Happy National Stitch in Public Day!!  I had a wonderful afternoon stitching at the Beaches Sewing Centre in Toronto.  We were a smallish group of enthusiastic stitchers but we had a great sewing shop location and a sunny afternoon with many shoppers dropping by to say hello.  We gave out Embroidery Canada magazines and Toronto Guild of Stitchery business cards. 

Just a reminder that October 12 to 14th is the 25th Anniversary of CreativFestival happening at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.  EAC members who volunteer at our booth will receive free admission to the show.  Email Lisa Carlin at communications@eac.ca if you wish to volunteers or require any additional information.

Seeking the comfort of stitching

This September my youngest son aged nineteen moved to Ottawa to attend Carleton University.  My husband and I are very proud of our son’s achievement and we worked hard to make the transition smooth.  There was shopping, packing and preparing for this change.  I unfortunately was feeling very sad that we would be experiencing this change in our family situation.  Finally we packed up the car and drove to Ottawa.  I was very upset.  When I returned home without my son the sadness did not go away.  I remembered many years ago I had purchased a pattern for a birth sampler for my son.  Now as I’m sure you have probably experienced in your own life, sometimes things gets in the way of our best laid plans.  I had never managed to stitch this sampler.  I pulled out the pattern and purchased the fabric and threads.  The pattern is by an American designer Pat Rogers who I had taken a class from many years ago at the Spirit of Cross Stitch Festival in the United States.  This sampler is called Roots and Wings Birth Sampler.  Along with a beautiful alphabet a passage reads “Dear Little One, I wish you two things, to give you roots and to give you wings”. I have managed to stitch about half of the piece to date.  I mentioned to a stitching friend that I was stitching the sampler.  She said are you stitching it for future grandchildren.  I replied no, that I am stitching it for my son and myself.  I still miss my son terribly but I must admit that stitching the sampler has really helped.

Lisa Carlin
My Dad began his stitching career by getting caught in a piece of farm machinery when he was a young boy and breaking his leg.  He was unable to go to school for a few months and being one of 5 sons and no daughters, my grandmother put Dad's idle hands to work by learning how to darn socks and embroider.  I have always treasured this first piece he ever stitched and it hung proudly on my bedroom wall for all my growing up years.  It has since been bequeathed to one of my own daughters.

After his leg healed my dad didn't pick up a needle again for many, many  years using his hands instead to farm, weld and carpenter.  When his life began to slow down a bit and he had more free time, he began stitching with wool and made these two needlepoint horses for me:

Deciding to become a snow-bird and go south every winter, my Dad knew he'd have time to work on a bigger stitchery project and in Calgary, he bought this Teresa Wentzler cross-stitch pattern titled The Castle.  He bought the pattern, threads, built his own frame and worked on it a bit every afternoon while enjoying the warmth of an Arizona winter.

Always interested in trying something new, my Dad unexpectedly picked up rug hooking for a while and hooked a few wall hangings for us all.  This wall hanging of violets is just one of many that he did.

For quite awhile my Dad had hankered to stitch the popular Pinkie and Blue Boy patterns but he didn't want to stitch them separately.  Heading down once again to spend a winter in the Arizona desert, he found a Jean McIntosh pattern of them together titled First Love and did a wonderful job of stitching this lovely pattern.  It hangs proudly in the living room and is always a pleasure to see.

My father has a lovely photo of his grandmother that he wanted to try to stitch as well. It seemed like quite an undertaking but  amazingly, he graphed out all the different shades and stitched this beautiful piece of her. 

A few years ago though my Pop had to put his frames, hoops, threads and needles away as his hands were becoming too shaky.  He bought himself a small sewing machine to take to Arizona instead and I was the lucky recipient of all the leftover threads from all his many stitching projects.  When I saw him this year he passed them all on to me and I love that I have all my Dad's threads to use in my own stitchery projects.

Needless to say, I love the fact that my Dad loved to stitch and it was always neat to talk with him about stitching and what he was going to work on next when going south for the winter.  What I have shared with you are just a few of the many pieces he stitched and I will leave you with this beautiful autumn angel he did for my daughter one year for Christmas.

