How wonderful … from the beginnings of a small group who were looking for a daytime Chapter … in the fall of 1998.. to the present… we are now 12 Active members and going strong. (small but strong).
One of our founding members, (who is the only founding member who remains active); was also the first Chapter President is again serving as Chapter President. To mark the anniversary we presented her with a pair of the EAC 40th Anniversary scissors. Needless to say she was pleased. 
For the past number of years we have been discussing the topic of a chapter retreat. Some have attended retreats held by other Chapters they are a member of, but Alderney has not hosted its own retreat. We moved from discussion to reality this past October and spent two relaxing days at Atlantica’s Oak Island Inn & Resort renting the double cottage at the water’s edge.

From Tuesday mid afternoon to Thursday mid morning we stitched, shared ideas and samples of various threads and stitching stands…

And .. learned a new beading technique designed for us by one of our members.

Four of us managed to complete the project, which is a lovely scissor fob (one can never have too many of these or pairs of scissors).

We also tried a new restaurant for lunch and some of us travelled to Mahone Bay to do a bit of fabric shopping.

All in all it was a wonderful two days of stepping off the world of our everyday lives and just stitch and chat without the usual everyday distractions interrupting. For sure, it will not be our last retreat.

Until the next time… enjoy all the magic that the many special days in the coming weeks bring to your lives.

Happy stitching..

by Kerry Leslie

On a recent trip to Kentucky, I played hooky from one of the classes I was attending one afternoon to visit the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft.  I am very happy that I did.  One of the exhibits on display was made up of the work of fiber artist, Judith Scott.

Part of the exhibit I saw was a video entitled “Outsider:  The Life and Art of Judith Scott". If you get a chance to see it, it is truly inspirational.
Judith Scott was born profoundly deaf and with Down’s Syndrome.  Judith spent 35 years institutionalized with little or no creative outlet.  In the 1980’s, Judith’s twin sister, Joyce, regained custody of her and moved her to the San Francisco area.  Here Judith was introduced to fiber art at Creative Growth.
“Judith Scott was a visual artist isolated from outside influences as a result of the impact of deafness and Down’s syndrome. She was independent and self-directed. In the eighteen years Judith made her work she never repeated a form or color scheme. Crafting armatures of bamboo slats and discarded materials, Judith diligently wrapped each work with lengths of knotted cloth or yarn.” Creative Growth.
To see Judith at work, visit her at
I had last week off work (vacation, yea!) and I enjoyed myself immensely. I had time to work in my sewing room and did a little reorganizing. It seems that no matter how much organizing I do, after a few months, I need to do more. I didn't have time to do all I wanted to do with the reorganizing, but at least I was able to start and get some of it done. After all, I only had one week off. The rest of the reorganizing will have to wait until after the New Year when I will retire. I can hardly wait. Now I just have to make sure that I don't plan too much into my first few months of retirement.

I also worked on Christmas presents. I am making ornaments for my new daughter-in-law's family. Each family will get six ornaments. I am making a snowman out of beads, a beaded frog, a little crocheted stocking, and three cross-stitched ornaments (don't know what designs yet).

I almost finished my ornaments for the EAC Ornament Exchange and the Virtual Threads exchange. I got all the stitching done and the ornaments put together and only sewing on the braid around the outside remained to be finished this week. They are now done and the EAC ornament is in the mail and the picture of the ornament is posted in the Virtual Threads photo album. Now I just have to complete the ornament for my chapter's exchange in early December.

I also sewed a quilted hold-all bag. I have a book about sewing Japanese style fabrics and there are three patterns for bags. I had some Japanese fabrics in my quilting stash and I sewed the biggest bag. It turned out very nice, so I gave the sample to Deja to see if she wants one made for each of her bridesmaids to use on "the day". She is meeting with her bridesmaids to decide on their dresses for the wedding and she will see if they all want one.

I also spent one day and did nothing but read. I didn't even change out of my pyjamas. I just curled up in a comfy chair with my bathrobe over my pyjamas and re-read The Lord of the Rings. It was heavenly.

Now I just have to get through the next month and a half and every day can be a vacation day!

