September to May
Monthly General Meetings
3rd Wednesday, 9:30 to noon, Real Canadian Superstore
1st Wednesday, 9:00 to 12:00 noon, Real Canadian Superstore
2nd Wednesday, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., member’s home, Sept – June
3rd Wednesday, noon to 3:30 p.m. (follows monthly general meeting), Real Canadian Superstore
4th Wednesday, 9:00 to 12:00 noon. Real Canadian Superstore
Report – December 2021
Submitted by Fiona White, Program Chair and ONN Representative
Finding Our Way
With a new executive in place for 2021-2023, the Embroiderers’ Guild of Peterborough has been busy finding our way forward, building on our strengths and identifying things we can improve. Our new president, Maggie James, is leading an executive with many new members, and she started things off with an open-ended survey of our members at the end of the summer, receiving many helpful responses. One of the challenges identified was in attracting new members. A committee is now working on a strategic plan.
The new, enlarged Program Committee then followed with a selected-responses survey (using Survey Monkey). The key findings from that survey were that we need to ensure that our program activities are suitable for both new and experienced stitchers, provide activities including detailed instructions with open-ended possibilities (or vice versa), teach skills that can be used in a specific project as well as incorporated into other ongoing projects, and give opportunities for working on short and long-term projects. We feel that both our fall projects, the biscornu and the autumn tree, have done that. The survey also gave us good direction on topics and techniques to include in our program.
The executive, under Maggie’s guidance, is also updating our use of technology. We were sharing a Zoom account with another guild, but now have our own. We are finding it helpful for our executive and program committees, as those who have hesitated to be involved previously because of their location outside Peterborough are easily able to attend meetings. The executive has decided to continue with our monthly general meetings via Zoom, as we have been doing for the last year and a half, and to add a monthly Zoom stitch-in as well. Our treasurer, Marilyn Buxton, is incorporating more use of on-line banking, so that we will be able to make and receive e-transfers. Our program committee created a video to teach woven picot stitch and variations for our November meeting, including it in our slide presentation as well as a private link on our website. Our web-master posts images for “show and tell” each month on our website, which we can view during our meetings, allowing our members to see things clearly and explain their techniques. Our website continues to be our central platform, and we have now also incorporated website-based email. This has allowed us to have some executive positions have an EGPstitch email account, which can be be passed on to the next person who takes that position, enabling the history to be accessible for them.
Our fall project was initiated in June: a biscornu sampler. Members were able to work on it over the summer, and then to learn how to put it together in October. Some have completed a 15-sided biscornu, others opted for an 8-sided biscornu, and some chose to complete it as a sampler. This has given us a good start on our challenges for the next ONN general meeting.
As the program committee discussed what projects and topics to focus on from November through April, a theme of “finding embroidery” emerged. We are presenting a series of projects that allow us to use what we have on hand – what we can find in our stash! For November we worked on a design by our librarian Suz Cuss, called Autumn Tree, which was published in the EAC magazine a few years ago. It uses an amalgam of threads (whatever you can find!) to create the trunk and branches, and uses variations on woven picot stitch for a few leaves. For January we will be doing Visible Mending, after we find some clothing with worn spots or stains that can be improved with embroidery. February Blues will see us learning some Sashiko stitches on whatever blue fabric and white thread we can find. For March we will be creating Layers of Fabric, making a collage with whatever fabrics we can find to develop a piece on which we can embroider. In April we are looking forward to an online presentation by Lisa Kampel from Calgary, on how to do your own framing – again, on whatever pieces we can find!
Finding the New Normal
We are planning to present two workshops this year, with at least one online. We had booked Kim Mather of Kimat Designs to do a Zentangle workshop for April 2020, and are planning to finally hold it this spring. We are also planning a collage workshop. We will be offering the workshops to our members and also to others who are interested. The online workshop format will enable us to offer it to an even broader audience. We will let the ONN know when we have more details.
We will miss our annual December luncheon and ornament exchange again this year, but instead will be gathering on Zoom for coffee and sharing an ornament that we have made for ourselves. We are hoping that by June we will able to meet again for our annual year-end gathering, though we are planning for the first time to have all members display at least one piece of their work. We have missed being involved in the local Fibrefest for the last two years, and are pleased that it will be running again this May, giving us time to change up what we have done in the past, and find new ways forward!
