Monday, December 7, 2015

Princeton EGA celebrates the holidays

This year's Holiday Party also fell on the first day of Hanukkah, so it spanned the holiday season, and was a great party as always.

Helen H. hosted us, and members brought greetings to distribute, food items for donation to a local foodbank, and great stitching (and knitting and weaving!) projects to talk about and share.  And Ginny gave out gift bags with raw material for the upcoming wool on wool January program to members.

Happy to see Kamala, who can only occasionally be with us, but welcome when she does, seen here on the left

Sally, our Secret Stitcher leader, in the middle here, discusses projects with Carol, a welcome guest and student of Jane's stitching classes, while I take a secret picture under the table of Margaret K's secret stitcher project which had not yet been presented to its recipient, Jane.

Jane S., the Stitch Doctor, and co founder of our chapter, has taught many members of our chapter over the years.  And she brings guests, including Amy, who stitched a tour de force of a work, about the firehouse at which her husband volunteers as a firefighter. 

She customized the design to reflect the actual firehouse, and backed the stitching with actual firehose. Years in the making, it was wonderful to see this work completed.  

You see Amy second from the left in this pic with husband, then reading across, two guests, then Sharon our weaver, then Karen and Ginny. Foreground Cynthia C., long time and excellent stitcher,  and back view, sorry, of Marylin, former president of the chapter.

Evie S. did a great show and tell, inviting the stitchers to talk about their work, and send it around the room for closer viewing. 

She showed the group the Chinese Club project, which Ginny has designed and created for outreach to a local high school club at which several of our members assist in stitching skills.  They are very happy to have Florence L. along, too, since she's a left handed stitcher and can advise students with a dominant left hand.

Here's Jane in the background on the left, as Evie shows Jane's mermaid work, which has to be seen to be really appreciated, amazing stitching skills.

Karen, seated, is visiting with Carol G, and Helen, is on the right, making sure all is running well!

Helen is current Chapter President with Liz A., and founder, along with Jane,  of this chapter which will be 40 years old next year.

Tom sported a wonderfully festive vest!  

his Santa tree skirt you've seen in here before is currently in action at his home, where this weekend he and partner took part in the neighborhood open house, and 500 people went through admiring the decorations.

Tayra B. brought in these four stockings, one for each daughter, and is in the process of making two more, for the parents! 

Sharon, our weaving member, brought in several scarves, in materials ranging from silk to wool to linen to rayon.  

You have to handle these scarves to understand them better as artworks, since they respond and drape to your touch.

A great time for all of us, and our guests. Happy Holidays, everyone, and looking forward to a great New Year.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Party reminders and stitching in need of a home

For updates and reminders on the  Princeton Chapter EGA Holiday Party, upcoming Sunday, December 6 at 6 p.m. Windrows, see your current email, members.

In there we also have notes on the programs for January and February.  

Sunday, January 3rd, 1-4 p.m.,  is stitching in wool on wool, led by Ginny, and participants need to bring regular stitching supplies.  Ginny has a lot of materials and ideas to distribute at the meeting.

The February meeting, Sunday February 7th, 1-4, will be a presentation, lecture and workshop by our textile expert member, Lyna Wiggins, on redwork in quilts and in stitching.

Meanwhile, Liz M has presented to the chapter, and now to the stash, a couple of lovely needlepointed works in need of a good home with a stitcher who would like to complete them.  See them here

This one is a detail only of the work, probably a piano bench pillow, long and narrow, very beautiful design, well worth some tlc.

Carol G. has finished the stitching of a beautiful piece, destined for her daughter's home, and here's just a detail of it.  Note it's from a favorite designer.

When it's made up into a pillow, there will be another pic for you. 

See you on Sunday, and for those members who can't make it there, see you at stitch-in.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Princeton Embroiderers at work!

The November meeting entailed a long and informative general business meeting. Members,  check email for  decisions about dates for the upcoming trip to New York, to the St. John the Divine Textile Conservation Laboratory, and  any updates on the Holiday Party scheduled for the first Sunday in December.  Also Sally C needs to hear directly from you if you want to continue in the Secret Stitcher program so she can send out paperwork in November.  

We also covered future planned programs of the chapter, ranging in 2016 from wool stitching to shashiko to redwork to Brazilian embroidery.  Some members will also be going to the exhibit of Kaffe Fassett quilting work at the Michener Museum in Doylestown, Pa.  

Several members plan to attend the EGA National Seminar in November 2016, in Alexandria Va. Cynthia C., who has attended similar events, gave us a report on her experience and choices and recommendations, and strongly encouraged attendance.