Linda Brenner
I feel very privileged to have a job that I love.  I work in the Department of Theatre and Film at the University of Winnipeg as the Office Manager and Student Advisor.  This means that I get to spend my work days with wonderfully creative people – professors and students who are lively and talented and full of beans.  I always say these right-brained people with their heads in the clouds need practical me to keep them their feet on the ground.  However, working in that world, I have always been very glad that I have my own creative outlets – knitting and stitching.  I was especially delighted when two professors I work with answered my invitation to attend the Members' Show at Seminar in Winnipeg.  They were absolutely blown away by the beautiful stitching they saw there and I was so happy to share some of my art with them for once.

Every year our department offers an annual series of lectures for our students by successful people in "the profession".  Recently we were thrilled to have Djanet Sears with us.  She is a multi-award-winning playwright who was in Winnipeg as part of Sarasvati Productions annual theatre Festival, "FemFest" featuring plays by women for everyone.  The whole Festival was held in the Asper Centre for Theatre and Film, the building in which I work.  Djanet presented an hour-long lecture on playwriting to a group of more than 100 students and professionals.

I was able to greet Djanet and introduce myself but unfortunately I had a meeting at the same time and couldn't stay for the full talk.  I got lucky, though, and my meeting ended early so I slipped into the balcony for the last 20 minutes or so.  Djanet, who does a lot of teaching, is a fun and engaging speaker.  As her parting "gift" to the audience, she had us do a little writing exercise intended, I think, to prompt inspiration and see how ideas start and then get fleshed out.  I wasn't going to participate – I have no aspirations to be a playwright – but as I watched 100 people reach for pen and paper, I thought "why not?".

And this is where stitching comes in.

Djanet told us she was going to give us five words.  We had to pick one, then put our pen down on the paper and write – write anything related to that word for a full minute without stopping or lifting our pen off the paper.  Unbelievably, the first word she suggested was "thread" and I confess that I didn't even hear what the others were.  I was off and running.  She stopped us after our minute and I had a nice little paragraph.  Then she told us to read it through and underline two or three phrases that struck us.  We were then given another minute to write something that related to one of those phrases. 

With no forethought at all, here's what I came up with when prompted with the word "thread". . .

"Thread forms an integral part of my life – the thread of life.  But my life is about thread.  I take threads of all kinds and make beautiful pictures from it – pictures, pillows, sweaters.  I am a thread artist.

"I am a thread artist.  Some people draw art, plant art, colour art, draft art, act art, build art.  But I use a needle and thread to fill my leisure hours.  It's my hobby and my joy.  From my needle flows beautiful images!"

Amazing, eh?!  And I promise I did not edit one word.  In her initial instructions to us, Djanet told us we could write anything we wanted and that we should feel free since no one would ever see what we'd written; we had nothing to lose.  But I couldn't resist sharing my writing with you!  I suspect I'm not alone in noting that I've got "it" bad!
Thanks to everyone who applied for the Seminar 2014 Scholarship.

Before I announce the winner, as the EAC Officer in charge of Seminar Scholarship selection, I thought I would share with you the process the applications go through in order to make the final decision.

1.       EAC appoints two Judges. These must be EAC members in good standing who will not be applying for the scholarship or who do not qualify for it. They can be from a member Guild, a National member, or a Cyber Chapter member. This year we choose one judge from the East and one from the West.

2.       A number is assigned to each application.

3.       A photocopy is made of each application and all identifying information is removed so that the Judges cannot recognize the applicant. All applications are judged "blindly".

4.       Each Judge then reads all applications and assigns each a score between 1 and 10. In this way the Judges identify their #1 and #2 candidates.

5.       The judges send their decisions to the Vice-President. If they agree on the #1 choice, the decision is clear. If there is a discrepancy, the Vice-President refers the selection back to the two judges together with all relevant correspondence and reasons for the decision and asks the Judges to re-read all relevant material and reassess the leading applications with a goal of arriving at consensus. Choices are again forwarded to the Vice-President. At this point, if the Judges cannot agree on the #1 candidate, the Vice-President casts the deciding vote between the two #1 choices.

This year we had 11 applications for A Stitching Symphony, the Ottawa 2014 Seminar. They were all worthy candidates, which made the final decision difficult but a winner was chosen. I am happy to report that the judges did arrive at consensus; a deciding vote by the Vice-President was not required.
It is my pleasure to announce that this year’s winner – Arlene Chanel of the Winnipeg Embroiderers' Guild. Congratulations, Arlene!

To all those who took the time to apply for the Seminar 2014 Scholarship, thank you for supporting EAC and we hope you will apply again in the future.

Beryl Burnett
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

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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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