1st and 3rd Thursdays (September to June)
We have two meeting options:
Day Group: 10:00 am to 4 pm; Evening Group: 7 to 9:30 pm
Blythwood Baptist Church
80 Blythwood Road, Toronto, ON M4N 1A4
See the location on Google Maps
Report – March 2023
submitted by Lorna Anderson, ONN Rep
Greetings ONN Members
The new year is off to a good start. TGS member Barb Crowther invited members to join her in a Stitch-a-Long (SAL). “One Stitch At a Time” was generously shared from Seminar by the authors. Barb shares her notes, resources, instructions, updates and includes her own journey with SAL. Many members are enthusiastically participating. A couple of images of SAL in progress are included below.
TGS has a regular business, programme and show & share meeting on the first Thursday of the month. FIFI (“Find it, Finish it”) is a relaxing stitching day the third Thursday of each month. The times for both days are 10am and 7pm and hybrid is available too. Check out our website: https://www.tgsweb.ca and our new Facebook page Toronto Guild of Stitchery – TGS
The following message is from Tracey Lawko. If you have an opportunity, visit her spectacular show, “Reflections of Ourselves”.
“Reflections of Ourselves”, a collaborative art project which celebrates the rich cultural heritage of Canadians, is now exhibited at Homer Watson House & Gallery, 1754 Old Mill Rd., Kitchener, Ontario until June 25, 2023. https://www.homerwatson.on.ca/exhibitions/reflections-of-ourselves/ New cultural leaves have been added and this genealogical maple tree continues to grow! It looks wonderful under the clerestory windows of the Watson Gallery. Reception: Sunday, April 30th from 2 – 4 pm.
A FREE online Textile Talk webinar on April 5th at 2pm will feature a talk by lead artist, Tracey Lawko, about growing this grass-roots collaborative art project, and will air the documentary video of “Reflections of Ourselves” funded by the Ontario Arts Council. All welcome. Registration required https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ePcWwX1CR7asnbgPwS60ng
Take care and happy spring.
Report – December 2022
submitted by Lorna Anderson, ONN Rep
Greetings ONN members,
Toronto Guild of Stitchery wishes everyone a happy holiday season and best wishes for a healthy and safe new year. TGS meets in person and virtually for all meetings. Attendance at both is lower than early 2020 but we are meeting and stitching. Our membership is stable at 87 members.
Two retreats were held in the fall, one at Nottawasaga Inn and the second at Crieff Hills Retreat with 27 and 12 members attending respectively. March 24-26, 2023, are the dates for an upcoming retreat at BMO/IFl at 3550 Pharmacy Avenue, Toronto. Registration is open to all stitchers, not only TGS members. Please contact Heather James at 1975TGSretreat@gmail.com for details.
TGS adopted the Greek Cross Filling Stitch for the Royal School of Needlework’s stitch bank. As part of their 150-year anniversary, the RSN decided to create a stitch bank to electronically preserve stitches from all over the world. https://rsnstitchbank.org/stitch/greek-cross-filling-stitch.
With grateful thanks to Barb Crowther for preparing the images.
Please enjoy images of our members’ work:
Report – September 2022
Greetings ONN Members,
The best way to describe what is going on right now is a rebuilding phase. TGS’s main accomplishment over the past few years has been to organize and host the highly successful EAC-ACB Seminar 2022 “Hues in Harmony” while confronting and managing the many hurdles and challenges of the pandemic. We are and should be very proud of the result. The organizing committee was stellar and the event was seamless.
Despite not being able to meet in person for more than two years TGS has kept going with meetings being held on Zoom. We not only had the opportunity to see each other virtually but also were able to host a guest speakers at almost every meeting. Because there are members who weren’t able, or were not interested in online engagement we also had a number of mailed updates “Notes and Links” and gifts go to all members. Regular emails kept us connected as well. As we go forward we will attempt to keep a hybrid meeting model through the use of Zoom.
Surprisingly we have managed to keep our membership numbers reasonably stable. New members have joined and are on the younger side of our average age.
One of the biggest struggles is getting members to step into the leadership roles. For the time being we will be following a more casual meeting plan to make the guild more manageable for the existing smaller executive. Even so, plans are moving ahead for some themed meetings, retreats, an interesting workshop, and our annual stash sale.
