My finished maple leaf postcard for the CQT 2014 Postcard Exchange is now in the mail.  I used over a dozen different stitches:  chain, cretan, feather, spiderweb wheel, bullion, fly, seed, satin, stem, et. al.  I enjoyed doing this so much I'm making another one for myself :)

 I had another very, very fun play day with our Fibre Arts group recently. We experimented with marbling using shaving cream as our base.

We tried out different kinds of paints and here's my spot on the table using regular craft acrylic paint.

  I put down about 2 inches thick of shaving cream and smoothed it out using a disposable plastic card.

 Drippled paint on top 

 and then swirled it with a wooden skewer.  I laid my piece of cotton on top, smoothed it down, waited maybe a minute and then peeled it off.  I waited maybe a 1/2 hour or so before scraping off the shaving cream and rinsing in water.

 Here I had scraped off the previous colour swirls, added some more shaving cream, smoothed it and played with different colours and marble design.

 After rinsing I then heat set my pieces and here are a few that I did.  I used cotton, heavy interfacing, evolon and water colour paper.

These marbled cloths we had made at a previous play marbling day using a gelatin like base and paint designed for marbling from G&S Dye.  I will use all these marbled pieces to make book covers, a pincushion or two, atc's and postcards.  It was great to play and experiment and have fun.

As Albert Einstein said:  “Play is the highest form of research.”
 Hope everyone can take some time to play.

Jeannette Luther

Carole Magne, artist of embroidery

For many years I have surfed on the Net to keep me informed about the actuality of embroidery in France. I often saw the name of Carole Magne. I urged to finally meet up Carole. Her specialties are White Work, Tambour Work (hook of Lunéville), Gold Work and other traditional techniques.
I meet her at the boutique Des fils et une aiguille (Many Threads and One Needle) on Chabanais Street, near the palace of Louvre.

Here is her story: at a certain point in her life, Carole Magne reoriented her career. She studied for two years in the high school Octave-Feuillet, where she learned many techniques of embroidery. The second year was almost exclusively focused on Tambour Work, which is very useful to stitch beads and sequins in Haute Couture production. In fact, the students of Octave-Feuillet school are educated to work in Haute Couture workshops.

Her promotion was constituted of 10 grownups and 22 young adults (17 – 18 years old). In 2013 (10 years later) Carole Magne is the only one who still makes a living from embroidery. She founded her own company, teaches classes, designs embroidered jewels and participates to handcraft fairs. Carole tells me, even if there are only a few professional embroiderers in France, there is no collaboration and friendship among them, only harsh competition.

Carole has a faithful feminine clientele, whom ask constantly new designs, new classes and new projects. One of the difficulties she encounters in her field of work is the procurement of a variety of materials. There are only a few vendors whom sell the same stock over and over. If she is annoyed by the lack of variety in France, I don’t know what she would think of the availability and variety of material in Canada!

Carole Magne observes that there is a coming back of the art of embroidery in her country. In the 80’s it had been almost extinguished. But there is a fluctuation for the specific technique in fashion. Nowadays, knitting and Crochet are very popular.

Hopefully, knitting, as a contender for embroidery, is also a form of handicraft. Everything isn’t lost.
Carole Magne

The Orangerie of the Gardens of Tuileries

At the far end of the Gardens of Tuileries, near the gigantic Egyptian obelisk (that Napoleon brought back from war) stands the Orangerie. That building was built as an orange tree green house for winter season. At the present time this is the home of Claude Monet’s masterpiece The Nympheas.
I wanted to see that painting for many years. What a wonder! I am truly moved.

The Nympheas occupy two immense oblong halls of exhibition and is divided in 8 sections. The ensemble recalls the hours of the day, from morning in the East part till evening in the West part.
In those paintings Monet doesn’t illustrate the horizon. The sky, the air, the water, the ground are melted in a painting composition without perspective at the rhythm of the water lilies (the nympheas in question). The painter gives the illusion of a whole ambiance without an end, a wave without a horizon or a riverbank.

