submitted by Sheila Stewart (article) and Joyce Gill (photos)

It all began with a visit to the Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival in Amherst, NS in 2015 and culminated with EAC having a venue in the 2016 Festival under the direction of past members of the EAC Board, Joyce Gill and Sheila Stewart.  To say that being part of the NS Fibre Arts Festival was a truly exceptional experience would be an understatement.  From the moment the planning team was contacted to the packing up of our venue, we were truly blessed with willing help at every turn, smiles – and coffee, tea and treats on site!

Joyce arrived from PEI and Sheila from central Nova Scotia in – what we thought – was lots of time to set up our venue.  We were absolutely astounded with the wonderful space allotted to us at Festival Headquarters, in Amherst Town Hall and in the assistance given us in finding tables and setting up!

four women in front of the Embroiderers' Association of Canada display
4 ladies from Maine

Our first visitors arrived around 9:30 (not the scheduled 10:00 listed in the brochure!) – and the flood of interested visitors continued throughout the two days EAC was booked in.  From the time we arrived around 8:30 until we packed up around 4:30, we rarely sat down.  There was always someone to talk to, and questions to be answered.  We met people from – literally – around the world: a lady from Australia, a couple who had immigrated from Nigeria three years ago, a mother and daughter from Mississippi, four ladies from Maine and on it went.  It was so very special to meet old friends, to make new friends , to find an almost-next-door-neighbour, to hear someone exclaim over one of Joyce’s thread paintings, “I work there!”

a woman is holding a thread-painted picture of a scene
"That's where I work!"

All were captivated by the embroidery on display:

  • Pulled Thread (Gale Washington, Resting on Pears); 
  • Blackwork , Sampler (Jeanette Douglas, Acorn Sampler); 
  • Thread Painting (technique taught by Margot Kearney at EAC Seminar 2016); 
  • traditional Jacobean Crewel; 
  • Silk-on-Silk Crewel; 
  • Stumpwork; 
  • Canvaswork; 
  • Christmas Cross Stitch; 
  • Felt Work; 
  • Schwalm and other Whitework; 
  • Temari Balls and more.  

a woman is holding a temari ball, which is a ball wrapped with threads in a pattern
Australian lady holding a Temari Ball

a woman poses in front of an Embroiderers' Association of Canada display
Enjoying the display

Two women are smiling at the camera
Denise and Sheila ham it up
What seemed to draw the most attention were Joyce and Sheila’s pieces they brought to stitch on.  Joyce had brought a thread painting that she was working on – a reproduction of her photo of the Confederation Bridge between PE and NB – and Sheila had brought the canvaswork Mystery Project from the EAC magazine, Embroidery Canada, March, June, September 2004.  Both had brought pieces finished in their technique so visitors could see the work in progress and compare it to the finished product; they actually went away feeling that this handwork was something they could do!

two women greet each other with a hug in an excited and friendly way
Joyce meets an old friend 
three women are talking with each other
Joyce with ladies from Mississippi

Lady’s Slipper Guild member, Kent Pond, arrived on Saturday to lead an embroidery class and stitch-in.  Visitors were enthralled by the large piece of cross stitch he was working on; he also brought  WIP’s (works in progress) – a sampler for a friend and a piece of hardanger embroidery worked in non-traditional colours of variegated green and oranges on green fabric.  The class/stitch-in included work in a new-to-us technique – punch needle – and work on samplers reproduced from those worked in centuries past.

Man and woman looking closely at a sample of canvas work embroidery
Man and wife studying Sheila's Canvas WIP
We were welcomed over and over; people were eager to hear that embroidery guilds were alive and well across the Maritimes and, indeed, all of Canada and around the world through our cyber guild.  Information on the various Maritime Guilds, the Cyber Guild and EAC membership as well as copies of Embroidery Canada were given to those interested.

We do not know if EAC has gained any new members.  But this we DO know people are:

  • more aware of embroidery guilds in the Maritimes;
  • have been awed by the wide world of embroidery; and 
  • have been exposed to the caring and sharing that is part and parcel of the Embroiderers’ Association of Canada

All in all – an awesome experience!

Google Map showing the location of the city of Timbuktu in Mali
Google Map: Timbuktu location in Mali

There are two different kinds of EAC chapters that need access to the EAC_Program_Resource Yahoo group: those that struggle to find program ideas, and those with more ideas than they know what to do with.

Yahoo groups are a system for communities of people to stay in communication. They’re a great place to share files and photos. That’s what makes them an excellent repository for ideas.

Just think of it. It’s midnight. You get a frantic message from the chapter member in charge of tomorrow’s program. There’s a family crisis, and she’s on the first plane to Timbuktu in the morning. She was going to teach a technique that no one in the chapter has ever seen before (learned in Timbuktu), so no one can substitute for her. What are you going to do?

Log into EAC_Program_Resource and rifle through the files. Playdates? Challenges? Oh, here’s Counted Thread Projects, a perennial favorite in your group. Choose one, grab what you need from your stash, and you’re everybody’s heroine.

If you’re interested in joining, email me at and I’ll send you an invitation. Once you accept it, you’ll have access to the files and photos, and will also be able to post your or your group’s favorite projects and ideas for someone else to enjoy.

EAC would really love to have at least one member of each chapter join EAC_Program_Resource. No, you don’t have to have a Yahoo email account, or sell your soul or your personal information.

stone building
Sankore Madrasah
Attribution: Senani P at English Wikipedia

Il existe deux catégories de chapitre local de l’ACB qui ont besoin du groupe Yahoo EAC_Program_Resource : ceux qui ont de la misère à trouver des idées pour leurs programmes et ceux qui en ont tant qu’ils ne les réaliseront jamais toutes.

