Technical Excellence Programs

Show us your very best stitching.

EGA’s Technical Excellence Programs are designed to recognize excellence in the execution of hand embroidery. These programs give the experienced needleworker the opportunity to demonstrate excellence in their area of expertise. Our first available program is the Technical Excellence Program in Counted Thread.

Each area has its own program that consists of four steps that test the candidate’s technical stitching ability. For each step, the candidate is provided with the required design as well as a list of the required threads and ground fabric for that step. After stitching each step, the candidate submits their step for judging. Judging usually occurs twice a year with the deadlines for submission set differently for each program.

An EGA Member may enroll in as many Technical Excellence Programs as they desire when additional programs become available. Before registration, prospective candidates may address questions to the appropriate program chair. The initial enrollment cost for each program is $50. Each step sent for evaluation must be accompanied by a check payable to EGA for $20; for each re-submission, $15. In addition, the candidate must provide a pre-paid mailing label for the return postage of their entry OR include return postage in a check made payable to the chair. Fees will be adjusted to cover extra postage for foreign candidates. Click on the available program below to learn more. See a list of Frequently Asked Questions below the programs for more information.

Are you ready to stitch toward your Technical Excellence? If so, follow these instructions.

Step 1: You select and register for the TEC program in your area of expertise.

Step 2: EGA processes your registration and notifies the program chair.

Step 3: The program chair sends you the general program and Step 1 information.

Step 4: You gather the materials for Step 1 and start reading about and working on that step.

Step 5: You have two years to complete and submit Step 1 for judging. Mail your finished Step 1 to the chair prior to the scheduled judging.

Step 6: You receive the judges’ evaluation. If you receive a Pass or a Provisional Pass, you also receive the instructions for Step 2. If you receive a Provisional Pass, you need to make some minor revisions and re-submit Step 1, and you may start working on Step 2. If you receive a Not Pass, you need to rework Step 1 and receive a Pass before continuing.

To complete the program, you repeat #4, #5, and #6 until you have successfully completed Step 4 in the Technical Excellence Certificate program you started. After you earn your Technical Excellence Certificate, EGA will recognize your accomplishment with a certificate and a notice in the Needle Arts magazine.

Please read the Frequently Asked Questions section below for more information about the Technical Excellence Program.

Note: Please do not assume that photos of a TEC project are an example of work that will receive a “Pass”. 

Select the TEC program below to learn more and enroll.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Technical Excellence (TE) Programs?
EGA’s Technical Excellence Programs are designed to promote excellence in embroidery by providing the accomplished needle worker the opportunity to demonstrate mastery in specific needlework techniques. There is one program: Counted Thread.

How many TE programs are available?
We currently have one program available, the TEC program in Counted Thread. Programs in additional areas will be available in the future.

Who are TE programs for?
TE programs are for intermediate to advanced stitchers who have a high level of expertise in the technique of choice before starting one of the programs. Each program provides a challenging series of exercises designed to demonstrate the candidate’s technical skill.

All directions and instructions must be followed carefully to master each step in the program.

TE programs are also valuable for stitchers who wish to work on specific techniques. 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 TE program have?
Each TE program has four steps. The steps for each program can be found on this page along with related pictures of completed step and requirements for Step 1.

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

How long does it take to complete a TE program?
The certification process takes a minimum of two years to complete. Once enrolled, the participant may submit at the next judging, but has two years to submit to remain active in the program. After Step 1 is submitted, the participant has five 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. For example, judging and passing or provisionally passing Step 1 is required before you receive the information for Step 2.

How will the chair and I communicate during the TE 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 we usually prefer email. You receive a written evaluation that reflects 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 TE fees refundable?
TE enrollment and submission fees are not refundable.

Who can I contact if I have more questions about TE?
You may contact the TE Coordinator using the form on the EGA Contact Us page and choosing Education: Technical Excellence as the topic.

After you register

When does my 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 two 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.