In January, I talked about the piece of Schwalm embroidery that I couldn't find and I had to start a new one. I thought that after I finished the new piece I started, the old one would turn up. Well, I've finished the new piece and the old one still hasn't turned up! The "safe place" I put it in was a REALLY safe place.

I have washed the piece and next I need to iron it for the photographs. Then comes the fun part, writing the rest of the instructions. It takes longer to write the instructions than it does to stitch it. But since I started teaching this last spring to my guild, I need to buckle down and write.

Actually, it's not writing the instructions that takes so long, it's drawing the diagrams. I do most of my diagrams in Excel and even though I have graph paper saved in Excel so I don't have to recreate it every time I write new instructions, it still takes a long time to do the diagrams. I also use Patternmaker which is great for cross stitch, but it's not versatile enough for Hardanger or Schwalm. I asked some of the teachers at Seminar which program they use for their diagrams and Easy Grapher and Easy Grapher Stitch Wiz seemed to be the most used ones. So, I'm saving my pennies. Maybe by the time I have saved up enough money, I'll find my lost Schwalm piece. I can always hope.


EAC Board of Directors just wanna enjoy a challenge

Background or history:
Teams including board of directors, especially for a group like EAC that is spread across Canada, need activities to pull the team together.  During the fall board meeting 2009, Carol Storie came up with a challenge project that was accepted by the 2008 – 2010 EAC Board Members to complete a composite landscape in the form of a puzzle.

The only person who knew what the landscape looked like was Carol.  The rest of us simply received a piece of the original photo with the instructions to stitch it using any technique we liked and to make it the exact size of the piece received.  Extra fabric was to be included to facilitate the “construction” of the puzzle. A deadline was provided and we were off!

Those accepting this challenge included Leslie Burrows, Marie Cron, Sue Thomas, Lisa Carlin, Cathie Saunders, Linda Brenner, Joyce Gill, Jennie Wolter, Susan Donn, Madelaine Basta, and Carol Store (11 people in total).  Carol collected the finished pieces and carefully put the puzzle together.

None of us saw the “finished” construction until Seminar 2011 when it was offered in the Silent Auction raising funds for extra scholarships for the 40th EAC anniversary Seminar 2013 in Winnipeg, MB.

Puzzle pieces:
I received my “puzzle” piece and thought about how to approach my “stitching”.  In the end I found some fabric with suitable colouration for my puzzle piece and did my stitching via machine embroidery trying to keep the finished piece in the same dimensions.  Anyone who does machine stitching knows the threads often cause the piece to “shrink” in size.  The photographs attached show my original “puzzle” piece and my finished stitched piece.

Also include are a few of the other original “puzzle” pieces and their corresponding finished stitched piece.  What does each piece look like to you?  Snow? Clouds? Ice?



Seminar 2011 Auction:
I first saw the finished piece framed at the 2011 EAC Silent Auction in Sackville, NB.  It was truly a delight to see such a spectacular finished piece.  I understand Carol Storie took on the daunting task to stitch together the variety of stitched puzzle pieces.  Sue Thomas’ “Manservant” was tasked with matting and framing the composite landscape.  They both did an amazing job and I thank them.

Bids were fast and continued to escalate that evening.  Having participated in its creation, I felt I needed to OWN this piece of art.  Only the 2008 – 2010 executive knew what really went into creating this unique masterpiece and I was determined to be the successful bidder.  So throughout the auction, I kept increasing my bid every time my bid was surpassed.  Well I am sure you can guess that when you are determined, you win that prize.

Above are the participants / puzzle sections, and the photograph of the landscape; below is the finished stitched landscape.  I think you can agree that everyone did a fabulous job with their piece of the puzzle as each puzzle piece used different techniques.  I am amazed how Marie Cron completed her puzzle piece fully using French knots for her clouds, while Lisa Carlin added funky beads into her cloud piece.  Don’t you agree that everyone did a spectacular job with their piece of the puzzle?

I hope everyone appreciates that as your Board of Directors we do accomplish a lot during our two-year terms.  However it is not all work and no play.  We do have fun as we get to know and appreciate everyone’s backgrounds and strengths.  We always try to work cooperatively to ensure the EAC mandate is achieved when we get together twice a year as your Board of Directors. 

I have had a fabulous time as the Prairie Pacific Regional Director for two full terms, met some great stitchers at board meetings, Seminar and the regional meetings.  Email is great as it helps bring us all together.  I have made some wonderful friends from all across Canada and some from the US.  EAC is a great organisation and I hope we all continue pursuing our passions and continue to renew our friendships during Seminar or just emailing or visiting each other when we’re passing through.  I’m in Calgary, so email me before you get to Calgary and I would love to have a visit with you.

