This summer has been very busy with preparations for Seminar 2013. It is coming together nicely and we are now moving into the next stage -- Registration. The brochure with all the particulars can be found on the EAC site:

Elizabeth Bonnett, who is the Chairperson for the Seminar 2013 Art Department, is responsible for creating  a large part of the  Seminar Calendar and the Seminar Promo DVD.  She recently took time from her very busy schedule to participate in an exhibition called “The Power of 3” at the St. Norbert Arts Centre, with 2 other ladies, Bev Flackman, who specializes in paper cutting, and Ditte Cloutier, a fibre artist.  Elizabeth’s talents are many and varied.  In this show, she featured her painting, fibre artistry and scrimshaw.  They filled the gallery with a charming collection of delightful pieces.

The Winnipeg Embroiderers’ Guild President, Linda Lassman, and I drove out to view this absolutely delightful exhibit and it was wonderful to spend part of a beautiful Sunday afternoon to truly enjoy these artists’ works.

Enjoy some of the picture of the pieces in the exhibit. More images can be found at

Beryl Burnett

 My first post on EAC's blog and I'm honoured and delighted to contribute!

I'm excited to share with you a year long stitching project that I've undertaken.

Every Tuesday for the entire year of 2012 I, along with a few hundred others from around the globe are taking part in a stitching challenge called Take A Stitch Tuesday or TAST.  I really had no idea what I was getting myself into and that I would be learning so much!  First I had to decide how I was going to stitch 52 samples of different stitches.  Would I make them into a fabric book, atc's, tags, a doodle cloth or fabric postcards?  I chose to make a band sampler that's 4 1/2 inches wide and use a variety of fabric pieces.

 My first foray into the wonderful world of stitching began in my late teens when a neighbour invited me to take a hardanger class with her through the Regina Stitchery Guild.  I was immediately hooked and was content for a long time with hardanger embroidery.  I branched out very slowly with a bit of cross-stitch, blackwork, bargello and canvas work. When I read about this neat sounding project of learning a new stitch every week I jumped at the opportunity.  Some of the stitches I knew like the satin stitch, stem stitch and french knots of course.

But there have been many that I have not only never stitched before but never knew even existed like the wheat ear stitch, crossed buttonhole and 1/2 chevron.

I could have just stitched a few rows of each stitch every week but I wanted to play and be creative as well.  Some have been a bit more time consuming and finicky to do especially when undoing some because I hadn't done them correctly like the knotted cretan and the pekinese stitch.  But most of them have been a lot of fun to learn like the cable chain, palestrina, bonnet and up and down buttonhole.

After coming to the end of a piece of fabric I hem and back it and am slowly joining them all together as time permits.

Working all of these stitches into a band sampler makes them very easy to keep and transport as it rolls up so nicely!  I also really enjoy making atc's and lately it's been great to unroll my sampler and look at the variety of stitches I've learned and to incorporate some of them into an atc.

It has also been a lot of fun sharing with others and seeing other peoples stitching through the TAST Facebook site, on Flickr, the Stitchin Fingers site and Pintangle. Here is my sampler piece with the last 10 stitches I've worked:

With the Take A Stitch Tuesday project there is absolutely no pressure to keep up and one can swing in and out of the challenge as time permits. We're on week 34 this week and the stitch is the Linked Double Chain which is yet another one I have never done or heard of!

Thanks for reading and happy stitching to you all :)

Jeannette Luttmer

It is better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong, than to be always right by having no ideas at all."         Edward de Bono 

