Virtual Lecture Series

Embroidery history, culturally diverse techniques and textile traditions

EGA’s Education Department is pleased to announce a Virtual Lecture Series that will be given and available to members over Zoom.

On the second Saturday of every month at 1PM Eastern, a guest lecturer will speak to us about culturally diverse embroidery techniques and textile traditions. Attendance is limited to 100 participants randomly selected from a signup list gathered during the registration period for each lecture.

Among topics discussed will be the history, the symbolism, the purpose, the practicality of how this embroidery has passed down through generations. Many of the embroidery techniques are passed down orally and by watching how it’s done, with no written instructions or patterns to follow. Besides the beauty of the traditional embroidery, there is sadness, joy and triumph in many of these stories.

Come join us and learn about the embroiderers who preceded us and admire their gorgeous creations. It promises to be an interesting hour in your day! Questions? Contact virtuallectures@egausa.org.

Do you have a recommendation for a virtual lecture? Is there a topic that you’d like to see covered in the Virtual Lecture series? Make your recommendation here.

Here’s how the Virtual Lecture Series process works

Step 1: During the registration period for a lecture, click the title of the lecture below to learn more and sign up.

Step 2: The list of all the members interested is randomized and the first 100 members will be sent an email indicating they are registered. The remaining members will be placed on a waiting list.

Step 3: Start getting ready for your virtual lecture by reading the Participant Etiquette for the Virtual Lecture Series and making sure your name on Zoom displays your first and last name. If you have issues, seek assistance as detailed in the welcome letter. Tip: Find helpful Zoom documents by searching for Zoom in Document Downloads.

Step 4: Receive Zoom invitation 48 hours before the lecture starts.

Step 5:  Enjoy the virtual lecture!

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    How do I sign-up for a lecture?
    In the interest of fairness for all members, the Virtual Lectures will registration will be via a lottery. Each upcoming lecture description will contain the date and time sign-ups begin. Sign-ups will remain open for one week after that date and time. All names on that list will be run through a randomization app. The first 100 randomized members will be sent an email indicating they are registered. The remaining members will be placed on a waiting list. If at the end of the week, the number of sign-ups exceeds 150, sign-ups will be closed.

    You will be asked to provide your name and email address. It is important that the information you enter matches what is in your EGA profile. The email address you enter is used to validate that you are an EGA member. Only EGA members will be signed up – if your entered email address doesn’t match what is on record, then you won’t be added to the list. You can join EGA as a Member-at-large here, or Find a Chapter here.

    If you’re not sure what your primary EGA email is, login and check your profile information by clicking the Profile tab above Membership Information once you are logged in. The email address you are using to log in will be listed there. Need help logging in to the EGA website? Contact rduren@egausa.org.

    If you determine that you are unable to attend a lecture (irrespective on whether you are registered or on the wait list), please cancel by sending an email to virtuallectures@egausa.org.

    When will I get my Zoom invitation?
    The Zoom invitations will be sent out 48 hours before the lecture is scheduled to start.

    How do I cancel my reservation?
    Email virtuallectures@egausa.org to cancel a reservation. Doing so will allow a member on the waiting list to take your place.

    What if the sign-ups are closed because the lecture is full?
    If the maximum number of attendees is reached, a waiting list will be created. To be placed on that list, click the link to “sign up to show your interest in this lecture”.

    You will be asked to provide your name and email address. It is important that the information you enter matches what is in your EGA profile. The email address you enter is used to validate that you are an EGA member. Only EGA members will be put on the waiting list – if your entered email address doesn’t match what is on record, then you won’t be added to the waiting list.

    If you’re not sure what your primary EGA email is, login and check your profile information by clicking the Profile tab above Membership Information once you are logged in. The email address you are using to log in will be listed there. As cancellations occur, members will be moved from the waiting list to the attendee list.

    Why wasn’t I admitted into the lecture? Why must my name match the list?
    It is primarily a security issue. We do not wish to deal with the Zoom bombers that show up uninvited at meetings. Some of the “names “ recently seeking admittance are PuckstersRazzleB2, PC, my iPhone, 15555551212, 135794, Susie, superstitcher@hotmail.com. We have no way of knowing who is behind such “names”.

    We also wish to make sure that all the registered members are admitted. Without this name validation, it is possible that a Zoom invitation was inappropriately shared and ultimately someone with a reservation will be denied admission because the maximum number of attendees was reached.

    Download the Participant Etiquette document. It spells out the requirement for credentials that match your EGA information. The Virtual Lecture Series team will work with anyone who wishes to run a test of their credentials or needs assistance in setting their name. Please refer to the pre-lecture memo from the team or contact virtuallectures@egausa.org if we can help you.

