The beauty of belonging to an organization such as EAC is that you can not only learn from the successes of fellow stitchers, but also from the not so successful endeavours.  One of my friends who belongs to our Guild has allowed me to share her learning moment with everyone in hopes that it does not happen to anyone else. 
She had spent many hours stitching a Mirabilia mermaid.  You know, one of the patterns with all the delicious colours of threads, blending filaments and beads.  Anyone who knows Shelley knows that she does amazing work and pays particular attention to detail right down to attaching the beads with invisible thread so that no colour shows through them except for from the threads below.  She completed the work, then hand washed it with the intention of getting rid of any dirt or oils that may have found its way onto the piece.  It was still a bit damp so she plugged in her new iron to get any little wrinkles out before lacing up the work for framing.  I can almost hear the gasps coming from anyone else who has already done this.  She gently placed the iron on the piece for a moment, sandwiched by a pressing cloth above and below, then she lifted the piece to move it to press a bit more.  She heard some tinkling on her hardwood floor.  She looked down but did not see anything.  She pressed a little more on the piece, but this time when she lifted it to move it, there was much more tinkling on the hardwood.  It was then that she saw beads bouncing.  Lifting the pressing cloth she saw what had happened.  The invisible thread which she had used to stitch the beads on had melted.  She had used invisible thread many times before to attach beads so can only imagine that the new iron heated a little hotter or it was a mix of how wet the piece was with the heat of the iron.  It was a mute point now.  The damage had been done.  The beads had flown the coop.  Anyone who has done beadwork, especially with invisible thread knows how finicky it can be, so can appreciate the feeling Shelley got in the pit of her stomach.  She tied off what she could to prevent more beads from breaking free then put the work away to be worked on another day. 
That was over a year ago.  We can talk about it and laugh now.  In fact, that’s what we did on the phone just the other day as she talked about her mermaid’s tail melting and it gave me the idea to share this experience with everyone.  She has taken the piece back out and once she gets some more beads is going to finish it.  She already had the matting and frame, so it is just a matter of taking the bull by the horns and replacing the beads.  She is not planning on using invisible thread any more.  Wise choice I say, wise choice.

Kathy Taylor

On Thursday April 5th approximately 50 members of the Toronto Guild of Stitchery met at the National Ballet of Canada for a specially design tour of their costumes and workshops.   With great anticipation our group was divided into two groups and I joined the first group lead by Marjory Fielding Wardrobe Supervisor.  We entered a hallway of wardrobes bulging with costumes and on the walls were spectacular sketches and water colour paintings of costume proposals from current and previous ballet performances.  Marjory helped us enter the world of ballet.  The costumes are a collaboration of talents resulting in sketches that become patterns and emerge into the incredible complex costumes that are worn by athletic dancers who create magic before our eyes. We entered a light filled workshop with many costumes suspended from the ceiling.  There were multiple workstations and large work surfaces with patterns ready for constructions and irons with cords suspended from the ceiling. There were of course many mannequins in a full body form as well as heads.   Costumes were a study in glitz and glamour.  They were hand painted and made of every kind of material imaginable, even chain maille.  We saw a variety of whimsical hats and Marjory showed us the mesh inside the hat that bobby pins secure it to the wearers’ head.  We saw a wall of individual compartments of buttons.  It was a feast for the eyes.  We entered a room of fabrics all tagged with identification of the show and the year the costumes were created.   There was a gasp from our group.  We were in awe.  This fabric inventory is important as many of the fabrics from possibly forty years ago or more would no longer be available.   The fabrics are necessary to make alterations to fit the different sized performers as well as to make repairs due to general wear and tear.  I think the finale was a visit to the wardrobe storage room.  This was a massive room filled with large wardrobes, clothing racks and large storage containers of costumes from many, many shows.  These costumes are borrowed by ballet companies around the world.  It was fascinating.  We observed a box titled “How to make a tutu”.  Of course we were overcome with curiosity and needed a short lesson from Marjory.  We saw many examples of foot ware.  There were slippers of course, boots created as slippers, high heel shoes etc. At the conclusion of our tour a guild member asked about the fabric scraps left behind from these wonderful creations.  Marjory thrilled our group by bringing out the scraps for our members to help themselves. Our tour was a great success and we had a wonderful time that won’t be forgotten.



Miniatures wonders in stitching… and what wonders came into my mail box these past few months.

From early January to close to the end of March checking the mail took on new meaning. I never knew when there would be some ATCs waiting for me to admire. Each week I brought those that had been received in the past week to our stitch-in so everyone could have a chance to see them and admire the work. One member commented that they look so much nicer in ‘real life’ than in photos.

What a wonderful variety of work was done. In addition to the usual surface and counted work, hardanger, drawn thread, appliqué and a variety of embellishments there were also some miniature quilts embellished with stitches, a small painted piece of fabric enhanced by some strategically placed stitches, and some works that do not fall within these descriptive definitions but were nonetheless lovely and interesting. We received 13 ATCs from 5 members of Starfish Youth Stitchers from St. John’s NL, 50 members sent a total of 199 ATCs and 4 ladies from the Narrabri Group, Embroiderers’ Guild NSW, Australia submitted a total of 20.

