A few pieces of information to share with you.

Stitching Idyllic written by Ann Bernard and available as an e-book can now be previewed on Ann's web-site www.annbernard.com. Take a look it certainly makes me think about spring.

I received this from Jessica Atkins, you may be interested:

I am thrilled to announce Black Dog’s latest book release; the hotly anticipated Tapestry: A Woven Narrative. 

To celebrate Tapestry’s release, we would be delighted to offer you and your members a 40% discount on all orders for this book. Please do distribute this offer as appropriate.  

Tapestry: A Woven Narrative is a review of contemporary tapestry design, discussing the progression from early designs to tapestry production today. The book investigates the current tapestry scene, in which weavers and artists across the globe have begun appropriating the medium to present their work and ideas in a previously unexplored fashion, creating a fascinating juxtaposition between the socio-cultural documentation of many historical works and the more abstract and contemporary themes often dealt with in tapestries today.

The publication includes works from notable modern artists, looks at the creative outputs of three of the most eminent tapestry studios in the world and also discusses the practical aspects of tapestry production, taking in both historical and contemporary methods. Beautifully illustrated, Tapestry is a stunning and comprehensive exploration of this historical—but progressive—tradition.

To order at the discounted price, simply email me at jess@blackdogonline.com with your delivery address and the book will be despatched with an invoice. 

I have attached here a press release containing further information on the book and please just shout if you have any queries – I’d be happy to help! 

All the best, 

Marie Cron sent this note about ATC's. Just a friendly reminder: last year there were none from Manitoba or Quebec. Can we change that this year?

Artist Trading Cards.....
     Have Started to Arrive......
I was delighted to find four envelopes containing some
Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) waiting for me when I returned
home from a visit with my son and his family.
The first person to send hers made her way to the Post Office
on Tuesday January 3rd, and the others followed over the next
few days.
Many of you intend to stitch some and are busy either stitching
or thinking about what to stitch and gathering your supplies.....
and some of you are not sure if you are going to participate......
You know, there is still Plenty of time for you to stitch one or more
and get them in the mail to me....  the deadline is not until
March 15th...
so.... give it some thought...  and we can pick up this
conversation again when I post the next time....
Happy Stitching

First, I need to do some administrative house cleaning.  To anyone who did not receive our Embroidery Canada Fall 2011 magazine (during the postal problems).  Please email our Membership Director Kathy Taylor at membership@eac.ca and she will forward a copy to you.

Our new Webmaster Tara Kohinski has been working hard developing our new website.  She has asked that members send her photographs of their stitching.  Please send your photographs under the subject line EAC Web Photos.  Please send high resolution photographs with the Name of the piece, Name of the Stitcher, Name of Designer and whether the piece is a kit/pattern or original design.

Why do we stitch?
The evening program group (Christy Thomasson and Pat Armour) of the Toronto Guild of Stitchery presented a narrated slide show of beautiful stitched garments from the past to the present called “Clothed with Passion.”  The reasons or motivation for creating beautiful stitched masterpieces were so intriguing that I felt it would be interesting to share.

Stitching in Victorian times was often accomplished by seamstresses.  The development of a stunning design and the need for the exactness of fittings were part of producing a special garment.  The garment when worn was an indicator of status and wealth.  What I found very interesting was when the owner was no longer interested in the garment she would pass it along to her servant who would continue to enjoy the article of clothing and increased status within her circle of friends/family.  Today we have recycled clothing but the value of clothing as a piece of art is mainly common only as an haute couture designer piece.

Another angle to the wealth and beauty in clothing can be seen in ethnic clothing created in India.  Garments embellished with real gold were considered a dowry or down payment of the bride’s family to the groom.  The gold in the clothing could be reclaimed if economic times required it.
For “Ladies of the Evening” who occupation required clothing to impress customers also purchased clothing as an investment.  They required garments that could be used as ready currency if the need arose.

Wonderful stitching has also been created as a demonstration of devotion to God.  Beautiful religious vestments and alter clothes added to the spectacular presentation of the religious service.

Everyone has a reason for stitching.  Stitching can allow us to adorn our homes, provide gifts for our friends and relatives or simply as a means of expressing ourselves.  Stitching can enable us to celebrate the joy of a wedding or birth.  In Victorian times stitching as a form of mourning the loss of a loved one involved stitching a piece of hair into the sampler.
Whatever your reason for stitching we are so fortunate to appreciate what has been done in the past and look forward to what will be created in the future.  Stitching is old and yet so young and vibrant.  Let’s keep stitching!!

