I am writing this blog on Boxing Day 2012.  Today I did not stitch a Christmas gift, but I did yesterday.  It is a crazy time of year for many reasons.  For stitchers it’s a time to stitch festive decorations and stitch gifts to give.  With stitching we never know exactly how long it will take to complete a project.  I think most stitchers try not to plan too much.  There are only so many hours in a day and at this time of year there are many other distractions and responsibilities we have that call us away from our stitching plans.  I usually make jewelry items for friends and family.  This year I added beaded Christmas ball ornaments as gifts.  They were fun to do and turned out nice but they did take time.  Something we rarely have enough of at this time of year.





At Toronto Guild of Stitchery Day Group Christmas meeting we had a special visitor, Mrs. Claus (played by Cathy Cormier who travels from Barrie Ontario to attend our guild).  Mrs. Claus did an incredible job of passing out cookies and adding a wonderful personal touch to welcoming each person in our gift exchange.  This year we had the gentle sounds of beautiful Christmas music performed by Karen Doak on piano.

I also attended our Evening Group with all the tastes and smells of an extraordinary Christmas potluck dinner, lovely poetry reading and handmade gift exchange. 
Well I had a great Christmas as I hope you did too and I can give a sigh of relief that the Christmas rush is over for another year.  But boy it was a fun ride!



£Lisa Carlin

So much of the Christmas celebration seems to center around memories of past holidays!   Whatever the reason, every year when my tree goes up I enjoy taking each ornament out of the box and remembering its origin as I hang it.  I would like to share a few of these with you…




















The first two ornaments are nutcrackers I made years ago from patterns in Cross Stitch & Country Crafts magazine.  I still love these two after all these years!


This little crazy quilted stocking was a gift from Jo Newsham, a dear friend and fellow crazy quilter in New Zealand.  Jo’s stitches inspire me every year when I pull this one out of the box!



I dearly wish DMC has continued with their yearly ornament kits but they only ever made the two unfortunately.  This is one of them.




I am sure the logo from the 2011 Seminar will be familiar to many!  I love to hang mementos like this on my tree so I am reminded of the happy times each year.



I made this ornament in a workshop taught by Anna-Marie Winter   in Olds years ago, at the Fibre Potourri workshop.  Fibre Potpourri is put on in alternative years by the Calgary Guild of Needle & Fibre Arts and the Edmonton Needlecraft Guild.  Without EAC, I would never have been aware of such wonderful needlework teachers, let alone have the opportunity to take classes from them!




These little knit mittens, connected together and hung up by their string are an all time favourite of mine and I cannot count how many I have made over the years for bazaars, as substitutes for bows on gifts, etc. 
As a small Christmas gift to all the readers, I would like to share the pattern with you.  One variation is available on FaveCrafts   Don’t run out and buy yarn though – these are easily made from very small scraps.  I will warn you though that making them is addictive!  

Kerry Leslie



Every December members of Marigold Guild of Needle Arts gather to celebrate the Christmas season.  This year, the same as the past few years, we met at Tulips and Thistle Bed and Breakfast, a lovely home and business owned and operated by a former MGNA Guild member just outside the town of Truro, Nova Scotia. 

It was a magical evening of visiting, laughing, eating, and exchanging gifts.  We sat around the Christmas tree – the real McCoy, not an artificial one – and enjoyed the mulled apple cider.  There never seemed to be a lack of things to talk about!  The absolutely decadent spread of desserts – cheesecake and eclairs and torte and trifle – was a true delight and for those who wanted or needed something less sweet, our host provided cheese and grapes and other fresh fruit; we were pampered to the nth degree! 

