Jennie Wolter, Calgary, AB

In seeing Marie Cron's needle felted landscape art, I thought I would tell you about my recent needle felting endeavour.

I belong to a number of groups, one of them being Ujamaa, Grandmothers for Africa, a Stephen Lewis foundation in Calgary. Ujamaa does two sales a year to raise funds to support African grandmothers raising their grandchildren because their parents died from AIDS. Since their inception in 2004, Ujamaa has raised over $900K for the grandmothers over this 12-year period. Ujamaa fundraising
Needle Felted Norwegian Elf, Lady and Wizard
In the fall (October) Ujamaa hosts their finished product sale called "Bags, Babies and Beyond" where a variety of items are made and sold. I attended a workshop to make Norwegian Elves. See my elf, along with a Norwegian lady elf and a wizard. These will be donated for the fall sale. These were needle felted and SO cute. If you check the Ujamaa website, you can see the diversity of sale items made by the Ujamaa volunteers.

In the spring (April) Ujamaa has their fabric and yarn sale. The dedicated volunteers spend 2.5 days sorting the massive amounts of donated items. Often a granny has passed away and the grandkids bring her "stash" of stuff to us to sort for the sale. I have been managing the Notions room for several years now and the key to success is bagging the smaller items and pricing them for either a loonie or toonie. Larger items are priced individually.

Notions Ready for Sale
Notions Mid-Sale
As you can see from the pictures Ujamaa Notions sorted looks totally different to the Ujamaa Notions mid-sale where a LOT of stuff was purchased.

The sales are exhausting, but knowing how much the funds raised help so many, I continue to volunteer.
Samples of Stitched Roses

EAC is preparing a tool for guilds called Presentation in a Box. Part of the tool is a selection of roses worked in a variety of techniques.

If you have a favourite technique or style that you enjoy, please consider lending your talents to this valuable project. The maximum size is 3 x 3 inches so some techniques could be worked up quite quickly (applique and crazy quilting come to mind).

Check out the EAC website for the details about rose display submissions and the list of techniques that are still open for stitching.

Project 150 has been travelling the country for almost a year now and the west and east panels will be together for the first time at Seminar 2016. Both panels will be set up for stitching throughout Seminar. Members are encouraged to join in the stitching.

Helen McCrindle, Project 150 Coordinator, can provide more information about the upcoming locations of the panels across the country as guilds and chapters work to complete the panels.

EAC’s Project 150 webpage has a recent update and some photos of the east panel with the Simcoe County Embroidery Guild.
by Marcella Pederson, 
Regina Stitchery Guild
MacGordon's Doily: Stitched by Evelyn Gordon
Evelyn Gordon, a long-time member of the Saskatchewan Embroiderer’s Guild, made this doily. I think she did a fabulous job using scraps. Because she used bits and pieces of leftover hardanger material, I named it “MacGordon’s Doily.”

Evelyn joined SEG in the 1980s and she belonged to the Nimble Thimbles Guild at Cut Knife, which began in 1978. She was originally from Rockhaven, Saskatchewan, a smaller community near Cut Knife. Evelyn is no longer stitching but it's great that we have this reminder of her and her favourite type of needlework.
by Sue Thomas

How Much I Have Done
Provencal, Designed by Trish Burr

My WIP became a WIP in early January. Before that, it had been a UFO.

I bought the pattern from Trish Burr as soon as I saw it on her website last summer. My thought was, I love it and it is very small so it will be quick.

When it arrived, I was delighted with the design and lost no time putting all of the threads together so that I could start. I stitched for thee evenings and had only two bands of colour completed on the sky! My thinking had now changed to, thank goodness it is small! I worked away at it until the sky was completed and then had to put it away to move on to making Christmas presents and completing guild projects.

In January, when the UFO list for Virtual Threads was posted, Provencal was first on my list.

I decided that I would work this piece until it was completed. I would just stitch and enjoy the process and not keep wishing it would get done. So far this is working for me, I stitch away and do not worry about how little I am accomplishing in an evening.

The problem is, I love the piece so much I just want to carry on stitching it even when I know I have other items that need stitching for looming deadlines!

Last evening was the last stitch on Provencal until my deadline projects are finished, this took some serious self talk!