  Lisa Carlin      

I don't know about you, but I absolutely hate it when I can't find a piece of embroidery I started. Usually when I need to put something away because of a guest coming (my sewing room doubles as the extra bedroom), I put it in what I think is a safe place. Of course, when I go to retrieve it, I never seem to find it. However, this time I didn't even have that excuse. So I spent the last three Saturdays tearing my sewing room apart and putting everything back together looking for that pesky piece of Schwalm. I found lots of other things that I forgot I had and even made some contributions to the Youth program. But that Schwalm piece is still missing.

I normally just shrug my shoulders when I can't find a piece that I put in "a safe place" and go on to something else. However, this is my design and I need to finish stitching it so I can write the instructions and take photographs. Luckily I hadn't stitched very much of it, only one coral knot vine, so starting over isn't the chore it could have been.

Now knowing I needed to start over, I got out the Belfast linen and cut a new piece yesterday evening. This evening I overcast the edges and traced the design on. Now I can stitch it up over the next few weeks while watching TV with my husband. Want to bet that as soon as I finish the new piece, the old one will turn up?

Linda Brenner

Well, I did it!  If you read my December 16th blog, I told you how I like to start something new every Christmas.  This Christmas, not only did I start something new, but I also finished it!  I purposely chose a small project with the hopes of getting that feeling of accomplishment.  I finished it in only 3 days.  It was the Just Nan “Secret Peacock” needle slide stitched 1 over 1 on 32 count.  I normally work on my new project the whole week after Christmas, so thought this year, since I finished it in only 3 days, that I would let myself start something else new.  Common sense got the better of me and since I have 5 birth samplers needing to be done, I decided that my second new project would be one of the samplers.  My mother-in-law is visiting and has a bit of a cough so we have not been out and about much.  I can’t sit with my hands idle so have been doing lots of stitching.  The sampler is moving right along.

I once read on a website (if I could remember what site it was, I would give it proper credit) about rotating your projects.  I believe she worked on a project for 10 hours, and then moved on to the next one.  She started out with 2 projects and once she had finished 10 hours each on them she added another one into the mix.  She sometimes had 10 projects on the go, sometimes only 2 or 3, depending on when things got finished.  I liked her idea, but did not want that many things on the go at a time and I did not find 10 hours long enough, so I rotate my projects through a week at a time and do not allow myself to be working on more than 3 items at a time (okay, I may have more than 3 projects on the go at a time, but they are not officially in the rotation).  That way I work on each work in progress every 3 weeks for a week at a time.  Sometimes of course if a birth or wedding is creeping up on me I may have to focus on one project, so the rotation goes out the window but then I have the satisfaction of completing a project and bringing another into the rotation.  It is a good way to get yourself to work on a long term project that maybe you are not enjoying working on too much.  You know it is only for a week; you can make some progress on it and then you can work on something else.  Of course other things such as Guild projects, Seminar classes, etc always seem to creep in there too, but if I try to keep it to 3 projects at a time, I don’t normally climb to more than 5.  

My big UFO project that is currently in the rotation is a Christmas tablecloth in cross stitch and embroidery which I have mentioned earlier.  I worked on it steady through for the 2 weeks leading up to Christmas and am finally starting to think that completing it by our June meeting may just be a possibility.  The tablecloth was a part of one of my grandiose plans.  I was going to stitch a tablecloth for all my nieces and nephews (19 of them to be exact…more on this in my next blog).  Well, I got one done and gave it to my niece Deanna.  Then I started on this one which is still a work in progress.  Of course, like anything, when I make up my mind to do something, I go out and buy all the stuff with big plans, so up in my trunk upstairs are quite a number of stamped tablecloths to be stitched.  Someday I will have to do a count.  Anyways, when this tablecloth was not moving along so quickly, I stated that maybe I had overestimated my time and that I should perhaps focus on making everyone Christmas stockings instead.  Deanna of course graciously stepped up and said I was more than welcome to start with her first again.  L  I have not made any Christmas stockings.  I have managed to make something for weddings and babies though, so think I am doing pretty good at holding up my end of the Auntie bargain.