As part of her Outreach report, Ginny showed us this

 the shashiko embroidery she produced, to teach to the students in the Chinese Club, at a local high school. Several chapter members were on hand to assist recently at the first meeting of the season, as more than twenty students embarked for the first time on this type of stitching.  Florence L, a left hander, and skilled stitcher,  was on hand to work with the several left handed students who need to employ a different approach from the right handed stitcher.

Each student will produce one of these units -- Ginny created the fabric framing, which students will stitch to their finished work -- and the group will create a lengthwise series of pieces including Chinese symbols, and Year of the Monkey images, as well as this geometric shape, to culminate in a display at the February Chinese New Year celebrations.

And back at the EGA chapter meeting, everyone had plenty of projects on hand.  Today, members worked on current stitching, and some learned how to create ornaments from the goldwork  doves they started at last month's meeting under the guidance of Carol P. and the goldwork hedgehog designed by Liz A., and very successfully executed by several members.

 Here's Tayra's triumphantly finished hedgehog, her first foray into goldwork.  She plans on framing this work. And she went on to create a goldwork dove today, which will become a tree ornament

 Cynthia C. showed us this canvas piece in progress

And Lyna is adding to the extensive perforated paper collection she has created of tree ornaments, these additional images

Tayra, a skilled worker on canvas is making -- and creating -- this gift for a young relative whose hockey interest shows here.  There will be silver blades on those boots soon

Looking ahead:

December Board meeting Wednesday December 2  

Holiday Party Sunday December  6, please be in touch with Helen H. or Debi R. with your check and menu choice (see recent emails on this).  Also if you bring guests, please submit their menu choices (salmon, OR chicken OR prime rib) when you send in your check. 

St. John the Divine, carpools and dates to be announced via email.

Meanwhile, a Happy Thanksgiving to us all, and to our faithful readers!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Princeton EGA has a blockbuster October General Meeting

Our program for October was a goldwork session, led by Carol P. and Liz A., with two main motifs: a dove presented and taught by Carol, and a hedgehog, designed and taught by Liz, both on Thai silk provided by Carol, and intended to be ornaments, hung for the holiday season.

There was a great turnout, and six members did the dove, six did the hedgehog, very symmetrical!  the dove involved couching with Jap thread, the hedgehog needed couching, with the addition of working with purl thread, brought from India by a friend of Liz for our use.  Everyone plunged in bravely and it was a great afternoon.

Here's the how-to for the hedgehog, which Liz created, to show how to proceed. The red color on the lower piece is nearer the actual rl color of the silk.  Some members also worked on a beautiful blue-green piece.

Finished hedgehog here, with couched face, curving irregularly,  to give an idea of character and personality, stitched black eye and pink nose.

And here you see the drawn motifs under the work,  the cutout motif pinned to the silk, then on the right the drawn outline, and in the hoop the hedgehog in progress.  The hoop you see is a four inch one, to give you an idea of the size of the motif.  The doves came in choice of sizes, also fitting within a four inch hoop.

 Members were able to create their own outline, using the hedgehog cutout,  then adding in, freehand,  the curve to form the face.  This is an intermediate step to creating your own design. 

On the left you see the sueded fabric used for cutting the purl thread onto, and for easily lifting it off onto the needle.  This saves a lot of flying purls, since it's a tightly curled spring in form, and will vanish as you cut it unless you cut right over this kind of surface where it clings.  Velvet works great for this, too. 

A reminder: cut your purls into short pieces, a quarter inch or less,  slide one onto your threaded needle, then using both hands, gently stretch it slightly, before proceeding to stitch it on as if it's a bead.  The thread goes back into the fabric at the place it came out, causing the purl to create a hoop shape.  Another stitch locks it in place before you do the next purl piece.  Just do this until your hedgehog has a full coat of curls!

A future Princeton EGA blogpost will bring you pictures of finished doves and hedgehogs, at least that's the plan.

We also had a Show and Tell, with two terrific works from Cynthia C., who shows here a Shaker box, with the addition of her work on the lid, which she attached using magnets on the inside, very inventive idea. 

And there's a detail, so you don't miss just how skilled this work is.

 She also brought us a marvelous piece of fine needlepoint, many ideas and stitches and color decisions in this piece

Tom's finished Santa tree skirt is here, 

and a detail showing some, guess what, goldwork.  

This whole large work is a real tour de force of stitching.

And then there was what we might call Tom's Great Shopping Find -- two very fine pieces of goldwork, bought for a song at an antiques fleamarket. 

Tom, having embarked recently on goldwork, realized just what he was looking at, and snapped them up.  Karen G. commented, when we saw them, it was just as well the rest of the group weren't there, otherwise there might have been a brisk competition for ownership of these pieces!