I know that I will return to this WIP as soon as I can.

If you like thread painting, do take a look at Trish Burr’s website. She has some lovely designs and some must-have books.

I will post an “All Done” photo when I get there.

Chihuly Sketches for Glass Sculpture
Entries must be postmarked no later than April 1, 2016 so you still have time to finish off your entry!

You have a designer inside you trying to get out! Set yourself free! Challenge yourself! See your very own needlework design published in Embroidery Canada magazine and/or this very blog and the EAC website. Get the details on the EAC website.

The sketches are part of the Chihuly Gardens and Glass Exhibit in Seattle. Are you inspired?

by Victoria Moorshead

Very late in 2014, I was chatting with a fellow stitcher and she told me about the year of finishing she’d recently completed. She’d spent an entire year just finishing works-in-progress and even went into the following year with the same resolution and didn’t start a new piece until sometime the following autumn.

Back at home, after looking at my various stitching works-in-progress, I decided that it was time for me to have a year of finishing and that it would be 2015. I’d completed a blackwork piece in December 2014 that I’d started at the end of October and was rather pleased that I managed to do it so quickly. However, I had a number of other works-in-progress that were just getting moved from one part of the sofa (my present work station) to another instead of being completed.

I gave myself a bit of flexibility to make the goal realistic. As a member of the TGS 40th anniversary committee, I could do the 40th anniversary ornament project that was going to be distributed in February 2015. I reasoned that I couldn’t very well not do the project. I also told myself that I could start a new stitching project in 2015 if it was part of a course I was taking as I couldn’t take the course and then just sit there and watch everyone else. I also allowed myself to buy projects for the future.

On the other hand, I did give myself some limitations too. Even if I had sorted the threads for a kit and made a card with the various symbols, I had to have actually begun to stitch the project, not just prepared it, in order for it to qualify for this year of finishing.

As the clock ticked towards 2015, I started to wonder if I had made an unrealistic goal. (I must admit that I started a new sewing project the afternoon of New Year’s Eve as we waited for our guests to arrive.)

The items I completed in 2015 were:
  • Christmas cube (started on New Year’s Eve, 2014, finished in January 2015)
  • Christmas gift exchange ornament (started in November 2014, finished in February 2015): I found stitching on card to be difficult as the “fabric” had no give, so I kept putting it down when I got frustrated. I realised a week before the December 2014 TGS meeting that it was not going to be finished in time for the gift exchange, so I happily put it aside for several weeks before buckling down and completing it
  •  TGS 40th anniversary ornament (started in February, finished in March 2015)
  • Square for Mary Wahl’s farewell quilt (started in October 2014, finished in May 2015): This was a tough one as the project was announced after my self-imposed moratorium, but I wanted to make a contribution. Anyway, I was cleaning out my sewing bag a few days later when I discovered that I had not finished a project from October of the previous year, so I just added smaller and smaller designs inside the original border until it was filled
  • Grumpy Cat bookmark (started last year, finished in July 2015): Birthday gift for my Facebook Scrabble buddy
  • Daffodil bookmark (started several years ago, finished in August 2015): A gift for my mother, however, apparently she doesn’t need a fourth stitched bookmark, (who knew?) so according to my sister it’s now a doorknob hanger
  • Stained glass scissor keep (started several years ago, finished in October 2015 despite losing the gold cord and having a free replacement sent by the company Textile Heritage): For a pair of scissors bought by my better half while he was in Germany (the land of scissors!) in 2012. Started in 2013 and kept at my parents’ home as a something-to-do sewing project. I had finished the front of the scissor keep and showed it to my mother when she said, why don’t you just duplicate the front design on the back instead of the much smaller design. I agreed and finished the back in much less time than the front took me
  • Blackwork pattern (started in October 2014, finished in November 2015): This aforementioned project was finished in December of 2014, but I kept looking at one section, unhappy with how it was denser than the rest of the pattern, so after staring at it for several months, I spent an hour unpicking the section in question and restitched the section in one weekend
  •  I also managed to complete about 10,000 stitches on my Albrecht Dürer’s A Young Hare work this year.
There were a few projects that I did not touch last year that are still unfinished, however, I made so much progress with the others that I feel quite comfortable resting on my laurels.