The guild is always on the lookout for skilled teachers and interesting program ideas. Any way that ONN can help with this would be appreciated.
Respectfully submitted and with grateful thanks from TGS members Julia Paris and Karen Doak,
Report – July 2022
submitted by Lorna Anderson, ONN Rep
Greetings ONN members,
Hope you are enjoying the summer and finding time to relax and do some stitching. The guild continues to have a variety of programmes and regular project challenges. The plan is to return to in person meetings in September with a hybrid model offered as well.
TGS member, Tracey Lawko invites you to see “Reflections of Ourselves”, a collaborative art project that celebrates the rich cultural heritage of Canadians. Over 100 Indigenous, settler and immigrant Canadians have created a leaf in honour of their heritage. The leaves are as varied as their creators, each telling an individual story through different materials, techniques and imagery. Several TGS members have each contributed an embroidered leaf. The leaves hang from a textile tree. The tree is a metaphor for our human community where distinctions in human culture are like the variations of individual leaves on a tree. The exhibition continues until Sept 3, 2022 at Orillia Museum of Art & History, 30 Peter St. S., Orillia, ON. Tues – Sat: 10 – 4 pm.
In April, TGS member Diana Thorne made an interesting and well researched presentation on 3D embroidery.
In May, Carolyn Mitchell shared her Stitching Story. Carolyn has been designing, teaching and inspiring stitchers for years.
In June, the Annual Meeting was held with the slate of officers being voted into their respective roles. The June programme included stitching themed games. The monthly Countdown to Christmas 2022 (CTC2022) continues with patterns being offered every month. We are looking forward to a parade of ornaments in December. There will also be a surprise programme mailout to members at the beginning of summer.
TGS hosted the EAC seminar Hues in Harmony in May. Co-Chairs Pia Kallas-Harvey and Heather James send this report.
Hues in Harmony Seminar 2022 A Great Success
On behalf of our committee, we would like to thank everyone who participated in Seminar 2022. It was an exhilarating roller coaster ride to the finish line but from the feedback you gave us, it was a tremendous success. All the efforts we put into making it one of the best Seminars ever was well worth it. This could not have been done without the support of a very dedicated committee and members of the Toronto Guild of Stitchery – a real team effort. We also extend our gratitude to the BMO Institute for Learning for assisting us to make the event such an enjoyable accomplishment!
At the Hues in Harmony seminar in May, TGS was awarded 3rd place for their display of embroidered palettes. Here they are and please enjoy.
Report – March 2022
submitted by Lorna Anderson, ONN Rep
Greetings ONN members,
First a report from the seminar co-chairs, Heather and Pia.
Hues in Harmony Report March 2022
Seminar 2022 Hues in Harmony is only 8 weeks away! May 16-21, 2022! We are still accepting registrations! We do have classes that are not filled, so take a look at our website www.eac-acb.ca/seminar! We are welcoming all like-minded stitchers to this in real life event! COVID protocols are relaxing but we are asking that all participants are fully vaccinated to keep everyone safe! At this time the BMO IFL is requiring masks, but the times are ever changing so we do not know what the rules will be at the time of Seminar. We are looking forward to a fabulous exhibition in the Forum displaying stitching from the 2020 Seminar, the 2021 Seminar and the 2022 Seminar! We have a marvellous stitching boutique – KIMAT Designs that is open every day 8:30 am – 5:30 pm except on May 18th when it will be open 8:30 am – 8:30 pm! We encourage a visit to our Market Mall night May 18th which is open in The Bow at the BMO/IFL from 5:00 pm until 8:30 pm, located at 3550 Pharmacy Avenue, Toronto with free parking. We hope to see you there!
Along with the many members organizing the seminar, the guild continues to have a variety of programmes and regular project challenges.
In January Anne Armstrong, a docent from ROM gave an informative talk on Chintz titled ‘The Cloth That Changed The World: India’s Painted and Printed Cottons’.
Rosemary Marchant, TGS member presented an interesting program on Appliqué.
