Master Craftsman Programs

Take your skills to the next level

Our Master Craftsman programs are designed to promote excellence in embroidery by providing the accomplished needleworker the opportunity to demonstrate skills and become certified as a “master” in her or his area of expertise. Each program area consists of six steps that test the ability and workmanship of the candidate. Requirements may include, but are not limited to, working embroidery, creating designs, and performing research, all according to program guidelines. Judging is usually twice per year during various months, depending upon the program.

A member may enroll in as many Master Craftsman Programs as desired. Prior to registration, prospective candidates may address questions to the appropriate program chair. To enroll select your desired program below. The initial enrollment cost for each program is $50. Each step sent for evaluation must be accompanied by a check for $20; for each re-submission, $15. Fees will be adjusted to cover extra postage for foreign candidates. Click on each program below to learn more or download a flyer here. See a list of Frequently Asked Questions below the certifications for more information.

Are you ready for your Master Craftsman certification? Here’s how it works…

Step 1: You select and register for your preferred certification.

Step 2: We process your registration and notify the chair of the program.

Step 3: The chair will send you Welcome, Step 1, bibliography information and a few additional forms that will be needed.

Step 4: It’s time to gather your materials and start reading and working your way through the program!

Step 5: You will have two years to complete Step 1. You will mail your finished piece to the chair prior to one of the spring or fall scheduled judgings.

Step 6: Receive your evaluation from the chair and start working on your next step or rework the previous step, if it did not pass successfully; judges may give submissions Pass, Provisional Pass (requires minor revisions, but candidate may begin working on the next step), or Not Pass.

Step 7: Celebrate your completion of your MC with a notice in Needle Arts Magazine! Start looking through EGA Certifications for your next stitching adventure!

Select your preferred certification to learn more and enroll

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Master Craftsman (MC) Programs?
EGA’s Master Craftsman Programs are designed to promote excellence in embroidery by providing the accomplished needle worker the opportunity to demonstrate mastery in specific needlework techniques. There are 10 programs: Beading, Canvas, Color, Counted Thread, Crewel, Design, Quilting, Silk & Metal, Smocking, and Surface.

Who are MC programs for?
MC programs are for intermediate to advanced stitchers who have a high level of expertise in the technique of choice as well as color and design BEFORE entering one of the programs. Each program provides a challenging series of exercises designed to encourage research, application and expansion of the embroiderer’s knowledge, skill, and creativity.

All directions and instructions must be followed carefully and specifically to master each step and progress in the program. The MC program may be considered a competition, not against other stitchers, but against one’s own earlier efforts.

MC programs are also valuable for teachers and artists who wish to work on specific techniques as well as further their understanding of color and design. Some of the programs offer set designs for some steps and require original work for other steps. This is not a mentoring program nor a one-on-one instructional program, but rather a certification program for participants to demonstrate their mastery in specific needlework techniques.

How many steps does each MC program have?
Each MC program has 6 steps. The steps for each program can be found on the EGA web site along with related bibliographies, pictures of competed steps, and requirements for Step 1.

Is there a set schedule for each MC program?
Yes. Judgings take place in the spring and fall of each year, 6 months apart.

How long does it take to complete a MC program?
The certification process takes a minimum of 3 years to complete. Once enrolled, the participant may submit at the next judging, but has 2 years to submit to remain active in the program. After Step 1 is submitted, the participant has 5 years to submit the next step.

Can I just buy the information and skip the judging?
All EGA members have access to the Step 1 information through the EGA web site, so enrollment is not mandatory to get access to the Step 1 requirements or bibliography. Information for Steps 2 and beyond require passing the previous steps, so judging and passing Step 1 is required.

How will the chair and I communicate during the MC program?
Participants may contact the chair as questions arise. The chair will let you know the best way to communicate in your Welcome letter, but email is generally preferred. A formal, written evaluation is done to reflect the judges’ review following each judging.

What are the participant’s responsibilities and the policies on time extensions?
Participants are expected to adhere to the program’s guidelines, but may request extensions due to unforeseen circumstances; if an extension is granted, the participant may submit at the next scheduled judging.

Are MC fees refundable?
MC enrollment and submission fees are not refundable.

Who can I contact if I have more questions about MC?
You can contact our MC Coordinator using the form on our Contact Us page and choosing Master Craftsman as the topic.

After you register

When does the program start?
The timeline for certification completion begins when you register.

How long do I have to finish Step 1?
Step 1 must be submitted within 2 years of enrollment.

Will I be required to send my finished work to the chair?
Yes. All judging is done in person by judges who are experts in the technique.

How do I get the information about submitting Step 1?
Once enrolled, the chair of the program will send you the information through email (preferred) or by USPS.