Thursday, June 1, 2017

Liz says good bye to the guild blog

Good morning!

I just want to let you know that this is the last post of this blog in its current form.  As the creator, writer and photographer since its inception five years ago, it's now time for me to step away, since my own priorities need changes in my commitments.

It's been fun, very much appreciated, that's always nice, and I will not delete anything.  I've loved celebrating our chapter and activities and the wonderful members and their work, so I will leave this in place. This link will still work, you will still be able to scroll back as far as you want to read and enjoy.

What I'm hoping is that another chapter member will try her hand at it, and I'm willing to sit with her to set up a new blog, same platform, but new lifetime.  This one is on my personal email, so I can't transfer it, but I can show another person how to continue, so that members won't detect a difference, except in style and touch.

If you're feeling ready for a new adventure, here's one!

And thank you everyone for all the encouragement and appreciation you've given to your humble writer.  This includes the readers in other countries who occasionally get in touch to let me know they follow along.

I'm not going anywhere, will still stop in now and then at chapter meetings and stitch ins, but the blog will be on hiatus, until a new writer shows up.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Stitching spans generations in the Princeton Chapter of EGA

The Guild skipped a meeting today, so I thought I'd seize the day and post a favorite picture I took recently, at a stitch in.  Between youngest and oldest stitchers all hard at work, there is almost 85 years difference in age!  The young friend learning shashiko, and making a great job of it, is the granddaughter to Carol, on her right.
Across the room is Polly W. one of our older members, and still a serious needlepoint stitcher.  Debi is working on a canvas in amazing colors over there on the left, turquoises and golden browns.

Just a reminder: make a note that the May 7th meeting, first Sunday in May, will be Smocking, taught by a visiting instructor, a very experienced worker in this artform.  Nearer the time you'll hear more about costs, and what to bring, but note your calendar now, since this has been in the works for a while.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Princeton Embroiderers embark on Shashiko

This month's adventure in stitching, prepared very thoroughly, and taught by Ginny H, is in shashiko, a traditional Japanese stitching form.  Originating centuries ago as a repair technique for clothing, it developed into an art form, the white stitching on indigo background becoming an end in itself, as well as a means of extending the life of clothing.  

Seen as a quilted form, in fishermen's work gear, and monks' clothing, as well as other everyday garments, it has developed into a beautiful form.  The stitch itself, a stabbing movement, shashiko meaning stabbing, is simple to learn, but its application can be as complex and beautiful as the maker can take it.

The outreach to the Robbinsville Chinese Club, led by Ginny for several years, incorporated this stitch into last year's projects, as the group branched out into other Asian stitching directions, and you see here the students' success in their shashiko work.

Today we had choices of many kit patterns, and fabrics, as well as the official shashiko thread, to work with, and we couldn't wait to set to. 

Ginny brought in reference books and fabrics, in addition to the kits.

Many thanks to Ginny for terrific preparation, as always, and generous sharing of her expertise and knowledge.  The group had a great afternoon.

Speaking of great, here's an update on the latest work from Florence K, who is on number nine of the bat mitzvah bags she has created in needlepoint for great granddaughters.  They are really heirlooms, wonderful to see and handle, and here she is, with number 8 finished

 and number nine still on the frame.

Inside are messages about the girl's family, and the stitcher! Florence tells us that these are the last bat mitzvah bags she plans on making!  It's a privilege to be around this great stitcher, and to be able to record this work on our guild blog.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

February 2017 English Paper Piecing

Today's monthly program meeting (no meeting in January, because of snow) was presented by Ginny H  and Karen G, both adept in this old artform from the world of quilting.

They brought with them samples of old paper pieced fabrics to share and examine, showing that templates of paper were used, and fabric folded over to the back in hexagonal shapes, then the edges stitched and joined.

 I turned over the bottom right one to show the back, which was not necessarily very orderly! but the front is pristine.

reference books

modern paper pieced works of all sizes

and using the sample fabric selections they brought,  taught the embroiderers the art of manipulating fabric into hexagons, stitched together to create interesting color and print contrasts into honeycomb shapes. 

Carol P also brought in a quilt she made in the 70s, using similar techniques

and this is work in progress today, different artform. a needlepoint belt of her own design

and Karen showed us her newly completed motif in the pieced paper form

In the nineteenth century, a new fabric was brought to market, a cheater, which appeared to be pieced, but was in fact printed.  Jinny brought in a modern version of this type of fabric for our interest

This was an excursion into a different world of textile arts, linking us back to the past, probably early eighteenth century, up to the present adaptation of the form.

The March meeting will present Ginny with sashiko stitching, the program held over from the planned January meeting.  From England to Japan, stitchers without borders!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

EGA stitchers take a field trip to the Ukrainian Museum In NYC

Recently a group of stitchers from our chapter of EGA took a trip into the city to see a double exhibit at the Ukrainian Museum in Manhattan.  Since some of the members have Ukrainian ancestors, this was particularly interesting, and some of the artefacts on display were a trip down memory lane for them, reminders of items in their childhood homes!