Report – March 2021
Winter Report submitted by Fiona White, ONN Representative March 23, 2021
The new year brought new commitment to our guild. We have continued to meet via Zoom on the third Wednesday of the month and the meetings have been well attended. It seems that we have become used to the new way of doing things and embraced it. We have also continued to keep in touch via email. Our members have been busy producing a range of wonderful needlework, including lots of activity on our program project. Our wonderful webmaster, Tina Lubimiv, has continued to post pictures of work completed on our website. For a quick look at the range of projects check out the website at https://egpstitch.ca/home/what-s-new/
Our past president, Deb Blackmore, has been looking after nominations for the new executive to be elected at our general meeting in May, and we are approaching a full slate, with both new and experienced members. While we hope that we will be able to meet in person soon, we are prepared to continue regardless of when that may be.
Our fall project was to create an embroidered box, based on instructions from Norah Jackson, which are available on our website: https://egpstitch.ca/home/program-and-calendar-of-events/ We were all given the matting used for the exterior and interior pieces of the box, cut to size, as a starting point. Some of our members were quick off the mark, but others found themselves spinning their wheels until the new year arrived. As always the creativity and the diversity of response to a common task is impressive. Below are a few examples of the boxes created. For more views of these and other boxes, as well as descriptions of the techniques and motivations, go to https://egpstitch.ca/home/what-we-do/embroidered-boxes/
For our winter project we are working on embroidered postcards, with instructions from Deb Blackmore, and examples from a previous run of this project by the guild several years ago. In February we were given the first photograph to work from – a seaside scene from our president Jan Nicholls, taken when she was visiting her daughter in Halifax. Members had submitted pictures of their postcards prior to our March meeting, and Tina did a screen share from the website so that members could explain their postcard, allowing her to zoom in (pun intended!) to show detail. This led to rich discussion about techniques and materials used – almost like a set of mini-workshops. It is interesting that Zoom allows for closer collective examination and discussion of a piece than is possible at a regular meeting. Below are a few of the interpretations that were shared. For other examples, again with explanation of techniques and motivations, as well as the instructions and original photo go to https://egpstitch.ca/home/what-we-do/embroidered-postcards-2021/ Our plan is to continue with these postcard projects for the rest of this year, with a member chosen at random each month to provide the photo for the following month.
Report – December 2020
Fall Report submitted by Fiona White, ONN Representative
November 28, 2020
Maintaining our Community
While all our guild activities were suspended in April, we were still hopeful that September would see us being able to meet again. By August we were more realistic that our 2020-2021 year was going to be very different! We decided to continue our regular general meetings on the third Wednesday of the month, starting in October, using Zoom. It has been a learning experience for all, but with two successful meetings now under our belt the executive is comfortable to continue with Zoom meetings for the remainder of the year, if necessary. Our usual December luncheon will be replaced by a virtual sharing of Christmas ornaments using a slide show on Zoom. Rather than exchanging our ornaments we will be making them for ourselves.
In addition to our monthly general meeting, we have always held well-attended stitch-ins on three other Wednesdays of the month. While we are missing those opportunities for sewing, socializing, and helping each other, we have been sharing information and links through emails, and showing what we have completed on our website. Our webmaster Tina Lubimiv has done an amazing job updating the site with the more frequent submissions, while also serving as our Zoom master. Our librarian Mary Anne Hammond has also been helpful in keeping us in touch through sharing books and magazines. She lets us know when new issues arrive or notifies us of books that are relevant to our program topics, which often results in items being passed along to members who want to read them, including the opportunity for brief doorway chats!
Pictures of recent work are available on our website:
Our program has progressed more or less as planned. Our fall project is to make an embroidered box. Our past president, Deb Blackmore, obtained the matting to be used for the box forms from Kim Mather at Kimat, and the matting kits were hand-delivered by executive members. In October Norah Jackson demonstrated the process for making the box sides on Zoom and posted the instructions on our member sign-in area on the website. In November we shared our progress on our individual design decisions for our box and we can look forward to seeing a wide variety of boxes in early winter. Norah will be demonstrating how to stitch the boxes together at our January meeting, with the hopes that members will be able to share their designs by February or March. Examples of boxes already completed by members in the past have also been posted to our website.
From February to June, we have decided to do a monthly postcard challenge. In February we will be shown a single photo and then all members will be asked to interpret it in a 3×5 postcard to be shown at the next meeting. This process will be repeated with new photos each month until June, and possibly through the summer and into fall. It provides a wonderful opportunity for showcasing different techniques and approaches by our members, as well as rich discussion when we share our results.
