I am writing this blog on Boxing Day 2012.  Today I did not stitch a Christmas gift, but I did yesterday.  It is a crazy time of year for many reasons.  For stitchers it’s a time to stitch festive decorations and stitch gifts to give.  With stitching we never know exactly how long it will take to complete a project.  I think most stitchers try not to plan too much.  There are only so many hours in a day and at this time of year there are many other distractions and responsibilities we have that call us away from our stitching plans.  I usually make jewelry items for friends and family.  This year I added beaded Christmas ball ornaments as gifts.  They were fun to do and turned out nice but they did take time.  Something we rarely have enough of at this time of year.

At Toronto Guild of Stitchery Day Group Christmas meeting we had a special visitor, Mrs. Claus (played by Cathy Cormier who travels from Barrie Ontario to attend our guild).  Mrs. Claus did an incredible job of passing out cookies and adding a wonderful personal touch to welcoming each person in our gift exchange.  This year we had the gentle sounds of beautiful Christmas music performed by Karen Doak on piano.

I also attended our Evening Group with all the tastes and smells of an extraordinary Christmas potluck dinner, lovely poetry reading and handmade gift exchange. 
Well I had a great Christmas as I hope you did too and I can give a sigh of relief that the Christmas rush is over for another year.  But boy it was a fun ride!

£Lisa Carlin

So much of the Christmas celebration seems to center around memories of past holidays!   Whatever the reason, every year when my tree goes up I enjoy taking each ornament out of the box and remembering its origin as I hang it.  I would like to share a few of these with you…

The first two ornaments are nutcrackers I made years ago from patterns in Cross Stitch & Country Crafts magazine.  I still love these two after all these years!

This little crazy quilted stocking was a gift from Jo Newsham, a dear friend and fellow crazy quilter in New Zealand.  Jo’s stitches inspire me every year when I pull this one out of the box!

I dearly wish DMC has continued with their yearly ornament kits but they only ever made the two unfortunately.  This is one of them.

I am sure the logo from the 2011 Seminar will be familiar to many!  I love to hang mementos like this on my tree so I am reminded of the happy times each year.

I made this ornament in a workshop taught by Anna-Marie Winter   in Olds years ago, at the Fibre Potourri workshop.  Fibre Potpourri is put on in alternative years by the Calgary Guild of Needle & Fibre Arts and the Edmonton Needlecraft Guild.  Without EAC, I would never have been aware of such wonderful needlework teachers, let alone have the opportunity to take classes from them!

These little knit mittens, connected together and hung up by their string are an all time favourite of mine and I cannot count how many I have made over the years for bazaars, as substitutes for bows on gifts, etc. 
As a small Christmas gift to all the readers, I would like to share the pattern with you.  One variation is available on FaveCrafts   Don’t run out and buy yarn though – these are easily made from very small scraps.  I will warn you though that making them is addictive!  

Kerry Leslie

Every December members of Marigold Guild of Needle Arts gather to celebrate the Christmas season.  This year, the same as the past few years, we met at Tulips and Thistle Bed and Breakfast, a lovely home and business owned and operated by a former MGNA Guild member just outside the town of Truro, Nova Scotia. 

It was a magical evening of visiting, laughing, eating, and exchanging gifts.  We sat around the Christmas tree – the real McCoy, not an artificial one – and enjoyed the mulled apple cider.  There never seemed to be a lack of things to talk about!  The absolutely decadent spread of desserts – cheesecake and eclairs and torte and trifle – was a true delight and for those who wanted or needed something less sweet, our host provided cheese and grapes and other fresh fruit; we were pampered to the nth degree! 

The highlight of the evening, over and above the food, was the gift exchange.  Members were invited to bring a stitched gift, valued at approximately $10.00; the gifts were placed under the tree and those who had brought a gift were given a candy cane with a number on it.  At the appointed time, a member of our Social Committee drew numbers one at a time out of a box and announced the number; the person with that number picked a gift from under the tree but did not open it until everyone had their gift.  At the signal, everyone opened their gift and the oohing and aahing began.  The gift I received was a wonderful beaded snowflake and a hand-beaded necklace.  The gift I stitched, a beaded snowflake on blue perforated paper, was received by a member whose favourite colour was blue.  One person spoke about how amazed she was that the gifts that were received exactly suited the person who received it – like the person who received a small pillow with a cross-stitched black and white cat, just like her cat at home. 

 All in all, it was a wonderful evening – a gathering of friends in a warm, friendly atmosphere.  hope you enjoy a few photos of the evening that was so special to us, the MGNA members who were able to attend this wonderful evening.

Sheila Stewart

Christmas is just around the corner.  It is a wonderful time of the year to get together with family and friends to celebrate the season.  One of the traditions that the Winnipeg Embroiders' Guild participates in is its annual Christmas Sale at Dalnavert.  Dalnavert is a local museum housed in a beautiful, restored Victorian home once belonging to Sir Hugh John Macdonald, the eldest and only surviving son of Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada's first Prime Minister.  Macdonald, a lawyer and politician, moved to Winnipeg in 1882 and lived here until his death in 1929.  The heritage house is a warm and friendly place, decorated each year for the holidays with traditional Victoriana.  It is a popular Winnipeg tourist attraction.

Our Guild’s affiliation with Dalnavert began around 1998 when members designed and produced Victorian style ornaments for sale. Since then the sale has grown and become an annual event at which members sell varied and lovely handmade items to the public. Participants and guests alike have lots of fun sharing in the busy day.

Here are some of the photos from this great event.  Thanks to Kit Gates for the photography, and to Kit, Barb Smith, and other members of WEG who make this sale such a success each year.

Beryl Burnett

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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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