The deadline for the next EAC ATC Swap is April 1st, which is fast approaching!  Are you ready to take part? 
You have to love ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) – especially stitched ones!  They are the perfect opportunity to try just a bit of a different technique or stitch.  Recently I have felt myself drawn to canvaswork.  I had a piece of glitter canvas which was flower pounded – a sample from a class – so I decided it would be fun to try out some canvaswork on it.  When I cut it up, it made six perfect ATC sized bits of canvas.
Sometimes you have a tiny scrap of stitching left you can use for an ATC.  I recently made some crazy quilt lids for wooden boxes from quilt blocks I had on hand and because the size of the boxes varied, there were pieces cut off and left over.  What to do with the scaps?  Make an ATC!
A new technique or stitch is also a great place to start.  The following ATCs were inspired by a magazine article of counted thread stitches with another thread woven through.  I decided to experiment with variegated thread and metallic for the weaving.
So, are you getting in on the fun of the exchange this year?  It is open to all members of EAC so if you are a member why not take part!  If you aren’t a member, why not?  You are missing out on exchanges, challenges and more!

You can find more information on the EAC ATC Exchange – and information on joining EAC if you aren’t already a member – on the EAC website.

Kerry Leslie
At the end of December 2013, I retired from the work force. I got a really nice presentation  from my co-workers at Purolator with the loveliest banner using candy bars. The banner says the following with the candy bars in quotes:

Retirement is no longer a "Mirage" now that you have saved up a "Bounty", you have "Skor"-ed yourself some much needed rest.
Once you are retired, get on a "Aero"plane & go see the "Cherry Blossom"s or maybe somewhere with "Turtles".
We thank you for always going the "Extra" mile for the customers. You were our computer "Nerds" & our excel "Smarties".
Hopefully the new person won't "Flake" out on us.
"Hugs" & "Kisses".
Purolator Team

The question I was asked by everyone when they found out I was retiring was "What will you do with yourself all day long"? I told them I was going to spend my days embroidering, quilting, sewing, working on EAC Youth projects and spending time with my husband. It has only been two weeks and I have been doing all of those things. So what exactly have I been working on?
First off, we discovered that we needed a couple more gifts for the holiday season. What to do? Obvious answer, make something. So for the first gift, I cut out fabric for a couple of placemats with tulips. They are almost finished, I just have to add the batting, backing and sew the binding on. Because we're late giving them the gift, a spring theme is perfect. For the second gift, I will make a table runner using fabrics I purchased last spring.

I wanted to enter something in the EAC Beaded Jewellery Design Contest, so I have been looking at pictures and deciding what to design. I found something that will work and I am drawing up the charts, etc. and will start beading the piece in a couple of weeks.

I am also going to put in some ATC's for the Exchange and will be starting them next week. I had also been thinking about entering a piece in the Member's Exhibit for the Viewer's Choice Award. I got the idea a week ago and I have started working on it. I'll see if I finish it in time. Otherwise, there's always next year!
Also on my list are seven UFOs that I registered in the Virtual Threads UFO Challenge. Two of the pieces just need finishing as the stitching is all done, but the other five need a bit of work to finish them. Luckily, I have all of 2014 to do that. I have also signed up for the Virtual Threads new cyber course that starts in March.

I have been scanning old Youth Embroiderers' Newsletters and projects into my computer so I can use them in future newsletters. I have also been organizing my Youth goodies so it's easier to find them when needed.

I have also gone out a couple of afternoons with my husband for some quality, relaxing fun. We have what we call "Video Trips". I drive to Value Villages in the area or pawn shops and while he goes inside to look for CDs and DVDs, I stitch. We talk while driving, have a thoroughly relaxing afternoon and eat dinner at a restaurant.

And my co-workers thought I'd be bored and want to go back to work! Not a chance!

