Embroiderers' Guild of America: Inspiring passion for needle arts through education and the celebration of its heritage.
In the Beginning
The Embroiderers’ Guild of America (EGA) was formed for the express purpose of fostering the art of needlework and associated arts. EGA seeks to promote cooperation and the exchange of ideas among those who are engaged in needlework throughout the world by encouraging a high standard of design and technique in embroidery. EGA provides a center to be used as a bureau of education and information regarding the art of embroidery for all guild members. It is our purpose to conduct instruction and research in needle art and to distribute related materials and publications to members and to the public.
EGA was established in New York in 1958 as a branch of The Embroiderers’ Guild of London (established 1906). EGA withdrew from the London Guild in 1970 and The Embroiderers’ Guild of America came into being.
EGA is a 501(c)(3) organization.
Our National Headquarters are located at 1205 East Washington Street Suite 104, Louisville, Kentucky 40206, where guests can appreciate embroidery from our collection and members can use our library and other research materials on Monday through Friday 9 AM to 5 PM ET. Click here to learn more about what’s available at EGA Headquarters.
All the Pieces
- 12 regions across the US and Canada
- 240+ chapters total
- Two online chapters
- International representation among the 8,800+ members
The Value of Membership
Membership in EGA is open to anyone interested in embroidery from the beginner to the professional. Members work within local chapters or a member-at-large network to improve their skills and knowledge. Also, the organization and individual members are involved with museums for education and preservation purposes. EGA offers individual and group correspondence courses, online courses, teacher and judge certification programs as well as nine separate disciplines in master craftsman programs. To provide a broad scope of the needlework industry, EGA and its chapters regularly invite internationally recognized artists to hold workshops in this country. EGA sponsors Through the Needle’s Eye, a national exhibit with members submitting pieces for the juried exhibit which is first displayed virtually and also as a “live” display at our National Headquarters in Louisville. Many pieces of embroidery created today qualify as fiber art.
Outreach and Associations
EGA is dedicated to an organized outreach program to reach out to and share with our communities. All regions and chapters are responsible for establishing and maintaining such a program using embroidery to benefit their own communities. Significant contributions have been made throughout the country to The American Heart Association, Women’s Heart Health Research and Habitat for Humanity. In 1995 and 1996 EGA was given the honor of producing needlework ornaments for the White House Christmas tree. EGA members from all 50 states contributed their talents to this project.
Our Mission is to inspire passion for the needle arts through education and the celebration of its heritage.
Our History & More
EGA Diversity Statement
In our last communication about the recent member survey, we promised to provide updates on our efforts to build a solid future for EGA, including steps to assure that our organization is even more inclusive and welcoming to all current and potential members. This is the first of such updates.
EGA is like a beautiful patchwork quilt – it consists of many pieces, many colors, many sizes, all woven together by a common thread – our love of stitching. As we look to the future we envision an EGA that is inclusive, diverse, equitable, and accessible to all who love needlework. We believe that it is important to officially weave this commitment into our official policy.
We are pleased to issue the EGA Diversity Statement, crafted by our IDEA Task Force and approved by the Board of Directors.
EGA Diversity Statement
The Embroiderers’ Guild of America (EGA) is committed to providing a safe, inclusive, and supportive environment for stitchers of any experience level, age, race, ethnicity, nationality, ability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, or other background to develop their skills and express their creativity through the needle arts.
EGA affirms the commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA).
This statement can be found in Section 1.6 of the EGA Policies.
Thank you to the IDEA Task Force for their thoughtful, dedicated work in crafting this statement. We look forward to the continued involvement of this team as we move forward to secure the future of our cherished organization.
Carolinas Region: North Carolina, South Carolina, parts of Virginia and Georgia.
Great Lakes Region: Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, and parts of Illinois and Wisconsin.
Greater Pacific Region: Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Northern California, Hawaii, Northern Nevada, and British Columbia.
Heartland Region: Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North and South Dakota and parts of Illinois and Wisconsin.
Metropolitan Region: Parts of Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.
Mid-Atlantic Region: Delaware, DC, Maryland, and parts of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
New England Region: Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, and parts of Connecticut.
Pacific Southwestern Region: Arizona, Southern California, and areas of Nevada.
Rocky Mountain Region: Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, El Paso, TX and parts of Nevada.
South Central Region: Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas.
Sun Region: The entire state of Florida and Bermuda.
Tennessee Valley Region: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee and parts of Virginia and West Virginia.
Landmark Events and Decisions
Article: Five Decades of Excellence, by Dorothy Hoffmann, as seen in Needle Arts September 2007 – September 2008
Our first decade is highlighted by the inspiration of our early leaders, a strong organizational framework, and the birth of a fine educational program.
Three women, Dorothy (Mrs. F. Huntington) Babcock, Margaret (Mrs. Daryl) Parshall and Miss Sally Behr (later Petite) form a needlework class in Mrs. Babcock’s New York City apartment. This is to be the nucleus of the American Branch, Embroiderers’ Guild of London.
The American Branch is formally established with 27 members. Margaret Babcock is elected chair of the board and Sally Behr, executive secretary. A quarterly four page The Report (later The Bulletin) is started. Portfolios (study boxes) are available on loan to members.
EGA incorporates in New York, adopts Bylaws. EGA colors, blue and white, used on first national membership brochure. First field trip to view embroidery collection of Judge Irwin Untermeyer. “Show ‘n tell” in Mrs. Babcock’s apartment.
EGA receives tax exemption as a non-profit educational entity.
The first headquarters is established at Room 403, 767 Lexington Avenue, New York City with a paid part time secretary. A reference library is begun. Hot-iron transfer patterns, canvas work charts and booklets from England are offered for sale. Receives exemption from New York state sales tax.
