I find the designing process absolutely fascinating. Sometimes I come up with an idea right away and other times, I can't get any idea at all. I especially found this true for the two postcard exchange groups I belonged to.

At one of the Board meetings, Sandra (the editor of Embroidery Canada) approached me and asked if I wanted to join the postcard group she was organizing. Once a month a picture would be sent via e-mail and we were to interpret the picture in any needlework technique, fabric and threads. The design could only be 4" x 6" and we would send the finished postcard sized design to another person in the group. I said I'd like to join as it sounded like fun. When I got home, I wondered what I'd gotten myself into. I'd only designed one other needlework piece and I hoped I'd be up to the challenge.

The first picture came and it was a tortoise. I had no idea what to design. I put the picture on my typing stand so I'd see it every day. Nothing came to mind and it had been two weeks already. I was running out of time. I was staring at the tortoise one evening after I'd finished cleaning out my e-mail inbox and all of a sudden "Blackwork" popped into my head. Okay, so now I had a technique, but what was I going to do with it? I recalled an embroidery piece I'd seen that used a blackwork pattern to do the whole picture, only changing the colours of the thread and outlining the shapes. So now I had my idea. I picked out which blackwork pattern I wanted, drew the outline of the tortoise on the fabric and figured out where to change colours. Now, if only it worked when I started stitching. And, voila! It worked!

I now had the first one done and every month after that another picture showed up. Only once out of the 10 months did I use a purchased pattern. All the rest were my original designs. I didn't stuck to one technique. I've used needlepoint, applique, quilting, crochet, beading, goldwork, cross stitch, couching, surface embroidery and anything else that comes to mind and works for my design. I had so much fun with it, even though I didn't keep up with the monthly schedule, that when I was asked to join the second group, I signed up right away.

I finally finished the last postcard for the first postcard group about ten months after the end. The second postcard group decided to send a picture every two months and I kept up for the first six pictures. A picture of a Carousel horse came and I went blank. I couldn't think of anything for three months. As a last resort, I showed the picture to my husband and he came up with the idea of the Carousel horse as a star. It clicked and my idea was to use the Pegasus constellation with crystals sewn on the postcard for the stars. It seems to work with me that once I get hung up on a design, I have trouble coming up with an idea for the rest of the designs. So, it's a year after the end of the second group and I still have one last postcard to finish. Luckily, I have an idea for this postcard. Now, if only it works out in fabric and thread.


Finally the day arrived.. pipe and drape in  place, tables, table coverings, easels,  materials to hang
pieces and all the other details that would go into setting up the display.
Finally... it was done! Ten tables, two chairs, several large easels and numerous small easels for individual pieces...
In the three days of the show, over 800 individuals viewed the display and some came back a second time.
Over and over we heard ‘wonderful’, ‘amazing’, ‘breath taking’, and the comments in the guest book mirrored those we heard as folks left the show.
Every stitcher who had some of their work on display received votes for ‘Viewers’ Choice’ (not every piece.. but every stitcher)
From Alderney Needlearts Guild, Wendy McPhee’s canvas work received the most votes.

And from the Stitchery Guild of Bedford, Dominique Teniere’s surface stitching and 3 dimension stitching over her own original painted fabric received the most votes.

In retrospect... was this show one we are pleased we did? Absolutely, yes. Is it something we would do again... perhaps... however it would depend on the circumstances. Certainly to have partnered with Quilt Canada 2012 was the piece that made the show the success is was, because although many quilters do not stitch as we term stitching.... they are Very aware of what goes into creating something from scratch... and that is the piece that made the show the success it was.
Happy summer stitching..... and to parrot Sue’s question..
Where do you like to stitch in summer? Do you have a favourite summertime stitching spot...or do you stitch in the same place(s)? 
Why not share with the rest of us?
All for today...
Marie Cron

