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Larchmont Library Celebrates Flags in Needlepoint

LARCHMONT, N.Y. – Flag Day warranted the perfect reason for Jane Axelrod to stop by the “Celebrate Our Flag in Needlepoint” in the Larchmont Library today to admire the work created by herself and her fellow stitchers.

“Everyone had a reason for making their flags,” Axelrod said.  “But for me it was a great teaching piece.”

Each American Flag, made from the instruction book “Patchwork for Peace,” consists of 247 one inch squares, each featuring a different stitch.  It is estimated that between 300 and 400 hours of stitch work went into each flag.

“I love the flag and I was so proud of our customers,” said Betty Scalon, co-owner of Stitch by Stitch, a needlepoint gallery and store in Larchmont.  “And when they are all together it is quite a display.”

Three years ago Scalon, co-owner Madalena Bruno and a few customers started working on the “Patchwork for Peace” flags and eventually the group decided to get them together for display.  Two years ago they decided to book the exhibit in the library for June to celebrate Flag Day and the Fourth of July.

“As of two years ago we had six flags almost finished,” said Scalon.  “By the time the exhibit started they almost didn’t fit.”

The exhibit features 20 flags and a combined total of 35 patriotic pieces made by people from eight to 80-plus years old.  A needlepoint by Denise Bleidner features the Twin Towers in homage to 9-11, and one stitcher made a flag in various shades of pink to represent Breast Cancer awareness.  She gave the piece to her oncologist for saving her life.

“It was a fun project,” Bruno said. “It was almost sad when we were done with everything.”

Stitch-by-Stitch, located directly next to The Larchmont Playhouse Theater, creates a homely environment by allowing its customers to come in daily to stitch in the store.  Many of the customers frequent the store a few times a week to work on their needlepoints and attend various classes.  Stitchers even come from out of state to spend time in the store.

“This is my home away from home,” said Jane Kiernan of Greenwich, Conn., one of the flag stitchers. “It’s the best place on earth and there is never a dull moment.”

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