Wishing you all a lovely autumn day,

One of my favourite parts of Guild meetings is our Show n' Tell table. Most Guilds enjoy a variation of this activity where members bring and display their latest works.  In the Calgary Guild of Needle & Fibre Arts (CGNFA) after the business portion of the meetings our Show 'n Tell lady, Irene,  holds up each item while the creator says a few words about why she made the piece, new techniques it involved and challenges it presented.  Seeing and admiring the work of others, sharing the stories,and having the chance to see and admire their stitching up close and personal, never fails to inspire!  

Ilys admires the lovely fundraising kits available for Seminar 2013

A multitude of items created by Jennie Wolter are admired

Amanda explains the challenge of running out of thread
and how she overcame it

Jeanette shared the baby quilt she completed 

A member created this 50th anniversary piece by adapting
a commercial design for a 25th anniversary piece.

At the September General Meeting of CGNFA, one of our members, Shirley, brought Nita Talavlikar as a guest.  Shirley is anticipating the arrival of a new grandson in the very near future and Nita is the other prospective grandmother and came all the way from India to celebrate the blessed arrival.  Guild members were all excited to see Nita bring all the stitched gifts she had made and brought along for the little one.

I would like to pass on one of the delightful stories that Nita shared with us.  While one of the baby quilts she made was displayed, Nita explained to us that inside it was the nine yards of fabric from one of her cotton saris.  Although the majority of saris are made from synthetic fabrics now, cotton is known for more warmth.  Nita told us that the custom of padding the baby quilt in this way ensured that the baby would be warmed by his grandmother's love. 

Nita Talevlikar was an appreciated guest

one of the baby quilts Nita created

The upcoming celebrations of National Stitch in Public Day on September 27th gives all of us the opportunity to share stitching stories with others.  I hope that everyone taking part in this larger Show n' Tell will discover many new stitching friends!

Some complex designs merit sharing during the process
and not just when completed!

 Jeanette's three year old daughter is now taking
her first embroidery stitches with Mom's help

a closer look at Jeanette's baby quilt

prolific quilter, Linda Slater, made this quilt as a wedding gift
after the bride requested black and white as colour choices

Linda added red to the mix for this second quilt

Kerry Leslie

I always find that when I come back from Seminar, I'm re-enthused and ready to start something new; even if I haven't finished my Seminar project. This year, I decided that my sewing/quilting/embroidery room needed to be redone. I had stuff all over the floor and only a small pathway for walking to the sewing machines and computer. I also knew I needed to go through my Youth boxes. Somehow they had grown from 8 boxes in the closet to include a whole corner of small boxes. I was having a lot of trouble finding things.

I sat in my room one Saturday morning, looked at everything and decided new bookshelves would solve the problem. The two I had were quite small and barely held my book collection and magazines. So off my husband and I went to Jysk, Home Outfitters, Sears, Ikea, Home Depot, etc. The only shelves I could find that would hold my books was at Home Depot, but it didn't have sides, and I didn't want to use bookends. I had tried them before and found that they don't stay in place. Neither did magazine holders filled with magazines. My husband and I agreed that the shelves at Home Depot were the best as they held 200 lbs on each shelf and I was just going to have to lay the books down and make piles instead of having them stand on end. I wasn't thrilled, but if that's what I had to do, that's what I had to do.

In mid-August, we bought the shelves and the next weekend, we moved everything from my room into our bedroom and built the shelves right where I wanted them. They went up quickly and were painless to build. No screwing of bolts, etc., just put the braces for the shelves where I wanted them, lay the shelf on the braces and voila! it was done. They were sturdy and weren't going to move. My husband said they should even withstand an earthquake. We quickly moved everything from our bedroom back onto the shelves so we could get into our bedroom to sleep.

Now came the hard part of organizing the new shelves over two weekends. I even kept one of the old shelves for kits, threads and empty boxes. My room is still crowded because I have a lot of stuff, but everything is off the floor and I can now see what I have.

I was able to go through the Youth boxes and got them down to 11 boxes; 8 in the closet and 3 light ones in front of the closet which can be moved easily. There is still more culling to do, but at least my books look great on the new bookshelves, the magazines are organized, I can get to everything easily, I can see what I have and it only took me three months!

Linda Brenner
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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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