First biennial National Exhibit, sponsored by the board of directors, is held in New York City. Lasts 4 days and is viewed by more than 4,300 visitors.
By spring over 1,000 members represent 38 states (including Hawaii) and Canada. An invitational seminar is held at the White Horse Inn, Salisbury, CT; 19 attendees and 4 teachers: Josephine Jardine, Gillian McKenzie, Sheila Small, Erica Wilson. The American Branch sponsors its first traveling teacher/lecturer tour with Beryl Dean from England. The Teacher Certification Test is instituted and examinations are offered in crewel and canvas. By the end of 1963, two are certified: Bucky King and Katherine Ireys. Classes are offered at headquarters. Endowment fund established with donations from the EGA directors.
Public exhibitions are established biennially. They continue to be held in New York City and sponsored by the board of directors. First chapter is accepted; the Delaware Valley Group becomes the Delaware Valley Chapter (now the Philadelphia Area Chapter). There are 1,400 members. The first fund raising event, a winter exhibit and sale, is organized in aid of the endowment fund. Second National Exhibit, in New York City, draws 13,000 visitors and 100 new members. Headquarters is located at East 60th St., New York City. As of this year, national board includes all nationally elected officers (1-year terms) and all chapter presidents. 5 individuals are awarded teacher certifications.
Board Chair Dorothy Babcock dies at age 71. Margaret Parshall, president, succeeds her as chair. Three more chapters are formed: Bay Colony (Boston), Colorado (Denver), and Connecticut River Valley (Farmington). By this year, 20 teacher certificates have been issued in crewel and canvas. Second teacher certification is offered in 4 types of advanced needlework. An advanced teacher examination is established. Bucky King is certified under this program.
There are now approximately 1,800 members. Sets of slides are organized for loan. The first community service project, a needlepoint screen for Gracie Mansion, the residence of the mayor of New York City, is completed.
Releases 20 Contemporary Designs for Needlework and Embroidery by Edith P. Martin, Primer of New England Embroidery by Catherine Hedland, and American Crewelwork Stitches of the 17th and 18th Centuries by Mary T. Landon. Reference library, photo collection, and Christmas Card Competition are established.
Fourth National Exhibit is billed as First International Exhibit and includes 33 pieces from outside U.S.; lasts 11 days. First individual correspondence course offered.
The second decade sees the birth of The Embroiderers’ Guild of America, Inc., the expansion of many educational opportunities for members, and tremendous chapter and membership growth.a
Mrs. Joseph (Babe) Lovering is elected president, Mrs. Parshall, honorary chair. First annual seminar, sponsored by the board of directors, is held in Colonial Williamsburg; 80 attendees; classes in crewel, blackwork and metal thread, canvaswork, and design. The seminar is a “sell out.” The last Bulletin, issue #27, Fall 1969 is published. Eight individual correspondence courses are offered to members: Crewel Work with Julie Pitney and Muriel Baker, Metal Thread with Josephine Jardine, Creative Stitchery with Elizabeth Ranjo Perrone, Pulled Work or Drawn Fabric with Gillian MacKenzie, Blackwork with Marion Scoular, Whitework with Muriel Bishop, and Design for Embroidery with Georgiana Brown.
The first issue of the quarterly magazine Needle Arts is published in January. Decision is made to withdraw from the Embroiderers’ Guild of London, and the American Branch incorporates as The Embroiderers’ Guild of America, Inc. A guild teacher, Lisbeth Ranjo Perrone conducts the guild’s first sponsored overseas needlework tour (Scandinavia). Third seminar, held at Vergennes, VT; 90 attendees. Headquarters moves to East 56th St., New York City.
A competition is organized for an EGA logo. First EGA-hosted national seminar in Wilmington, DE. First overseas study tour. Achievement Project (later Master Craftsman) program is implemented (the Connecticut River Valley Chapter’s Awards Program is the forerunner of the Achievement Projects).
The guild now has 17 chapters. Linda Ormesson, “Miss O”, a member of headquarters staff, designs the winning logo. Mrs. Georgina Brown Harbeson drafts the embroidery logo design and Mrs. Edith Park Martin executes it. National seminar in Dearborn, MI is first to be held other than on the East Coast; 4 days, 123 attendees, 6 teachers. Over 30,000 visitors see the 485 embroideries from U.S. and Puerto Rico in the biennial exhibit; more than 70% are original designs by the stitchers.
First national seminar to be hosted by a chapter, the Southern California Chapter, takes place at the Huntington Library, Pasadena, CA; 5 days; 300 attendees; 8 teachers.
Plans are approved to regionalize the Guild geographically; 6 regions established. Annual seminar at Wentworth-by-the-Sea, Portsmouth, NH; 446 attendees;18 teachers. 45 chapters and 7,000 members.
The first Master Craftsman Awards (previously Achievement Projects) program, Canvas Work, is instituted; over 500 applications are received within first 3 months. The Teacher Certification Examination is revised. There are now 92 chapters and 11,000 members. Great Lakes district is the first to organize as a region and produces the first region seminar. Headquarters moves to 45th Street, New York City.
Margaret Parshall dies at age 83. The elected position “honorary chair” is eliminated. 92 chapters and 10,000 members.
The first teachers’ seminar is held in Fort Wayne, IN.
The 9th National Exhibit is the first to be sponsored by a chapter. The Washington, DC chapter stages the event at the Carlyle House, Alexandria, VA. It is awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. National exhibits no longer take place biennially. The board of directors is reorganized. The 13 region chairs (later region directors) are now members of the board of directors. Education Committee is formed. 148 chapters and 16,000 members.