    Why is the limit 100 attendees?
    The EGA Zoom license is limited to 100 meeting participants.

    When the Virtual Lecture Series began, there were several parameters for the lectures – the limit of the existing EGA Zoom account to 100 participants and that lectures would not be recorded.

    When the January lecture quickly sold out, we evaluated the obvious alternatives and reached out to the lecturers with whom we had a contract.

    The negotiated contracts were for a maximum of 100 participants. No speaker under contract was interested in speaking to a larger audience. There are business concerns behind this decision. Many of our speakers’ target market is EGA chapters. If National offers a lecture to what could possibly be five or six chapter opportunities, their potential audience diminishes significantly.

    Increasing the number of attendees would significantly raise speaker’s fees. The budget for this series would not support the increase. Either the number of lectures would be reduced or the lectures would no longer be free to members. Additional administrative and credit card processing fees would be incurred and included in the cost of admittance.

    The popularity of this lecture series reflects a significant demand for this type of education. The Virtual Lecture Series Committee strongly recommends that regions and chapters offer this type of education to their members. A list of lecturers available to teach or present virtually, can be found in Document Downloads(Member login required). If several chapters combine to hold a lecture, their individual costs are reduced and it becomes much more affordable. With no travel costs and no per diem to pay, quality education will never be so economical or easy to arrange. It has been almost a year since most chapters have met in person, there have likely been budget savings in rent and education expenses that can be applied to 2021 budgets. Working with another chapter could be a positive growth experience for EGA members in the available education opportunities.

    Why aren’t you recording these lectures?
    The legal rights to recordings are a complicated issue. It was initially decided that this option is beyond the scope of this lecture series. All existing contracts preclude recording of the lectures.

    Why are the lectures held on Saturday?
    There is no perfect day or time. Weekdays are very difficult for our working members and four time zones increase the challenge of finding the right time. No matter which weekend day is chosen, there will be concerns about the impact on normal life (religious services, sports, chapter meetings, etc.) We regret that we can’t accommodate every circumstance.

Upcoming Virtual Lectures

  • Virtual Lecture: Dr. Jessica Grimm and her quest for the origins of or nué, a medieval goldwork technique
    Taught by Dr. Jessica Grimm (view bio)

    Virtual Lectures

    As or nué is often considered the pinnacle of medieval goldwork techniques, you might be forgiven for thinking that it has been studied extensively. This is not the case. Apart from the fact that the finest pieces were made at the end of the medieval period in an area that is now Northern France, Belgium and the Netherlands, we know precious little. In my lecture, I’ll introduce you to some of the finest historical examples of this technique. We will also explore a much simpler technique that is similar to or nué and was developed in present-day Germany. Date: Saturday, December 11, 2021 1PM Eastern Registration: November 15-22, 2021 1PM Eastern

  • Virtual Lecture: Embroidered Beasts, Relics in Situ with Erin Harvey Moody and Christy Gordon Baty
    Taught by Erin Harvey Moody and Christy Gordon Baty (view bio)

    Virtual Lectures

    Animals were a favorite motif in Elizabethan and Jacobean needlework -- from leopards and lions, to bears, bunnies and monkeys, to unicorns, camels and elephants. We will celebrate this theme by examining a wide variety of 16th and 17th century needlework in close up detail, looking at materials used, colors, and techniques. Date: Sunday, November 14, 2021 1PM Eastern Registration: October 18-25, 2021 1PM Eastern

  • Virtual Lecture: Quaker Schoolgirl Needlework in Seventeenth-Century London with Isabella Rosner
    Taught by Isabella Rosner (view bio)

    Virtual Lectures

    "To get my living with my hands: Quaker Schoolgirl Needlework in Seventeenth-Century London" explores the samplers, workboxes, and embroidered accessories of early modern Quaker girls educated in and around London. Extant examples are highly decorative, which is a surprise, considering that plainness was a tenet central to the Society of Friends from its founding in the 1650s. This paper uses objects in British and American collections to assess possible reasons for this aesthetic contradiction, drawing on themes of global trade, mercantilism, feminine virtue and accomplishment, and piety. Date: Saturday, February 12, 2022 1PM Eastern Registration: January 17-24, 2022 1PM Eastern

Previous Virtual Lectures

  • Virtual Lecture 2: The Art of the Japanese Internment Camps with Toni Gerdes
    Taught by Toni Gerdes (view bio)

