Report – March 2022
submitted by Roma Smith, ONN Rep
It has been almost a year since our guild has submitted a report to your newsletter and two years since we’ve been able to hold in-person meetings, thanks to Covid. We have adapted to the uncertainty by meeting virtually these past two years. Our savvy executive put together a programme that would offer a presentation by a renowned quilter or stitcher who would talk about and show some of the projects they have been working on. In February we enjoyed a goldwork master, Natalie Dupuis. She gave a historical overview of goldwork embroidery and showed some of the beautiful pieces she has made. You can listen to her talk about her embroidery journey on podcasts and videos. Just go to www.stitcherystories.com. In March, we visited with Sharon Fisher, a gal from Mount Forest, who embellishes her quilts with wool and embroidery. Our guild also treated us to an event offered by the Global Quilt Connection called Sampler Platter. It is offered over two days and introduces nearly twenty different teachers who demonstrate a short technique. Although most of these presentations are for quilters, a few teachers who dabble in quilt art can light a spark under a stitcher to use other techniques to display their work in non-traditional ways.
You may be as curious as I to find out what our stitchers have been up to as they have been sitting out lockdown after lockdown. So I sent out a call for photos and stories of their work. I asked them to tell me how stitchery has saved their sanity. Unfortunately, I have no stories to giggle about but I do have some photos of what they’ve been up to. Here’s what they offer. I entitle it:
SAVING OUR SANITY
Up first is Linda Lachance. Linda is our dynamic canvaswork designer. She has been very busy getting ready to teach at EAC and ANG. Here are photos of the original pieces she will offer in her classes. Linda also has her own online stitchery company called “Northern Pine Designs“. If you want to learn canvaswork, she’s your gal.
Our second featured stitcher is Betty McLeod. Betty is our expert on hardanger. She too is an avid stitcher who always has a project on the go. Betty also enjoys doing Mill Hill bead patterns. I know Betty has been busy stitching other things over the last year. She starts her day sitting in her sunroom relaxing with a cup of coffee and a piece of stitchery.
Next up is Janet Clark. Janet is relatively new to the stitchery game, at least to us, because she joined our guild a year or so before the pandemic. Janet dove into stitchery with energy, enthusiasm and creativity. Recently she has been taking private classes exploring the use of dyes on fabrics she is stitching on. Her mandala piece is done on a piece of fabric she hand dyed. She says the mandala design came from an adult colouring book, the fine lines stitched with one thread and the thicker lines with two threads.
Her little story about her piece entitled “Through the Woods” goes as follows. When I was young and we’d had enough fresh snow, a family friend would drive his horse and sleigh into town and give the neighborhood kids a ride around the streets. He had bells on the harness so we’d hear them coming and start hooting and hollering with excitement. It brings back a lovely memory. It was my first time stitching with beads and finding out how they can enhance a piece of stitchery. It is also the first time I’ve worked on perforated paper. Well Done, Janet!
Our next stitcher, Marilyn Clulow is highly creative. She says she loves to do things with her hands. She finds creating art meditative and it has kept her out of the doldrums during the pandemic. She shares with us the following:
This piece is simple boro stitching on a piece of black cotton lawn. When colour is taken out of black fabric, quite unexpected colours are revealed.
With one of my hand dyed pieces of cotton fabric, I created a woodland garden, using a combination of machine stitching and hand embroidery. The leaves of the tree are small pieces of silk, the tree trunks and flowers are hand embroidered, the hosta leaves are 3D and are thread painted.
This piece is a throw, made from a kit by a friend of mine in Montreal, Pat del Moral. She made a number of kits. All the motifs were designed by her and I was lucky enough to get her last kit. It is wool applique on black wool fabric. All the pieces for the applique were hand dyed as well as the silk embroidery threads.
I had made a few quilt sandwiches to use to practice my free motion skills and was just about to throw them out when I had the great idea of soaking them overnight in the waste water I was using to do some ice dyeing of some cotton fabric. I felt I had nothing to lose, since the quilted pieces were being thrown out anyway. Imagine my surprise and delight when I ended up with some beautifully ice dyed pieces which I thought would be muddy. I have been creating little mini quilts using a combination of collage and hand embroidery and beading.
Using a stencil, I drew a tree on a piece of black cotton. I back stitched the outline of the tree using fine white perle cotton and used the lazy daisy stitch for the leaves. I tried to create an image of a wind blown tree.
Looks like the lockdown paid off for you Marilyn. Can’t wait to see what you are going to create next.
Just in time for Easter, our next stitcher Marlene Rantala has stitched a charming pillow “The Tortoise and the Hare” in Berlin work. It reminds me of the wild rabbits that have been hopping around my yard this winter leaving their footprints in the snow.
Next we have our talented stitching mentor, Juliet McDonald, showing us what she can do when challenged. Her challenge was to use four different colours, in crayons she was given, as well as black and white to create a craft of her choice. She chose to use stumpwork to execute her creativity. She calls her piece “Three Worlds“.
Above the water is the Japanese maple tree, at the water surface are frothy ripples and leaves, and below the water is the carp. She says she used memory thread for the carp. She used perle cotton on the ring, the branches and the water. The leaves were done in silk thread. Three wooden beads represent the bubbles. Awesome job, Juliet!
