I've become much more content with my stitching since I discovered that I'm a "process" person. I'm not always trying to finish a project; I'm content with enjoying the ride. It will come then as no surprise when I tell you that I have a lot of UFO's, unfinished projects. Some, like "Thistle Stop" from The Crossed Wing Collection haven't been touched in quite a while, but I do so love it!! Then there's the big canvaswork "Tranquil Dreams" from Carolyn Mitchell. I work on it in fits and starts as I find it is quite a big piece to get my arms around.
I am working on a Richelieu cutwork basket liner that struck my fancy, but it will also take a long time to finish. I think there are about 100 coronnes (little stitched rings) in the piece altogether.
Stumpwork is one of my major loves. I've started a piece from the Australian Embroidery and Cross Stitch magazine. It has all sorts of insects living among the grass and weeds - sort of a memory piece that brings back growing up in the country and wandering through hayfields and along the creek (We called it a "crick".) My sisters and I used to catch tadpoles there in the Spring with Mom's kitchen strainer. Of course, true to form, I had to change some of the insects in this needlework piece into ones that we might see in this part of the country. Nothing is simple is it? ... Now that we are talking about it I'm excited about that piece again. It might come out of the drawer for a while.
A couple of years ago I thought that the Stitch Along from Papillion Creations would be a great project as it came out in small pieces every couple of months. I surely could keep up with that! Well, life got in the way and it has become another of my UFO's. I love it and will continue it, and will finish it someday.
This only scratches the surface of my started pieces, my ready-to-go pieces, my waiting-in-the-wings pieces, my design ideas, my should-do-some-day ideas, and so much more! I will never be bored! Isn't it great that I enjoy the ride!  

Joyce Gill

At the beginning of 2011, I was going through my kits and found two Samplers. I was at loose ends and wasn't sure what I wanted to stitch next, so I took "Gathering Pinecones" and started to stitch. It was really interesting to see how each new element made the Sampler become richer and more pleasing to the eye. I was so happy with the results, I started "The Acorn Sampler" and the same thing happened.
By this time, I was getting ready to go to Seminar in Sackville and remembered that one of my classes was "Creative Stitches Sampler" by Jeannette Douglas. By now I wasn't surprised when it happened again and within a month of getting home, I finished the Sampler. Three different Samplers and with each one I couldn't stop stitching until it was finished.
What intrigued me first on each of the Samplers were the colours. Each one of them "popped" and made me want to stitch them. But I need more if I'm going to stitch a Sampler. The next thing I think about is: Am I going to learn something new? Is there a large variety of different stitches? Are there some stitches I've never done before? If I answer "Yes" to any of those questions, I will pick up the pattern and really look at it.
I also liked the different stitches used on these Samplers. Queen, Cretan, Jerusalem Cross, Fly, Fishbone, Point Oka, Satin, Pulled Pin, Hemstitching, Buttonhole Bars, Arrow Head, Eyelet, Four-sided, Two-sided Italian Cross and Long Arm Cross were some of the stitches used. I really had to think about what I was doing on several of the stitches or I got it wrong and had to do the Frog Stitch (rrrrrip it!).
After doing three Samplers in a row, I thought I was through with Samplers for awhile, but no, I had to start a reproduction Sampler in green and red. It's a big one, so I'll be working on it when I'm kind of tired and want something easy to stitch. I also picked up another reproduction Sampler when I attended the Prairie Pacific Regional Meeting in Calgary.
Being on a Sampler kick during the summer also made me think about what I was going to put in the Fall issue of the Youth Embroiderers' Newsletter. You got it right! The Fall issue is a Sampler issue with 3 Sampler patterns. The kids are also getting a Sampler titled "ABC Come Stitch With Me" by Janice Routley with the fabric and threads included.
I didn't think so before, but I'm starting to believe that stitching Samplers can be addictive. Luckily, I don't need to go to the doctor for that. The nearest stitching or online store will be all I'll need.