Over the year I was a little disappointed about not doing the TGS programming projects I was given and the various “virgin” kits I re-discovered as I sorted through my paltry stash, but I just squirrelled them away for 2016. I had a moment of weakness in the spring and nearly started a new project, but I valiantly resisted.

After a while, I started putting all my new projects into a large paper envelope and would add to it as the months passed. The envelope is now bulging, full of projects to sink my needle and thread into.

Given how well finishing went in 2015, I will consider doing this again — but not for 2016!

I’ve been a long-time follower of Needle ‘ n’ Thread and, as many of you probably already know, Mary Corbett features great tutorials for a wide range of techniques, reviews, and much, much more. And, she offers free patterns from time-to-time. This surface design heart could be worked in a variety of techniques or – for the time-strapped – print it out and colour it for a quick card front (like I did - oops, I think I need to add some more dark colours to balance it out).

The link to the PDF pattern is just below the image of the pattern on the webpage. Thank you Mary for allowing me to share this pretty heart pattern with EAC Blog readers.
by Linda Brenner

It's really weird how the creative process works with me. Sometimes I get a lot of great ideas one after another and other times, I can go weeks without any good ideas. Same goes for writing these blog posts. I have been thinking for two months about what I should write and nothing came up until five minutes ago.

Virtual Threads has a database for UFOs that you want to finish in 2016. Here are a couple of the projects I signed in with and what I'm doing with them.

WIP Save the Stitches - Blackwork Sampler with Elizabeth Almond

I fell in love with this one as soon as I saw it on Elizabeth Almond's website. I saved all the pdfs (which were free) and I was lucky enough to have all the supplies on hand, except for the gold, silver and copper beads. I started working on it and was able to finish Blocks 1-4 and was partially into Block 5 when I had to set it aside for Christmas and birthday deadlines. This is where I stopped.

Progress on Save the Stitches - Blackwork Sampler with Elizabeth Almond
With Christmas done, I picked it up again and finished Blocks 5-7 and put in the outline for Block 8. I find this relaxing to work on and love the gold, silver and copper accents among the black.

WIP Phoenix - Goldwork kit from Tanja Berlin
I just love dragons and phoenixes, so when I saw this kit by Tanja Berlin, I just had to buy it. I put in the tracing right away, finished couching the phoenix's body and started the tail feathers. This also had to be set aside for other deadlines and I haven't got back to it yet.

The other four items on my UFO list are First Snow, a Virtual Threads e-course taught by Carolyn Mitchell; Sparkling Star from Needlepointers Magazine, September 2015 issue; Sedona Soleil, Seminar 2015 course taught by Lorene Salt; and, Sense of Taste petit point kit from I just love all of these designs and if I had eight more hours in the day, they'd be finished by now!

by Marie Cron 

The final hours of January are ticking away as I put the finishing touches on this chat with you, and the lengthening days are beginning to be readily noticeable, with twilight lasting much longer, especially in the evening, but when it fades to dusk, night arrives quickly. The lengthening twilight makes for some interesting lighting on the snow which are perfect for needle felting images.

In the fall I had mentioned I wanted to get back to needle felting, especially clouds; I have decided to put the clouds on hold for now and focus on some of the winter images I have. Clouds will follow closer to spring.

You can see one of the images (above) that I am working on, it just needs some stitching to embellish/enhance it and it will be done.

I have selected the images I want to work with, the glitter of the sun off the ice will pose a bit of a challenge but I am sure with some experimentation I will come up with something I am happy with, the wind pattern in the snow is intriguing and I think I will start with that one.

Will you be participating in any of the exchanges floating around EAC? The EAC scissor fob exchange or perhaps if you are a member of Virtual Threads, the cyber chapter exchange?

My chapter, Alderney Needlearts Guild is hosting the scissor fob exchange, the deadline is the end of April, so if you have not yet made a definite decision, there is still time to get your bits and pieces left over from past projects and make one. It is always such fun to get something in the mail from a fellow stitcher.

Seminar 2016 is quickly approaching, by now everyone who has registered will have received their class information. Although there are some classes that have been filled there are still some classes with spaces, perhaps this is the year for You to attend Seminar?

Time to sign off for this time, wishing you happy stitching until the next time.
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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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