Pat Armour, TGS Member, discussed how she begins a design and progresses to the final pattern. Members were given the pattern with detailed instructions for an 18th century shoe project. Pat had previously taught the shoe project at the Bata Shoe Museum.
Please enjoy images of members’ work that have been shown at Find It Finish It (FIFI) meetings.
Two pieces by Sylvia
Four pieces by Judy
Five pieces by Barbara
Two pieces by Michele
3 pieces by Suzzanne
Four pieces by Cathy
Three pieces from Julia
Four images from Catherine
Four pieces by Dianna
Report – December 2021
Submitted by Lorna Anderson, ONN Representative
Greetings ONN members,
TGS continues to meet by ZOOM for day and evening meetings. This report includes three (3) sections. The first is a review of programmes for October, November and December. The second section is a reminder of the upcoming seminar in May 2022. The third section is a special project titled ‘Reflections of Ourselves” by TGS member Tracey Lawko. Tracey’s contact information is included, and readers are encouraged to consider contributing to Tracey’s mammoth project. Keep on stitching, take care, stay safe and best wishes for a Happy New Year.
- October – Narrative Embroidery – TGS member Rosemary Marchant. Rosemary did extensive research on tapestries embroidered through the years. Rosemary’s presentation of images and details of the tapestries was awe-inspiring.
November – Anne Ward from UK – WW1 quilt mystery – check it out: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-58683162.amp and for Facebook users: https://www.facebook.com/groups/448902116425497/. Anne and Damian Ward of Wales gave a fascinating presentation on the embroidered quilt she happened upon at their local charity shop.
December – Jo Gatenby made a prestation on her unique take on Hardanger embroidery. Jo will be teaching at the ‘Hues in Harmony’ seminar in May 2022 in Toronto.
- Hues in Harmony Seminar 2022 is rolling.
We have welcomed many registrants and we thank you. We continue to encourage members to visit our website and check out the wonderful classes. https://eac-acb.ca/seminar/
The BMO Institute for Learning is a phenomenal venue to host our in real life Seminar. It is truly an all-inclusive experience. Please join us May 16-21, 2022.
Any questions please contact email@example.com
- TGS member Tracey Lawko is looking for participants for a collaborative art project called “Reflections of Ourselves” — a large sculptural artwork that celebrates the diverse cultural heritage of Canadians. Tracey is seeking one person for each of the roughly 180 cultural groups present in Canada. Many have already signed up, but participants are still required to represent a number of cultures.
Participants create a textile maple leaf that honours their heritage. The work should be the shape and size of a life-size maple leaf template that Tracey will provide (approx. 8” wide by 7” high). The work should represent the participant’s cultural heritage. A brief artist statement should describe how their design links to their heritage. The content and technique are up to each participant, but please avoid commercial patterns, political symbols, and flags.
Contributions will be acknowledged by:
-the participant’s label on the leaf
-the participant’s name in a master list of contributors
-the participant’s artist statement of up to 120 words which will be exhibited with the artwork, and
Leaves must be received by February 28, 2022.
The opening exhibition will be at the Orillia Museum of Art and History from May 28 – September 10, 2022.
More information is on Tracey’s website https://traceylawko.com/maple-leaf-project/
If your cultural heritage is on the list of cultures needing representation, please sign up by clicking the REGISTER HERE button on the website or contact Tracey at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions.
Drawn with thread
Report – September 2021
Submitted by Lorna Anderson, ONN Representative
Greetings ONN members.
Toronto Guild of Stitchery started this year using ZOOM with day and evening meetings on September 2nd. Our members enjoyed being together again and our guild will continue to meet virtually for now. The programme theme was ‘What I Did On My Summer Vacation’. Our second meeting called FIFI (find it finish it) was on September 19th and again with day and evening meetings. Members chatted and stitched. We were also introduced to ‘breakout rooms’ on ZOOM, a very interesting virtual tool. This newsletter includes two items. First is an update on Seminar 2022 ‘Hues in Harmony’. Second are images of embroidery by members done during the summer. Keep on stitching, take care, and stay safe.
Toronto Guild of Stitchery is hosting ‘Hues in Harmony’ seminar May 16 – 21, 2022. The following is a report from the Co-Chairs of the seminar committee.
