The Embroiderers' Guild of America will meet this September in Naples, Florida, to embrace embroidery of all kinds - goldwork, beading, ribbon embroidery, mixed media, Hardanger, blackwork, counted thread, applique, needlepoint, doll making, stumpwork. Take a look at the event brochure to see the range of incredible designs that will be at seminar: www.egausa.org/files/seminar/2011/Sem2011_brochure.pdf. If you want to learn a new technique or perfect your skills in embroidery, the EGA national seminar will be a perfect opportunity.
At least one classroom will have students planting roots and branches on a Congress Cloth ground in the "Tree of Life" project from talented designer and teacher Lynn Payette. It's a beautiful blend of different types of Kreinik metallic threads, from Braids to Ribbons, from basic to Hi Lustre and Holographic, from light to dark shades. Here Lynn gives us a sneak peek of this stunning design and tells us a bit about how it comes together.
Lynn says: "The base (root system) of the tree is padded first with felt in single and double layers, as are some of the branches, and the initials (on the left side of the tree – each student will have their own initials formed in the branches of the tree). Some of the branches are not padded but are stitched directly on the (Congress Cloth) ground. Most of the metallics are couched down using either a fine matching color cord or invisible (waxed to make it more user friendly) invisible thread (monofilament type as used for the sewing machine). Some of the metallics are actually stitched in back stitch or, in the cases of thinner (Kreinik Very Fine #4 Braid) metallic, they are stitched using an outline or stem type stitch."
Lynn used all of the Kreinik Braid and Ribbon sizes to create texture, shadow, and dimension in the design: Very Fine #4 Braid, Fine #8 Braid, Tapestry #12 Braid, Medium #16 Braid, Canvas #24 Braid, Heavy #32 Braid, 1/8" Ribbon, and 1/16" Ribbon. (Note about our numbers: the smaller the number, the thinner the thread; ie, #4 Braid is half the size of #8 Braid.) "The threads are laid out with the darker colors first to form a meandering type line on the branches, roots, etc., and then are ‘filled’ in using a variety of sizes and types of metallics," Lynn says.
The design is also a wonderful example of how to use the various degrees of metallic to create a realistic design. Some of the threads are Kreinik High Lustre colors (meaning they have a bolder metallic look), some are basic metallic colors (with a softer metallic gleam). She also used some of the new holographic Kreinik colors. "It was necessary to balance the shiny's with the not so shiny's, so that the piece was more interesting," she notes.
Whether you are a beginner to embroidery or a seasoned stitcher, designs like this can inspire you to play with different thread thicknesses and colors. If you want to make this particular design, take the class from Lynn at the EGA national seminar, or when Lynn teaches it in various places next year. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get you in touch with the designer for more information.
One side note: don't be intimidated by a "guild" like EGA. With talented teachers, in a setting like the EGA get-together, you will be lovingly taught, inspired, and encouraged. There's nothing like being in the midst of people who have a passion for your passion. For more information on EGA or the national seminar, visit www.egausa.org.
Read the inspiration and story behind Amy's Golden Strand in Memphis, Tennessee
Amy Bunger is a talented needlework designer, author, and teacher both on and off screen (check out her DVDs). We don't know how she fits it into her schedule, but she is also a needlework shop owner. Check out our interview with Amy and learn about her "Golden Strand."
Amy's Golden Strand
Location: 3808 Summer Avenue, Memphis, TN 38122
Phone: (901) 458-6109
Web site: www.amybunger.com
Fax: (901) 323-4701
Amy Bunger, owner
Q: What is the story behind your store's name (what does it mean)?
AMY: The first store that I owned was named "A Stitch in Time." There were problems with identification since there were other shops with the same name around the country. My customers would refer to the shop as "Amy's" when they talked about us with their friends, so new customers couldn't find me in the phone book. When I opened a shop in a different area of the country I knew that "Amy" needed to be in the name of the title. I was down to the wire on time to order business cards and signage when I saw a book on my parent's shelves: "The Golden Strand." Although the book was about the Gold Coast of Africa I thought the name would work well for my new shop...Amy's Golden Strand.
Q: How long have you had the shop?
AMY: I started my first shop (Owensboro, KY) in 1979 and the Memphis, TN location was opened in 1986.
Q: Do you have a shop specialty? (like cross stitch only, or cross stitch/needlepoint, etc)
AMY: The shop is all needlepoint supplies, services, and classes.
Q: Tell us about some of your staff. Who would we meet when we visit the shop?
AMY: Our shop team includes me (Amy), Candy (my sister), Eileen, Judy, Peggy, Jill, and Karen. Bob (my husband) runs our wholesale business situated across the driveway in a separate building.
Q: Which Kreinik threads do you carry?
AMY: Kreinik Braids in size 4, 8, 12, 16, 32, Kreinik Metallic Ribbon, Facets, Ombre, Embellishment Trim, Japan Threads, Cord, Beadlets, Treasure Tape (red liner tape), and more. If we don't have it in stock we are happy to order it for you.
Q: Can people buy from your store online or through mail order?
AMY: Yes, we offer online ordering, and customers can feel free to E-mail, call, or FAX orders to us. We make every effort to get orders for in-stock items out the same day we received the order. (NOTE: Amy's web site is www.amybunger.com.)
Q: Do you have in-store classes, special events, online classes, or offer one-on-one teaching?
AMY: Each week we have group classes (2 - 3 hours each) taught by various teachers. We offer private classes by the hour, half-day, or full day. Six to eight times a year we offer 3-Day group classes on canvas enhancement and once or twice a year Tony Minieri comes to teach either a project or technique class. We have mail order classes called "Home Study" that are on painted canvases by different designers. These classes are part project and part technique classes that range from 3 months (1 kit per month) to 12 month classes depending on the size and complexity of the project.
Q: Has anyone famous ever visited your store? (athlete, celebrity, politician, of local or national fame)
AMY: The cute, petite, blonde actress that plays the ballistics expert on CSI Miami came in with her mother one day - - wow that was fun. Barbara Bush called and ordered some thread from us and Jill practically passed out while holding the phone. She also sent us the nicest thank-you note and we have saved it carefully. I swear I've "seen" Elvis in the store, but I might be mistaken about that.
Q: Here at Kreinik we love to talk about food. What's the name of a good place to eat near your store?
AMY: Memphis is chock-a-block full of fabulous places to eat from the "heart stopping" Gus's Fried Chicken for casual dining to Iris or Erling Jensen's on the fancy end of the food chain. The closest restaurant to us is Cheffie's Deli which is a great place for sandwich, salad, or Gelato. If you don't like their menu, just pop next door to the local pizza parlor for a great pizza. Of course, Memphis is world famous for BBQ and we must have 100 BBQ restaurants and even the worst of them is still good.
Q: What is your favorite part about being in this business?
AMY: Hands down it has to be the people. We become a part of our customer's lives when we are involved with their hobby. Everyone that works in the shop is a member of the family and it shows in their interest in the customers. I think that we have a reputation for being as friendly as we are helpful and efficient.