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.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

The Princeton Embroiderers Party On!

Today was the annual Festival of the Arts at Plainsboro Public Library and all over the plaza outside, arts of all kinds there, almost all participatory.  

And as usual the Princeton Chapter EGA turned out, and, all afternoon, taught and demonstrated stitching, and discussed the art to people of all ages.

Ginny H. had put together materials so that children could embark on a stitching project, a stuff pincushion,  right there and then, and it was so popular we ran out of materials!  

A young stitcher's completed project.
Great turnout of members, with Ruth, Florence K, Florence L, Helen H, Carol P and your humble blogwriter all in attendance with finished works, works in progress and willingness to share and show!

Carol P brought her small grand daughter, who plunged into all the arts on offer and here taught a much older lady how to weave in paper at the table next to the stitchers!

To see more of the Festival, outside of what the stitchers were involved in, go here

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Princeton Chapter EGA Returns After Summer

Although Labor Day has passed, summer has not yet left us, still blisteringly hot and humid here in central NJ.  But the stitchers were undeterred by the weather, and came out to the first of our program meetings for 2016-17.

We were occupied in reunion for some of us, for catchup on projects for others, for completion for others, and for making nametags for next year's Regional Meeting.  

The nametags are part of  our chapter's work for our Region, the Metropolitan Region of EGA in preparation for the 2017 Regional Seminar.  We're creating them for the seminar instructors and the Executive Board, to identify them during the events.  All are cross stitched in black on white, and will be mounted in wearable pouches. 

Debi setting up a nametag ready for stitching, and next to her, Carol P., working on a hardanger piece, a gift from her Secret Stitcher

Florence L. has finished the piece for her son and daughter in law, and redesigned parts of it in the process, to make a beautiful finished work

Polly W. at work on a design of ferns in subtle greens and tans.  Polly likes to work in hand and then stretch the work after finishing, rather than mount it on a frame.

Debi again, here working on a butterfly design in her favorite colorway

One of your humble blogwriter's nametags, being studied by other stitchers to determine the count for the letters

Florence, here at work on the Tenerife lace piece which she plans to make into a dreamcatcher for a young relative, adding beads, and possibly feathers, mounting it on a hoop.

This was a productive back to stitching meeting!   

We are planning on an eventful Fall schedule, participating in  the Plainsboro Festival of the Arts on Saturday September 17, 12-4, in and around the Library building.  

All are welcome to come meet and greet us. We are planning on a stitching project for young stitchers to try.  And on the day there will be many artists and musicians, all over the building and grounds, offering chances to try a range of arts, from paper weaving, to giant weaving on the EarthLoom, to Chinese brush painting, to found object sculpture, and many other events for all ages.  Music all afternoon, too!

Back to stitching: in October our Guild will be taking a trip into Manhattan to visit the Ukrainian Museum and catch two major exhibits at once, one on Ukrainian stitching, one in conjunction with the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Rumanian stitching. The Met is lending their Rumanian collection to the Ukrainian Museum for a season. We'll be guided through both by a knowledgeable curator and stitcher, who will lead us through the history and comparisons of the two national styles.

Next month's regular monthly membership meeting will be on Sunday October 9th, and Wednesday evening stitch-ins from 7-9 go on all year.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Plainsboro Library Summer Stitching program 2016 is underway

With a full registration, yet again, the summer stitching program of Princeton Chapter EGA is under way, at Plainsboro Public Library

Here's Ruth L, who has led this program for many years, since its inception at her urging as an outreach effort for the Guild

 and Helen H., helping  the young stitchers as they produce their needlepointed works celebrating Descartes and the power of thinking!

Boys as well as girls are happy participants in this event every year, and at the September Festival of the Arts, where the chapter is also represented, young stitchers to come up and show us their finished works, proud parents in their wake, and  receive their certificates of completion, signed by Ruth.

This is one of our proud achievements as a chapter, too, to encourage a love of stitching to the next generation, and see how pleased the stitchers are with their product.