Linda Brenner
Because of the January cold, this seems to be a good “stitching and browsing the Internet” month in most of the country. While on your computer, remember to take a look at the EAC site (  Tara is always busy adding new content.

January 13-19 should see the preview of the second online EAC auction.  During this week, the items will be available for viewing, and then bidding will start on January 20.  There will be only two weeks for you to bid.  Bidding ends on February 2.  Some items have minimum (starting) bids. To make bidding easier, there is now an online payment option.  Funds raised from this auction will go towards the Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Among the items to be auctioned are some delightful hand-stitched pieces.  If you are like me, you’ll want to bid on at least one of these because each piece is special, and because you want to own a piece by this supporter of EAC.  Along with some cross stitch kits to help you while away the winter hours, there are some wonderful books you may wish to add to your library.

The dates for the auction are not absolutely firm at the time of writing, so please check frequently for up to the minute auction info!

The auction is a great way to support your EAC, and to gain a new treasure.

Happy bidding.

Sue Thomas
This season just ending is one of my favourites because I get to unearth my stitched seasonal treasures and my collection of nutcrackers, angels and snowmen and spread them throughout the house as I decorate our home and enjoy all the Christmas decorations once again for a few short weeks before packing them lovingly away for another year.  It is fun to remember when I stitched each ornament or who gave me which treasured ornament.  Each decoration must be placed in just the perfect spot to be enjoyed for the holiday season.

And of course, there is also the annual visit to the Butchart Gardens to see the Christmas light display there.  We went out early – still daylight – to have dinner, then in the darkened evening we wandered throughout the gardens enjoying the lights among the various areas of the gardens.  We still look for each of the twelve days of Christmas displays hidden throughout the gardens.

Not too many decorations came out of storage this year, but we did have our usual fresh noble fir – we just put it up on our covered deck and decorated it with many, many coloured lights!  Perfect temperature for storing the tree and no one had to worry about watering it while we were away for the 10 days.  And the tree greeted us upon our return – no needles falling on the carpet and the lights are still shining brightly outside our dining room door.

This year, however, it was a bit different for our family.  We met in the middle- my brother, his wife and daughter and his son, daughter-in-law and brand new granddaughter drove from Swift Current, my husband and I drove from Victoria and our daughter flew in from London UK to  descend upon our  nephew who lives in Calgary. It doesn’t seem like Christmas for me unless I can see snow ( I was born and lived  in the Rocky Mountains for nine years) and  I got to see my winter snow gently falling as we spent two nights enroute in Fernie visiting my cousins there.    Our time in Calgary was a short visit with the family; we even met the new kitten who came along from Swift Current and spent some time under the Christmas tree among the presents.

While in Calgary, I got to visit one of the biggest Christmas decorations I have ever made.  In 2011, I was commissioned by St. David’s United Church in Calgary to create a set of Advent Paraments for the church.  There are 6 pieces in the set, ranging in size from 4 inches x 40 inches for the Bible marker to 128 inches (that is ten feet!) x 36 inches for the two long side banners.  The alter frontal is a triangle shape to match the shape of the table itself.   And most days I think it is a great task just to finish off a wee ornament or a needle case; these “ornaments” took many days to finish!

I used hand painted silk dupionni for the candles, the lettering and the flames; each was appliqued onto a dark royal blue velvet background.  The raw edge of each candle and each letter was couched with a narrow cord.  The flames were made using “Shiva paintstiks”.

We arrived in Calgary just in time to attend the church service on the Sunday before Christmas.  It was a thrill for me to see the Paraments hanging in the church – not something I will see every year! (But at least I don’t have to put them away and store them!)

And now, I am going to get to work finishing off the two or three wee small ornaments that I have stitched this past year so I am all set for Christmas 2014!  I think January is the best time to stitch Christmas things; it is such a nice feeling to be ahead of the season.
Happy stitching to everyone in 2014

Barbara Gilbert

Find out more at the Embroiderers' Association of Canada website.
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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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