Chapter News: Starlight Stitchers, Indian River, Azure Verde, Corning and Indianapolis Chapters

Today we are bringing you news from the Starlight Stitchers Chapter in Tempe, Arizona, the Indian River Chapter in Melbourne, Florida, the Azure Verde Chapter in Palos Verdes Estates, California, the Corning Chapter in Corning, New York, and the Indianapolis Chapter in Indianapolis, IN. We encourage you to learn more about them by clicking on their name. Now you can join or renew your membership with the Starlight Stitchers Chapter, the Indian River Chapter, the Azure Verde Chapter,  the Corning Chapter, and the Indianapolis Chapter directly from the EGA website!

Starlight Stitchers Chapter

Starlight Stitchers closed another successful partnership with HD South, the Gilbert Historical Museum. Needleworkers and casual museum visitors spent time admiring about 60 pieces of needle art displayed by members of the local chapters of The Embroiderers’ Guild of America, the American Needlepoint Guild, and the Smocking Arts Guild of America. The People’s Choice awards show representation from all three guilds as attendees voted on their favorite pieces. Winners are: Proudly Peacock, designed by Deborah Mitek – submitted by Marilyn Evans, Starlight Stitchers EGA (silk ribbon surface embroidery), Crewel Fantasy, designed by Carol Algie Higginbotham – submitted by Marilyn Evans, Starlight Stitchers EGA (crewel work), Among the Ferns, designed by Nancy’s Needle – submitted by Shelley Gutierres, Saguaro Stitchers ANG (charted needlepoint), Bunny Jacket with Smocked Bishop Dress, designed by Gail Doane – submitted by Debbie Showalter. Desert Rows chapter Smocking Arts Guild of America (smocking and surface embroidery)

Indian River Chapter

The Indian River Chapter held a Blackwork Program with a Petite Project. More than 25 Indian River Chapter EGA (Melbourne, FL) chapter members were in attendance at the March 2024 meeting to listen to 1st VP of Programs, Stephanie Murphy give a presentation of the history of blackwork followed by the hands on demonstration of the Holbein stitch used in the Petite Project Butterfly Blackwork designed by Carolyn Standing Webb. Fifteen (15) members had signed up to participate in this stunning piece of embroidery and received a kit of 28-count Jobelan, a skein of DMC embroidery floss and a strand of metallic to use as highlight. Petite Projects have been of great enjoyment as well as an opportunity to explore other stitching techniques for several years.

Azure Verde Chapter

The Azure Verde Chapter of EGA presents Knot Another Project XXXII: Celebrating Azure Verde on Thursday May 23, 2024 – 10am to 2:30 pm at St. Francis Episcopal Church – 2200 Via Rosa, PVE. Join us for a fun day of food, friendship, and shopping! Our exhibit will feature works by the current founding members of our chapter: Mary Croes, Marlene Ezratty, Idele Gilbert, and Debbie Power. Contact Heidi Peterson at to request a ticket and for more information. Download the Brochure.

Corning Chapter

Corning Chapter EGA attended the Corning Quilting Guild’s Exhibit on April 20, 21, 2024. There was a table to spread the word about the Embroiderers’ Guild of America. Anyone who gave us their email received a free copy of a past Needle Arts. There were also felt bookmark kits available. It is estimated that over 700 people attended the exhibit held in Horseheads, NY.

Indianapolis Chapter

Celebrating the “Golden Threads” of 50 years of friendships made through creative embroidery stitching, the Indianapolis Chapter of Embroiderers Guild of America (EGA) has announced the special events of its 50th anniversary year, (2024), featuring three stitching workshops and a members’ luncheon.

The Indianapolis chapter’s celebratory luncheon was held Monday, April 22 at the Skyline Club of One American Square in Downtown Indianapolis. The luncheon speaker was Cissy Bailey Smith, an expert in stitched samplers with a teaching certificate in canvas work from the Valentine Museum in Richmond, Virginia.

attendees at the celebration luncheon Monday, April 22 at the Skyline Club in Downtown Indianapolis.
(Most are members of the Indianapois chapter plus the guest speaker, Cissy Bailey Smith (in black ensemble second from right in front row.)