The Board Members next challenge (for those choosing to accept it) will be to make a needle case.  The names for those making a needle case will be drawn and those accepting this challenge will get to take a unique reminder of a fellow board member.  Mine is done.  I am happy with it and look forward to this exchange in May at the Spring Board Meeting before Seminar 2012.  I’ll submit another blog on this topic sometime following Seminar.  So stay tuned to see the unique creations.

To see the photographs in a little larger format, click on the following link: and then click on the thumbnails (small images).

February seems to be the point in winter that we realize the
days Are getting longer... (reading the official sunrise and sunset
times in the paper just does not seem to make the connection...)
I need to actually experience the sun setting later, and oh how wonderful
it is when that realization occurs. Oh yes, we still have a lot of cold
weather ahead of us, and snow... some of that too, depending on
where you live. .. but spring Is inching closer each day.
Spring is a new beginning and for me that new beginning includes finishing
projects that remain Long overdue (post cards are progressing, unfortunately
I seem to have most of them at some point in the process so it seems that
there has been no progress made... but most are almost complete and ready for the mail)
and... they Must be finished and mailed before I can start my ATCs.
I absolutely must participate in the ATC exchange, since it was my idea that my Guild offer to host the
exchange; I would Never hear the end of it if I did not participate!
This will be the 7th Annual ATC exchange, and it has been growing each year.
A total of 31 stitchers produced 78 ATCs for the 2006 exchange.
Last year there was a total of 306 ATCs created; youth members
from two Chapters (one in each BC & NL) produced 35; 4 stitchers from Australia produced 13
and 63 Canadian stitchers, from 9 provinces and territories, produced 218.
(there were no submissions from stitchers from Manitoba or Quebec last year)
The variety is amazing... and all previous ATCs are posted on the EAC web site.
If you are not sure what to stitch.. browse through the past offerings and I am
sure you will get some inspiration on how to use your small pieces of fabric and those
left over bits of threads, or experiment with some new materials from your stash.
For those who have been meaning to try something new, but are not quite sure...
what better way to give something new a try... and if the thought of parting with
your new creations is a problem, stitch two, one to trade and one to keep...
That is a Win-Win.
What do you do with the ATCs you have received?
I recently had someone tell me they did not know what to do with them after they received them.
Sue Thomas has the Perfect and Easy solution for this.
If you check the Summer 2007 issue of Embroidery Canada (Volume 34 Number 3) page 37
you will find the directions for an easy to make ATC wire stand. The perfect little creation on which
to display an ATC. Sue says she rotates hers regularly, so if you can not find space for several look around
.. be creative with your use of space and work to find a space for One so you too can enjoy the creativity of a
stitcher whose creation you received.
What motivates you in your creation of ATCs? Why did you stitch the number you sent along?
I think gathering the motivations behind the creations and the reasons why we stitch them.. and anything
else associated with ATCs would make for an interesting article. So.. why not send along the story behind
the ones you have stitched? not just the ones for this year, but the ones stitched in the past.
You can send them along by email or include them with your ATCs. I will compile the information and
see if it can be included on the web site or perhaps published in Embroidery Canada.
If you can’t stitch any this year, but you have in the past, send along your information ... let’s see
how diverse our reasons and inspirations are.
On behalf of Alderney Needlearts Guild thanks for considering participating in this year’s ATC exchange..
and don’t forget to send along a few words about why you participate and what your inspirations for
stitching them are.
Till the next time... Happy Stitching..
Marie Cron

Does your stitching group have a Retreat? If you haven't been doing this, you're missing a lot! Our guild started meeting for a yearly retreat about 15 year ago and it has been a highlight of our year since then. We're lucky to have access to Belcourt Centre in Rustico, PEI. It used o be a religious convent but now it hosts different groups for residential retreats or meetings. Lady's Slipper Needle Arts Guild books it for the first weekend in May.
Our weekend begins on Thursday evening and we wave goodbye on Sunday afternoon. The food and accommodations are wonderful and it is a great chance to get to know each other better. Because we are not a large group, we usually have room for a few extras from neighbouring guilds as well. It's a weekend of laughter and stories, great food, and of course, lots of stitching. We always have a Silent Auction and a table of magazines and patterns at 25 cents each. The last couple of years "Because You Count", an awesome needlework store from Moncton has set up shop for us. There's always a great display of completed projects as well as a great variety of projects being worked on. I'm getting excited just thinking about it!
The last time I wrote in this Blog I was working on "Catherine Agnes" from Indigo Rose . I'm pleased to tell you that I've finished and here she is. Of course, I changed the colours, but I'm quite pleased with the results.

Joyce Gill
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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