Innovative concepts and strong growth characterize the third decade….and a new era begins with the move to Louisville.a
The first Group Correspondence Course, the Binding Stitch, taught by Joan Young, is introduced for use by chapters. Annual meeting is held for the first time at a national seminar, San Francisco. EGA consists of 10 regions.
EGA (Officers) Notebook circulates to board of directors, region chairs, and chapter presidents.
The first “out of town” board meeting is held in Atlanta, GA. The first annual educational services publication, a brochure, is included in Needle Arts. New York State University (Non-Collegiate Program) recommends college credits for EGA’s Teacher Certification Examination (part 1) and color correspondence course, MEGAphone, an Education Department news sheet, is circulated to the regions. Community Outreach Committee is established. Thirteen regions are now established; chapter presidents no longer hold positions on the board. 220 chapter and 16,000+ members.
The 10th National Biennial Exhibition is held at the Abigail Adams Smith Museum, New York City, sponsored by the national board of directors. For the first time, an EGA Education Department exhibit and pieces from the EGA collection are included. Regions increased from 10 to 13; 258 chapters. A technique orientation program, New Kid on the Block, is started. The first 2 segments circulated to the chapters are on counted thread and the tent stitch.
The 11th National Exhibit, the first to be held at an art museum, is hosted by the Indianapolis Chapter at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. The Diane Grossman Memorial Award for original work is awarded for the first time. The national board is restructured. Directors of educational programs and of educational services, and 3 directors-at-large are created. A bibliography listing the books recommended for EGA courses is compiled and added to the 1984-85 Educational Supplement. A Challenge program is approved. Membership about 26,000.
A forum replaces the annual national seminar in St. Louis, MO. There are no stitching classes. Purpose of the forum is to share ideas and brainstorm about the future, organized around a chapter day, a region day, and a national day. Events include newsletter, community service, and scrapbook competitions, as well as an exhibitin of stitched pieces. At the annual meeting the decision is made to relocate to and incorporate in Louisville, KY; 124 members from 13 regions in attendance. Terms for elected national officers are expanded from 1 to 2 years.
National headquarters is relocated to Norton Building, 200 Fourth Avenue, Louisville, KY. The 5th floor is designated as the Educational Resource Center (library, gallery and collection). A headquarters design committee is formed; a wish list is circulated. Group Correspondence Color Notebook (photos of the projects) is circulated. Apprize, a newsletter for EGA certified teachers, is approved. Region education coordinators are instituted as liaisons to the education department. Individual and Group Correspondence Courses are now known as the EGA Correspondence School. A Judging Certification program is approved. A Products Design and Sales Committee is established.
Three Individual Correspondence courses are introduced. First judge certified, Elizabeth Nowell. Through this year, 170 teachers have been certified.
The Metropolitan Region is the first region to sponsor a national seminar. School of Advanced Study begins (later Extended Study Program); classes are held at national headquarters. The annual Education (Programs and Services) Supplement is separated from Needle Arts. A first, an Education Department Exhibit, is installed at the national seminar in Parsippany, NJ. A Materials Notebook is begun with pages to be circulated quarterly. A Master Judging program is instituted. 307 chapters and 25,000+ members.
The 12th National Exhibit is sponsored by the Pacific Southwestern Region at the Fullerton Museum Center, Fullerton, CA. For the Guild’s 30th anniversary, EGA board of directors hosts the first nationally sponsored seminar since 1972 in Louisville, KY. An Education Department Glossary is introduced as a regular feature in Needle Arts. 21,865 members in October.
The fourth decade witnesses continued growth in many facets of the organization to provide a solid base for the fifth decade.a
National headquarters is relocated to the Brown Hotel in Louisville, KY. The Enchanted Eye, a boutique and gallery opens. Education Department program, Challenge with a Twist is approved. A plaque is placed in the reference library to honor one of our founders Dorothy Babcock.
Five half hour programs underwritten by EGA are produced and distributed for Channel 15, WKPC-TV, Louisville, KY through the public television network. The 5 programs and the text are also available for purchase. EGA sponsors and hosts Summit, becomes a founding member of the International Council of Needlework Associations. The Enchanted Eye Boutique closes. Certified Teacher Graduate Program is approved. A director of educational advancement is elected. First master judge is certified, Elizabeth Nowell.
Forum ’91 is held in Louisville, KY. The Gallery is officially named the Margaret Parshall Gallery. Hands Across the Water program is begun. “Competing Needles I” competition is judged. A National Advanced Study Group (later Fiber Forum) begins with 29 charter members. The first American (EGA) and English (EG) teachers’ course held in England. The board of directors is restructured to include 20 members: president, vice president of operations, secretary, treasurer, directors of budgets, education, and bylaws, and 13 region directors. 337 chapters.
The year begins with 20,225 members and over 300 chapters. First national exhibit to be sponsored by the national board of directors since 1982 is installed at the Margaret Parshall Gallery in headquarters, Louisville, KY. “Competing Needles II” competition is judged. The first Research Fellowship Awards are announced. The first annual Educator’s Award of Excellence are announced (later Gold Thread Award).
EGA Designer Series Book II becomes available. Several new segments are added to New Kid on the Block series. A Holiday Celebration Booklet is proposed and accepted. The National Advanced Study Group is renamed Fiber Form. Pat Grappe is certified as the first graduate teacher.
Exhibits continue in the Margaret Parshall Gallery. Barbara Herring teaches the SAS class Teach a Child and See the Future at Louisville, KY. Attendees are scholarship winners, one from each region, funded by the Education Department. A contract was signed for the production of a new EGA video. The lease with The Brown Hotel is renewed for 2 years with options for renewal. Seminar 1995 at Williamsburg, VA is successful with record breaking registration. Mrs. Sally (Behr) Pettit, one of the 3 founders is in attendance at the Wednesday evening dinner and is presented a life membership from EGA. The 1st International Embroidery Conference, From the Past into the Future, is held immediately prior to Seminar 1994 and is an outstanding event. Market Place 1994 at seminar with the theme of Victorian Crazy Quilt is popular with handstitched projects.