While we are fortunate that we have maintained our membership numbers for this year, we still worry what effect the disruption will have on our guild as we move on to 2021 and beyond. As we all reconsider the priorities in our lives will we want things to be the same as before, or will we want to change them? Will we be able to meet on a weekly basis as we did before? Will the facility we have used for many years still be available to us? Will the outreach activities we have been involved with in past years, such as Fibre Fest and teaching opportunities, still be available? Being an election year for our guild, will we be successful in filling vacant positions on the executive? What opportunities will we have for recruiting new members to maintain a vibrant guild? With over 40 years as a guild we are confident we will find a way forward. We look forward to discussions within our guild, and to hearing about what other groups in ONN are doing.
Report – July 2020
submitted by Fiona White, ONN Representative 10 July, 2020
As with most guilds our best-laid plans came to a halt in late March. Peterborough’s Fibrefest was cancelled, our April Zentangle workshop was postponed, and we ceased having regular meetings. The executive met once using an online meeting system. We did manage to hold our Annual General Meeting via email, made easier by the fact that this was not an election year for the executive. The executive decided to continue supporting our members through emails and on our website. Some members have been sending emails to our group list to show their recent work and others have submitted work to our web-master for display on our website. To see some of this work check out https://egpstitch.ca/home/what-s-new/
We are planning another executive meeting for August, when we hope that we will know more about what is possible for our fall schedule. In addition to provincial and local health guidelines, we will also be affected by whether our meeting space at the local Superstore will be available, and whether our membership will be willing to attend in-person meetings. An email survey of our members in June showed that there was a preference for meeting in-person, with some willingness to move to online meetings if it is necessary. We had already determined our program theme for the year (making books and boxes), and we have strong expertise from within our group to support us on those projects. Our annual membership fees were due in June and nearly all signed up for another year, despite not knowing exactly how that year will unfold!
Report – March 2020
submitted by Fiona White, ONN Representative March 11, 2020
Winter is always a busy time for our guild, as we collaborate on multiple guild projects, as well as working on our own individual (and often multiple) stitching projects.
For our winter program Wenda Mortlock and Linda Vassiliadis have been leading us through a Glistening Webs canvas work project. Some members had done an earlier version a few years ago and are changing it up this time to make coasters or smaller variations, while more recent members are taking the opportunity to create the full version that we had seen and admired. The work on this project, as well as the stumpwork we did in the fall are preparing us for a focus on books and boxes for next year’s program.
Winter is also when we get serious about preparing for our booth at Peterborough’s Fibre Fest, now in its 10th year (see http://www.ptbo-hwsg.com/events/fibrefest-2016/ for more information). While it is a wonderful opportunity to display our recent work and recruit new members, we also use it as a fundraiser by selling small pieces. Last year’s covered tape measures were a great hit, so we have produced more for this year, and the stand-up crows that were popular a few years ago are making a return appearance, joined by some bunnies as well as some Easter ornaments.
We also had another community outreach project this year which involved a series of four half-day classes held at Peterborough’s New Canadian Centre in January. The idea for it grew out of a contact made during our participation in the Creative Hands On Festival in September. Led by Deb Blackmore, our past president, three of us facilitated the classes with six women, most of whom had come to Canada within the last three years. Each week the participants learned new stitches on a doodle cloth, discussed tools, threads and fabric choices, and worked on designing and creating a needlecase. While the native languages in the room included Spanish, Mandarin, Farsi and Arabic, we found we were able to communicate well with diagrams, demonstrations, and some dictionary use. As we started to stitch on our new stitch while varying the size of our stitches, we realized that a simple word like stitch could have so many meanings. The sessions were well received, and we have been invited to teach the series again in the fall.
We are looking forward to a full day workshop in April with Kim Mather on Zentangles, before we finish up our year (and hopefully our projects) with our AGM in May and our end of year luncheon in June.
Report – December 2019
submitted by Fiona White, ONN Representative
Our guild has had a productive fall, culminating in our December luncheon and star ornament exchange on December 11. We got off to a good start in September with a number of new members, maintaining our membership at around 30.
Our formal program started at our October general meeting, with a workshop presented by Deb Blackmore on stumpwork. She developed a kit and instructions for creating holly leaves using three different techniques, with various colour choices. Nora Jackson also created instructions for a more advanced stumpwork piece. Both of these pieces could be used as tree ornaments.