What does this amount of stitched work resemble?.. check the photos that accompany this …. Stacks of envelopes on my dining room table, the photo of the entire group (I bet you can’t see the clear plastic under them); members of Alderney looking over some of the ATCs before the actual exchange began this past Tuesday, and finally the bundles to be packaged for return. Some have already been put in the mail and the last of the group mailings will be mailed tomorrow (there is still a bit of packing to do for the last of them).

Each individual ATC was photographed. A listing has been prepared which will be forwarded, along with the images, to our Web Master sometime over the week-end. Watch the EAC web site for the posting.

So folks, now all you have to do is sit back and wait for the envelope with your ATCs to make its way back to you (for those who participated). We hope you enjoy viewing the works you received, and will find a way to display them in your homes.

Next… It is never too early to begin stitching for next year’s ATC exchange… Embroiderers’ Guild of Peterborough will be hosting the exchange next year, and next year is also the 40th anniversary of EAC.. so for those who have not yet ventured into the arena of Artist Trading Cards.. why not give it a try. Check the web site for ideas from what others have stitched in past years, and really, what better way to use up those smaller pieces of fabric and partials of threads…not to mention it is an easy way to stretch yourself and try something new… is will be small, so not overwhelming, …. and you will amaze yourself at what You can do. Watch the web site and upcoming issues of Embroidery Canada for the specifics.

All for now, happy stitching …
Marie Cron

Happy Easter to all of you.

My blog  consists of did bits of information I have been flagging in my e-mail to pass on. Hopefully you find some of them interesting or useful.

Congratulations to two members, Kim Beamish and Carol English.

Kim recently stitched and sent a Diamond Jubilee Sampler to the Queen. She again received a personal letter from the Queen who actually remembered that Kim had sent her Christmas ornaments; way to go Kim.

Read about Carol
 Competitions and giveaways

Jane Nicholas Kits Giveaway

It is wonderful to receive your letters and hear what you are stitching. I especially love hearing about young people learning to stitch and will share some of these letters with you over the months to come. 
One of the winners for our Jane Nicholas kit giveaway is Carol English from Canada who is teaching her grandchildren to embroider, and our other winner isHelenka DeLuca who lives in Saudi Arabia and who has difficulty finding projects to stitch where she lives.
Some of us are very lucky to live where we have an abundance of embroidery shops, projects and classes available to us. I hope that we can continue to share our love of stitching all over the world.
I'd like to share Carol's letter with you...
Art Nouveau Dragonfly from Inspirations issue 41"Thank you so much for offering us this opportunity to win a Jane Nicholas project kit. Being internationally renowned for her amazing and beautiful embroidery, Jane is a wonderful ambassador for your awesome country. I live in a smaller community two and a half hours by car from the nearest embroidery shop in the middle of Canada so the arrival of 'Inspirations' and your newsletters are always a welcome treat to my day! I have tried many different needlework techniques but love needle/thread painting.
However, I have a 7 year old grandson for whom I would love to stitch something very special and lasting, and have been pondering recently what I could do. When I saw Jane's dragonfly project I instantly thought that this would be the gift he would treasure! He is very interested in bugs and has started a small collection which I helped him mount last summer. At the same time I would enjoy the challenge and the beauty of the goldwork involved in this project.
As well, during this past winter I have begun to teach my two 5 year old grand daughters how to embroider the bunny pattern that I first stitched about 65 years ago, and amazingly still have in my possession. My grandson asked if I would teach him as well, so of course I am delighted and am presently finding a simple dinosaur pattern for him to start with (his choice). Although I made him a special baby blanket, I would love to stitch him something age appropriate now to continue his interest not only in bugs but his growing interest in embroidery. Your offer came along serendipitously so I simply had to write."
Jane generously donated two stunning full kits with instructions - a sumptuous stumpwork kit, Garland of Berries, and a beautiful goldwork kit, Art Nouveau Dragonfly, which was published in Inspirations issue 41.

I received this from New Stitches which may be of interest to some of you:

Mary Hickmott's New Stitches magazine has readers and followers all over the globe and we know many are members of embroidery guilds, groups and associations worldwide. We know this as we frequently receive requests from group members who wish to use our designs and projects in their classes. 

I am getting in touch with you to let you know that New Stitches magazine is now available on-line as a digital download. This is great news for readers outside of the UK. Each issue is available every month, cheaper than the cover price on the UK newsstand. It is both significantly cheaper and quicker than waiting for a shipment to arrive at your local store or a mailed subscription copy to arrive at your door. It would be wonderful if you could let your members know this either via your newsletter or as a link on your website.

New Stitches is available monthly from - simply search for New Stitches and all available issues will be displayed. They are quick and easy to download and printable too.

New Stitches has recently launched its Facebook page here. Let me know if you have a Facebook page that you would like us to 'like' to bring our readers and your members together.

For those who like challenges check this web-site:

You will want to check out the EAC web-site for two new items:
Island Images Seminar 2012 has an additional fundraiser,  to raise funds for youth attending Seminar. It is a very neat sampler designed by Karen Dearborn and it is only $5.00.

EAC now has some promotional items that will be available on the web-site by May 1st. We will have lanyards, tape measures, water bottles and tote bags. There is a limited amount available so you will need to place your order soon. I love the EAC blue water bottle, and the lanyard is perfect for your guild pin collection and name tag.

Now it's time for chocolate!


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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