Many projects are completed. In addition to the successful seminar in Denver, CO, the SAS sponsored class, The French Connection, is an outstanding endeavor; the EGA traveling exhibit Through the Needle’s Eye becomes a reality and begins touring; a dynamic video Embroidery: The Legacy of Needle Arts is produced; the first sampler from the collection is charted and made available for sale; and the 2nd book of holiday projects is produced. In addition, EGA continues to offer a wide variety of stitching and challenging educational opportunities including a record number of GCC courses.
Year of continued growth and development with introduction of 3 Group Correspondence Courses, a Sample Study Box, travel to Italy with School of Advanced Study, record breaking numbers at the San Francisco , CA seminar, and conclusion of first Through the Needle’s Eye traveling exhibit. Needle Arts continues to expand, improve and receive rave reviews. For the second year in a row, EGA provides 100 original Christmas stockings for the White House Christmas tree. Membership remains stable, and year closes with 354 chapters.
Inaugural year of EGA web page on the Needlearts Mall. It generated numerous daily inquiries for information on membership, programs, and other needlework questions. The Margaret Parshall Gallery held 5 exhibits including Fiber Arts class of University of Louisville, a one woman show by Marlene Bloomberg, Fiber Forum, Metropolitan and Carolinas Regions. Seminar 1997 is held in New Orleans. A new Individual Correspondence Course is previewed there. Eight new Group Correspondence Courses are introduced. 354 chapters.
The EGA web page continues to be a success. EGA obtains a domain name and starts building its own website. Mr. Ian Lloyd-Jones offers to renovate and furnish a miniature house cabinet with needlework items. It is named the Camberley Inn after the Camberley hotel properties owned Mr. Lloyd-Jones’, including the Brown Hotel where EGA is headquartered. An award of distinction is presented to EGA by the American Crafts Council. Additionally, Needle Arts wins the Apex award for publication excellence. The School of Advanced Study name is changed to Extended Study Program. 19,800 members.
The tapestry that is EGA, which began in New York City with an idea, a design, and a few stitches, is a dynamic and coordinated embroidery piece with a wide spectrum of embellishments.a The fifth decade culminates in EGA’s Golden Gala anniversary.
Launches EGA website and discontinues the Needlearts Mall page. The new site expands the information offered to members and prospective members. The Education Department offers Group Correspondence Course for all members online as well as in Needle Arts. The board votes to form an online chapter. The Camberley Inn is finished and presented to Mr. Lloyd-Jones on July 15. It is exhibited at the Danvers, MA seminar. The Education Department launches a 24-page catalog in December. One of the many highlights at seminar 1999 is the Pulled Thread Sampler booklet developed by Joan Masterson from a piece in the EGA Collection.
The EGA online discussion list, Onelist (later the “EGA Yahoo Discussion Group”), is launched and grows rapidly in membership. Group Correspondence Courses offered online and through Needle Arts average 40-50 students per class. EGA’s miniature house, the Storr House, is sent out for refurbishing and finishing. Articles about various aspects of EGA appear in several magazines. The 16th National Exhibit opens in Orlando, FL to great acclaim, and the 17th National Exhibit Committee begins its work. Seminar 2000 also is held in Orlando, one of the many highlights is the banquet speaker from NASA. More than 18,000 members.
The website is expanded. Needle Arts was improved with heavier paper stock for the cover. The Evergreen Fund is established by Leslie Durst to allow for more professional photograph for EGA’s publications, including the Education Catalog. The Storr House arrives at headquarters and the regions work on furnishing the rooms. The local manufacturer of bats promotes its Louisville Slugger Museum with roadside billboards announcing “We have more old bats than a needlepoint convention”. This publicity results in much attention to EGA through commentaries carried by the Associated Press. Through this attention EGA becomes the subject of an article in the Australian Inspirations magazine, and a PBS production of crafts in America. Education Department program coverage on the website expands. In exchange for exhibiting Men of the Cloth, featuring some of the country’s top male fiber artists, at EGA’s Margaret Parshall Gallery, the Loveland Museum in Loveland, CO contracts for the 17th National Exhibit. The Extended Study Program presents the first back to back classes with Helen Stevens coming from England to teach in Louisville. Six volunteers stitch canvas designed especially for the library chairs at headquarters. Petite Projects are approved for availability to all members. Piecework’s book, Stitching a Legacy, includes stitched pieces by EGA member adapted from items in the Peabody-Essex Museum in Salem, MA.
Needle Arts is redesigned and goes color. Website expands; adds education catalog and the 16th Through the Needle’s Eye catalog. National Tapestry project approved. Releases beaded EGA logo chart by Paula Heckmann. Youth Exhibit at headquarters includes 60 pieces. 17th Through the Needle’s Eye opens at Peninsula Fine Arts Center, Newport News, VA. EGA establishes American Heart Association as national outreach mission; plans heart projects; first project book releases, Charmed Heart by Lea Padilla. EGA underwrites 13 programs for Shay Pendray’s 2002 Needle Arts Studio. Susan Jaques Reproduction Sampler Chart releases, with proceeds to go to American Red Cross Liberty Fund.