And in the category of This is Such a Great Idea, why Didn't I Think of it, presented by Lyna, is the organizer, a three ring binder with zip closing, which she populated with ziploc freezer bags each containing project materials.  

She punched holes in the bottoms of the bags, leaving the ziploc tops available to open easily, reinforced the punched holes with tape, and created a great idea which several members plan to steal asap!  

Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Guild Looks back at the Armory Red and White Quilt show and forward to October and Goldwork

Several exciting topics to bring to you today.  

Yesterday at stitch-in Ginny showed us the magnificent catalog raisonne which she just received in the mail yesterday, of a Red and White Quilt Show some of our members went in to see at the Armory.  To be exact:

Red and White Quilts: Infinite Variety: Presented by The American Folk Art Museum

by Elizabeth Warren and Maggi Gordon

The venue, the Armory, alone tells you this was a huge event, hundreds of red and white quilts, spanning three centuries, the collection of one woman, wanting to have them seen and enjoyed.  The American Folk Art Museum was also involved, and the catalog, the book you see pictured below, is itself an artwork. 

Here are: the cover giving you the exact title, a sample of pages, and at the bottom the view of the exhibit itself as shown in the book. Ginny and Karen G. both have copies, and maybe they will bring them in for us to see again.

And today, Mary Corbet gives us a post about Dorset buttons, a few of which many of you have seen in progress at stitch ins in the last few months, as Liz created them for use in a bigger artwork. To see some wonderful examples Mary's showing us, as well as ideas on how to not only make but use them, go here

And looking ahead:  our October program meeting, Sunday October 4,  on goldwork will be led, by Carol P, with assistance from Liz A.  Carol will be be using the kits you received at the holiday party in those little silk purses, the Thai silk and gold thread. Liz has also been working on a small goldwork motif for people wanting to stitch something in goldwork in addition to Carol's introductory design, and will present that to you too.  

Please be sure and bring any materials you had from our Mendham goldwork adventure, particularly the piece of velvet (you'll see why you need the velvet when Liz shows you her ideas).  Okay if you don't have them, we'll supply.  Look for an email from Carol soon (she's still in Thailand) with more information.  The date, again, is Sunday October 4, 1-4. 

Meantime, next Wednesday, September 30th, is our Board Meeting, 7-9 pm. at stitch in.  The first Tuesday daytime stitch in will be two days after the general meeting, on October 6, 1-3.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Guild Parties On!

Today was the annual Festival of the Arts at the Plainsboro Public Library, and our chapter was represented by stitchers, their work, work in progress, books on embroidery, and flyers about our activities.  

Tayra brought her family, and started the afternoon with a bit of crewelwork with her daughter, after setting out Christmas stockings and wonderful stitched 3D pictures, and Evie brought in some marvelous work in a variety of stitching and forms.  Many admirers of Tayra and Evie's work over the afternoon.

I brought examples of goldwork, and needlepoint, and schwarm whitework.  Sorry, the location in front of windows made pix almost impossible!  great for other purposes,though.

Ruth was there, signing certificates of completion for young stitchers who had taken part in our summer stitching classes and came back with their completed work to show us.  

Many interested stoppers by and potential EGA members, too.  Anyway, it was a busy day, and that's why there are few pictures of us in stitching action, since once the people started arriving there was no time for pix!  We were demonstrating and explaining and generally being busy with the people, so bear with the lack of stitching visuals.  I took a couple before the people started arriving.

And I did a lot  that I can share both with the library and with you, of all the other activities of the day.  As usual, great weather, we're usually very lucky there, and happy people taking part in art forms they never thought they'd try. 

Setting up outside are the Chinese brush painters explaining to Library Director Carol what they are planning

And Art Lee, with his found objects ready to demo and assist with Sustainable Art from Found Objects! later it went like this

Those sections of bamboo in the background? they became wind chimes in the hands of handy festival goers  and the Twirling and Baton Tossing was in full swing all day

Nelly demonstrated Wet Felting to a happy group

 And young mandala makers worked with Julia

While nearby, mehndi painting went on

 and Alison again taught knotted jewelry making to a crowd

 And two young men took charge of the big loom for community weavings

The Chinese painters got under way, making bookmarks with your name in Chinese characters, and showing other forms of brush painting

And the little guys played happily with the giant Legos

The blockbuster of the Festival

Tatiana's Butterfly Installation, hundreds of butterflies created in the summer program by her young students, and her own creations, too, fluttered in the wind on the big windows, a huge success from both sides of the glass!

EGA Outreach at its best! and many thanks to the stitchers who came out and took part and helped us put our best foot forward. And to Donna S, of the Library,  who every year pulls all these moving parts into one whole and successful day.