The highlight of the evening, over and above the food, was the gift exchange.  Members were invited to bring a stitched gift, valued at approximately $10.00; the gifts were placed under the tree and those who had brought a gift were given a candy cane with a number on it.  At the appointed time, a member of our Social Committee drew numbers one at a time out of a box and announced the number; the person with that number picked a gift from under the tree but did not open it until everyone had their gift.  At the signal, everyone opened their gift and the oohing and aahing began.  The gift I received was a wonderful beaded snowflake and a hand-beaded necklace.  The gift I stitched, a beaded snowflake on blue perforated paper, was received by a member whose favourite colour was blue.  One person spoke about how amazed she was that the gifts that were received exactly suited the person who received it – like the person who received a small pillow with a cross-stitched black and white cat, just like her cat at home. 


 All in all, it was a wonderful evening – a gathering of friends in a warm, friendly atmosphere.  hope you enjoy a few photos of the evening that was so special to us, the MGNA members who were able to attend this wonderful evening.





Sheila Stewart




Christmas is just around the corner.  It is a wonderful time of the year to get together with family and friends to celebrate the season.  One of the traditions that the Winnipeg Embroiders' Guild participates in is its annual Christmas Sale at Dalnavert.  Dalnavert is a local museum housed in a beautiful, restored Victorian home once belonging to Sir Hugh John Macdonald, the eldest and only surviving son of Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada's first Prime Minister.  Macdonald, a lawyer and politician, moved to Winnipeg in 1882 and lived here until his death in 1929.  The heritage house is a warm and friendly place, decorated each year for the holidays with traditional Victoriana.  It is a popular Winnipeg tourist attraction.

Our Guild’s affiliation with Dalnavert began around 1998 when members designed and produced Victorian style ornaments for sale. Since then the sale has grown and become an annual event at which members sell varied and lovely handmade items to the public. Participants and guests alike have lots of fun sharing in the busy day.

Here are some of the photos from this great event.  Thanks to Kit Gates for the photography, and to Kit, Barb Smith, and other members of WEG who make this sale such a success each year.




Beryl Burnett


Much has been written about the camaraderie of gathering with like minded individuals and sharing time doing what we all love… needlework in all its many forms. As we meet to stitch we share not only our love of the Needlearts but also our progress on the project we are working on, whether it is the group project or one that we are working on individually. These are truly the moments of sharing and bonding that comes with spending time with others who enjoy the same things.

December 1st is knocking on the door .. arriving tomorrow. Many begin to seriously think about Christmas when December arrives, along with beginning to play Christmas music and decorate their homes. As I unpack my various decorations and ornaments, my thoughts wonder back in time to when I acquired the different ones.. who gave it to me .. or what motivated me to make it. … it truly is a time when I take a trip down memory lane.  I think fondly of the many people I have been fortunate enough to work with and with whom I exchanged gifts each year. Some searched craft shows for something unique to add to my collection,  others stitched their gifts for me, each is precious in its own special way and I am reminded of the full life I have been privileged to live.  This coming Tuesday we will have our annual Christmas lunch and ornament exchange. This year’s shape is a mitten, I am sure that they will all be wonderful and different and will be one more memory when I unpack it in coming years.

Here in Nova Scotia, as we meet each week to stitch, we are in our own little bubble without the many cares and concerns so many in other parts of the world are experiencing.  Our primary concerns are not made of thoughts of finding a safe place when the sirens/alarms go off, wondering when the bombing will end or worrying about being ‘caught’ learning to read and write. The US and Japan have both recently celebrated their Thanksgiving and the Christmas season is quickly approaching; in this window of time we are reminded once again that we Do indeed have so very much to be grateful for.

As you put the finishing touches on gifts, stitch something for yourself, or just work on one of your projects, take a minute to recognize that the time spent stitching is a gift we give to ourselves. Be thankful that we have the freedom to make the decisions we make and to enjoy the company of those we choose to spend our time with.

From my home to yours.. I wish you a wonderful December with just enough stress to keep you on your toes… but not so much that you are not able to enjoy the anticipation of waiting for Christmas followed by preparations to greet the New Year. Don’t forget to take a bit of time for yourself, to stitch or just be in the moment enjoying all that the Christmas season brings to your life.

Best wishes for the coming year
Marie Cron
Sorry for any confusion or concern spurned by my last blog entry which I submitted with incomplete information.  Thank you to our sharp eyed readers for picking up my omission.  

