Monday, November 14, 2011

October Regional Meeting - MAR

The Mid-Atlantic Region EGA meeting was held here in Richmond in October. As well as a business lunch, it was also the SMART Weekend so there was a wonderful lecture on antique needlework tools by Carol Meacham on Friday night and two great classes with Joyce Lumkomski to learn about beading and filling stitches. Gentle Pursuits chapter hosted the meeting and Catherine, Kathy, and Laurie, and many of our other members did a great job setting things up.

Here are Dee, Laurie, Kathy, Nancy, and Catherine at the Welcome table on Friday.

And here is Joyce with one of her amazing necklaces. Her fabulous fillings class was great as well.

Many people also made the trip to Agecroft Hall to see their latest exhibit - Woven into English Society: Textiles and Embroidery from the 16th and 17th Centuries. This exhibit includes many of the amazing textiles in the Agecroft Hall collection as well as the partially completed coif Gentle Pursuits has been working on. The exhibit runs until next year, so if you are interested there is still time if you are going by Richmond.

Friday, September 16, 2011

EGA National Seminar

It looks like our chapter president, Catherine Jordan, is having fun at the EGA National Seminar in Naples, FL! Here she is with Patty Smith-Gardner, the MAR Newsletter Editor. If you want to see more of what is going on at the National Seminar, check out the latest entries on the EGA Blog.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Christmas Biscornu with Sue Hillis

It has become a Gentle Pursuits tradition to have a Christmas ornament class on a Saturday in August. It is always a good way to inspire the group to get started on gifts and ornaments for our exchange in December. This year we were thrilled to have Sue Hillis come and teach our group. Not only did the project include a lovely stitched biscornu, but Sue came up with a great display idea. The biscornu sits on an antique spool and is trimmed with antique lace. Then there is a long cord and tassel, with a small spool ornament. The piece was designed to hold scissors for display but I'm sure there will be other ideas when our members bring in their finished products. The kit included the spools, the lace, buttons and lots of lovely threads.

Sue demonstrated how to put the biscornu together, as well as cording and tassel techniques.
As usual, we all oohed and ahed over the other items Sue had displayed. And Sue graciously held a drawing and the two winners received booklets for other projects! Sue had done several cruises with stitching, so if you want to go in January!

Friday, July 22, 2011

The coif visits Agecroft Hall

A lovely group of ladies from Historic St. Mary's City in Maryland came down yesterday to visit Agecroft Hall and see their embroidery collection. They work as interpreters and costumers for HSMC and wanted to exchange expertise with Agecroft staff. Catherine, Diana, and I met them at Agecroft Hall and brought along the coif, the handkerchief, that Jean Connelly has been working on, and the sweet bag Catherine made. We had a lovely tour, saw the freshly cleaned and repaired tapestry going up, and then had a behind the scenes look at the collections. Some of the embroidery was already out, in preparation for an embroidery and textile exhibit to coincide with the October MAR meeting here in Richmond. And there are plans for more to be on display by then. It was great and I was able to get a picture of the group from Maryland, with Libby and Richard (l) from Agecroft Hall, and Catherine (3rd from left). The two youngest members of the group interpret the life of children at HSMC and brought their lovely pockets to show us. It was great to see two young people so enthusiastic about embroidery and history. If there had been time, I would have loved to have them work on the coif!

Friday, July 8, 2011

June - New officers for Gentle Pursuits

Officers for the Gentle Pursuits chapter of EGA are elected every 2 years. So every two years we have a nice pot luck supper and hold a ceremony. The years in between are silent auctions with a dessert table.

So here are our officers for 2011-2013. Catherine Jordan will stay on as President. Program Co-Chairs are Merry Susan Shreck, Holly Rison, and Cynthia Cogswell. Sharon Spradlin-Barrett is now treasurer. And Diana Paisley will be our Recording Secretary. Members in most of the other Board positions have agreed to continue - you will be able to see the complete list in the next issue of the Gilded Thread.
Mary Ann (l) led the induction ceremony. With (l-r) Catherine, Holly, Merry Susan, Diana, and Nancy Yates standing in for Sharon.

There is one Board member who will be moving out of town. Terry Haugh has been our wonderful Ta-Da Table presenter for the last 6 years, since the start of our chapter! Her enthusiasm for every piece she shows has been a wonderful part of our meetings. Jean Connelly will be our new Ta-Da Table presenter.

