Joining the Embroiderer’s Guild of America

Moving back to Iowa has meant that I’m now able to join Embroiderer’s Guild of America chapter and attend EGA meetings! I am a member of the Embroiderer’s Guild in the UK but, needless to say, the meetings were too far away when we lived in Berlin, although I’m sure they would be delightful, maybe even with tea and scones. (One can be hopeful, right?)

I visited two different chapters here in Iowa, one in Des Moines which is 40 minutes from my home and one in Cedar Rapids, which is two hours away. Both groups are friendly, passionate about embroidery and have activities that are of interest to me. Last week I joined the Cedar Valley Chapter and next time I go to the Valley Junction (Des Moines) Chapter meetings, I will join them as well. Did you know you can be a member of two local chapters?

The EGA has recently updated their web site and, at first glance, it’s rather lovely. You can see it by clicking here. I’ve not explored the entire site but it sure looks interesting! And here’s a link to the Embroiderer’s Guild UK site.

Not being the kind of person who joins a group and then does nothing, I signed up to demonstrate embroidery this coming weekend at their Showcase of Needle Arts in Marion, Iowa. I’ll be working on the Trevelyon’s Purse project on Friday from 12 – 2 pm with the hope that I can get it finished so I can offer the class soon.

As a member of any chapter of the EGA, I needed to have an embroidered name tag for chapter meetings, so yesterday I created one. It was a good day to be inside stitching as we had 4 inches of snow and it was cold. Typical April weather in Iowa.

The name tag is worked on pale grey silk dupion with Thread Gatherer Silk ‘N Colors thread and ribbon. The cord is one I made myself using Thread Gatherer Silk ‘N Colors silk.


If you live nearby I would highly recommend coming along to see the work the members of the Cedar Valley Chapter have done. All the information is below.  There are over 400 pieces in the exhibition, so there will certainly be something for everyone. I’ll be there stitching with my name tag on and I’d love to say hello!



Trevelyon’s Pocket Progress

Now that we’re more settled, and my home and studio are more organised, I’ve been able to focus on embroidery, specifically Trevelyon’s Pocket. One of you wrote and asked where my “spot” would be to stitch in my new space so I’ve uploaded a photo of me stitching in my “spot”. I’m sitting at my work table, next to the huge wall of windows and the natural light is fabulous, even on an overcast day.

Over the last three days I’ve spent time each day in my studio embroidering long enough to finish one of the small flower buds near the gilly flower in the design of the Trevelyon’s Pocket project. Below is a photo of how it looked when I left off while still in Germany.

On Thursday I embroidered one of the buds using the darkest, medium and light pink threads.

On Friday, I embroidered the second bud using the darkest pink, medium and light pink and ivory.

Today I embroidered the last bud using three pinks and ivory.

While I was embroidering these little buds, I was talking to my daughters on the telephone and I wanted them to understand how small the buds are so I took a photo of my finger next to the buds. That photo is below.

These are tiny, tiny flower buds and I just love watching them come to life!

It feels so good to be back at my trestles, embroidering pretty things with silk thread. I feel very blessed to be watching the squirrels, chipmunks, robins, cardinals, wrens, downy woodpeckers and redheaded woodpeckers outside my windows. The daffodils my mom planted in the garden outside are coming up and may bloom in the next week – unless Iowa gives us one last snowfall before spring.

Life is good.


New Embroidery Studio!

You haven’t heard from me in a very long time. For two months we were in camping mode. Now I have good news; my studio is set up and I’m able to get back to embroidering the two pieces for upcoming courses!

Having moved from Germany to Iowa, we were living with things that were in the family home for a while and then our shipment arrived. Furniture and 272 boxes. Now I know that sounds like a lot -and it is a lot of boxes – but apparently it really isn’t very many for this company. The average is upwards of 400. YIKES! It took us a couple of weeks to get some of the things unpacked, including my embroidery studio. The threads, fabric and all my tools arrived safely and are now unpacked and in the huge room that will be my work and teaching studio.

There is plenty of wall space to display some of my work and, later, even some student’s work if we decide to have a small exhibition.

You can see there are dressers below the embroidery pieces which provide ample space for most of my fabric.

My collection of samples is displayed in two places in the room – one above my piano and the other (see below) next to the fireplace. My thread is also to the left of the fireplace, just behind all the samples I did and framed for my City and Guilds Course.

Best of all the room is large enough for at least 6 students and possibly up to 10. I’d need to buy a second table but there is plenty of space in the room. A friend and I did a test and there is also enough space for each embroiderer to spread out her things and be comfortable.

One entire wall is windows so, on a sunny day, the room is flooded with sunlight, you can see the birds and the squirrels outside in the woods. I even have a small space to write my blogs and do administration work for classes.

Which brings me to two things: this room will be taken apart in the next few months to install new heating duct work, a new ceiling and additional lighting so I won’t be able to offer courses right away. However, I am working on being able to offer the Bateau Bayeux course, the King’s Pineapple course and the Trevelyon’s Cap course again in the near future.

Sadly, I can’t say when the Trevelyon’s Pocket or the new Bayeux Tapestry course will be ready, due to the remodelling that we’ll be doing. I’m hoping for late summer/early fall but I just don’t know what things will be like when the house is – again – in chaos!

As soon things are settled completely, I’ll be offering courses in my studio as well. Ames, Iowa, is a lovely town with many things to do in addition to learning embroidery! As always, if you’re interested in a studio course, please let me know and I’ll start a waiting list.

Now, I’m going to go and stitch in my new space – finally!