    Previous Virtual Lectures

    Even with great adversity, you can’t keep the artistic, creative spirit down, but also, that creative spirit actually thrives during adversity to help people through hard times and to bring people together. This is what I show, during my 60-minute lecture based on the art that has been discovered from the time of World War II and the Japanese Internment Camps. Date: February 13, 2021 at 1PM Eastern Full | Registration opens: January 11, 2021 at 1PM Eastern

  • Virtual Lecture 3: Sashiko, A Form of Japanese Embroidery with Jacqui Clarkson
    Taught by Jacqui Clarkson (view bio)

    Previous Virtual Lectures

    Are you curious about Sashiko? Is there more than Sashiko?, Hitomezashi?, Kogin?, Boro? What are these? What am I stitching? Please join me as I share my journey of discovering Sashiko, it’s history and how we are embracing it in today’s needlework world. Date: March 13, 2021 1PM Eastern Full | Registration opens: February 15, 2021 1PM Eastern

  • Virtual Lecture 4: The Culture of Folk Embroidery in 3 European Countries with Sarah Pedlow
    Taught by Sarah Pedlow (view bio)

    Previous Virtual Lectures

    Join us for an engaging talk on the history and culture of folk embroidery from three different countries in Europe and the people keeping traditions alive today. Date: April 10, 2021 1PM Eastern | Registration: March 15-22, 2021 1PM Eastern

  • Virtual Lecture 5: Historic Threads with Annette Gutierrez Turk
    Taught by Annette Gutierrez Turk (view bio)

    Previous Virtual Lectures

    A historical look at the colcha embroidery stitch and how it came into existence in the New World of Spain in the 16th century.  Date: May 8, 2021 1PM Eastern | Registration: April 12-19, 2021 1PM Eastern

  • Virtual Lecture 6: Maya Textile Artists: Passionate Celebration of Cultural Heritage with Diane Herrmann
    Taught by Diane Herrmann (view bio)

    Previous Virtual Lectures

    Exciting wearable art with vivid colors, the indigenous clothing of Mexico and Guatemala displays consummate expertise, and artistic beauty. Ancient techniques of preparation, construction and embellishment continue today with modern materials. Still, the textiles contain the designs and patterns that have held meaning in the culture for centuries. Maya weavers today labor to keep traditions alive and still survive in the 21st century. Date: June 12, 2021 1PM Eastern | Registration: May 10-17, 2021 1PM Eastern

  • Virtual Lecture 7: The Story of Seedbeads with Naomi Smith
    Taught by Naomi Smith (view bio)

    Previous Virtual Lectures

    An exploration of Indigenous beadwork from a historical and contemporary perspective. This presentation focuses on the story of seeds beads and how they became a much esteemed part of Indigenous life in the 19th century. Date: July 10, 2021 1PM Eastern | Registration opens: June 14-21, 2021 1PM Eastern

  • Virtual Lecture 8: The thobe, a traditional embroidered Palestinian dress with Wafa Ghnaim
    Taught by Wafa Ghnaim (view bio)

    Previous Virtual Lectures

    Author and teaching artist, Wafa Ghnaim, will discuss the evolution of the thobe from the nineteenth century through the contemporary period. Date: August 14, 2021 1PM Eastern | Registration: July 12-19, 2021 1PM Eastern

  • Virtual Lecture 9: Haptic Memory with Dr. Sharbreon Plummer
    Taught by Dr. Sharbreon Plummer (view bio)

    Previous Virtual Lectures

    Join Dr. Sharbreon Plummer (Past EGA Research Grant recipient) for an exciting conversation about her doctoral research project, Haptic Memory: Centering Black Women’s Experiences in Fiber Art Narratives. Haptic Memory examines the inequities faced by Black women in artistic interpretation, and how their creative production through fiber intersects with labor, maternal relationships and ancestral memory. Date: September 11, 2021 1PM Eastern | Registration: August 16-23, 2021 1PM Eastern

  • Virtual Lecture Encore: The Culture of Folk Embroidery in 3 European Countries with Sarah Pedlow
    Taught by Sarah Pedlow (view bio)

    Previous Virtual Lectures

    Join us for an engaging talk on the history and culture of folk embroidery from three different countries in Europe and the people keeping traditions alive today. Date: August 15, 2021 1PM Eastern | Registration: July 19-26 , 2021 1PM Eastern

  • Virtual Lecture: Embroidery, Clothing, and Feminine Identity in Jewish Yemen with India Hayford
    Taught by India Hayford (view bio)

    Previous Virtual Lectures

    Nothing identifies or disguises us as quickly as the clothing we wear. How we dress reflects our place in the world and how we want other people to perceive us. Nowhere has clothing and its embellishment been more important to identity than among the Jewish women of Yemen.