Saturday, May 31, 2014

Solomon Northup in redwork

I've known the story of Solomon Northup for a number of years. He & his wife Anne lived in Kingsbury/Sandy Hill (Washington County, NY my home county) where they had a farm, before moving to Saratoga Springs. He had ties to the Old Fort House in Fort Edward, NY across the street from my best friend's childhood home. A colleague of mine (Cliff Oliver) is a Solomon Northup re-enactor. I've read 12 Years a Slave more than once. The language is beautiful, & the experience visceral. I highly recommend it.

I was very pleased when the movie adaptation of 12 Years a Slave won Oscars for Best Motion Picture of the Year & Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Lupita Nyong'o). However, I was most excited when it won for Best Adapted Screenplay (John Ridley). To me, this was the biggest win, for it was like Solomon himself won an award for his writing. I cried.

Pattern of Solomon Northup
 Since there are no known images of Solomon, I used a still from the film, with Chiwetel Ejiofor as Solomon, as a basis for my redwork pattern.

 I was working on this embroidered portrait the night of the Academy Awards.

The final redwork portrait of Somolon Northup by aprilsongstress

I really like how the embroidered portrait came out. Just need to finish up the framing.

Saratoga Springs, NY has declared the 3rd Saturday in July to be Solomon Northup Day.

Happy Stitching!


  1. This is an awesome embroidery! I must read the book!!!!

    1. The book is truly amazing. I highly recommend it.

  2. Is there a chance to get the pattern? Great-granddaughter-Shirley

    1. Please send me an email with your name & contact information & we can discuss the pattern-


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