Lastly, I too have been stitching. I made this mug rug from a free pattern I found on Shabby Fabrics.
I love the feel of felted wool in my hands as I stitch. A mug rug? Not likely. A cup of coffee isn’t going to be staining it after all that work. I look forward to doing more stitching with felted wool.
That about wraps it up. Keep on Stitching and Save your Sanity. LOL!
Report – March 2021
Submitted by Roma Smith, ONN Rep
Recently I read, online, a Toronto Sun article about quilting. Like the virus has made a surge since the onset of the pandemic, so has quilting. Shops can’t keep up with the sale of sewing machines and fabric. So I wonder what is happening in the stitchery world. I always enjoy looking at photos in the newsletter, so I put out a call to our guild members to submit photos of what they have been stitching. Here is a sampling of the work we’re doing.
“Winter -a project binder by Daintry Chitaroni Daintry tells us that the Wonderfil Glamore metallic thread she used in this project was easy to work with and gave the project lots of sparkle. She quilted the background in King Tut thread
“Pumpkin” an original design by Daintry Chitaroni. Daintry created the design by using a colouring book image and Mary Corbet’s website as a resource for stitches. She filled the spaces in with many types of threads and used over 20 different stitches.
“Guests and Quilts” by Helen Landry. Helen says this project provided her with the opportunity to learn 1/4 and 3/4 stitches.
“Scissors Keep and Ornament” by Betty McLeod. Betty applied her experienced hand in stitching the Lorna Bateman scissors keep. The ornament shows her mastery of counted work.
“Humbug Bag” an original piece by Janet Clark. Janet is one of the newer members of our guild who has shown a keen interest in stitchery. Janet used a variety of embroidery stitches she found in books and magazines to decorate the cover of this bag.
“My Imaginary Butterfly” by Roma Smith. This project came out of a workshop given in 2019 by two of our guild members. It was a challenge to lay the long and short satin stitches so they would converge on an angle towards the body of the butterfly. After tearing out stitches and starting over a couple of times I finally finished it.
Now for the busiest stitcher of us all, Juliet McDonald. Juliet has submitted several photos of her work for us to view. The old church in Sarajevo is an original piece that evolved from a felting workshop given at our guild by Nicola Young. Juliet, when do you get time to sleep? Juliet’s work shines in the following photos: a) American Dollar b) Hallowe’en ornaments c) Blackwork Samples d) Sarajevo e) Stocking Ornament f)LOVE Bell Pull g) Another Stocking Ornament.
We have received our last instructions from Juliet for our mystery SAL. Can’t wait to see the different interpretations. The reveal of these may appear in our next ONN newsletter submission.
Yours in Stitching
Report – December 2020
Submitted by Roma Smith, ONN Rep
The beginning of our new guild year has found us still locked out of our meeting headquarters, a municipal community centre. Eager to keep connected and to ensure the continuance of our guild, we started holding our meetings using the virtual platform, Zoom. Not all of our members have access to this technology but we have managed to connect with a significant portion of our members. Since our first Zoom meeting in early October we have hosted two meetings with professionals as our guest speakers. Of interest to stitchers was a presentation by Monika Kinner, a textile artist from Saskatchewan. Monika spoke about her journey into embroidery and explained how her craft has become her main source of income. She shared with us a few of her thread painted landscapes of her prairie home. You might enjoy looking at some of her work. You can find it on her website: http://www.mysweetprairie.ca
We are thankful that our dedicated stitcher, Juliet McDonald, has stepped forward and set up a programme to keep us stitching this year. She had us begin with stitching a Mystery Stitch Along (SAL). Instructions are offered in four parts. She sends us instructions for each part, each month, in our email; then, follows it up with a zoom meeting to give us help and guidance. We are also stitching ornaments for our Christmas ornament exchange. In the past, we would bring a handmade ornament to our annual Christmas banquet. The ornament would be wrapped in a plain paper bag with no name on it. All bags were placed on a table. After dinner, we would take turns going up to the table to select a bag. If you brought an ornament, you could take an ornament. The fun part was the surprise when you opened the bag. You didn’t know what was in the bag or who it was from until you opened it. This year we will have a modified version of the ornament exchange. We will know who is going to get our ornament because you will have to deliver it to them.
In the New Year we look forward to finishing our SAL bell pull and to trying our hand at embroidering on voile.
Make the best of your COVID Coop-up and Stitch, Stitch, Stitch.
Report as of 5 July 2020
Roma has sent us a brief report saying that everything is on hold with the SDQSG as their meeting venue – the Parkside Older Adult Centre – is closed and they don’t know when it will re-open.
Report – April 2020
Submitted by Roma Smith and Juliet MacDonald March 9/20
Hello again. We’re back! That’s right we were lost in the icloud for a few months but now we are found. Well, we have been stitching since you last heard from us. Two ladies in our stitchery group, Juliet MacDonald and Sylvie Thibodeau worked diligently putting together a well rounded program this year. The Sudbury guild is composed of 2 groups, mainly quilters & a lesser number of stitchers. So, in choosing any stitchery workshop, there must be a wide appeal to a diverse group of members with varying stitchery skills. As a result, development of the stitchery program in our guild can be quite challenging to appease the advanced & intermediates as well as the novice and beginner stitchers.