Along with announcing the new officers, Catherine thanked the officers from the last two years. She made everyone stunning book marks. And Kathy and Laurie, the retiring program co-chairs, also gave out some lovely thank you gifts to members who have helped by teaching programs.

Finally, we presented our President's Challenge pieces. This year, we were given a small, square metal form to decorate any way we please. Only 4 were complete, but others had them there and were working on them. As always, there was a variety of styles and uses.

Jean used a fabric painting technique from a previous class by Catherine, and made an ornament.

Holly did a lovely little petite-point mini-sampler and put it on a wooden thread holder.
Linda used the recently taught Casalguidi technique and made a wonderful little box.

And Margaret used needlepainting techniques to make a horse ornament.

On a final note, those of you who don't want to be tempted by a beading kit, might want to stop here, because one of our Ta-Da items was an amazing beaded goldfish scissors keep by Merry Susan.
If you are interested, the kit is here (in 4 colourways). If you love beads and haven't looked at the Shipwreck Beads web site before, you may not want to go there - you will be tempted.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Special Pamela Darney class.

On Sunday, March 12, we had an exciting extra class. A huge thank you to the MAR Region and Joan Masterson Memorial Education Fund for supporting the Gentle Pursuits of Richmond class with Pamela Darney. Pamela designed a special Richmond Two-Tone Sampler for our chapter. Our class centered on a wonderful technique of joining two pieces of linen to make single piece with a neat join that could be stitched on. It was a delightful day getting to look at Pamela's beautiful collection of Quaker style samplers, delicious lunches, hands-on charting of names, and an added color "throw-down" bonus at the end of class!

Be sure to join us for our regular meeting on Tuesday, March 15 at 6:30 p.m. at Christ Church. We'll be doing some beading, which is just as addicting as stitching.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Hearts for Christchurch

Sew a hanging heart to send to the people of Christchurch to show you care.

Find the information you need to send it on the blog Hearts for Christchurch.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Coif in Williamsburg

Just a quick photo update. Leslie, a stitcher from Texas, had a chance to work on the coif this morning at the Gathering of Embroiderers. Thanks so much for your help!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Blackwork for Agecroft

We had a real treat for our January program - a special program held on a Saturday. It was taught by our own Jean Connelly; who was recently awarded a Mastercraftsman certificate for Counted Thread and had her Blackwork step to show us her impressive skills. As well as a couple of coifs, Agecroft Hall also mentioned that a couple of handkerchiefs and sweet bags would be welcome. Well, what better to decorate a handkerchief than blackwork! Jean designed a lovely pattern that could be worked as a set of accessories or multiple rows could be combined as a wide border.
Jean was an excellent teacher and made us all feel better by telling us she didn't like blackwork the first time she tried it, but once she figured out the paths, it was fun. So with her help, we all started to learn how to do blackwork.
Lots of concentration going on.

And here are Jean's samples. The pincushion (2 pieces on the left) isn't finished so we can see the back. The wide handkerchief border on the right is really 5 fairly easy rows - doesn't it look complex! We are going to try to make at least one handkerchief as a round-robin so everyone can get a chance to work on it, just like the coif.
Many thanks to Jean for her teaching and patterns, and great instructions. And also to Diana for organizing this Outreach Program.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Happy New Year 2011

December's holiday lunch was a great success. Isn't this a wonderful selection of ornaments? It gives you an idea of the amazing range of styles of needlwork practiced by our members.And here is the chapter showing off their ornaments. Many thanks to Kathy, Laurie, and Nancy for a wonderful event.

We have an amazing line up for this year.

January 22, special Saturday meeting – Outreach Black work with Jean Connelly.
You should already be registered but if not, you can still come and stitch with us.

February 2-5. The coif will be in Williamsburg at A Gathering of Embroiderers. Margaret Henderson is going down for a couple of classes and will take it down. If you wish to stitch a bit on the coif, email her before the end of January February 15 – Debbie Stieler design American Patchwork, taught by Julia Bender.

Register by January 20.

March 12, Saturday - Richmond Two Tone Sampler, designed and taught by Pam Darney. Supported by the Joan Masterson Memorial Chapter Education Fund. Mid-Atlantic Region members and guest welcome.
March 15, Tuesday - Twisted Rope Strand taught by Cathy Keith.

April – Casalguidi with Julia Bender

May - Swedish weaving with Dee Ragsdale and possible Lavender Fields road trip

Please check your newsletter for registration forms and more information on all these events. If you would like to become a member, please email Dee Ragsdale