Registration is open! Our registration gates opened September 1st and the registrations are flowing in!
Please take a minute to check out the ‘Hues in Harmony’ website at eac-acb.ca/seminar/ where you will learn about the great teacher roster that we have lined up with a variety of techniques to be taught at different levels of ability.
Get a glimpse of the magnificent BMO Institute for Learning venue that provides an all-inclusive feel to your stay! This venue is strictly following all COVID protocols.
Accommodation in singles only is an added safety feature. All registrations received by October 31st, 2021, will be considered equally.
Our Excursions for the Options Day are now listed on the website –
1. An all-day trip to the McMichael Gallery in Kleinberg that includes a tour of the gallery and your lunch.
- A trip to Toronto’s lively Distillery District followed by a trip to the Queen Street West fashion district for shopping for anything needle and thread.
At the end of September, we provided everyone an opportunity to Meet the Classes with Zoom sessions featuring the instructors teaching at Hues in Harmony.
The teachers talked about their projects and answered questions from participants. We are looking forward to seeing you May 16-21, 2022!
Information to become a member of EAC can be found on the website: https://eac-acb.ca/membership/.
‘What I Did on My Summer Vacation’
The following beautiful images show a variety of embroidery techniques.
Report – July 2021
Submitted by Lorna Anderson, ONN Representative
Greetings ONN members. Toronto Guild of Stitchery finished the stitching year as it started in September 2020. Two meetings were held each month with both meetings offered at 10AM and 7PM. The first meeting of the month was a business meeting with a programme. The second meeting was Find It Finish It (FIFI) with Show and Share. April, May and June meeting programs were run by our members. Virtual FIFI meetings were offered in the summer too.
In April we were challenged to stitch an Easter egg.
May’s challenge was to send images of ‘My Favourite Things for stitching’. Everything from scissors, needle threaders, lamps, magnifiers, chocolate, and more were shown.
Prior to the June meeting, members received a package in the mail of suitable stash and were invited to create a Spring Dress for a Fashion Show. At the June, meeting twenty-four creative and beautiful dresses were on the runway. Here are a few.
TGS was undaunted by pandemic challenges and found a way to continue our tradition of stash sales, holding two this year. Both were on online auctions. Organizing the event took many hours by dedicated volunteers. Members dropped off their stash at different porches in and outside the city, items were sorted, photographed and details loaded on to the auction site. Bidding took place over two days. After the auction, items were resorted, and members were able to go back to the porches and pick up their purchases. These sales proved to be a good fund-raiser.
Bata Shoe Museum invited TGS to design and teach a shoe themed virtual workshop to offer to the public. The workshop was a success. The same virtual workshop has been taught at our sister guild, Marigold Guild of Needle Arts in Truro, Nova Scotia and will be offered to TGS members next year.
2022 May is coming and with it the Toronto Guild of Stitchery is hosting an EAC/ACB Seminar, ‘Hues in Harmony’. We are working very hard to make sure it is a fun, safe, and educational event. Check out the website for details. https://eac-acb.ca/seminar/ The site with seminar information is open to members as well as non-members of EAC/ACB. Contact 2022CoChairs@eac-acb.ca for more information. Hope to see you there.
Report – March 2021
Submitted by Heather James, ONN Rep
Well you just can’t keep a good Guild down! We have not stopped since last April when we went to virtual meetings, including our AGM, and then carried on with FIFI during the Summer. We returned to Regular Format – but Virtually done – in September and we have hardly looked back. Like the rest of you we have had our moments of reflection, remembrance and sadness shared without hugs, but women have been amazing through the pandemic so far. We look forward to the fall with hopefully enough 2nd vaccines to make us feel safe to be together again!
Besides the regular business of running a Guild, we have had a speaker presentation at every meeting – and that often means 10am and 7pm so both non-working and working can attend. A few have been from within, but mostly new speakers to the Guild: Here are some of the presentations we have seen:
Crazy Quilting by Judy Ekhardt
Kantha – Pat Bowley
My Stitching Journey – Rosemary Oliver
Postcards – Pat Armour
Needles – Kim Mather
Introduction to Sashiko – Alma Laidlaw
Why did we pick this place? Seminar 2022 presented the Board Report to the Guild in preparing us all for next May.