Linda Brenner

Well, good news!  For any of you who read my blog of Aug 19th, I have found my wayward projects.  They were right there where I put them in the top drawer of the new storage unit I bought, because they were supposed to be the next projects I worked on.  It was not a bad thing though, because I finished the birth sampler I started when I could not find the wayward one and have now carried on working on the one in progress.  I made the mistake of thinking I should work on the tablecloth too, but the lesson I learned from that is not to work on a large project like that in 30 deg weather.  That is definitely a winter project when you need the extra warmth on your legs.
I spent today on a road trip with three other ladies.  We decided to take the ferry from Comox to Powell River to do our part for the economy of the east side of the Strait of Georgia.  One of the ladies, Carol, is a person who does not have unfinished projects.  Seriously, I just did not think there were any such people around, but I have met one.  She constantly teases me about my unfinished Christmas tablecloth.   I made the huge mistake today of telling her about another UFO I have.  In 1979 when one of my sisters was expecting, I decided to knit a sweater for my soon to be niece or nephew.  Now I had done very little knitting before that and have done even less since, but I gave it an honest try.  Three years ago when that niece was expecting, I decided to dig out that half finished sweater and finish it for my soon to be great niece or nephew.  All was going well.  I got some help from some knitter friends to get back on track and was rather proud of the progress I was making, although I didn’t think it looked much like the picture.  Another friend, who coincidently is also a knitter came for a visit one evening as I was working on it.  She asked what I was working on.  I held up the in-progress sweater in one hand and the pattern picture in the other.  As her laughter died, I looked from the picture to the sweater and back several times.  Turns out that as I switched to different sized needles, I went to a larger size rather than the required smaller size to make the sweater bodice.  Who knew that US and UK sizes went in opposite directions?  Certainly not me, a very green knitter.    I put the project back in the bag and replaced it in the trunk from which I had taken it.  Carol kind of smiled at me at the end of the story and said, “why don’t you take it apart and get someone else to knit it?” No.  I couldn’t do that because then it was not Auntie Kathy who had knit it.  Her second solution was, “why don’t you put it in a bag and donate it to the Salvation Army?”  Although this solution sat a little better with me, it still was not what I wanted to do.  So my friends, I will hit the send button on this blog, then I am heading upstairs to take apart that sweater.  I am not sure if I will knit it again or use the wool for something else, or just donate it all to a worthy cause, but 32 years is long enough.  This sweater will no longer be a thorn in my side.

Kathy Taylor

Late last year probably in December, Grace Murdoch called me with excitation in her voice – Did you see Jeanette Douglas is offering another Stitching Cruise?  The information is in Janice Spencer’s (of Traditional Stitches, www.traditionalstitches.com) latest newsletter.  Off I went to read the details.  The dates (August 28 – September 4, 2011) worked as I retired in 2010.  So did the location – Alaska - with stops in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Victoria, BC.  So I agreed to attend and room with Grace.  We signed up in December with Judy Bradford, travel agent extraordinaire via www.cruiseshipcenters.ca/judybradford.  Judy is a fabulous agent and constantly keeping all her travellers updated with news and the details we require.  It helps as Judy is a stitcher herself and with Jeanette’s following of dedicated stitchers, this cruise has 70 people signed up for Jeanette’s latest cruise.

Stay tuned for further information as I continue to tell you about my stitching cruise 

Jeanette Douglas – the Designer and person

I had first heard about Jeanette Douglas through a local stitching shop – The Stitcher’s Cottage – owned and operated by Carol and John Schmold back in the mid 1990’s.  Unfortunately this shop is now gone and after raising their family of four children (now adults with their own families), Carol and John have moved to Plenty, SK.  Carol had done a variety of stitching techniques including beautiful samplers, but has now moved into freeform quilting and her fabulous and unique creations can be seen on her website www.art;essfabrications.com.  If you knew Carol, she can be reached at carol@artlessfabrications.com as I am sure she would love to heard from her many former customers and friends.  Anyhow let me get back to Jeanette Douglas.

As I said I heard about this local designer who did samplers at Carol’s stitching shop.  Those who know me know I am not a sampler person though I do appreciate the stitched pieces others have done.  Jeanette Douglas had been designing beautiful pieces and had started to sell her designs at Carol’s shop.  I always admired the detail of Jeanette’s pieces but had never had the opportunity to meet her until I took my first cruise in 2009.  Here’s how we finally met.

When Grace and I arrived at the Calgary airport to leave for that 2009 cruise, there were other people there at the departure gate waiting for the flight to Fort Lauderdale.  Others from Calgary who had previously met Jeanette Douglas had congregated around her and her husband.  Grace had met her previously so we wandered over as well and I FINALLY introduced myself.

