printed my pictures on linen and the words were printed on the heavier canvas paper. (All of these can be picked up at the fabric store.) I stitched each picture onto the old quilt with a decorative machine stitch.

I added other fabrics, bits and pieces of vintages laces and trims, and added old buttons.

These are the words on Belle's tombstone.

The smaller items were then stitched onto larger blocks... and the blocks stitched together to create a hanging.

I added a large decorative piece at the top (I purchase the conch's at Trade's Day here in McKinney. They screw onto the fabric, and depending on thickness you can adjust the size of the screw.)

I finished the bottom edge with two more screw on conch buttons and a added a small piece of leather trim I had been saving for years (I knew I would need it someday!)

The top conch holds the fabric around the small dowel I used to make a hanger.

Here is the completed project

I will give it to Miss Janice today (early 4th of July gift) and will add pictures once I get it hung in her library!
I think all in all I'm pleased with how it turned out...guess I'll await the final word from Miss Janice!

1 Cowgurls said:

Texasbelle said...

Well, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my Belle Starr tapestry! I'll add more vintage buttons tomorrow and wait for you to tell me where to place it in the cowgirl library.

Thank you so much for sharing your creative gifts with me. I am so in awe of you!