Les groupes Yahoo facilite la communication entre les membres d’une communauté. Ils sont un lieu de prédilection pour le partage des fichiers et des photos, d’où leur utilité comme répositoire d’idées.

Pense-y. C’est minuit, et tu reçois un message d’une membre désespérée. Elle était responsable du programme de demain, mais une urgence de famille l’appelle, et elle prend l’avion pour Tombouctou demain à la première heure. Elle allait enseigner une technique (apprise à Tombouctou) que personne d’autre du groupe n’a jamais vue, donc personne pour la remplacer. Que feras-tu?

Tu cours te brancher à EAC_Program_Resource et tu fouilles. Playdates (jeux en groupe)? Challenges (défis)? Ah, voici Counted Thread Projects (projets au fil compté), toujours populaires dans ton groupe. Choisis un projet, saisis ce dont tu as besoin dans tes coffres et te voilà, l’héroïne de l’heure.

Si tu veux t’y aventurer, envoie-moi un courriel à l’adresse et je t’enverrai une invitation. Une fois l’invitation acceptée, tu auras accès aux fichiers et aux photos. De plus est, tu pourras y verser tes idées et tes projets préférés, ou ceux de ton groupe, pour que les autres puissent en profiter aussi.

L’ACB aimerait bien qu’au moins un membre de chaque chapitre local fasse partie d’EAC_Program_Resource. Non, il n’est nécessaire n’y d’obtenir une adresse de courriel Yahoo, ni de vendre ton âme ou tes renseignements personnels, pour jouir de ces ressources.

Is your guild or chapter working on a group project this year? If so, take a look at the new Seminar Group Project policy to help you decide if you'd like enter your group project in this new Member's Exhibition category and award!

At the May 2016 EAC Board meeting the Board decided to include "group projects" in the member's show at upcoming seminars. Work has progressed and now all of the details about the new Seminar Group Project Award and the necessary forms are on the EAC website.
Make plans to submit your group project for display at Seminar 2017: Rock, Paper, Scissors!
    Jessica Marquez stitching a constellation pattern on a dark blue table runner
    Jessica Marquez from Design Sponge
    Sometimes it’s hard to come up with stitched gifts for the boys and men in our lives. I’ve recently found some ideas that would be suitable for most males, maybe even some of the females, in your life!

    This isn’t new, and I’m not sure where I originally saw it, but doing a quick and simple zodiac symbol or constellation chart would provide a nice top for a box or a piece of art.

    On Design Sponge, Jessica Marquez of Miniature Rhino, shares a constellation map as a table runner. She uses sequins for the stars.

    pattern of Orion constellation
    From Oh Crafts
    For a simpler version, you can find an image of a nice collection of small framed constellations on the Oh Crafts website. The creator, Diana, uses French knots for the stars. Unfortunately, the link to the complete project is now private. Luckily, you can find some patterns on the Mrs. Home Economist website. Just scroll down to the "Constellation Lacing Card" link (in yellow), to download patterns. The Martha Stewart website has patterns for all of the zodiac symbols available in a project for a lighted piece of wall art.

    If you're looking for something more complicated sophisticated, you download and translate a whole hemisphere from the Constellation Guide website. The links to a wide variety of maps are at the top of the page, above the name of the site when viewed on Chrome, my web browser. If you click on the map of the northern hemisphere from this page, it opens in a new window and you can click on it a second time to enlarge even more.

    For a more terrestrial, 3D project, Needlework Traditions offers a free pattern for a globe.

    Another option is to stitch a planet, or a series. You can find the patterns on sale at Navid Baraty’s Etsy site.

    detail of an embroidered DNA helix
    From Pamela Buchan's Etsy Store
    Other planetary patterns are also available on Etsy. Maybe molecules are more his speed? Check the patterns by Pamela Buchan. Make your own pattern for a special molecule - the MolView website (note that there is a popup window asking you to subscribe/let the site see your user data; I clicked "no" and "continue" and was able to access the site without problems) lets you enter any molecule name to see a model. You can right click and save the images.

    Please note that I have not tested these projects, they are provided as inspiration only. I am not suggesting that anyone break copyright laws, I am providing the links as inspiration for your personal use only. - Kathryn

    Do you have any ideas to share? If so, add them as a comment below!

    cushion made with Florentine Fun embroidered canvas
    Florentine Fun by designer Catherine Gates
    As part of the EAC Education Committee's ongoing updates, Education Director Jennie Wolter has announced another Group Correspondence Course, Florentine Fun by designer Catherine (Kit) Gates.

    Test students have chosen a variety of colour ways -- choose your favourite for this beautiful project!

    embroidered canvas with a variety of stitches that create texture
    Florentine Fun in blacks and greys.

    embroidered canvas with a variety of stitches that create texture
    Colourful Florentine Fun Cushions

    embroidered canvas with a variety of stitches that create texture
    Framed Florentine Fun in Pinks and Mauves
    Remember that all EAC courses are for members only. Find out how to become a member on our website!

    About EAC

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    The Embroiderers' Association of Canada (EAC) is a national non-profit educational organization whose purpose is to have a fellowship of persons who enjoy needlework and wish to learn and share their knowledge; and thereby to work towards maintaining higher standards of design, colour and workmanship.

    Our aim is to preserve traditional techniques and promote new challenges in the Art of Embroidery through education and networking.

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