I found Jeanette to be bubbly, down to earth, enthusiastic, generous, willing to share and a very caring individual.  She always remembers you so I think she must have a photographic memory.  Remember that I first met her in 2009 during that Western Caribbean cruise, her first “Take Time to Cruise” (part of her “Take Time” series including gardening, quilting, stitching, knit, read, scrapbook, friends) event.  Well, EAC was fortunate to have her as an instructor during the 2011 Seminar in Sackville, NB earlier this year.  When we saw her, Jeanette immediately gave both Grace and I hugs, asking how we were doing and if we would be in her classes at Seminar.  I jokingly reminded her that I am not a sampler person, but I will definitely cruise with her later this year.  She laughed her delightful laugh and we continued to exchange greetings throughout Seminar 2011.

So if you don’t know this lady, do take the opportunity to meet her in a class or take a cruise.  I am sure there will be others in the future.  Jeanette’s website is www.jeannettedouglas.com.  So check where she is and her other designs as well as her blog.

Stay tuned for further information as I continue to tell you about my stitching cruise adventures.  Jennie Wolter

I love to explore needlework as it relates to other arts.  As well as needlework I like to bead, crochet and rug hook.  I find the public library is a wonderful resource to browse through books and find inspiration.  I picked up a book called “Amigurumi” by Lan-anh Bui and Josephine Wan.  After admiring the cute stuffed animals I read that the word Amigurumi is derived from the Japanese word ami, meaning crocheted or knitted and nuigurumi, meaning stuffed doll.  I decided to give it a try.  Well, it was fun watching a creature emerge.  So far I’ve completed two mini mice, an egg bear, a cupcake bear, a chirpy chick, a friendly frog and finally a ballerina bunny.  It’s been so much fun!!

As I return to my stitching guild I’ll be bringing a Volunteer Sign-up Sheet for the CreativFestival.  The CreativFestival Fall Show is held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, South Building , 222 Bremner Blvd.   If you think you might be in Toronto October 21st to 23rd and are interested in volunteering at our EAC booth please email me at communications@eac.ca.  It’s a great opportunity to get free admission to the show and to socialize with eager to learn stitchers.

Don’t forget our National Stitch in public day is September 27th.  Plan to proudly do some stitching.  It would be great if the weather cooperates and we can sit outside but regardless we’ll have fun.

Lisa Carlin

September is here...   And fall is not far behind.
To a teacher such as me, fall is the beginning of a new year, a time for fresh beginnings.  It is the perfect time to start that new needlework piece you have been longing to stitch or sign up for a new course, with perhaps a little garden clean up  in between embroidery projects.  Have you thought of taking one of the EAC correspondence courses this year?  The education catalogue is on the EAC website and registration is such a simple procedure.   Remember, for group courses, you can be a group of just one if you can’t convince any of your fellow members to join you in a particular course.   Why not challenge your friends to stitch on a course along with you?
Or, as a personal challenge, what about planning a work to enter one of the EAC competitions?  There is the Leonida Leatherdale Award, the Pauline Glover Award,  the Pulled Thread Award, the Seminar Theme Award and the Original Design Award.   Some of these award pieces need advance planning with some additional work to do as you stitch the piece.  Further information about these awards is also on our website.   Entry forms for these competitions are due next April.

Another exciting thing to do this fall is to delve into the Seminar brochure to plan your stitching adventure for next May.  I can’t say how many times I have read the brochure and I still can’t make up mind for my first and second choices for class!   Seminar will be in Victoria, BC and the committee has been busy planning   even more possibilities and suggestions for your free day adventures if you aren’t taking a class that day.  The details of these possibilities will be unveiled at the Regional meetings and passed on to you by the Regional reps, Jenny and Marg.  The print edition of the brochure is coming soon in the fall edition of Embroidery Canada.   All registrations (snail mail and on line) received before November 1 will be treated equally.  Any class that has over 20 students will go to lottery to determine the final class list.
And speaking of new beginnings…  I have organized my threads, canvas and linen for my next three small projects so that I have something to work on during my cruise next month.  My course work will have to wait till I am back home, but I will take the time to stitch each day during this bountiful season and report back as to whether or not I managed to finish the pieces before the cruise ends and I have to come back to the garden cleanup!
Happy stitching this fall,
                  … Barbara Gilbert

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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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