Kathy Taylor

I just read my Nordic Needle newsletter.  Guess who the featured stitcher is - none other than our new web-master, Tara Kohinski.  Visit Nordic Needle to read all about her.

For all those stitchers who like a challenge, here's a great one from Needleprint in England.  I really like the teacher competition.  A great idea. Here's the Needleprint link.  Entries from EAC  would be wonderful.

Welcome to 2012 on the EAC Blog.  I wonder what this year has in store for each of us.  I'm hoping for more stitching and creating time, but I think I should put the emphasis on  product-finishing this year.

In 2011, I stitched a lot — usually an hour every day.  I started off finishing some UFO's, and then got eager to start some new projects.  Somehow, the UFO's have increased.  So, apart from the postcard challenge and the Logo Challenge, I'd better concentrate on those UFO's.


Ann Bernard sent me this piece about Erica Wilson, who passed away on December 13, 2011.  I think all of us have been inspired or influenced by Erica's work, and we have many of her books in the Leonida Leatherdale Library:

Remembering Erica Wilson October 8, 1928 – December 13, 2011

Erica Wilson died suddenly of a stroke while visiting with her family in New York. She had been in good health and lived an exciting and enriched life with her husband, Vladimir Kagan, furniture designer. In October, they travelled in Europe and Istanbul for three weeks, celebrated Thanksgiving on Nantucket and were in New York for Christmas.

Erica Wilson led the rebirth of Needlework in North America and has been called the Julia Child of Embroidery. Her life started in Tidworth in England but she also lived in Scotland and Bermuda. After finishing school and thinking that she would be a lousy secretary, her mother suggested that she attend the Royal School of Needlework in London. This is where we met and I remember her vividly though she admits to not remembering me.

In 1950 she was a second or third year student at RSN when I started at age 17. She was tall, blonde, confident and competent. Our similarities were only in height. I remember her stitching the Rooster (Plate 19 in Erica Wilson's Embroidery Book). It glowed with the sheen of the real silk thread. It is a stunning piece of work. She researched the design at the Natural History Museum. The Victoria and Albert museum provided the inspiration for the Elizabethan Girl, stitched in blackwork, whitework, stumpwork and silk and gold threads in the same book. Research was a large part of our training. On graduating she began teaching her skills privately in London.

In 1954, a wealthy American lady approached RSN seeking a teacher to start a school in the U.S.A. Erica emigrated with a one year contract and soon found herself teaching classes in Manhattan.

Mimeographed instruction sheets grew to correspondence courses and then to books. Her skills grew to include writing, publishing and business acumen. Her name became synonymous with traditional skills and quality products. She wrote 16 books, and opened three stores. The remaining store is on Nantucket and is now managed by her daughter. She wrote a syndicated column and was the host of two Public Television series on embroidery.

Our reacquaintance occurred over one year ago when I was researching facts and pictures for a presentation on the development of embroidery subsequent to World War Two and my experiences at RSN. We had several good long phone conversations and I had hoped that we might meet again somewhere, somehow. Our memories of RSN were positive with particular admiration and fondness for our teachers. We jointly remembered other things too, such as the dark and dismal and foggy state of London at the time, and the long walk to RSN at the north end of Cromwell Road, just east of the Royal Albert Hall. We reminisced about those great treats, bangers and mash or fish and chips. Food supplies in England were still limited at that time.

Although Erica received the best training in embroidery possible her 'larger than life' career has facilitated the development of the many types of textile art that have sprung up. Her influence has been spectacular. I refer to her books when I need to check information about stitches, threads and fabric. The diagrams in her books are clear and correct.

A celebration of her life was held at St. Thomas Church on Fifth Avenue in New York and was attended by 800 people. A piper played her favourite Scottish music as her family roots were in Scotland.


Kim Beamish, a great stitching friend, sent Christmas ornaments to the Queen, Prince William and Kate, the Governor General, and the Prime Minister.  She received notes of thanks from all of them; here is the one from Prince William and Kate received earlier this week.  The photo is from their Canadian tour.

Way to go, Kim!

I wonder who's on Kim's ornament list for 2012?

Happy New Year,

Find out more at the Embroiderers' Association of Canada website.
EAC is not responsible for content at external links provided within this blog.

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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