2023 Golden Needle Awards

Stitch Party

During the first week of September in 2023 (September 1-5, 2023), we will be holding the 2023 Golden Needle Awards, our annual judged (but not juried) themed awards exhibit at the EGA National Seminar, “Boston Stitch Party” in Boston, MA.

Golden Needle Awards is open to all forms of creative needlework, from EGA members at all levels of expertise—beginners to highly experienced.

Below you will find important information about the exhibit including the theme, entry requirements, artist statement instructions and more.

Click here to submit

For more information, contact Ellie Ames at educationexhibitchair@egausa.org.

Photos: 2022 Golden Needle Awards | 2021 Golden Needle Awards

More About the Exhibit

  • The Theme: Stitch Party

    The theme for Golden Needle Awards 2023 is “stitch party”. When you think of “stitch party” what comes to your mind? So many options – a fun stitch-in—a chapter stitch party (or stitch-in) or stitching with friends (party). And don’t forget about refreshments. Think of your favorite stitching party that you attended or would like to attend. Your entry can also be about “party” – this theme has many options.

    What we want you to show us in your entry in the Golden Needle Awards (only one entry per EGA member) is how your work depicts the theme “stitch party”.

    Your finished piece, which has been completed within the last two years, may be an original, adaptation or a non-original piece – and remember there is a special award for an EGA class piece.

    -Ellie Ames, National Education Exhibit Chair

  • Exhibit Details

    All entries will be judged by EGA judges based on the judging criteria shown below. Ribbons will be awarded in the areas of Canvas, Counted Thread, Surface Embroidery and Beading.

    Special Awards

    Judges’ Choice, Best of Show, Viewers’ Choice, Best depiction of Theme, Best EGA class (any EGA class: on-line, GCC, ICC, Seminar and/or chapter sponsored class/course)

    Criteria used for Judging

    The judges will be looking at several different criteria in determining first, second and third place ribbons in each category. We will use EGA definitions for the terms of adaptation and non-original. The judging criteria is below.

    • Aesthetic Quality: design/composition. Aesthetic Design includes the relationships with the Elements and the Principles of Design, such as balance, color, repetition, pattern, scale, and shape
    • Application of materials: Do the materials used support the design and concept?
    • Complexity: difficulty in execution of the design
    • Concept: Is the Artist Statement cohesive or reflection of the theme and the relationship in the design and execution of the embroidery?
    • Form: Is the intention of the final piece clear and supported by the design and the total sum of materials?
    • Innovation: is the embroidery original, adaption or does it have a clever twist?
    • Professional Quality: Is the embroidery neat, clean and does it demonstrate skill in execution?
    • Use of the needle: Did the needleworker complete the work with the use of a needle?
  • Entry Requirements

    • Only one entry per entrant. Visit the Education Exhibit Entry Form to submit your entry.
    • You must be an EGA member to participate, but you do not need to attend Seminar to enter or win.
    • There’s an entry cost of $25. Once you fill and submit the exhibit form you will receive a confirmation email with the link to pay your fee and the optional judge’s critique.
    • An optional judge’s critique is available for an additional $25. If you choose this option, the total including your entry fee will be $50.
    • The size of the entry is limited to 12” x 12”
    • The entry must have been completed since September 1, 2021(within 2 years).
    • An artist statement of 250 words or less must accompany the entry
    • Original, adaptations and non-original pieces are encouraged to enter
    • Awards will be given in the areas of Canvas, Counted Thread, Surface Embroidery, Silk & Metal and beading for both professional and non-professional entries. Please indicate which category your entry belongs, along if your entry is original, adaption or a non-original piece. Please indicate if you are a professional or non-professional. We use EGA definitions (below).
    • Entries must be delivered between August 13 and August 19, 2023.
    • Please include a pre-paid return shipping label
  • About your Artist Statement

    Your artist statement of 250 words or less must state how your piece fits the theme. In your artist statement if your piece is not original, the source of your idea must be credited. If it is a non-original piece credit the designer. The finisher (if you didn’t finish the piece yourself) must also be credited.


    Originals, adaptations, and non-originals (charts, painted canvases, class pieces, etc.) will be accepted. Designers and finishers must be credited. We will be using EGA definitions for adaption, original and non-original.

    Adaptation: Needlework inspired by or based upon a source other than needlework and modified through significant change. Source(s) must be documented.

    Non-original: All designs by individuals other than the stitcher, class projects, kits, printed charts, painted canvases, patterns, etc.

    Original: A work is one, which, from the beginning, is solely the creative product of the stitcher.

  • What is Display Ready?

    One question that has come up is “What is display or exhibit ready” and for the purposes of the Education Exhibit I answered that question below.

    • Your entry must be completely finished and ready to be displayed, but not necessarily framed; for instance, it can be wrapped around a mat (such as foam core) and laced with no loose dangling threads or parts visible, unless that is the intended finished appearance by the artist. It is important that your entry is completely finished (no areas that are not stitched that are meant to be stitched or embellished be left unstitched) and ready for display. Laced pieces can be displayed on display stands.

    • If your piece is framed, we prefer wire side-to-side rather than saw tooth hangers. There should be no loose dangling parts, broken or loose glass or frames or missing eye screws or wires. The backing of the frame must be attached firmly and not loose. In addition, your name and address should be on back of the entry.

    • If your piece is meant to lie flat, as a doily or mat, there should be no dangling or loose threads. The edges should be finished with no raw edges visible unless that is your intent.

    • For notebook entries – samples should be finished and in sheet protectors with no raw, rough edges unless that your desired look.

    • Other items such as jewelry and mixed media pieces follow the same criteria as above – all entries must be completely finished with no stray items detracting from the completed piece. A label with your name should be attached, either with a tag or on a label in back of the entry.

    If your piece is in one of the judged exhibits (Bobbie Pilling or Golden Needle Awards), your entry will also be judged on finishing as it is part of the judging criteria.

    This is going to be a fun Education Exhibit and we are excited to be receiving your entry (entries). By having class pieces, master craftsman, along with fiber forum pieces and the Bobbie Pilling and Golden Needles entries we will have a wonderful exhibition!

    The Education Exhibit entry form for all entries is here. The deadline for submissions is June 15.

    Entry registration is due by June 15, 2023 but your entry does not need to arrive in New York until August.

    -Ellie Ames, National Education Exhibit Chair