How do you approach a request to give a workshop on creativity? That is something I've had to tackle over the last couple of weeks. Sometimes the word "creative" is what scares people off. "Oh, I'm not creative!", " I could never create something like that!" "Being creative is beyond me."
When we were toddlers we were open to every new idea that came along. I can bounce crazy schemes off my 3-year-old grandson and he has no problem letting his imagination fly with them. As we become adults we seem to get the idea that everything we do has to be done the "right way", that there is no room for experimenting, that being "wrong" makes us inferior. Did you know that Thomas Edison made about 1800 attempts at finding a filament that would work in his light bulb? After about 1000 attempts someone asked him if he was getting discouraged and he answered " I've gained a lot of knowledge... I now know 1000 things that don't work."
The idea that it's OK to be wrong seems to be the first thing to be overcome for adults. Brainstorming is a great start. The participants, whether one or a room full, are encouraged to come up with ideas as quickly as possible. There is to be no criticism or evaluation, negative or positive. Every idea is recorded. At first thoughts will flow easily, with all of the ordinary ones coming out, but after that the innovative, inventive, creative ones will start to come. Ideas can be generated from each other and everything is recorded, even the most way-out, humorous, crazy, seemingly impossible. Remember, no evaluation at this point.
Only after there is an exhaustive list do you go back and start grouping, looking for potential, finding favourites, rethinking. But still, don't abandon anything; it might be helpful at some time. At this point it might be useful to put your list away for a day. Sleep on it and look it with a fresh eye in the morning with coffee!
One of my favourite techniques is List-making. I know we've all done it, usually as a To Do List. But that is no fun.  Let's say you're looking for a theme for a Crazy-Patch type needlework sampler. Start with a clean sheet of paper and a pen and jot down ideas. You might start with some simple ones, like "florals" or "geometrics". Then your mind starts to wander through "my life", "insects", "letters". Maybe wider themes, like "EAC", "PEI", "beach", "farm". Maybe narrower, like one emotion of "love", "happiness", "hope". And on and on. By now the page is filling up. Push a bit harder to fill the page. Sometimes it is helpful to work your way through the alphabet and think of ideas for the different letters. Are you getting with the plan?
What follows next depends on you. How about a list of possible motifs and another list of possible techniques? Explore different match-ups between these two lists. You never know what neat creative combinations will appear! So now for me, I need to get these notes down in a workable layout for a class. I have a receptive group waiting and I think it will be lots of fun. I can't wait to see what the results are going to be.
Joyce Gill

Oh, summer is definitely the best time of year!  Great to kick back and start a new 
stitching project (it’s always a good time for that) or read a book.  I was sent a link to an interesting phenomenon called “yarnbombing”.  You haven’t heard of it?  Neither had I.  Yarnbombing involves covering everyday objects in knitting or crochet.  It could possibly be described as graffiti but without harming property or the environment.  Anything is fair game in yarnbombing from a statue to a park bench or a bus stop.  Why, you ask?  People do it for many reasons.  It could be to beautify, to make a statement but mainly to bring attention to the fragile beauty of things created by hand.  This brings me back to the point of my introduction.  

When investigating yarn bombing, I came across a book titled Hoopla - the art of unexpected embroidery by Leanne Prain.  The book features many artists who created needlework for a multitude of reasons.  One man who was incarcerated created beautiful embroidery using threads acquired by disassembling threads from socks.  Another woman created embroidery to express her adventures and frustrations with on-line dating.  A husband and wife team examined the world by looking at what is discarded or thrown-away in society as well as the complexity of dealing with the loss of a loved one.  A man brought attention to the embroidered creations of men by coining the term manbroidery.  This book features some small projects to get the reader interested in stitching.  It was great to see so much stitched artwork.  I enjoyed the incredibly different perspectives and motivations that gave people the urge to stitch.  With National Stitch in Public Day quickly approaching next month (week of September 27th), think about ways of enticing people to pick up a needle and thread and head off to a great adventure in stitching!

Lisa Carlin
I am really enjoying watching the summer Olympic Games.  The Olympics is the only time I watch sports on television (except for the figure skating, of course).

When the Vancouver winter Olympics was on, I was still living in Nipawin, Saskatchewan.  Our guild was was trying to plan a winter retreat, and it ended up that only Pat Olson and I could go.  We went to a spa for three nights where we swam, soaked in mineral waters, ate, watched the Olympic Games, and stitched.  We had a wonderful time, and felt really relaxed and rejuvenated when we got home, as well as quite smug as we both had several finished projects to show off.

I know that I can sit and stitch whenever I like and for as long as I like, but sometimes we need to give ourselves permission to do that.  The Olympics give me that permission to leave other jobs until later.  I can take the time to watch the athletes competing for their country, giving their best performances, while I stitch and stitch.  I love it.

While I watch, I am still working away at those Christmas ornaments I mentioned in an earlier blog - ten of the maple leaf design ornaments from the Winnipeg Seminar 2013 fundraiser calendar.  So far, six are complete, and four are waiting to be sewn together.

Take a look at that calendar.  It's on the DVD Branching Out that your guild received, and it's also on the EAC website .

With another week of Olympics still to go, it's time to decide on my next project.  I could finish any number of UFO's; I could start my ATC's for this year (I usually start them during the summer); or I could start an entirely new project.  Whatever I decide, I do know that given the ever-decreasing amount of available space in my studio, I had better use supplies that I have on hand...

I hope that you, too, will take the time to enjoy the 2012 summer Olympic Games and to stitch.

Sue Thomas
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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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