ornaments or at least started it? The class on Saturday gave me ideas for ornaments, now to find the time to do them. See you at the meetings.
|Fort Worth EGA||
With all the rain we have had I am sure many of you stayed home and stitched. We should have wonderful finishes for Show and Tell. Planned for the rest of the year: Log Cabin Village, Christmas Parties, and programs each month. Speaking of which, we had the class with SCR Region Director Shawn Miller on Saturday Sept 8. Good teacher and fun project. Great way to spend a rainy Saturday morning. I hope you said yes when Stephanie asked if you would take on a position on the executive board. Remember, without officers our chapter will have to be disbanded. Many of you have never held an office so now is your chance. Board meetings will alternate between day and night meetings so no excuses there, previous officers will give you all the help you need. With the cooler weather, I hope some of our programs will infuse you with stitching ideas. Christmas is just around the corner. Have you made your
ornaments or at least started it? The class on Saturday gave me ideas for ornaments, now to find the time to do them. See you at the meetings.
I had the pleasure of visiting the Royal School of Needlework at Hampton Court Palace several years ago, but the time I was there they didn't have any classes scheduled. So I was pleased when the RSN started their On-line classes. They have on-line classes in Jacobean Crewel, Blackwork, and Goldwork.
I've always done counted embroidery techniques and have been totally intimidated by the idea of surface embroidery. So I decided to go out of my comfort zone and take the Introduction to Jacobean Crewel. As soon as I signed up, I received access to the video lessons. The supply kit took a while to get to me. I was so excited when I received the pattern stamped on the fabric, various colors of Appleton wool, a welcome letter, needles, and a cool tote bag.
I set up my trusty laptop and started the course immediately. Each of the elements has its own lesson. The videos are very well done and the instructor is wonderful! The videos include close ups of the instructor stitching on the actual class project and are easy to follow along.
I was instantly hooked! I just couldn't put it down as I worked through the lessons. Being a beginner to crewel, I have a few rough spots, but I made it through the course and completed the project.
I'm extremely pleased with my accomplishment and will display it proudly. I think I might actually do some more crewel work!
I highly recommend the Royal School of Needlework On-line Classes. You can sign up at any time and work completely at your own pace. There is no deadline and you have access to the lessons indefinitely. Click here to find out more.
This was my first time to attend any seminar with EGA. I’m a relatively new member and had only heard about the seminar from EGA members. I signed up for The Virgin Queen’s Stitching Wallet with Betsy Morgan. I was so excited to attend seminar and to get to stitch this project with Betsy. Seminar was so fun. Class was great, then lunch was not just food, but super fun with giveaways and meeting new friends. The table decorations were amazing and so creative. The Thursday night vendor sale was also very fun. This was a free event so I invited a friend to attend. We met for dinner in the hotel along with other stitchers and then shopped with the vendors. It was a great night with a wide variety of vendors. When I finished my class with Betsy I had finished the needle book and most importantly met many new friends. It was a great event and I plan to attend more in the future.
Nearly all Victorian homes owned at least one of the guide books dedicated to the ‘language of flowers.’ The authors of these guidebooks used visual and verbal analogies, religious and literary sources, folkloric connections, and botanical attributes to derive the various associations for the flowers.
Bluebells stood for “kindness,” peonies meant “bashfulness”, rosemary was for “remembrance,” tulips represented “passion” and wallflowers stood for
“faithfulness in adversity.” Plants could also have negative meanings. Aloe meant “bitterness”, pomegranate meant “conceit” and the rhododendron meant “danger.” Flowers also varied based on their colors. A white violet meant “innocence” while a purple violet would symbolize that the giver’s “thoughts were occupied with love” about the recipient.
Sending and receiving flowers was a way to show like or dislike toward suitors. If given a rose to declare “devotion” or an apple blossom to show “preference” from a suitor, one might respond with a yellow carnation to express “disdain” if the suitor was undesirable. Myrtle was used to symbolize good luck and love in a marriage. It was fashionable to display the bouquets of meaningful flowers in what are known as ‘Posy Holders.’ These bouquet holders often had rings or pins attached to them so they could be proudly worn and displayed by their owners.
