Golden Needle Awards

Golden Needle Awards
is a judged and themed exhibit premiering with EGA’s 2021 National Seminar: The Magnificent Stitch in Chicago! It 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.

For more information, contact Ellie Ames at

  • The Theme: Magnificent Stitch

    This year’s theme is “Magnificent Stitch” – everyone has a different idea of what is a magnificent stitch – what is yours? Is it a particular stitch or type of needlework or is it a needlework piece depiction of a landscape or a memory. Abstract or realistic – all forms of needlework created by EGA members are welcome. You will also write an artist statement (250 words or less) on how your piece depicts the “Magnificent Stitch” theme using any technique. In addition to awards by how the theme was used, technique awards will also be awarded.

  • Exhibit Details

    All entries will be judged by EGA judges based on how your piece demonstrates the theme, technical excellence, color and design, suitability of materials used, and finishing. Ribbons will be awarded in the areas of Canvas, Counted Thread, Surface Embroidery and Beading for both professional and non-professional entries.

    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

    How your piece demonstrates the theme “Magnificent Stitch”, technical excellence, color and design, suitability of materials used, and finishing. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place ribbons will be awarded in each category for both professional and non-professionals. See examples at the bottom of this page.

  • 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 judges’ critique is available for an additional $25. If you choose this option, the total including your entry fee will be $50.
    • Entry must be smaller than 12” x 12” and be able to fit in a medium priority rate box.
    • The entry must have been completed since September 1, 2019.
    • All entries must be mailed. EGA will pay for shipping back to you.
    • All entry paperwork must be received by June 15, 2021.
    • Entries must be delivered between August 16 and August 21, 2021.
  • 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.

    Original, 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 adaptation, original and non-original .

    adaptation: Needlework inspired by or based upon a source other than needlework and modified through significant change. Source(s) are to be documented.
    non-original: All designs by individuals other than the stitcher, class projects, kits, printed charts, painted canvases, patterns.
    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 lay flat, as in a dolly or mat, there should be no dangling or loose threads. The edges should be finished with no raw edges visible unless that is the intent of the needleworker.

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


    -Ellie Ames
    National Education Exhibit Chair