For November, Deb continued to support us in our learning, as she provided instructions and demonstration on how to create twisted cord, which can be incorporated in ornaments or edging. Also discussed was how to do backing for ornaments.
We held our luncheon at a local restaurant, in their private dining room, which gives us lots of time and space to play some needlework-inspired games, eat whatever we want, and delight over the star ornaments created. Despite all starting with the same five-pointed star shape, it’s amazing to see the variety produced, with wonderful skill and artful design.
Our new year activities include preparations for the annual Fibrefest, program workshops on canvas work, and an outreach project to teach a series of embroidery classes at the Peterborough New Canadians Centre.
More information on our guild activities is available at our website egpstitch.ca
Report – October 2019
Submitted by Fiona White, ONN Rep
Our guild had a busy summer and is now busy getting settled in for a new year. As usual we continued to meet weekly for stitch-in days at members’ houses, and our executive met and finalized plans for our 2019-2020 program. We used one of our Wednesdays for a field trip to visit Kimat Designs http://www.kimatdesigns.com as well as some other stitch, fabric, and art stores nearby.
The big event, though, was our guild’s participation in the Creative Hands on Festival, held September 13-15 in downtown Peterborough https://creativehandsonfestival.ca A sub-committee, led by our talented past-president Deb Blackmore, developed a display, a “make and take” bookmark activity and a workshop class. Deb developed a lovely sampler kit for use in the workshop, and some committee members did a trial run so Deb could fine tune the instructions. The event was a success for the organizers, and for our group. The outreach possible from such events as this, and the Peterborough Fibre Arts Festival, help us to connect with our community.
Following on last year’s “stitch of the month”, which we used to support our program focus of the “My Place, My Space” mapping challenge, we decided to develop a program for this year on different embroidery techniques. In October we will be doing stump work and then will follow that up in November with a session on twisted cording and mounting the stump work to complete a Christmas ornament. December is our usual luncheon and star exchange. January and February will be work on a canvaswork sampler. Techniques for March and April will be decided after more input from our members, with a show of work planned for our May meeting. We have had interest expressed on creating three dimensional pieces and realized that this year’s techniques will lead nicely in to a focus on “Books and Boxes” for 2020-2021!
More information on these activities is available at our website egpstitch.ca
Report – April 2018
Submitted by Fiona White, ONN representative
Fibrefest and Beyond
Peterborough’s Fibre Arts Festival is over for another year, which means we can breathe a sigh of relief and renew our focus on other projects. We always enjoy our involvement in this event http://www.ptbo-hwsg.com/events/fibrefest-2016/ hosted by the local Spinners and Weavers. It brings together a range of local groups, makers, and other vendors and it has been bigger and better every year. Each year we have had a booth to show off what we do and we also use it as an opportunity to sell some of our work. It is helpful in letting prospective members find out more about us and the broader community to understand what we do.
This year we had decided to use the program portion of our monthly general meeting to focus on a stitch of the month. We used those stitches in three different projects, all of which became items for sale at Fibrefest. We used buttonhole stitches for finishing off the “tarted-up” measuring tapes, which were a popular item. Other stitches were used for creating hoop-art and for plaques with inspirational or humorous sayings.
The other program focus for our year is “My Place, My Space”. This is a challenge to our members to produce a piece that reflects that theme, using maps or images. We reviewed how to print images such as maps on fabric using an ink-jet printer, as well as other transfer techniques. The projects are starting to take shape and we should have some pictures for our next report. One member is creating a map of Newfoundland as a favourite place to visit, with layers of cloth and embroidered images. Several are stitching on maps of the roads in their area with images of special features embroidered. I am working with a map from the 1875 atlas that shows the lots and concessions from when our neighbourhood was farmland. I am excited to see how they all turn out.
We have always been very proud of our website, and of our webmaster extraordinaire, Tina Lubimiv. However, this year the site reached the end of its technical possibilities as it lost its capability for us to sign in to a members-only area. Tina has worked closely with a new tech company for several months to transfer the site to a new host. We are delighted that our site is up and running again, looking as beautiful as ever. Check it out at egpstitch.ca
Report – April 2018
We kept ourselves busy (and warm) working with wool this winter. We started with a felting workshop in November with Christianna Ferguson, a local fibre artist. After learning some basics of wet felting, we created embellished pieces of felt which then inspired us to further stitching. More details and pictures are available on our website http://egpstitch.ca/home/what-s-new/2-uncategorised/72-felting. Linda Vassiliadis used her piece to create a wonderful garden.