Like many young girls in the 1970’s, I learned needlework in Girl Scouts. Although I loved it dearly, my childhood aspirations of growing up to be a tap dancer/astronaut diverted much of my attention and I didn’t have time to pick it up again after I earned my needlework badge.
Fast forward to much, MUCH later in my adult life. I grew up to be neither a tap dancer nor an astronaut, much to my chagrin. Instead, I found myself on a completely different career path…and in a very sedentary role. Now add the fact that I also grew up coping with life as an emotional eater. I didn’t need to feel hungry in order to eat. Just being happy, sad, glad, mad, or any combination was enough to get me grabbing for the chips. I was nearly 400 pounds before I was 40 years old.
It was needlework that saved me. After more than 20 years of fad diets, consulting with dieticians who didn’t understand emotional eating, and other healthcare professionals who just didn’t get it, I decided to make different decisions. One of those decisions was to pick up needle and thread every time I was tempted to pick up a bag of chips. Or microwave popcorn. Or cookies.
Even the smallest change can be stressful (which makes me want to do what..? EAT!). I took things in stages. Quit diet soda? Start a Lizzie Kate quickie. No more fast food? Grab the project I’ve been stitching for the State Fair competition. I’ve spent the past four years quitting a lot of bad habits by picking up an old favorite: cross stitch.
So far, I’ve lost 119 pounds, dropped 8 sizes in clothes, and am slowly covering my walls with beautiful needlework. I still have quite a way to go on this road, but it feels great to be where I am.
I’m still known to eat ice cream once in a while, but I eat a small bowl…not a pint. I don’t use the drive-thru at Sonic as a substitute for cooking anymore. If I’m really having a bad day, I retreat to my sitting room at the back of the house and curl up in my stitchy chair with one of my latest projects.
It’s been an incredibly cathartic process, building a support system for myself from an old hobby…and now the EGA is part of that support system. The fun and fellowship I’ve experienced since I joined a few months back has been wonderful. Who needs diets? Not this stitcher. I look forward to every Night Group meeting far more than I ever looked forward to that pint of Blue Bell at the end of a stressful day. Change, like needlework, is a beautiful thing.
This month we finished up some pretty fun projects and made plans for a lot of exciting things that are coming up!
Our night group, who met on April 10th did a Swedish Weaving project taught by Linda Zimmerman. It is a beautifully colorful project as well as a perfect example of how many varying techniques our ladies know and are willing to share. This project is pictured below.
On April 16th our day group met, and we did the final part of our Cutwork, Shadow Work, and Trapunto series. It is another butterfly and flower pattern, but with Trapunto we use two pieces of fabric that are stitched together. Like the Shadow work from last month we work the back of the piece, using a stem or outline stitch around the pattern, then you stuff between the two pieces of fabric with colorful yarn. This creates a puffed look and the color of the yarn shows through the top fabric and gives the illusion that is filled in. Here is the example picture provided to is by Luan B. Callery.
Both of this months projects were interesting and fun techniques. Come check out all we have teach each other, not to mention it is great to get together every month and talk to all these wonderful artists!
Thanks for reading,
Hi all y'all!
We had a very busy month in February so we took it kind of easy this month.
Our night group,which met on March 12th, worked on UFOs (aka UnFinished Objects). They brought in projects that never quite got finished or they had questions about and worked on them together. It's nice to ask someone else's opinion or get a little extra help on a project.
At the beginning of each meeting, after we get all of the relevant business out of the way, we have a small Show n' Tell. We show each other projects that we have just finished, examples of the technique we are going to do that day, or antique pieces we recently acquired. The following slide show is a combination of our night group and day group Show n' Tells for March.
The day group, which met on March 19th, project for this month was the second part in our three part series Cutwork, Shadow Work, and Trapunto by Luan B. Callery and is being shown to is by Mendie Cannon. The Shadow Work pattern is a beautiful flower and butterfly. The idea of Shadow Work is to work on the back of very thin fabric and a shadow of the color will show through. It is done in a herringbone stitch on the back which creates a backstitch look on the front. Here are a few pictures of both the back and the front done by Mendie.
It's really awesome to learn new techniques from all of our extremely talented ladies! We always have a great time and learn some thing new! Happy Spring everyone!
