Are you familiar with the Embroiderers’ Guild of America?
If you’re not, and you’ve embroiled yourself in what you believe will be a life-long love affair with hand embroidery, you should get acquainted with the EGA. It’s an organization that spans the continent of the US, and if you live near a major city (and even some minor-major cities), chances are, there’s a chapter close by.
Even if there’s not a chapter close by, you can always be what I am, a Member at Large – I’m not attached to nor do I participate in any particular chapter, but as a Member at Large, I can enjoy the benefits of being a member of the EGA.
One benefit is receiving the magazine NeedleArts. True, it’s not the greatest benefit, but I like this magazine more and more. And the current issue is a whopper!
When the current issue arrived in the mail, it grabbed me! And I know it grabbed more than just me, because I received at least ten emails from readers who asked, “Hey, did you get the new issue of NeedleArts?” And, for some reason or another, they wanted to discuss NeedleArts – the content or the cover.
Now, that never happens, but it did with this issue, and I can’t help thinking that it has to do with the cover of the magazine – a cover that’s vivid and lively, with a clear and comprehendible image that’s easy to relate to. The cover features the felt and needlework art of Salley Mavor, author of Felt Wee Folk (a project book I’ve reviewed) and this enchantingly illustrated children’s book, A Pocketful of Posies (also reviewed).
With just a simple glance of the cover, I knew what I was looking at – I didn’t have to guess. The cover made me want to open the magazine.
And I love it when that happens!
This issue continued to delight. Salley’s work is featured in photos along side a very pleasant, readable article.
But then – oh joy! oh bliss! – I came to the article titled Golden Galleon by Rachel Watkins.
And it’s about this lovely piece of goldwork and surface embroidery. It is Amazing. I have always wanted to embroider a tall ship under full sail – it’s been on my List since I ever had a list. And this galleon – oh my goodness. It’s exquisite.
The detail pictures mesmerized me more than a new I Spy book mesmerizes a kid. And I will spend a lot more time than I already have poring over this article and the pictures accompanying it. The article is excellent, the pictures are fantastic, the embroidery is… breathtaking.
There are other excellent articles in this issue, including “Desert Jewels,” which focuses on Yemenite Israeli Embroidery; an article on Alison Cole, who will be teaching at the National Seminar in Phoenix in October; and several other articles, projects, and announcements of interest.
And speaking of the National Seminar, this issue of NeedleArts also includes all the information on this year’s national seminar, which brings me to one of the most notable benefits of being a member of the EGA: ability to attend the local, regional, and national embroidery workshops and seminars.
There’s always something going on somewhere around the country with the EGA. Every year, the national seminar is hosted by one of the regions. But each region usually also hosts its own regional seminar every year or so, too. The regional seminars are a smaller affair compared to the national seminar, but they feature well-known instructors, and are usually more affordable than the national seminar.
This year’s National Seminar takes place in Phoenix, Arizona, October 18-24, and you can read all about it on the EGA website.
I’ve been told the Absolute Greatest benefit of being a member of the EGA is the friendships formed through the guild meetings and various workshops and seminars. Being a member at large and a little too far away to participate in an EGA chapter, I can’t really speak for this part, but I bet there are many members out there who can.
If you want to branch out a bit and learn new skills and meet new people with the same needlework interests, find out if there’s an EGA chapter close by! If not, become a member at large, and take advantage of occasional workshops and so forth – they’re fun! You can also take advantage of correspondence courses through the EGA.
In short, there are many advantages to membership in the Embroiderers’ Guild of America – it’s worth looking into, to see if it’s right for you!