The double exhibit included a group of holdings in Rumanian embroidery from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, on loan to the Ukrainian, and their own collection of wedding and daily use related headdresses formed the rest of a blockbuster exhibit of traditional and folk stitching.Note that there are items for men, too, hats and embroidered straps

Carol P not only drove the group in, but took a series of pictures to share with you all, so I'll  display them here for you to enjoy. Thank you Carol!

And a sneak preview:  our chapter's outreach to the Chinese club of a local high school, outreach led by Ginny H., and assisted by chapter members, is in the process of working with students to create a large stitched artwork based on the Year of the Rooster.  The completed work will be exhibited at the New Year celebration, and here's the start.  

Each feather is a separate work, stitched by students with their name and any other decoration they choose, and will be attached at the base, so that the ends flutter realistically.  Ginny drew this fine rooster, and the feather colors will follow the colors of a real life rooster.  It's going to be a local blockbuster.

Couldn't resist letting us all in on this one!  and remember anyone free to join in and assist is welcome to attend, check with Ginny about dates and times. And all the helpers are invited to the New Year celebrations late next January.

Couple of reminders to members:  on Sunday, bring in your name tags we cross stitched for the use of the Metro seminar leaders, for finishing and collection by Helen to deliver to Metro.

And be on the lookout for email from Helen about our December 11 Holiday Party menu, so you can sign up, and make your entree selection.  Checks for $40 made out to Princeton Chapter EGA,  to Debi, in person or by mail,  Helen's upcoming email will give you all the details.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

The Princeton Embroiderers embark on a Hungarian exploration

The October EGA chapter  meeting was a blend of cultural history, geography, art, embroidery and the significance of history on all these threads in the Hungarian story, as we worked with our instructor, Tunde Hagymasy, imagine an umlaut over the u, not on this keyboard, on Hungarian Folk Embroidery.  

Tunde teaches at the American Hungarian Foundation, whose museum is in our county seat, New Brunswick, and where there is an extensive collection of Hungarian folk embroidery, and where she is an authority on the region's culture, art and history, as well as a fine stitcher in the Hungarian tradition.  There are many people in this area descended from Hungarian immigrants of the mid nineteenth century, a time of turmoil in Europe.

She brought with her a slide presentation showing many costumes, with explanations of the various regions of Hungary they come from
Lacework with traditional motifs

Newly married couple, and see the rosemary, symbolic plant they both wear

This is a special room, used to be used for events such as childbirth, and last illness, where samples of the house embroidery was displayed, too

 and pictures of samples of a wide range of exciting stitched works, from lace (created starting in the twentieth century), and cloths dating back to the middle ages, including the golden cloak of a Hungarian king. In past times, clothing was very valuable, and conflicts could arise over ownership. It could also be used as a purchase currency on land.

Tunde brought a selection of illustrated volumes of embroidered works to browse, and here is seen discussing a fine point of origin with Maureen C, with ancestors from Hungary. 

Very knowledgeable about art, clothing design and geography, as well as the history of the region, Tunde showed us examples from many regions, and handed out a flyer reminding us of them, while locating them on the map for us.  

And there were samples of embroidered work to see and handle, including pieces she rescued from being tossed.  Always love a textile rescuer!

Textiles and the identifying flyer under the corner there

She explained at length the difference between digesting a stitching style and incorporating it into future pieces, rather than simply copying without knowledge and insight, and cautioned travelers that foreign made copies of Hungarian embroidery are finding their way into the Hungarian market, to the confusion of tourists wanting to honor the region by bringing home examples of their artwork. She takes seriously the concept of teaching the real tradition of embroidery, so that people can learn the authentic colors and motifs.

Hungary having been an important commercial center centuries ago, and having been overrun by other cultures, such as Turkey, the embroidery shows a wide range of motifs, some reminiscent of Chinese work, some of Turkish origin, some handed on to show up in Pennsylvania Dutch work, and some with reference to work seen in the UK in Elizabethan times.  But there is a distinct Hungarian flavor, despite all the cross currents of influence, and all the disruption of borders the country has experienced.

Several of our guild members have family who originated in Hungary and they were particularly eager to learn more about this stitching.  
Marylin examining some embroidered works

Marylin Beasley, who can trace her Hungarian roots back to antiquity, in fact, brought this program to us by force of sheer enthusiasm after she took a class from this teacher at the museum. 

This was a great program, and many members embarked right away on their kits, some using hoops, some not, since often this form does not use a hoop.  Working in hand is the traditional Hungarian method. 

This was a great afternoon, in the last stages of hurricane Matthew, just rain once it got here, and thankfully it didn't interfere with the program, so we had a sizeable turnout of members. This is a valuable way to preserve important cultural heritage, particularly in the textile area, since textiles are the ephemera of history.