The membership cards are not disappearing altogether.  As indicated in an e-mail sent to all Chapter Membership Chairs, I will continue to e-mail the membership cards to them to print out as required.  The issue of membership cards for National members will be worked out in a manner which works best for them.  The ones with e-mail addresses will be contacted as required to see if they  would like a card or not.  National members without e-mail will be sent a membership card.

Kathy Taylor

As any of you who deal with Canada Post know,  our postage rates rise every year.  The largest expense membership-wise for EAC is the cost of postage.  Every time someone pays their membership, I was sending them a membership card,  many of which were put somewhere and never seen again.  What was proposed and passed at the Fall Board meeting was that we no longer mail out membership cards.  Your membership number and expiry date are on the cover of your EC magazine,  so you will know that your membership has been paid and you will have a record of your membership number in case you have any questions.  I will continue to e-mail payment confirmation letters out to Guild Membership Chairs and to National members who have e-mail addresses.  Payment confirmation letters will be snail-mailed to National members who do not have e-mail addresses.  Your Board continues to look at ways to decrease costs and I believe this is one that not only makes sense cost-wise but will also lessen the time commitment for the Membership Director. Please see the November 26 blog posting for clarification.

And now to the fun!  Christmas is coming.  Remember to give yourself a gift and start a new project Christmas Day,  whether it is something that has been sitting around waiting for you to start it or a new project all together.   I know many of you feel up to your armpits in projects already, but start something fresh anyway,  even if you can only work on it for a day for now.  You will be surprised at how great it feels to sit down after the hectic build up to Christmas with a project for you.  It makes me smile just to think of it.  It is even fun to wade through the prospective projects to decide which one you are going to start and to get your supplies ready.  I made my list last night of supplies I need to start my new project, Dragon Dreams ‘Not Forgotten’.  I know it will end up in my UFO pile for a while as I have several birth and wedding projects on the go, but I am enjoying the anticipation of starting it and will have fun with it Christmas Day…and maybe even all Christmas week if I am really good. 

Kathy Taylor 




Mountain River Stitchers, the newly named Youth Embroidery group, began because of Kristin, a member of the Calgary Guild of Needle and Fibre Arts.  Kristin started by approaching the public library near her and asking if they were interested in having her hold some stitching classes in their branch.  Their answer was positive and there was soon a waiting list for the classes! Starting on September 24, 2011, the new EAC Youth Embroidery Group was formed with five members. It was a year later before a name was decided on and the Mountain River Stitchers were born. Two new members have now been added bringing the membership total to 7. 

At their recent one year anniversary meeting on September 29th, the group worked on the leaf project that was featured in the spring and summer Embroidery Canada. Kristin gave each youth member linen fabric and a variety of threads: over-dyed floss, Impressions wool and silk, sateen mohair, pearl cotton, Kreinik ribbon, braid, and blending filament in fall colors. The members went outside and collected different fall leaves for the project. Kristin had them choose one leaf to start with. They outlined the leaf with stem stitch (outline stitch), and then began to do the satin stitch. The other side of the leaf is going to be done in seed stitch. The leaves were beginning to be filled in with satin stitch by the time the meeting ended. Kristin presented the youth members with one year Charter membership certificates and then the meeting was adjourned for the social half-hour and snack. In honor of the one-year anniversary, they had grapes and DQ ice cream cupcakes. The meetings begin at 10:00 a.m. and end at 12 noon. The social half-hour follows from 12 noon to 12:30 p.m. 

Five of the youth members were recruited through Kristen's teaching the youth needle arts classes at the Calgary Public Library. The others are a result of the Bring A Friend meeting in January 2012. Kristin also encouraged the youth members to participate in the Stitch in Public Week during September 24-30, 2012.

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome the newly named group to the EAC family. Kudos to Kristin for stepping up and using her ingenuity and hard work to help bring the love of stitching to another generation!

