Sunday, December 15, 2013

End of a Busy Year of Gentle Pursuits

Wonderful food, wonderful Ta-Das and a great meeting in November. Cathy Keith discussed how to use 4 specialty threads (with advice from The Stitching Studio) and the practice piece was a small plastic canvas that fit in a pen.  What a great idea for a gift giving.

December was our Holiday Luncheon and as usual, it was lots of fun.  Great thread winder favors and fun door prizes.  Plus beautiful ornaments in the exchange.

Don't forget that our first meeting of the new year is not at the regular time.
January 18, 2014 Meeting (Saturday)
Outreach, bookmarks for The READ Center

And before our February meeting, we have Stitch in Public Day!

February 1, 2014 Stitch in Public Day (at the VMFA)
This is a great chance to educate others about how much fun stitching can be.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Jamestowne Waistcoate Embroidery Project - more information

You may have noticed the call for volunteers for this project in our latest newsletter.  Here is some further information:

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED! To commemorate the 400th anniversary of the wedding of Pocahontas to John Rolfe, Preservation Virginia’s Historic Jamestowne will create a woman’s embroidered sleeved waistcoat worked in black silk inspired by a surviving garment in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum (London). This waistcoat will be worn as part of Pocahontas’s wedding attire during the commemoration on Saturday, April 5, 2014.

The original object is an early 17th century woman’s jacket embroidered with depictions of mythical and realistic creatures, flora, and scenes from Geffrey Whitney’s Choice of Emblems and Other Devices (1586). The Jamestown jacket will replace these motifs with fruit, flowers, insects, fish, fowl and beasts specific to Virginia. A matching embroidered coif and forehead cloth will complete the suit.

The jacket in the London museum is embroidered with black silk on a plain weave white linen ground in four basic stitches: stem and outline stitch, long and short, and speckling or seeding stitch. Our adaptation will use those types as well.

Historic Jamestowne is seeking volunteers to assist with the creation of this garment. Skilled and novice embroiderers are invited to contact:

Julie Zellers-Frederick
Volunteer Coordinator

You will be sent a small sample to complete, demonstrating the stitch types present in the original garment. All skill levels are welcome. This special project is done in collaboration with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and their Costume Design Center.

Here is the kit:

Once you have sent in the sample embroidery and volunteer form, you will be sent the scheduling information. As you can see above, they hope to have it ready for April 5, 2014, so there will be lots to do between now and then.  Stitching will be done in the costume center of Colonial Williamsburg, with evening and weekend hours, as well as weekday hours.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Upcoming Fun

Gentle Pursuits members should have received their newsletters by now, but those of you thinking of becoming members, might be tempted by our upcoming events.

 Our annual holiday luncheon at Hermitage Country Club will be held Saturday, December 14, 2013. Following a brief meeting, we have a lovely meal, ornament exchange, and a lot of fun! You are not required to make an ornament to attend this event.

 How can you resist these entrees?
Bacon, mushroom, and cheddar quiche served with fruit kabobs.

Horseradish Crusted Salmon – oven baked with panko-horseradish crust and finished with whole grain mustard sauce.
Chicken Sinatra – breast meat stuffed with prosciutto and provolone cheese.

Reminder to Members - Coupon due December 6!

January 7, 2014 Board Meeting                                                                          
Board meetings are open to all members and start at 6:00 PM. For those who can, we gather at 5:00 PM to either stitch or eat (bring your own food). Location: The Parlor at Christ Church Episcopal.

January 11, 2014 Beading Interest Group (BIG) Meeting                

January 18, 2014 Meeting (Saturday)
Outreach, bookmarks for The READ Center

February 1, 2014 Stitch in Public Day
This is a great chance to educate others about how much fun stitching can be.

February 8, 2014 BIG Meeting   

February 18, 2014 Meeting
Kumihimo Cording Bracelet taught by Linda DaValle.       

February 22, 2014 Workshop (Saturday) 

Overbrook Presbyterian Church
2605 Dumbarton Road, Richmond Va.
Explore the use of dyes to make beautifully shaded and variegated skeins of threads and vintage looking linen. Catherine Jordan will be teaching and the workshop is a joint workshop with the Virginia Guild of Needlewomen.

 Usually, Gentle Pursuits of Richmond meets the 3rd Tuesday of every month from 6:30 to 9:00 pm at Christ Church, 5000 Pouncey Tract Road, Glen Allen, Virginia, 23059. We welcome new members of all needlework levels. Sit and Stitch -The time prior to our formal meetings each month (5:00 PM to 6:30 PM) is intended for us to stitch and receive help or mentoring with a technique. But check the calendar above to be sure we have a meeting. We occasionally have special meetings on Saturdays, and in other locations. Become a member and get a newsletter so you will always know when and where we are meeting. Contact Dee Ragsdale at or (757)229-1166 with any questions.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Christmas in August

This is a somewhat belated post, but our annual Christmas in August class was once again a great success. Trisha Johnson did a crazy quilt ornament class for the group.  Trisha pieced the fabric, leaving the embroidered seam treatments to us, and there was a choice of shapes. Lots of choices, which is always fun.