341 chapters. 17,497 members. Website expands to 3,000+ pages and adds a Needle Arts index; revamps chapter directory. Open house exhibit of Storr House dollhouse. Stitching begins on national tapestry America the Beautiful. American Heart Association continues as national outreach mission. American Hearts by members in South Central Region project booklet released. Initiates petition for 2008 commemorative stamp to coincide with 50th anniversary (Postal Service later rejects request). Offers region teaching grants to cover teaching fees in region. Establishes youth reimbursement grant to help chapters obtain teaching supplies.
16,503 members. Introduces sampler kits and notecards with reproductions of Collection pieces. Last 2 rooms of Storr House completed. Collaborates with Piecework on photos of Collection in the magazine. 17th Through the Needle’s Eye at 4 venues; 18th opens in Los Alamos. Bobbie Pilling Memorial Award replaces Competing Needles. Gold Thread Award replaces Educator’s Award of Excellence. Collection items on exhibit at James Madison Museum in Orange, VA. Releases 2 project books: Heart of my Heart by Margaret Kinsey; Elizabeth Muir Sampler reproduction by Denise Harrington Pratt.
Releases My Beading Heart project booklet by Pat Reynolds. Adds corporate, associate, and youth memberships. Tapestry panels 1 and 2 completed. 18th Through the Needle’s Eye at 4 venues. Compiling of Designers Across America Series III begins. 4 exhibits at Margaret Parshall Gallery at headquarters. Collection database is compiled.
The headquarters move to 426 W. Jefferson St., Louisville, is completed. Executive director position replaces office manager. Releases counted thread Hearts by Janet Bryant-Groves.
Embroidery Museum & Resource Center (EMRC) at EGA headquarters opens to public with 2 galleries, Margaret Parshall Gallery and Leslie Durst Gallery. 6 exhibitions at EMRC. First national stitch-in-public day. Launched Youth program. Apprize goes online. Website reorganization. Approves Appraisal Certification Program. 4 of the national tapestry panels are framed. National board sessions change from 3 to 2 times per year. Library database is created with Library of Congress numbering. Antiques Roadshow tours headquarters; segment broadcasts in 2008.
The highlight of the 50th anniversary year is the Golden Gala national seminar and associated events in Louisville: first exhibit of the national tapestry America the Beautiful, opening of 19th Through the Needle’s Eye, and the 4th International Embroidery Conference. First Judith & Susan Richardson Initial Steps Scholarship awarded; available to first time teacher candidates. Needle Arts redesign. Inside EGA newsletter for members launched. EGA blog launched. Members Only area of website established. National executive committee restructured effective with 2009 elections: 3 year terms, director of budgets position discontinued; director of marketing position added, responsibilities include membership, recruiting, and fund development.
In its 6th decade EGA faces many challenges as we continue to build on the past with the goal of ensuring that the art form of embroidery is maintained.
Virtual museum of 40 pieces from Collection is established on the website. Releases project books From New England Blue and White by Judy Jeroy and From My Heart to Yours by Dale Sokolow . 4 exhibitions in the EMRC Parshall and Durst Galleries. Establishes annual Stitch-In-Public Day for first day in February to coincide with National Embroidery Month and National Heart Month. Environmental problems resulting from HVAC failure and water leakage cause EGA to vacate 426 W. Jefferson, Louisville at year end. Every 5th anniversary seminar will be hosted by EGA in headquarters city. Corporate and associate memberships are discontinued. EGA is established on various social network sites such as Facebook.
Appraisal class debuts at Seminar 2010 in San Francisco. Fiber Forum exhibition on website. Staff works out of temporary office space in Louisville; Collection stored at a member’s home; library, most of the furniture, and records in temporary storage. First membership survey.
A national seminar committee is approved to include director, registrar, and treasurer, to service concurrent 3-year terms overseeing and directing national seminars beginning with 2015’s. Seminar schedule changed so that Saturday and Sunday will be the primary focus for 2-day and 4-day classes, also effective with Seminar 2015. EGA e-newsletter is launched. Website receives a facelift, and a major redesign is authorized. Subscription service for Designers Across America/World projects is implemented. Headquarters reopens at a new location, The Pointe, 1205 E. Washington St., #117, Louisville. 2 appraisers certified.
Redesigned and upgraded website; website’s forum module replaces “EGA Yahoo Discussion Group”. New project book Grace O’Neil Crewel Embroidery by Judy Jeroy is released. Fiber Forum celebrates its 20th anniversary. Incoming president selects Children’s Alopecia Project (CAP) as national outreach project.
EGA celebrates 55th (emerald) anniversary during Seminar 2013 in Louisville. Through the 2013 International Teacher Tour (ITT), 3 teachers teach 35 classes to 717 students at 31 venues in addition to 6 days each at seminar. Contemporary Blackwork: An Exhibition of original work at headquarters Margaret Parshall Gallery; CD made available free to chapters. National tapestry retires from traveling for preservation.
Online Studio is established to provide online classes to members; first class is Zentangle Blackwork by Catherine Jordan. 20th Through the Needle’s Eye national traveling exhibit opens at Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts in Palmer Lake, CO; begins 3 years of travel. Project books (4) in support of the national outreach project (Children’s Alopecia Project) are published: Trim a Hat by Ellen Balzuweit, Zinnia Pendant or Pin by Marie Campbell, Garden Party by Judy Jeroy, and Joy of Summer by Sylvia Murariu. Spectacular Color, an exhibition of 30 original pieces of contemporary embroidery, opens in Margaret Parshall Gallery at headquarters.
YES! Young Embroiderers Show, an exhibition of 40 by stitchers aged 6-17, opens in the Margaret Parshall Gallery at headquarters. A new program, Online Education, is established. EGA opens a channel on Pinterest, an online site for adding and sharing pictures. A link to a virtual exhibition of EGA’s embroidery Collection; several sets of Frequently Asked Questions; pictures of finished Master Craftsman steps; recordings of Italian Embroidery Treasures by Vima de Marchi Micheli and Native Beads and Dance Regalia Showcase by Yellow Bird Productions are added to website. New mission statement is adopted. Incoming president selects Alzheimer’s Association as national outreach project.