Kerry Leslie
Congratulations to two EAC members who have designs featured in magazines.

Jenny Wolter, a member from Calgary, Alberta, has this design in  the current issue of American Needlepoint Now.


Kim Beamish, from Severn Bridge, Ontario, has three different pieces in three different publications. This reversible blackwork piece is in A Needle Pulling Thread:


A Valentine biscornu is in the UK's Stitch Magazine:


And a Christmas biscornu appears in Just Cross Stitch:


Way to go, ladies!  Can you imagine going into a book store and seeing your needlework in a magazine?  I'd want to tell everybody in the store!

Are there other EAC members who have pieces being published?  Let me know so that we can share the news. (pastpres@eac.ca)

As I mention sharing, I'd like to share with you one of my favourite stitching blogs: www.playswithneedles.blogspot.com  Susan Elliot was recently in Stitch Magazine, and creates incredible pieces.  Check out her crazy quilting blogs; I'm sure you'll become a follower.

Happy stitching,

Sue Thomas










In my last blog, I talked about the major reorganization I did in my sewing room. I have spent the last couple of months enjoying the reorganization and tweaking aspects of it. For example, I have a wardrobe cupboard where I kept my embroidery kits, threads, fabric, beads, etc. I decided I wanted to be able to see my fabric and threads, so I moved them to the old bookshelf I kept. Now they are within arms reach and being near the window, I get natural light to see what I'm looking for. I also enjoy finding the book or magazine I'm looking for easily. I am designing some smalls using carnations and was able to find the design samples I wanted to use in making up my own designs.

I also have eight portfolios to make up for new youth members and what a joy it was to be able to find easily everything I needed. I am taking a few days off after the Board meeting and I will be able to mail the kits before I go back to work. It takes a lot of time to make up the portfolios as the new youth members receive a Needlework Notebook with their name, membership number and renewal date, a sampler kit designed by Janice Routley, a butterfly kit with two techniques of embroidery, a questionnaire, a previous issue of the Youth Embroiderers Newsletter with goodies, a youth brochure for a friend, a welcome letter, a membership card and Coats & Clarks 100 Embroidery Stitches book. It's a lot of work, but I know the youth members enjoy receiving everything. One new member sent me a picture of the surface stitched butterfly she embroidered within a month of receiving her portfolio!

So, in the end, it was worth it for me to spend about $400 in new shelving. My sewing room is a joy to work in now and I am even managing to keep it neater than I used to. I actually have room to put them on the shelf until I have time to put the item back in place.

Until next time,

Linda Brenner

The winner of the calendar is Jenny Penny poppy. 


Her comment was:

Thank you for the opportunity to win one of these lovely calendars. Seeing beautifully stitched pieces made by our members every month would be delightful :)

To everyone who added comments thank you so much. We all enjoyed reading them.

Could Jenny Penny Poppy  please e-mail me with the details of where to send the Seminar 2013 Calendar.

Beryl Burnett
Vice President
Seminar Chairperson 2013



I have to start with a special request as EAC Membership Director.  Please when you have a mailing address change or e-mail address change, let me know at membership@eac.ca.  Our Membership database is used as the mailing list for the EC magazine and I have a number of magazines returned each issue as undeliverable.  This results in time for me trying to track you down to get the new address and in additional costs as we now have to pay to mail your magazine twice.  For National members especially, it is also nice if we have an e-mail for you as it gives an easy contact option for the Regional Directors for sending out newsletters or information bulletins.

Now on to the fun stuff.  I used to live in Brighton, Ontario.  We moved from there in 1995, but I do have a sister who still lives there, so try to get back to visit at least once a year.  Several times over the years I have noticed advertising for a stitching store in Brighton, but always forgot to note the address down for my next visit.  Not so this time.  I finally found it!  It is called Knowledge and Needles.  Now I am sure all stitchers from the area are aware of the store, but for those of you just visiting or passing through, it is a must see!  I of course managed to find some fabric and patterns, then after some serious thought made a second trip to greatly enhance my thread stash with a whole stack of Carries Creations.  What a great find.  I will definitely go back every time I am in the area.  She does mail order too, so make sure you Google her.