Our December lunch and star ornament exchange were well-attended as usual, giving us a welcome respite in the midst of a busy season. Tina Lubimiv gave us all pieces of felted wool blankets and a challenge: to make phone cases for our Fibre Festival display, following the design Carol Rand had created as a gift for Tina, our webmaster extraordinaire. Tina had pre-cut the felt pieces for us, and with the skills in wool appliqué that Carol had taught us in a workshop in the previous year, augmented with a wide range of embroidery techniques and materials, the guild members used January and February to produce an inspiring collection of work. (two pictures of the phone cases)
In January we had a wonderful workshop given by Carol Rand, who also serves as the secretary for our guild, on how to use acrylic paint on different types of fabrics, which can then be embellished with embroidery. The technique was used by some to create tea towels, which had been a popular item at our Fibre Festival display in a previous year.
In February we gathered the materials for the 2018 Peterborough Fibre Arts Festival and Sale to be held on March 17. The Fibre Festival has been running for eight years, starting as a small gathering of local guilds and vendors in the basement of the Peterborough library, hosted by the Peterborough Weavers and Spinners Guild.
Needing more space, it has moved to a larger venue at the Peterborough Wellness Centre, with more vendors and displays, and drawing from a wider area. While the focus is on spinning, weaving, felting and knitting, our EGP booth always attracts interest. Initially the EGP used the display to show the guild’s work, but with many visitors wishing to buy what they saw, the guild has incorporated a featured item for sale each year.
This year we featured the phone cases and tea towels, but also included some cards and buttons left from last year’s show, and some other items. Not only does it provide our guild with a fund-raising opportunity, it has helped to advertise our organization and increase our membership.
With several new members joining us as a result of seeing us at the Fibre Festival, we had a full house for Part 1 of our pulled thread workshop, presented by Seanagh Murdoch. It was lovely to switch to working with linen for the first day of spring.
Report – October 2017
After a summer of informal meetings it has been lovely to be all back together for the start of our 2017-2018 year. Our guild has regular meetings four times a month, with our general meeting on the third Wednesday morning of the month, followed by an afternoon stitch-in, and stitch-ins on the other Wednesday mornings. We use our stitch-in time to work on projects, share materials and ideas, and inspire each other. We meet in a light-filled room at our local Superstore for three of the Wednesdays, and for the fourth one we meet at a member’s house for easy access to our library.
The guild participated in EAC’s National Stitch-In-Public Day by gathering for the morning of Wednesday, September 13, at the Silver Bean Cafe in Millenium Park, which is beside the Otonabee River in downtown Peterborough.
Wenda Mortlock and the program committee have developed an interesting program for the year, building on strengths and interests of the group, and based on member requests rather than a particular theme. Program sessions will include a felting workshop, creating star ornaments for our exchange at our Christmas luncheon, instruction on redwork and painted accents, and on drawn thread. We will also be involved in preparing for our display at the annual Peterborough Fibre Festival in March.
The first program event was to share the results of the President’s challenge to complete a UFO. As always, deadlines are lifelines. There were quite a number of members who worked hard to complete their UFO by our September 20, meeting, and were then rewarded with lovely gift packages of coordinated felt, fat quarter, special button and ribbon – which will serve as material and inspiration for new projects! Prizes were awarded for the oldest (a candlewicking piece started in the 1980s), for the most, for “I never thought I’d finish this”, for the “I loved it, but now I hate it”, for the “closest to your heart”, the most creative, and for the “not quite there, almost done, tried to get it done”. The latter prize went to Linda Vassiliadis, who claimed the “frog did her in”. She has produced an amazing crazy quilt, with wonderful detail, but the needle was still in the last piece with half an embroidered frog.
Carol Rand won for the most projects completed, and also for the most creative. At each general meeting we have a loonie draw for a gift bag. Whoever wins is responsible for filling the next gift bag, with materials costing under $5, but often augmented with little things from the member’s stash. Carol’s piece was created by using all the items in a gift bag that she once won. Starting with felt squares she embellished each one and used them to create a cube which now serves as a button box.
Sharing our UFOs and the stories that went with them was a wonderful way to start the year, and inspired us for the projects we will work on this year.