This Blog

This is a blog to show off my needlework, mainly crazy quilting, beading and crochet. It makes me happy to create these things and even more happy to share the fun with friends. Pictures of my beading projects are at

Friday, January 14, 2011

EGA Seminar 2010

Classes, volunteering in the bookstore, corset demonstration, side trips - it was a great experience. The Embroidery Guild of America (EGA) National Seminar was in San Francsico, California, September 5-10, 2010.
I took two two-day classes taught by Lynn Payette. She is an artist who was trained by her professional artist parents. She gave very useful design tips about shading, shadowing and perspective. I was impressed with the breadth of her style. She teaches a lot and showed us many project examples.

The first class I took was "Painting and Gilding and Stitching, Oh My!" This was right up a crazy quilter's alley, because she provided tables full of supplies, told us how to use them and set us loose to try them all and develop our own design. I started by trying markers on white silk, making an oval shape swirled with color and a sketchy fish. I don't know where the fish came from out of the recesses of my mind, but it became my creation piece. Lynn provided a lot of papers and I used these for the panels below the fish oval. I'm not sure I like using the papers. Stitching through them can leave holes and tiny tears if you're not very careful.
My birthday was on September 5, during this class so I went to the local Ghiardelli chocolate shop and bought a tin of the dark variety to share with the class. That was a hit and I got a chorus of Happy Birthday sung for me.

During the days between classes, volunteered a few hours at the Ruth Kern bookstore. What a selection! What a temptation! I kept in mind how these books would be in my luggage however and didn't overdo my purchases. Here are some pages from the ones I bought:

Here is a Japanese book whose title I can't translate. It has lots of surface embroidery projects and patterns that are attractive to me and require no translation to do.
The Art & Embroidery of Jane Hall: Reflections of Nature is a beautiful book in which Jane shows how she translates inspiration from nature into expressive art pieces in silk fabric and thread.

I couldn't resist Here Be Wyverns by Nancy Spies. She drafted hundreds of patterns from medieval sources and among these are dragons, my favorites. These of these patterns could be adapted to fillet crochet or just used in surface embroidery.
We were given a copy of the most interesting book, Pani & Fill: Breads and Threads of Italy which illustrates the design similarities between special decorative breads used in Italian festivals and Italian lace. Quite interesting.

I also made an excursion to the "can't miss" fabric and trims store, Britex Fabrics. It's a wonderful place with four or five flours of almost any fabric or trim you can imagine. I only bought these few things. Two silk fabrics in bright colors that will be great for picking the particular color area I want for a project and a length of green silk.

One evening we had a delightful historical lecture and demonstration of corsets by Autumn Adamme, owner and head designer at LeJardin, the premier couturier corset source for Hollywood stars. She claims they are very comfortable. Hmmm. I'd have to be convinced of that.

Then the second of Lynn Payette's classes ended the seminar. It is "California Poppy." I picked it because I was born in Salinas, California. When my parents returned to Iowa with me when I was one year old, my mother brought along California poppies for my grandmother's flower garden. I loved them and they were special in an Iowa garden. I remember being the color Lynn chose for her design although they are more commonly yellow. Lynn has an unusual technique for stumpwork that I enjoyed learning. Here are my completed poppies, framed under glass.

California Poppies