This year we offered the following workshops: an introduction to sashiko, a hardanger ornament, a blackwork valentine and a stumpwork butterfly. The stumpwork butterfly project was by far the most challenging. If you are interested, here is how we managed to handle it.
4-part Stumpwork Butterfly Workshop
This project, the stumpwork butterfly was chosen as a workshop because it is a ready-made project workshop on the EGA website. The pattern is free and is available to anyone but this is an advanced project aimed at those who are familiar with stitchery. Since it is a piece meant for intermediate & advanced stitchers, accommodations had to be made in the workshop in order to help the novice & beginner stitchers. The teachers have had to supplement the pattern to include additional instructions & pictorials and offer additional help.
Since the project was relatively difficult and stitching intensive, it would require many meetings to teach & finish this project. It was decided to teach it in 4 parts: 1) buttonhole stitch the wire butterfly outline 2)colour the wings with irregular satin stitches, 3) add embellishments & beading, and 4) finish & assemble it as a brooch or magnet. In doing so, it made each part of the workshop manageable for the teachers to teach, and the students to stitch and finish each part. Due to time restrictions, the butterfly outline was reduced 20% to allow the students to finish each part in a reasonable amount of time.
So far, it has been a successful workshop, about 20% higher enrolment; plus a few beginners joined in too. Those who have finished their butterfly have showed great satisfaction in finishing this challenging project. This 2020 workshop worked well because it was organized into 4 parts, making it very manageable and possible to finish. There were only basic stitches involved, so the skill level is relatively low. The difficulty level is moderate, – working and stitching on wire, creating your own butterfly design, stitching through bulky layers of the wings, and the assembly of a 3-D butterfly, all of which proved more challenging.
As the photos of the finished butterflies reveal, the ladies were successful. I’m still working on mine. We should see more butterflies on display at our annual year end banquet.
Report – April 2018
This guild year began with offering a new technique and a project. The new technique we learned was “passementerie” or “button making.” The class was taught by one of our members, Carmen Huggins. After her presentation on all the lovely buttons one can make, we followed an instruction video and completed one Dorset button that evening. These buttons can be used on articles of clothing or to embellish a piece of needlework.
The following month we offered a project, a cross stitched biscornu, which gave us a small item that can used as a gift or Christmas ornament.
Our second project began in the new year. We decided to try something different. It was a pretty project that combined some beading and pulled thread skills that had been presented last year. We called it “Mystery Stitches of the Month”. It works like a mystery block of the month quilt project. We set aside four classes (one a month) to do it. The first month, participants are given a small section of a pattern to work on. The rest is hidden from them. The second month, a little more is revealed. By the fourth month the entire mystery image is revealed. The concept of a mystery to be solved seems to keep them stitching and without a finished project to look at they select the colours and the threads to work with. No two projects will be exactly the same. This project was popular and fun.
Many of us are trying to finish UFOs to get ready for our “Quilts on the Rocks” show that takes place this fall. This show will be held on Saturday and Sunday, October 13 and 14 from 10:00 to 4:00 at the Parkside Centre/ YMCA, 140 Durham Street, Sudbury. If you are in our area drop by and see our stitchery display. We would love to see you.
Report – August 2017
The Sudbury Guild’s year ended on April 24th, followed by a delightful banquet. A fashion show was a new feature we enjoyed at the banquet. Some members modeled quilted outfits they had made. Linda Lachance was our guest speaker at the banquet. Linda is a well-qualified EAC teacher who owns her own stitchery design company called “Northern Pine Designs”. After dinner, she shared with us her journey in stitchery with a slide show of her creations. There were pieces of her more recent works on display for us to drool over.
The banquet is preceded by the year-end workshop. This workshop alters between quilting one year and stitchery the next year. This year the stitchers enjoyed a “Stitching Around the Void” class taught by Linda Lachance. The ladies selected their own void shape to embroider around. Linda demonstrated how to use numerous stitches and a wide variety of thread fibres to create texture in their piece. Best of all, she showed them how to attach all sort of items like gem stones and shells to their work to embellish it. We look forward to seeing these completed creations at our next quilt show in October 2018.
On display at our banquet were the entries for our Canada 150 Challenge. The entries had to be the stitcher’s original design. The stitcher could choose any technique to interpret what Canada meant to him/her. The challenge was judged by all guild members in attendance at our last meeting. Many thanks go out to Juliet McDonald for co-ordinating this challenge. Pieces entered in this challenge are currently on display at the main branch of the Sudbury Public Library for the public to enjoy.
The accompanying photos proudly display the winner’s work. First place went to Evelyn Yade for her piece “Provincial Flowers”. Second place was awarded to Juliet McDonald for her flag creation entitled “Celebration”. Third place was awarded to Sylvie Thibodeau for a piece stitched on a Canada print fabric.
When guild starts back again in the fall we will hear about another challenge. This one will be part of our quilt show “Quilt on the Rocks”.