The first class was “Samplers Stories Huswif,” a cross stitch piece taught by Bailey Smith in a three-hour session held Saturday, April 20 at Christ United Methodist Church, Greenwood.

The second class is “Autumn’s Bounty,” a surface embroidery piece with gold work highlights, to be taught by Marylyn Doyle, a teacher and exhibitor of a range of embroidery techniques and holder of EGA certification in silk and metal thread on fabric. The class is scheduled for Saturday, July 27 at Christ United Methodist Church, Greenwood.

The third class will be “Beautiful Windmills,” counted canvas work to be taught by Ann-Marie Anderson-Mayes of Beautiful Stitches based in Perth, Western Australia. A two-day class scheduled for Friday and Saturday, September 13-14, this event is designated as Indiana State Day and is open for registration by all Indiana EGA chapter members and EGA/Great Lakes Region members. The class will be held at Christ United Methodist Church, Greenwood.

The “Golden Threads” theme is derived from a quote of John Evelyn, English diarist and Founding Fellow of the Royal Society: “Friendship is the golden thread that ties the heart of all the world.”

The theme is appropriate for the Indianapolis chapter, as Joanne Porento, chair of the 50thanniversary planning committee, explained, ”Here’s to 50 years of stitches and stories, where embroidery and friendship are equally cherished and celebrated.”

Here’s more about the history of the Indianapolis Chapter, Embroiderers’ Guild of America

The Indianapolis Chapter of the Embroiderers’ Guild of America originated with a small group of embroiderers who knew each other through their husbands’ work. It soon grew to encompass the entire Indianapolis Metropolitan area.

The nucleus was the Creative Stitchery Group of the Indiana University School of Medicine Faculty Women’s Club. One of the members, Druscilla Defalque, was an EGA member-at-large. She suggested that the group establish an EGA Chapter. She contacted the New York office and chapters already established in Indiana, at Fort Wayne and Lafayette. On February 13, 1974, the Indianapolis Chapter was chartered, with 15 founding members. It was the 40th chapter formed under the national organization.

Growth was immediate. A story in The Indianapolis Star announced the March 11, 1974, organizational meeting at the Nora Library. It was jam-packed, and 40 new members joined that morning. Soon afterward, the Nora Night Stitchers was established. Later, in 1981-83, daytime and evening groups were formed on the Southside, growing the Chapter to more than 200 members.

The Chapter also grew in programming, with emphasis on expanding the skills of its members, fostering the highest standards of work, and creating awareness in the community of the value of needlework. Knowledgeable local teachers gave of their time, and nationally known teachers were brought in for workshops as well.

Community service projects were initiated early and tended to be monumental. Projects included embroidering the State Seal of Indiana, the City of Indianapolis seal in silk and gold, and, for the Governor’s Residence, a fireplace screen and canvas bands for benches in the foyer. For the Ronald McDonald House, Chapter members made nearly 100 embroideries, adding decoration to the walls and doors, in addition to a huge House of Bears showing various scenes, and a 5-panel counted thread Nativity (only hung at Christmastime), appraised in the late 1990s for $7,500. The Chapter also created a wall hanging for the Riley Hospital for Children, as well as a huge one for the children’s section of the Richmond Public Library.

In 1984 the Chapter, led by Lelia Chernish, put on an exhibit at what was then the Indianapolis Museum of Art (now Newfields). This exhibit was the first by any EGA chapter, and its popularity was evidence to the museum that fiber arts have broad appeal.

The Chapter was the first and only chapter to host both an EGA National Seminar and the National Biennial Exhibit in the same year. The 1992 Seminar was a great success, with 592 in attendance.

The Chapter has also hosted many State Days and several Regional Seminars. In a continuing effort to educate the public about our Chapter, we have had exhibits at the Indiana State Museum, Conner Prairie Museum, The Hyatt Regency Hotel, St. Meinrad Archabbey, and at public libraries in Boone, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Marion, and Johnson counties.

These events and exhibits have marked the Chapter’s public face. But for most of its members, the Indianapolis EGA contributions have been more personal – new skills learned, the satisfaction of making creative and skilled work, and the lasting friendships formed as we gather month after month to share a common interest. Hence our theme for our fiftieth anniversary year – Golden Threads.

— Ginny Kellar


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