This form of embroidery has several names:  Chicken Scratch, Depression Lace, Snowflake Embroidery, Amish Embroidery and Gingham Embroidery for a few.

Chicken Scratch is worked on gingham fabric and gives the impression of appliqué lace. 

Only three stitches are generally used in this technique:  double cross stitch (aka Smyrna cross stitch), running stitch and woven circle stitch.

The charm of Chicken Scratch Embroidery is how one or two colours of thread and such simple stitches creates a lovely lace effect with shading depending on where the stitches are placed on the coloured squares of the gingham fabric.

This is a simple technique and has been especially popular for tablecloths and aprons. 

Since the stitches are quite simple and relatively large (depending on the size of the gingham, usually ¼ inch or 1/8 inch check) this is a good technique for teaching to young people, or for those with failing eyesight.

Dating back to at least the Depression Era, Chicken Scratch continues to be popular today.  You can find easy-to-follow tutorials online by googling “Chicken Scratch Embroidery”.  Why not make yourself a new apron?

Kerry Leslie

Did you read the article about stitching triangles by Nancy Callahan and Anne Adams in the last EC Magazine? I read it, and it really captured my imagination;  I had to make some. But there is more fun when others are involved, so I challenged three stitching friends (Joyce Gill, Kim Beamish, and Pat Olson) to make them too.

The challenge was for each of us to stitch four triangles that were not necessarily identical, and to send one to each of others  in the group.  To help keep the size uniform, my husband cut all the triangles, and I mailed four each to the others.  Because we are all quite busy, our time frame was generous...

It appears that we all set other projects aside, because we managed to complete our triangles very quickly.

How to display them effectively was the subject of many an email, until Kim saw a pyramid shaped etui in a magazine.  That seemed like the perfect solution to me.  I covered a square base (obligingly cut by the same husband), and attached a triangle to each side.  To the upper vertex I stitched a ribbon and then threaded the four ribbons through a narrow bead. That kept the pyramid closed.

I am delighted with my pyramid, and display it proudly.  The photographs below say it all.





Sue Thomas

I got my pre-Seminar package in the mail a couple of days ago. Next I have to gather my supplies, including three sets of stretcher bars, mount the canvas and get started! I really have to work to Not procrastinate on this… so I am not left stitching madly the night before I fly to Winnipeg... and end up with sore hands and thus not enjoy Seminar as much as I otherwise would.

My Artist Trading Cards arrived in Monday’s mail… by now yours should have arrived. I hope you are as pleased with yours as I am with mine. I have included a photo of a few of them. Only one more round of this exchange… so for those of you who have not yet participated, why not check the EAC web site for examples of past cards, check your stash to see what small bits you have to work with and stitch one or a few.

I have continued to pick away at my sorting and organizing, of course that will be work in progress for a bit longer. I am also incorporating some of my mother’s things into mine. Imagine purchasing a package of 6 tapestry 18/22 needles for 10 cents... or paying only 15 cents for 15 embroidery needles! And packaging... What a difference the inside of the packages are from today’s packages. I find that some companies package their needles through a narrow plastic band and it is not particularly easy to get the needles out. The old packages have a piece of fabric/flannel which the needles are placed through, making taking them out much easier, and of course a softer bed for their repose!
I have included a couple of photos of the packages.. and I am sure many of you have some of these in your supplies too!

Another ‘treasure’ that I have to find a place for, is a box that chocolates came in over 100 years ago, which had belonged to my grandmother. My 90 year old aunt who recently moved from the house she grew up in, gave it to me along with some other things. It is far too pretty to put away out of sight, but I don’t want it to fade... so the challenge will be to find a spot where I can see it but it will be shaded from too much light. The inside of the box is covered with the same background fabric that the outside of the box is covered in. 

Only a month and a couple of days to go before Seminar… I guess I had best get busy gathering my supplies and move on to my pre-Seminar stitching.

Until the next time…
Happy Stitching
Marie Cron 

I'm going to open up a Hot Topic this week but first I'll give you all some background. The Board of EAC has been working with a chapter who contacted us with a pressing question:

What are the benefits of our chapter being part of EAC?
Now, our first responses were all benefits that apply to every member, whether individual or chapters, and there are lots of them. That will be a topic for another day. Right now we're going to concentrate on groups as member chapters. I'll give you some points that we've come up with and then I want input from all of you at

Benefits to Chapters to be members of EAC
  • -Individual members with all EAC member benefits.
  • Regional meetings for exchange of ideas, discussion of problems and other networking with sister chapters.
  • Ability to "piggy back" on international teachers who are in Canada for the Seminar, and thus decrease transportation costs for such a teacher
  • Sharing of chapter information on courses and shows via the calendar on the website
  • Chapter sharing of teachers for reduction in travel costs
  • Resources to increase membership such as  sharing of promotional materials for local advertising of "Stitch in Public Day" as well as press notification for national media coverage
  • Sharing in the benefits of increasing the profile of needlework and the artisan community by EAC exhibits at major craft shows such as Creativ Festival and others
  • Retreats and workshops within Canada – other Guilds will often offer up positions on retreats or workshops to members from other Guilds
  • Qualify for EAC course test groups
  • Inclusion in the EAC Liability Insurance plan
  • Opportunity to purchase additional low-cost insurance for chapter holdings, which would include the library and any other assets.

Now, it's your turn to give us some ideas. Comments are appreciated at any time but I'd love to hear from you within the next week.  For this discussion, please concentrate on EAC Chapter benefits and send to
1. What benefits does your chapter gain as a chapter of EAC?
2. What more benefits would you like to see come to EAC Chapters?
3. How can chapters cooperate to grow within EAC?
Joyce Gill
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

My photo
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.

Blog Archive

Powered by Blogger.

Follow by Email

Search the EAC Blog