Established a new fund-raising program, Crown Jewels of EGA, with tiered levels (Diamond, Ruby, and Emerald) of donation.
Catherine Jordan collaborated with PBS show, Creative Living, to market EGA.
Began total reorganization and analysis of Policies and Procedures to ensure accuracy and consistency, and to eliminate redundancy and outdated sections.
EGA received a significant bequest from member Gay Montague Phillips; currently involved in a lengthy resolution/mediation process with all involved parties.
During 2016, used funds from the first pay-out to publish a 66-page booklet, A Little Book of Embroidery Basics, by Patricia Lufholm of Permian Basin Needle Arts Chapter, free to EGA members on the website.
Also divided $65,000 of these funds among the 13 regions so each region received $5,000 to be used for education.
2016 National Seminar, Star Spangled Seminar, hosted by the Mid-Atlantic Region in Alexandria, VA, with 632 attendees and 61 teachers
Board of Directors continued Strategic Planning in five areas:
- Fund Development,
- Marketing and Branding (developed a new logo),
- Membership Recruitment and Retention,
- Online Presence (selected a new vendor to create a new website), and
- Operations (Policies and Procedures, office staff, equipment, software, etc.).
Received the first installment of $1,100,000 from the Gay Montague Phillips’ bequest.
Began Facebook Stitch-A-Long program with small monthly projects posted free to all.
Began using an Instagram page on the website.
The previous president’s National Outreach Program raised a total of $14,254 for the Alzheimer’s Association.
21st Through the Needle’s Eye Traveling Needlework Exhibition opened for a 3-year tour.
2017 National Seminar, Blue Ridge Rendezvous, hosted by the Carolinas Region in Asheville, NC, with 559 attendees and 29 teachers.
In accordance with the Strategic Plans:
- implemented IRA, health insurance, and life insurance options for Headquarters’ employees,
- upgraded office equipment and software,
- debuted new/faster/improved website,
- contracted with new advertising agency, Fieldtrip,
- purchased ads in Quilter’s World and Just Cross Stitch magazines,
- incorporated new EGA logo into letterhead, pins, banners, sales merchandise, etc., and
- established financial/material support for regions and chapters to participate in local craft shows, expos, and festivals.
Master Craftsman programs upgraded the bibliographies for each program and acquired or purchased new books to ensure Library contains everything needed.
Received the balance of the Gay Montague Phillips cash pay-out and began receiving interest payments on a 10-year promissory note from the estate.
Headquarters employee Brad Cape resigned.
- Cynthia Welch selected as EGA Administrator.
- Gwen Nelson assumed responsibility as curator of the EGA collection.
Incoming President selected America’s Wounded Service Members as the 3-year National Outreach Project.
Eliminated the Challenge/Challenge with a Twist programs due to decreasing enrollment.
Eliminated the President’s Mailing since the electronic newsletter, Facebook, and the website effectively disseminates information directly to members.
7th International Embroidery Conference, Chicago in Stitches, chaired by Margaret Kinsey, hosted six lecturers; unfortunately, the net loss was $10,537 so this program was put on hold.
2018 National Seminar, Diamond Jubilee, hosted by national EGA was held in Louisville, KY, with 623 attendees and 31 teachers.
In accordance with the Strategic Plans:
- Moved Headquarters into a larger and more prominent space within the same building, which greatly expands available space for the Collection and Library and attracts much more attention from the public.
- Continued to update and add features to the website.
- Started Needlework Network newsletter sent to non-members who show an interest in EGA by clicking on Stitch-A-Long, etc.
- Initiated a revision of Needle Arts magazine to get a newer, fresher look:
- Increased the number of projects to two per issue plus the Designers Across America/World project (total of three projects per issue),
- Started paying designers for projects,
- Established the policy to incorporate instructions/charts for left-handed stitchers.
- Worked with Fieldtrip to widen marketing; ex: printed color tri-fold brochures free to regions and chapters.
- Kim Sanders collaborated with PBS show, Creative Living, to market EGA.
Initiated concept of a new Technical Excellence Certification program (will parallel the Master Craftsman Certification programs) to appeal to members who want validation of stitching skills but do not want to create original designs.
Revised Teachers Certification program to parallel the steps used in the Judging Certification and Appraiser Certification steps.
Added three documents to the Guideline Series, added two documents to the Technique Basics, and updated the Glossary of Terms.
2019 National Seminar, Gateway to Stitching, hosted by the Heartlands Region was held in St. Louis, MO, with 494 attendees and 25 teachers.
As COVID shut the world down in early 2020, EGA initially cancelled events, but we quickly educated the Board, region leaders, chapter leaders, and members to use Zoom, Facebook, and other internet platforms to continue many activities virtually.
An unexpected benefit: the virtual 2020 Annual Meeting reached many, many more members than are ever possible with an in-person format; in addition to the detailed briefing, Board members answered questions previously emailed in.
National, chapters, and regions conducted meetings, held stitch-ins, taught classes, held lectures, viewed exhibitions, toured shops and visited designers (all around the world), and found the new way of doing business made many activities feasible, more economic, and more accessible.
The 2020 National Seminar, scheduled for September 2020 in Boston, MA, was cancelled with tentative plans to reschedule in 2023; all registrants were reimbursed fully, creating a $30,000 financial loss.
All Region Seminars, Extended Study Programs, Fiber Forum retreats, International Teachers Tour were canceled and the Through the Needle’s Eye traveling exhibit was extended in place.