Every Regular Meeting has a Surprise (often a presentation), a Challenge to be stitched (usually tied into the Presentation), and some Legacy Project reminders. Check out some of our many challenges:
Julia made a RIP container for her broken needles and pins. So did Pia (below)
Brenda stitched “outside of the box” – FLYSWATTER!
I think this is a great POSTCARD CHALLENGE! (Pia)
Catherine really got into CRAZY QUILTING!
Laura did a CRAZY QUILT idea on this pillow!
Jenny is trying out some Kantha!
Lisa covered her face mask with an abundance of BEADS!
We have also found the will to run an on-line stash sale, and had fun doing it! We have had several members take vignette videos of our local supply shops and share those with the Guild in our BUY LOCAL push.
On FIFI weeks (1 Thursday a month) we virtually hug each other, share the work we are doing or seek help for the hard bits, and talk, and talk. And often the FIFI becomes our “Show & Share” as the output of projects and UFO’s finished is impressive.
Every member received a Christmas Gift in the mail with fabric, a tea bag, a chocolate and a pattern to stitch a teapot. Jenny went further and stitched her favourite cookies to be a fob set!
Cathy finished Alison Cole’s design of the Welsh Dragon!
Cathy finished a sampler!
Pia did a Hygge Horse. Julia finished her Long Dog Sampler.
Lucky Peggy’s grandkids get a doll & blanket and Spiderman!
2022 May is coming and with it our Toronto Guild of Stitchery and EAC-ACB Seminar! We are working very hard to make sure it is a fun, safe, and educational! Can’t wait to see you all again!
Toronto Guild of Stitchery
Report – December 2020
Submitted by Heather James
6th December 2020
I think the entire Guild went home on the 16th of March and closed the doors and windows. We know what’s good for us! The VP called all of our members at the beginning of April and again in mid-April as some had not joined the Zoom meetings but were ok. At that point many of our members had begun stitching what would amount to THOUSANDS of masks for charity!
All of our meetings, including our AGM in June have been conducted via Zoom. From the 93 members we had in March we have lost a few – some because life is very busy in other areas (like parent-caring) and others have passed away- and now we are at 85. And two are new since covid!
We have a number of teckkies in the group who pulled up their own Zoom accounts to share until September when we bought our own- after all, we do love to chat and an hour just isn’t enough sometimes.
Unusually, we continued our twice monthly meetings throughout the summer adopting a FIFI format – we would do “show and share” and then general chit chat about the world, our feelings, freebies from the stitching world, best tv shows for yoga, exercise, humour etc. After these meetings a short email was sent covering some of the chat and adding the links recommended (not just for stitching 😉
A very few met socially distanced in local parks but our members stretch across a large area (160+ km east to west x 24 km north to south!).
Once fall arrived we got down to business and ran a regular business meeting on the first Thursdays of the month – at 10am and 7pm so that the members working during the day could meet with everyone who wanted to. We have about 10 members who do not have a computer, so they call in sometimes and other times our phone tree reads them the (new) Notes & Links that the President provides after each meeting. We have tried to continue normally – so having a presentation of a new technique, new artist, etc. before the business brings fresh air into the group.
We have set out to have 3 program items for each meeting:
1. Legacy – we asked each stitcher to put themselves in their stitching so we “know them” by looking at a piece no bigger than half a page. We will stitch these together so we can say “I remember her” or “she does that technique”!
2. Surprise – this has run from a Roving Guilder who (wears a mask) and visits a local store to other things planned (but I can’t tell you yet). It’s a way of reminding people what is in the store and how to order – buy local is our mantra. We have interviews planned with our SAGE stitchers (Senior AGE stitchers who know so much) as a way to check in what excites them. “A small snippet of something relevant” is the goal.
3. Challenge – Usually related to the presentation asking members things like “stitch outside of the box” where we saw tennis rackets, colanders, safari hats decorated. We had an awesome presentation by Judy Eckhardt on Crazy Quilting and if anyone needed stash our Program person put a few things in an envelope and sent it off! We just had Pat Bowley excite our group with mindful stitching so I know of a number of projects coming to show and share from that.