October 2013 Meeting

For the Region Challenge for 2013 - to be auctioned off at the regional meeting/Fall SMART (Stitching Mid-Atlantic Regional Tutorial) Day on Oct. 18-20 in Virginia Beach - our chapter created this lovely box.  Many members helped with the embroidery and smalls, and Gladys Zorhoff created the box.  Nobody wanted to let this beauty go, and several people sent silent auction bids with the people who were attending the meeting. Everyone was happy to see the final product at the October meeting.

There were some interesting items to share, especially the Halloween skirt made by Dee's mother many years ago.
Lots of lovely Ta-Da items as well.  Everyone should note that it is dangerous to bring small items like beaded necklaces or small Christmas items to show at a meeting because many members threaten to steal them

We all had a great time learning to make flowers and leaves with silk ribbon. Thanks Catherine!

Gentle Pursuits members Lalli, Catherine and Linda enjoyed the butterfly stumpwork class with Judy Jeroy at the regional meeting (October 19) but no word yet on who ended up with the box. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Coif Debuts at Our September Meeting

Well, we did it. The coif is finally done.  Stitching was finished in April. Now Margaret has put the lining in and sewn it up.  We'll let you know when it is presented to Agecroft Hall.

 Jean taught our annual Members' Appreciation Program this year.  A small pulled-work sampler that we can make into an ornament.  As usual, Jean made the work seem much less intimidating the many of us thought it would be.

Some members painted their felt for next month's silk ribbon class with Catherine.
Congratulations to Catherine Jordan! Catherine's Zentangle inspired art box received First Place in Original Professional category, Juror's Award, Delegate's Award and Best of Show at American Needlepoint Guild National Seminar exhibit, Anaheim, CA 2013. Note that the centers of the ribbons all have embroidered designs. 

Lots of lovely things at our Ta-Da Table this month as well.  We've all had a couple of months to work on things. Carol was lucky she left with all five of her beaded nutcrackers.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

New Board Induction and Upcoming Programs

Our new board was inducted at our June meeting.  Holly (far left) did a great job announcing our new board.  Starting next to Holly, Carol, treasurer, Kathy, secretary, Catherine, programs, and Jean, president (and queen!).

Catherine's last president's challenge was to have us make something from a pre-finished coaster or two.  Lots of lovely projects were presented at the June meeting.

July 16 will be a stitch-in so bring a project and join us for a nice evening of stitching and chatting.

Our August meeting will be on Saturday, August 17. Tricia Johnson from Virginia Beach will be teaching us how to make and complete a Victorian Christmas Crazy Quilt Ornament.  Be sure to bring your program coupon to the July meeting or mail it in to Carol by July 16. There is a choice of 3 shapes and the piecing will be done for you!


Our annual member appreciation program will be in September.  Jean will be showing us how to create some free form pulled-work to create an ornament. The program is free but you need to get the program coupon in by August 13 (before the ornament class) so supplies can be ordered.
And don't forget our bead group meetings:

July 13th - netted pearl technique
August 10th - Beaded Nutcrackers (peyote stitch)
September 14th - Beaded Nutcrackers continuation and catch-up

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Outreach Activities - Spring 2013

Robin Hegner, a teacher at Riverside School, came to our April meeting and presented her with all of our bookmarks! It was an impressive sight to see them all on the table. The school is very happy to have the bookmarks to distribute to the children at the end of this school year. Please continue to bring any finished bookmarks to a meeting as Bookmarks for Literacy is an annual project for EGA. We will be looking for a new group to support for next year, so let me know the name of a school or an adult learning center who would appreciate our handiwork.
Jean has beautifully finished the blackwork handkerchief for Agecroft Hall.
The embroidery and goldwork are finished on the coif and it has been hemmed, but the lining is still in the works.
But the coif did visit Agecroft Hall when the DC EGA chapter came down to see Agecroft and Virginia House. Hard to believe it has been three years since the coif started and all the hands that have helped get it to this state.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Busy February 2013

Our January Outreach program was rescheduled because of bad weather, so our February has been busy.

We started the month with National Stitch In Public on Feb. 2.  We met at the Short Pump Barnes & Noble and had quite a crowd.  There were lots of different projects and we had quite a few people show interest in our work. 

Carol had been finishing the gold work on the coif, so she brought it to the Stitch In, so we had a few more questions about that.

Next, we met on Saturday, Feb. 16 for our rescheduled Outreach Program. Diana found some really nice bookmarks online that easily fit a small square of stitching on plastic canvas.  You can see how many of those we were able to finish in just a few hours.  Plus a couple of bookmarks done before the session.  We are well on our way to the 70 bookmarks we need by May.  And the pizza was great!

On Tuesday, Feb. 19, we had the second part of the acorn stumpwork class.  With any luck, somebody will bring their work to the next meeting so we can see how things are going - and get some photos to post.

Speaking of our next meeting, on Tuesday, March 19, fellow member Jennifer Stumpf will present a lecture class on tambour embroidery. If you would like to see some of her work, you can visit her blog at:

Don't forget March 19 is the sign up deadline if you want to take part in the April 16th retro-embroidery iron-on class.