As I thought about what to write about this week, I went upstairs to my craft floor and just shook my head.  I have so much stuff.  When we moved to this house 6 years ago I was thrilled to move all my stash from 1 small room to an entire floor, an apartment really.  The sad part of the story is that now I have filled the whole floor to overflowing.  So much stuff!  A normal person would stop buying now and maybe even purge.  Well, I never claimed to be normal.  I love shopping at stitching stores and thrift stores to add to my stash, so rather than getting rid of anything I have moved towards finding creative ways of storing it.  Really, when you think of it, it is a shame not to proudly showcase our stash because many of the things are a work of art in themselves, hardly needing to be made into anything else. 
Anyone that knows me knows that I try something once then have a compulsion to buy lots and lots of supplies with which to make more.  A few years ago I saw my first needle felting.   I decided I wanted to try it so I did, making a rather questionable little creature (whose picture I have included), but I like him and thought, with a little work I could really make some works of art.  I like the look of both 3 dimensional needle felting and needle felting pictures so another collection began.  I now have tons of wool that I think I could use in felting, including a couple boxes of wool roving.  My husband even bought me a needle felting machine for my birthday.   Yes, he is an enabler, but he has several collections of his own.   Janet, a friend from our Guild does a lot of work with wool, including dyeing it so she came over one day and we dyed up a bunch in a variety of colours.  Here is a picture of it drying in my sun room.  Doesn’t it look beautiful?  Once it was dry I moved it upstairs and have it draped over a side of a baby crib, (along with some lovely braided hanks that I bought) which my mother-in-law rescued from the side of the road.  I got 1 side and my sister-in-law got the other to hang her fabric on when she is deciding colours for a quilt.  Both wonderful uses for an old crib!  I have since needle felted 1 butterfly, but I know my stash is ready for me when I am ready to do more.  J
With all the great nieces and great nephews being born in my family I am becoming overwhelmed with trying to keep up with stitching something for them so I was looking for something a little less time consuming.  My friend Shelley from our Guild went shopping with me at Fabricland and I saw a cute little flannel blanket sewn up.  It looked easy-peasy and so began my collection of flannel.  Like any good collection, I required some way of organizing it to make it easy to see what I have and what goes together so that once I actually get around to sewing it is an easy matter of just putting them together.  I have included a picture of what my collection (okay, only part of it) looks like in the 3rd drawer of a file cabinet.  Beautiful isn’t it!  Of course I did not stop there.  I had to buy some batiks just because they are so darn pretty and there are so many fun fabrics to make cuddly blankets with that I have also branched out into some of them.   I have actually sewn 2 small blankets and am working on a 3rd.  I am going to try really hard to keep on top of this collection…


I've taken on an important task - one that I need all EAC members to help me with!  For the next two years I will be the President of our organization. I'm hoping it will be a productive time of growth in the EAC community as well as an enjoyable adventure getting to know each other better. As with any new venture, there will be a mixture of the expected and the unexpected. As a Board we will try to steer our organization in a responsible manner, at the same time as we reach out to bring in new members and add new excitement. The Visioning Day held this past Spring in Victoria presented us with ideas and feedback on ways to revitalize EAC. The full report will be circulated via the Regional Directors and it is hoped that it will start lots of lively discussion in your own chapters.

One of the recommendations - a suggestion box on the website - has already been instituted. Send your comments to suggestions@eac.ca. We need your feedback - What are you wanting from your EAC organization? How can these needs be achieved? How can each of us - Board members, Chapter members, National members - contribute to make our organization the best it can possibly be?

The report from Visioning Day will be on the agendas at the Regional Meetings and the Fall Board Meeting, and we hope that goals can be established based on the feedback. So, let's hear from you - if something is wrong, then how can it be made right? If something is right - of course we need to hear about that too!!

I'm excited about the next two years, moving forward cooperatively, creatively, together!

Joyce Gill
EAC President

"If you think you are too small to be effective, 
you have never been in bed with a mosquito."
                                                            Betty Reese 

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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