A Guild Adventure at Ormiston Mansion

By Margie Gale

As members walked from their cars, they were greeted by Claire. Many of us thought she was a new guild member because after we arrived, she showed us an afghan and quilts she made with her mother.

We were provided a circle of chairs in the shade on the lawn. It was a beautiful morning. Sara, our fearless leader, suggested that since some new members joined us, we should each introduce ourselves and share our fiber passion, then show anything that we brought with us.

We learned that Claire, who welcomed us, is a member of Ormiston Mansion, enjoys gardening, is responsible for creating their English style gardens, including an alphabet garden. The alphabet garden has a plant representing each letter from the alphabet. And yes, there is even an X plant! She told us that the mansion was used as a location in Apple TV’s new series Manhunt, a show about the hunt for Lincoln’s assassin John Wilkes Booth. It was really interesting and amazing to hear what a movie company will do to create accuracy and prepare the site for filming.

You always learn something new about our members when they start talking about their crafts. Everyone came prepared to make our day by sharing things they made. Melissa had been showing us her hat made of woven remnants. Sara held up a basket she made that was adorned with feathers and antlers. Sara is teaching a class on basket weaving at the guild where participants will make the beautiful basket she had by her side. Then Elisabeth showed us her endless warp that took several members to help her roll it out. It was beautiful on both sides. There was the special paper weaving and beautiful fabric designs. Angela held up her hand spun and hand knit sweater! When Bettina said she joined the group for her mother and showed us the beautiful hats her mother made we asked where are you hiding her? We want to meet your talented mom. There was so much more!

At noon we were invited into the mansion for a tour and snacks. We were wowed when we saw it wasn’t snacks, it was a traditional English afternoon tea! We were offered a selection of dainty sandwiches (including sliced cucumber sandwiches), cakes, pastries with tea in lovely pots and china cups. All of the Mansion members who joined us that day and sat with us are also into fiber arts. We invited them to join our guild because they feel like kindred spirits. They invited us to join the Royal Heritage Society of the Delaware Valley established to preserve the mansion and preserve Pennsylvania’s British Heritage. They also asked us to join them at the many events they have throughout the year.

We were treated like royalty  and I went home feeling like a million bucks. Wow, fiber people are the best! Guild on!

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