National provided each of the 13 regions a free on-line class.
We began developing tentative plans to convert the 2021 National Seminar to a virtual format, in case that would be needed.
Implemented the previous Board’s decision to stagger election cycles for national Board officers:
- elected a new Vice-President, new Secretary, and new Director of Bylaws for a three-year term;
- the President, Director of Education, Director of Marketing/Membership, and Treasurer remained for their third year.
- National bylaws amended in accordance with this change.
Received the final payments from the Gay Montague Phillips bequest and began investigating new investment options (aiming for higher yield with acceptable level of risk)
- New Shop Affiliation Program and Find a Needlework Shop page on the website; revised the existing Library Affiliation Program.
- New Virtual Lecture series.
- New Golden Needles Exhibit/Award.
- New Technique Basics, An Introduction to Blackwork Embroidery.
- New requirements for the Certified Judge/Master Judge Certification Program.
- Multiple documents and guidelines for using Zoom and other virtual technology.
Retired the Quilting and Smocking Master Craftsman Certification Programs.
Identified Counted Thread and Canvas as the first two programs to be developed in the Technical Excellence Certification Program.
Expanded the Needlework Network newsletter to include current members who request it.
Debuted the newly revised Needle Arts magazine.
Revised Policies and Procedures to incorporate changes required by the pandemic.
Contracted with IDEAS xLab to help EGA become a more Inclusive, Diverse, Equitable, and Accessible organization.
COVID-required restrictions on travel and meetings continued for much of 2021, but slowly, some chapters began meeting in person again.
The outgoing President’s National Outreach Program raised a total of $16,770 for America’s wounded service members; this money was donated to the Wounded Warriors Project.
The incoming President chose not to select an outside organization as the recipient of EGA’s National Outreach Project and, instead, chose to commit to Securing Our Future during her term; this reengineering project will consist of:
- Closing the (financial) Gap,
- Building Stronger Chapters and Engaging Members-At-Large, and
- Growing our Educational Opportunities.
The Board of Directors affirmed its ongoing commitment to working with IDEAS xLab and established a Project Management Office to help manage both the reengineering project and the IDEAS recommendations.
The 21st Through the Needle’s Eye traveling exhibit closed and the 22nd TNE Committee immediately began planning the next TNE; published a new mission statement.
Headquarters hosted an exhibit, Asian Fusion Fusion.
National again provided each of the 13 regions a free on-line class plus a free virtual lecture.
Added a new Technique Basics, Brazilian Dimensional Embroidery.
Discontinued the printed hard-copy Educational Catalog (information provided via the Inside EGA portion of Needle Arts magazine and the website).
The 2021 National Seminar, The Magnificent Stitch, hosted by the Great Lakes Region, held in person in Chicago, IL, with 427 attendees and 25 teachers.
The 1st Golden Needles Exhibition debuted at the national seminar.
Volunteer committees developed strategies, assigned priorities, and scheduled timelines to achieve the three goals for Securing Our Future.
EGA formally established the practice of conducting a semi-annual (in the spring) virtual update to membership in addition to the annual in-person and virtual annual meeting held in conjunction with the national seminar (in the autumn).
Heather Gooch replaced Cheryl Christian as the editor of the Needle Arts magazine.
The virtual lecture series proved to be so popular that the Board realized the need to greatly expand the viewing capability to be effective in January 2023.
An in-person Extended Study Program was held.
Two new Independent Correspondence Courses were produced and applicants for the Teachers Certification Program now strongly encouraged to complete these prior to registering for the certification program:
- Design for Embroidery
- The Art of Teaching Embroidery
Winning Ways removed from national seminar agenda.
Fiber Forum implemented a staggered election schedule for officers.
Established an Open Studio program to promote connections between Fiber Forum members.
- New document to the Guidelines series: Guidelines for Submitting a Petite Project.
- New document to the Technique Basics series: An Exploration of Pulled Thread and Satin Stitch Embroidery.
The 2022 National Seminar, Broadway Bound, hosted by the Metropolitan Region, was held in New York City, NY, with 396 attendees and 24 teachers.
Past National Presidents
1958-64 Dorothy Doubleday Babcock* **
1965-65 Margaret Thorne Parshall* **
1965-66 Laura Fairburn**
1967-68 Jean Wilson Kirkpatrick**
1969-72 Eleanor (Babe) Dunning Lovering**
1972-74 Barbara Bredt Coggeshall**
1974-76 Barbara (Bobbie) Bosworth Pilling**
1976-78 Cecile Parker Carver**
1978-79 Virginia Polley Lefferdink**
1979-82 Helen Sterling Montgomery
1982-83 Roberta L. Johnson**
1983-85 Jo S. Vincent
1985-87 Cynthia Tribelhorn**
1987-89 Suzanne Jones**
1989-91 Rosemary Cornelius**
1991-93 Judy Jeroy
1993-95 Jeanette Lovensheimer**
1995-97 Karulynn Koelliker
1997-99 Deanna Powell
1999-01 Mary Lou Storrs**
2001-03 Marie Campbell
2003-05 Armida Taylor
2005-07 Karen L. Wojahn
2007-09 Carol Peao Currier
2009-12 Lorie A. Welker
2012-15 Gwen T. Nelson
2015-18 Leslie Gagliardi
2018-21 Janet Noble
* founding member ** deceased
Past National Seminars
The information below is organized by year and includes the theme, location, chair and host of each seminar.