"Chicken scratch” is a form of cross-stitch embroidery done on
gingham fabric, also known as Amish embroidery, depression
lace, teneriffe lace or snowflaking. This technique of embroidery is believed to have originated in the United States. It became largely popular during the 1930’s and 1950’s and was used to create a more expensive, lace-like appearance to less expensive gingham fabric that was more readily available to women during this period. It is characterized by three main types of hand embroidery stitches: running stitch, cross-stitch and double cross-stitch.
I’m not just a needlework nerd, I’m a history buff as well. So, when I realized that the Royal School of Needlework’s principle offices and classrooms were at Hampton Court Palace, I couldn’t resist. Their website offers quite a tempting list of day classes from goldwork to stumpwork and Jacobean crewelwork. It was the ribbon embroidery course that pushed me over the edge. I’ve always wanted to learn it.
Before I knew it, it was time to fly across the Pond and learn this beautiful form of stitching. I was something of a novelty among the other ladies in class, being the only American in the group, but we became fast friends over our love of needlework.
There aren’t words to describe the feeling of being able to walk on the cobblestones, pass through the archways, and reach out and touch the very walls of the 500-year-old palace where Henry VIII lived. The rooms where the RSN is located are conserved, but not restored…including the wood floors from the 1600s. The first thing my fellow classmates tell me? If you drop a needle, just get another one…it’s gone. The gaps in the floorboards make sure of that!
Our tutor was the wonderful Zinaida Kazban, who is one of the tutors at the RSN’s USA Summer School this coming July in Louisville, KY. If you’ve enrolled, I hope you get a chance to meet her. She is an amazing needle worker and a patient, skilled teacher.
As the day whizzed by, we worked our way through every stitch we needed to learn in order to complete the project. The project, worked with silk ribbon that our tutor hand-dyed herself, was a Christmas floral made of pine branches and flowers. The cretan stitch pine cones were my favorite.
At lunch time, I picked up a beautiful stiletto at the RSN’s shop near Chocolate Court. I learned how useful they can be when you’re pulling delicate silk ribbon through two layers of silk and calico! It’s my favorite souvenir from my trip.
It was absolutely the most amazing day, and I know I’ll go back for more. If you have the opportunity to hop across the Pond for a visit, I highly recommend a day class. Maybe I’ll go with you!
In 2018 we would like to tell y'all more about who we are and what we do. We are going to have a monthly update on what we are doing, plus give you a little information on embroidery and it's different techniques.
First of all we are, the Fort Worth Chapter of the Embroiderers' Guild of America. In 2017 we celebrated 40 years! We have one day meeting and one night meeting monthly. The day meeting is the third Monday of every month at 9:30am and the night group meets on the second Tuesday of every month at 6:30pm, both are at the First Methodist Church in Arlington, TX. At these meetings we have a class on a certain embroidery technique or project. A few of the classes we had last year include, a Study of Sampler's, a Blackwork Motif, and a Mini Santa Stocking. We also have several stitching events throughout the year, like the wonderful 2 day workshop we had on Hardanger last year. It's a great way to learn new techniques, as well as, about different fabrics, threads, and finishing ideas.
This month we are doing our yearly Show and Tell, this is when we like to show off a bit. We show each other the projects we have finished the year before, the antique needleworks we have collected, and the cool embroidery gadgets we got for Christmas. It's just nice to get a chance to show our projects to others who know how much work went into them.
Here are a few pictures of what got shown off this month:
Finally, we would like to end with a short description of an embroidery technique. Today, it's the general definition of embroidery itself. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary online embroidery is “the art or process of forming decorative designs with hand or machine needlework.” Justin Morris from fibre2fashion.com says “embroidery can be dated back to Cro-Magnon days or 30,000 BC.” Pretty much as soon as humans started wearing clothes, we were embellishing them with embroidery. The process started in Asia, but can be seen globally early on. This is why there is such a variety of techniques and materials used. During this early time period it was mostly used for small embellishments and to stitch clothing together in an eye pleasing way. During the Middle Ages, in England, is when things became more intricate and more like the art form we know today. It's truly and art form with a long and vibrant history.
Thanks for reading. Hope to see you here again soon.
By: Haley Swaner
The writers of our blog are the actual Fort Worth Chapter members. Not only are they talented with a needle and thread, but they are wonderful writers as well.