I really did not need to find a new store to shop in.  We here on the central part of Vancouver Island are lucky to have 2 very good stitching stores within an hours drive.  Just down the road from us in Royston is Judy in the NeedleLoft and in Nanaimo is Dione in the Stitcher’s Muse.  Both stores have a great selection for the stitcher and they carry a varied selection so that it is not a hardship to go to both stores on the same day.  You are bound to find something different calling to you in each.

Happy stitching to you all and please share any stitching stores you have in your area.  We are often travelling and nothing relaxes your weary bones more after a day of travelling than shopping in a stitching store!

Kathy Taylor


This year I had the privilege of attending Creativ Festival in Toronto and teaching some classes on behalf of Embroiderers’ Association of Canada.

Creativ Festival was celebrating their silver anniversary – 25 years.  To honour such a large milestone, they held a Designer Style Challenge.

Congratulations to four EAC members who won awards!!


Following is information from the Creativ Festival webpage to describe this challenging contest.  They described it at Canada's search for outstanding original designs - a mixed media challenge with awards of distinction.
There were awards of over $20,000 in cash & prizes:  8 - $1,000 Cash Awards, Swarovski Crystal Trophies & more.  The Challenge was to create an original mixed media work of art.  They were searching for the best in Canada.  The theme was "Celebration" with a touch of silver for their 25th silver anniversary and 8 different categories: quilting, beadwork & jewellery design, needle art, knitting/crochet, fashion sewing & design, fibre art/surface design, paper art and upcycling.

The Judging Criteria included inspiration and creativity, craftsmanship and quality, intricacy and complexity of the design, innovative use and diversity of materials and finishing.

Creativ Festival hosted a gala evening where the winners of the Designer Style Challenge were announced and presented with prizes.

In the Fibre Art / Surface Design, sponsored by H.A. Kidd and Company Limited www.hakidd.com, the entrants were required to create an original design made of textiles such as fabric, yarn and natural and/or synthetic fibres that are neither a fashion garment nor quilt with 3 layers - back, batting and top.  The entries would include but are not limited to works of art, handbags, accessories, 3 dimensional pieces, pillows and other home décor items.  This category included felted items that are not garments.

1st prize was awarded to our President, Joyce Gill from Cornwall, PEI for her entry named Big Al & the Heart Felts.  What a spectacular piece of art!


2nd prize was awarded to our Past President, Sue Thomas from Lakewood, ON for her piece - Foiled Again Clutch Purse.  A truly elegant purse to accessorize for a “dress up” occasion.




In the Needle Art category, sponsored by A Needle Pulling Thread magazine , the entrants were to create an original design stitched by hand (i.e. crewel, needle point, cross stitch, blackwork, etc.), anything other than wearables or quilts and the finishing of the piece could be done by hand or machine.

3rd prize was awarded to Kim Beamish from Severn Bridge, ON for her piece - Celebration Fan.  Beautiful design and beautiful stitchery!


Also under the Needle Arts category, a Special Recognition Award was won by Marie-Renée Otis from Bai St. Paul, QC for her piece entitled The Weight of Wealth Framed Jewelled & Embroidered Face.  A very stunning piece.


What outstanding creations from our members!  I was very proud to be part of the audience at the Gala and watch them receive these prestigious awards.  Congratulations to these four ladies for accepting the challenge and being award winners.  I hope that we can encourage each one of them to write something about their creation and/or creative process in a future edition.

If you want to see the names of all the award winners, visit Creativ Festival’s webpage at http://csnf.com/blog/, and to see all the entries, visit http://csnf.com/blog/2012/09/designer-style-challenge-peoples-choice-voting-gallery/

Carol Storie



The photographs below show the winners with their pieces, and were kindly taken by 
Lisa Carlin.







   

Find out more at the Embroiderers' Association of Canada website.
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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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