This is so beautiful!

Claude Monet took the last 10 years of his life to paint this piece. It seems to be the artist’s legacy. At the time he was already a famous painter. He hadn’t to prove anything to anyone. He painted freely with all his genius and his capacity of still having a heart’s child, marveled by the water of the pond near his home. Monet himself did specifically want the Orangerie (an empty building at that moment) to be the exhibition room for this painting. He had envisioned precisely the way to show off the painting, but only after his death.

He died in 1926. The museum of the Orangerie was inaugurated in 1927. That was Monet’s gift to the Parisian citizens. Because he lived through the First World War, he wanted to create an asylum of peace, as he had his own asylum in his garden of Giverny.

In 1927, the visitors and the art critics didn’t understand and didn't appreciate this out of standard painting. By its characteristics, the Nympheas determined the basics of Abstract Art.

At long last nowadays, the public reacts differently: Claude Monet wins his bet to gain affection, consideration and admiration for his Nympheas.


Open house of Deneth Piumakshi, Haute Couture designer from Sri Lanka

The way to reach Deneth’s apartment at Cité international des Arts is really tortuous: an inside courtyard, an arch, a stone paved path, a long corridor... The ensemble is a puzzle of old historic houses imbedded in more recent buildings, trying to respect the architectural style of the 4th borough. I decide to follow the noise of chatting to choose the appropriate stairs.

Up there is a big bash to welcome me. Appetizers, music and dozens of people admiring the colorful accessories and clothes designed by Deneth. She smiles widely, full of life, breathing the joy of life.

Deneth’s company is a family story: her parents, her sister and her uncle work with her and the business is flourishing. Deneth’s clothes are made from the cheerful traditional cotton of Sri Lanka. The motifs of the fabric are typical of the peasants. But this kind of fabric isn’t fashionable in her country. On the contrary, in the cities those motifs and colors are simply snubbed.

Deneth’s challenge consists in demonstrating what is traditional can also be in fashion in the sophisticated Paris, capital of Haute Couture.

Deneth in her jacket


The Unesco show, Paris 2013 

Roller Blades in the Streets of Paris
Last Sunday, while I was stitching, I heard a strange noise in the street. In fact, that was the lack of traffic noise that puzzled me. Instead thousands of roller skaters were hitting the road. The sound was so different, a flow of muffled noise. What an amazing spectacle: the crowd was colorful and fast, everybody was heading toward the same destination.
A true melting pot of every kind of skaters: young people and not so young people; last fashion roller blades beside old things on wheels; pro skaters slaloming to the left, to the right and not talented skaters at all, in need of a partner’s hand for equilibrium; skaters with or without an helmet; some in shiny Lycra suits; and at the end of the parade, policemen in their cars followed by volunteers in yellow t-shirts.
The name of this event: Rollers-coquillages (Rollers and Sea Shells). Every Sunday a route of 20 km in the streets of Paris is organized. Formations for the beginners, the more experimented skaters and the sprinters are also provided.
Often I have observed on the Seine riverbanks demonstrations of skilled skaters. Those skaters must lead the parade on Sundays of Rollers-coquillages. I hope the whole crowd will pass again under my windows. A real treat for the eye. A big peaceful sportive and noiseless parade!

 The photo research and the translation are made by Lucie Daigneault

When I joined the EAC Board two years ago, I never in my wildest dreams envisioned the fun and camaraderie that is an integral part of this group.  The May Board Meeting is a time when as many Board members as possible meet “in person” to conduct the work of the Board; we spend two full days, meeting from 9:00 in the morning until 4:00 or 5:00 in the afternoon.  Sounds deadly, doesn’t it?  But it is anything but!!!

Everyone arrives early and pitches in to get the room set up to suit our needs; the chatter of people catching up and sharing is incredible.  By magic, a little pile of goodies appears at each person’s place – remembrances, many of them handmade, to make one feel special and part of the group.