1963 Seminar – Salisbury, CT – Margaret Parshall* – EGA BOD
1969 Seminar, aka “Williamsburg Seminar” – Williamsburg, VA – Barbara (Bobbie) Pilling- * EGA BOD**
1970 Fall Seminar – Vergennes, VT – Peg Lunt* – EGA BOD
1971 Fall Seminar – Wilmington, DE – Minda DuPont* – EGA BOD
1972 Fall Seminar – Dearborn, MI – Vivian White – EGA BOD
1973 Fall Seminar – Pasadena, CA – Chottie Alderson* – Southern California Chapter***
1974 Fall Seminar – Portsmouth, NH – Anne Norton; Cynthia Tribelhorn – Connecticut River Valley Chapter
1975 Georgia Peach Pine – Mountain, GA – Betty Moye – Georgia Chapter
1976 Seminar ’76 – Houston, TX – Carol Cheney – Houston Embroiderers’ Guild
1977 Climb Every Mountain – Denver, CO – Darlene Locke- Colorado, Centennial, Foothills & Pikes Peak Chapters
1978 It’s a Wonderful Town – New York, NY – Adela Busch* – Manhattan Chapter
1979 Leave Your Heart in San Francisco – San Francisco, CA – Jane Gilbert – Santa Clara Valley Chapter
1980 A Lone Star Stitch-in – Dallas, TX – May Reed – Dallas Needlework & Textile Guild
1981 A Renaissance in Stitching – Dearborn, MI – Shay Pendray – Dearborn Fairlane Chapter
1982 Welcome to Our World – Orlando, FL – Martha Ellis* – Central Florida Chapter
1983 Life, Liberty & Pursuit of Happiness – Philadelphia, PA – Barbara (Bobbie) Pilling*- Philadelphia Area Chapter
1984 Forum ’84 St. Louis, MO – Loraine Meyer – No host- Forum instead of the annual seminar.
1985 A Fiesta in Stitchery – San Antonio, TX – Jerry Hess – San Antonio Needlework Guild
1986 Southern Reflections – Atlanta, GA – Genie Patterson – Dogwood Chapter
1987 Autumn Splendor – Parsippany, NJ – Penny Berman – Metropolitan Region****
1988 A Celebration – 30th anniversary – Louisville, KY – Loraine Meyer – National EGA
1989 Pacific Jewels – Newport Beach, CA – Norah Planck* – Pacific Southwestern Region
1990 Grand Ole Seminar – Nashville, TN – Harriet Neal – National EGA
1991 Nothin’ Could Be Finer – Greensboro, NC – Jeanette Lovensheimer – Carolinas Region
1992 Circle City Treasures – Indianapolis, IN – Jean Blevins* – Indianapolis Chapter
1993 Heartland affair – Des Moines, IA – Joanne Hunt – Heartland Region
1994 Stitches Across Time – Williamsburg, VA – Rosemary Kostanzek – Mid-Atlantic Region
1995 Rocky Mountain Rendezvous – Denver, CO – Barbara Loftus – Rocky Mountain Region
1996 Sea to Shining Sea – San Francisco, CA – Barbara Haberly – Greater Pacific Region
1997 Stitchin’ & All That Jazz – New Orleans, LA – Nancy Willis* – South Central Region
1998 Celebrate! 1958-1998 – 40th anniversary – Louisville, KY – Judy Jeroy – EGA National
1999 A New England Sampling – Danvers, MA – Rachel Atkinson – New England Region
2000 Stitching into a New Century – Orlando, FL – Margaret Kinsey – Sun Region
2001 A Stitching Odyssey – Newport Beach, CA – Virginia Miller*; BettyLou Pendleton (acting chair August-October 2001) – Pacific Southwestern Region
2002 Moonlight & Magnolias – Hilton Head Island, SC – Jeanette Lovensheimer – Carolinas Region
2003 Stitchers in the Rye – Rye Brook, NY – Jane Gordon – Metropolitan Region
2004 Heartland Harvest – Minneapolis, MN – Theresa Lang – Heartland Region
2005 Stitching Southern Style – Atlanta, GA – Donna Smith – Tennessee Valley Region
2006 Gentle Pursuits – Richmond, VA – Marie Campbell – Mid-Atlantic Region
2007 That Needlin’ Town – Chicago, IL – Anne Freiburger – Great Lakes Region
2008 Golden Gala – 50th anniversary – Louisville, KY – Armida Taylor – National EGA
2009 Bridges to Stitching – Pittsburgh, PA – Betty Berkebile – Mid-Eastern Region
2010 Stitching on the Barbary Coast – San Francisco, CA – Mike Swan – Greater Pacific Region
2011 Flamingo Fandango – Naples, FL – Donna Christie – Sun Region
2012 Santa Fe Enchantment – Santa Fe, NM – Caela Conn Tyler – Rocky Mountain Region
2013 Winner by a Stitch – 55th anniversary – Louisville, KY – Judy Badger – National EGA
2014 Dreams & Legends – Phoenix, AZ – Pat Correz – Pacific Southwestern Region
2015 Stitching Fiesta – San Antonio, TX – Joy Cobb – South Central Region
2016 Star Spangled Seminar – Arlington, VA – Judy Jeroy – Mid-Atlantic Region
2017 Blue Ridge Rendezvous Asheville, NC Julie Anderson Carolinas Region
2018 Diamond Jubilee – 60th Anniversary – Louisville, KY – Armida Taylor, National EGA
2019 Gateway to Stitching – St. Louis, MO – Solveig Walstrom, Heartland Region
2020 Boston Stitch Party, New England Region – Rescheduled because of COVID-19
2021 The Magnificent Stitch, Chicago, IL – Linda Busalacchi – Great Lakes Region
2022 Broadway Bound, New York City, NY – Janice Meyers – Metropolitan Region
*deceased ** first national seminar ***first chapter hosted seminar ****first region hosted seminar
National Gold Thread Award Winners
See our page honoring our National Gold Thread Award Winners.