September to May
Monthly General Meetings
3rd Wednesday, 9:30 am to 1 pm, Westdale United Church
2nd Wednesday, 9:30 am to 1 pm, various locations
Report – December 2022
Submitted by Fiona White, Program Chair and ONN Representative
It was great to start back in September with our regular meetings on the third Wednesday morning of the month, and to adapt to our new home at Westdale United Church. We have scaled back to having just one stitch-in per month, to be held the week before our regular meeting, usually in member homes.
We have gone with a “House and Garden” theme for the year, and our first program activity was to do a house clean-up and bring in our discards to share. We had great fun turning stash trash into treasures. The exchange was so popular that we continued with it for our October meeting. At that point we also presented our “House and Garden challenge” for the year, to create a piece representing that theme to be displayed at our year-end celebration in June. We also discussed different approached to creating a background for our pieces, illustrated with examples brought in to share by our members. For our November meeting we discussed architectural embroidery and did a mini-workshop showing how blackwork stitches, especially the double-running stitch, could be used to represent houses. Members new to blackwork were given Aida cloth to work with (example below), while more experienced members worked on linen.
By January we hope our members will be able to share their plans for their House and Garden piece or get assistance with their design process. February will see us planning for our Fibrefest display in Mary, and in March, when we hope spring will be arriving, we are going to discuss ways to represent gardens, and to do a mini-workshop on silk ribbon embroidery.
A Colour on Cloth Playday
We usually try to do one or two full-day workshops each year, but since we are still working on getting those organized for the new year, we decided to run a playday for the fall. We had 15 members gather on Saturday, November 19 to explore techniques for putting colour on cloth to create backgrounds for stitching. We set up four separate stations and had a Program Committee member to help out at each station. We started the day with a brief introduction and a handout, and then we split into groups and rotated through the four stations, with a brief demonstration and opportunity to try out the technique at each station. After a break for lunch, participants were free to return to work at whichever station(s) they chose.
Station 4 was doing digital printing on cotton, linen, and silk organza, using an Epson Workforce inkjet printer which allows print size up to 11×17 sheets.
And for a break we had the kitchen station! The host promised coffee and tea and asked everyone to bring their own lunch and snacks. However, the wonderful group of women brought extra snacks to share, helped keep things organized, and left the house cleaner than when we started.
The playday was a success and we may consider using a similar set-up for another day, with a focus on learning different stitches or other techniques.
Report – July 2022
Submitted by Fiona White, Program Chair and ONN Representative
Learning in April
For our meeting in April we had an interesting Zoom presentation by Lisa Kampel from the Calgary Guild ( https://finishingisfun.ca/about/ ) She demonstrated how to frame your own work using poster board and purchased frames.
We also had the second of two Sunday afternoon Zoom workshop sessions with Kim Mather of Kimat Designs (https://www.kimatdesigns.com) in which we she guided us to use the materials she had provided to turn our Zentangle drawings (see the Zoom screen picture) into an embroidered piece. Some of our members took a further step to create a range of interesting pieces, either directly from their original drawing, or inspired by the Zentangle process.
Suzanne Zakis and Deb Blackmore made bags, though Suzanne opted to just use part of her design.
Marilyn Buxton created a Zentangle Turtle. And Seanagh Murdoch found she enjoyed the Zentangle drawing process more than transposing it to an embroidered piece, so she deconstructed a favourite old pillow and embellished it with Zentangle inspirations, and then did a complex Zentangle drawing on the reverse.
Exhibiting in May
We were delighted that the Peterborough Fibrefest, which was cancelled in March 2020, was able to return this year. The date was changed to May, and we were in a new location – a large space in the lower level of Peterborough Square, our downtown mall, which is used through the winter for an indoor Farmers’ Market. Vendors and local fibre groups were happy to be back, and even though we were competing with the beautiful weather outside, we had a reasonable turnout. With the new location we were able to double the size of our booth, devoting half to displaying various articles we have made over the years for sale, and half to an exhibition of our pandemic projects. It was lovely to renew connections with our fibre community, and to remind our larger community that we are still an active organization. Fibrefest has always been our main fundraiser, and we were pleased to be able offer our customers the option of paying with our new Square device, part of our move to using more Internet banking services.
Celebrating in June
We were able to meet in person in June for the first time since March 2020 – definitely a reason to celebrate! And we did so in our new meeting space, using the opportunity to display our pandemic projects for our members – and for a few guests from the local quilt guild who were there to attend their annual luncheon down the hall.
Our new home was a result of COVID – we lost our long-time meeting location, a bright, second story space at our local Superstore, which had been changed into a staff break room during the pandemic. After an extensive search, we settled on a main floor meeting room at a local church, and booked it for 2022-23. It was great to try it out in June, and we are pleased with the lighting, the comfortable and quiet atmosphere, as well as easy access and parking.
Report – March 2022
Submitted by Fiona White, Program Chair and ONN Representative
To make up for my all-text fall report, I have concentrated on images for this report, featuring work from 10 of our talented members. We have had a busy year of Zoom meetings and stitch-ins, starting with biscornus and an autumn tree for the fall, and a then a winter focus on embroidering things we can find – keeping it simple with running stitch.
Some of the biscornus completed as our fall project.
Some items from our Make Do and Mend program for January – a sweatshirt and a nightgown, inspired by our exploration of kantha and boro stitching.
February Blues was our program for February, continuing our look at the uses of running stitch by learning about sashiko. Following our plan to use what we have on hand, members were asked to find any blue fabric, resulting in some interesting pieces!
For more information on any of the pieces pictured, or for instructions and further related links please visit our website at egpstitch.ca.
We are looking forward to doing running stitch collages at our March meeting, and a weekend workshop on Zentangle for Embroidery with Kim Mather of Kimat Designs.
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