Then the meeting begins and people settle into their roles.  Topics are presented, ideas are shared, discussions are lively, and decisions are made – and on occasion, when someone is especially pleased about something, a “Whoop!” accompanied by raised arms sounds in the room, lightening the atmosphere. 


Part way through the first day is that special time when incoming Board members are welcomed to their positions and receive their Board pins; this was formerly done at the November Board Meeting, but with the advent of online meetings, there will not be a face to face meeting until May 2015 – when they have been in their positions for almost a year.  This year we welcomed Marg Adey (Vice President), Nicole McReavy (Communications), and Bonnie-Lynne Ceriko (Education) as new Directors and Linda Brenner (Youth) as new Appointee.

Welcome, Nicole!

Sometimes the unexpected happens – this year Barbara Gilbert was presented with a Biscornu, stitched together by Joyce Gill from 2-inch squares embroidered by Board members in a technique and pattern chosen by the stitcher.  We were delighted to be able to surprise her with this!

Barbara with her gift

One thing that is always greeted with enthusiasm is viewing and voting on the wonderful entries in the annual Challenge, this year the Beaded Jewellery Challenge.  All entries were exquisite and it was difficult to choose a favourite – all were winners in our eyes!

Perhaps the most special, and in a way most poignant, moment comes when the outgoing President is presented with a gift from the Board members, coordinated by the Vice President.  VP Beryl Burnett conceived the idea of taking a picture and creating it in stitching.  Twelve Board members were given a section of the picture, a template, and a colour palette and asked to reproduce the section in whatever technique they chose.  Other Board members worked on other aspects – fastening the pieces onto a frame, outlining the sections with fine cord, framing, making a book to accompany the photo.  The stitched card which accompanied the book says it all, “Because you have helped us grow in ways we may still not know – Thank You!”

Joyce and Beryl with completed stitched picture

Joyce's card

How can one not be thrilled to be part of such a creative, fun-loving, caring and hard-working group?!!
Sheila Stewart
EAC Secretary

A year ago, I joined the new Cyber Chapter, Virtual Threads. As per my usual, I signed up for too many projects for the available time I had. One of those items was the UFO challenge. We were to write down which UFOs we wanted to finish in 2014 and provide pictures of the unfinished items. When the piece was finished, a picture was to be posted into the completed UFOs album. I registered 7 pieces and finally, after 5 complete months, I can report that I finished one of my registered UFOs.

At Seminar 2013, I took Carolyn Mitchell's "Off the Beaten Path", a wonderful canvaswork design in 3 pieces. Yes, I finally finished it! Carolyn told us that "Off the Beaten Path" started out as "Under the Boardwalk", and that's how I finished mine. For the smallest of the 3 pieces, I stitched in seashells and framed it differently from the other 2 pieces. I am thrilled with the way it turned out and I had to share the pictures.

I also signed up for a Secret Stitcher friend. We were assigned a name from those who wanted to participate and once a month, a gift or message was to go to that person. I have finished my June gift already and it goes in the mail in the next day or so.

 The Secret Stitcher friend who has my name surprised me at Seminar. She gave me my birthday present really early, as my birthday is in November. Imagine my surprise, when I walked into my room one day and the gift was on the table. Inside were Nanaimo Bars (my favourite) and a fantasy novel by Neil Gaiman (which I loved). I had never read him before and have added a new name to my list of favourite fantasy authors. Thank you again to my Secret Stitcher friend.

In my last blog, I mentioned that I was working on the Lavender Sparkle Butterfly course designed by Alison Cole for Virtual Threads. I finished it (my husband says he thinks it's the second best piece I've ever done. The best was a Goldwork Dragon I designed) and I'm sharing the picture with you.
I have also finished one of my pieces from Seminar 2014, Tanja Berlin's "Love Birds". I really enjoy blackwork and Tanja's designs are so delightful that it's hard to stop until it's all completed.

Now, it's on to finishing my 6 registered UFOs, 2 pieces from Seminar 2014, and wedding tote bags. I have all the supplies, now it's just buckling down to finish them. Maybe I can talk my husband into doing my housework chores...
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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