The first 5 completed on a challenge are eligible for a small prize – usually a wee kit that is mailed to them. Who doesn’t love more stash?
And now for something entirely different – we are holding our very first STASH SALE on-line auction. It will run for two weeks. We are not even using everybody’s stash right now but we were the beneficiaries of some bundles and books. We found free software and will let you know how it goes!
For Christmas our members are getting a wee surprise in their mailbox they can make for themselves and the tree. Can’t tell you more yet ~
We are also planning to hold the EAC-ACB Seminar in 2022 so lots of work ahead!
President, TGS and
2022 EAC Seminar Co-Chair
With Pia Kallas-Harvey
Upcoming Courses – January 2020
The Toronto Guild of Stitchery has got two workshops starting in the new year and both have space left.
The first is a one day beginners stumpwork class taught by Carol Arsenault on 18 Jan 2020 at the Latvian Centre (Don Valley Parkway and Eglinton). The cost is $75 plus $40 kit fees. Here is a photo of the work (which appeared in Inspirations Magazine a few months back).
The second workshop will be led by Pat Armour and will focus on surface embroidery. The cost is $80 plus $35 kit fees plus bring your own threads (a list of colours will be supplied). Here is a photo of that project (and it too appeared in Inspirations Magazine).
The workshop will be held over three Thursdays (20 Feb 2020, 19 Mar 2020, and 16 Apr 2020) from 1 to 3 pm at the Blythwood Baptist Church (Yonge and Lawrence). Surface embroidery information sheet
If there are any questions or to register, please contact Barb Crowther at email@example.com.
Helen O’Malley also sent us this photo of Ann Condie’s finished piece of last year’s canvas challenge from Toronto Guild of Stitchery:
Report – October 2019
Submitted by Susan Knight
The Toronto Guild of Stitchery is having a workshop with Mike Parr on October 5th & 6th. It is called Jacobean Crewel. It will be held at the Latvian Canadian Cultural Centre in North York and there are still some spaces available. For more information contact Barb Crowther at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Report – January 2019
Submitted by Alice Fiander
We are continuing with learning new stitches to put on our Tablet/Ebook Reader Covers. In January, we received instructions for several stitches – Jessica, Crescent, Amadeus, Chilly Hollow, and Walneto. In February we will learn more string art stitches.
Midori Sakurai will be doing a felt workshop of a panda at the January 17 meeting, both in the afternoon and evening.
Barbara Kershaw will be teaching a pulled thread workshop “Symphony” for both day and evening groups on the February, March and April Fi-Fi/Alternate meetings.
On February 9th, we will have a Stitch and Stash Sale.
Our President, Diane Scott has put out a challenge to make 2019 a year of completing UFOs.
Report – April 2018
Alice Fiander, ONN Representative
The program for January to May of this year has been designing and stitching a three-dimensional house. A book by Meg Evershed, 3-D Cross Stitch: More Than 25 Original Designs.
In April, the day program will be creating windows using basic hardanger designs and embellishing with cross stitch. Several design patterns will be provided. The evening program is origami ort boxes.
In May, we will learn how to finish our houses. A Stitch and Stash day has been organized for Saturday, May 26.
In May, Tanya Berlin will be teaching two two-day classes in blackwork and needle painting. Several designs are available in each technique and are at different skill levels. Both classes are full.
In June, we will have our Annual General Meeting.
Report – December 2017
In December there will be a gift exchange at both day and evening meetings. Lunch and/or dinner will be provided to those who signed up.
In January, Lorene Salt, a Canadian canvaswork designer, will be talking about choosing colours that coordinate when planning the stitching for our houses in March.
In February, we will be colouring fabric with crayons that we will then iron to create a pattern for stitching.
In March, we will choose our own house patterns and start stitching them.
In April, the day program is creating windows using a basic hardanger design and embellishing with cross stitch foliage. The evening program is origami ORT boxes.
A Saturday Stitch day has been organized for February.
In May, Tanya Berlin will be teaching classes in blackwork and needle-painting. Several designs are available in each technique and are at different skill levels.