Thursday, March 3, 2016

February 2016 Report

Melinda Sherbring came to Baldy View at our February 17 meeting with her Renaissance-period costumes. Melinda gave us a brief history of Renaissance Fairs in the USA and her experience joining the Society of Creative Anachronism. Her RenFair interest led to interest in Elizabethan-era needlework (she wanted to do accurate needlework in her accurate costume). She came to a meeting last year and presented a wonderful program on Blackwork and Elizabethan Goldwork. So February was about what women in the Upper and Merchant classes wore and how needlework was likely incorporated.

 Every woman of any class started with a linen shift, a knee-length loose gown with full sleeves. When you have to run into the yard, you throw on a robe and so did Elizabethan women.

Elizabethan underwear for the upper class. Melinda assured us that the corset was surprisingly comfortable. There was often one or more petticoats too. Melinda shared that some regions encouraged the hoop lines to show while others wanted the skirts to be perfectly smooth. Ah, the fickleness of fashion. Women of every class wore the same type of underpants: none. Just like Scotsmen with kilts, women of every class wore nothing under their skirts.

The only garments that were laundered regularly was the shift. The absorbent linen would collect body soils and perspiration and was actually more effective in keeping a person odor-free than bathing.

This lady is dressed. Over the hooped underskirt a lady would put on another garment with a decorative front followed by a dress that fitted over all. This was followed up by pinned-on sleeves, then ruffs around the wrists and neck. If it was chilly, a light coverup was pinned over the ladies bodice. In fact, pins were everywhere. That's where the phrase "pin money" meaning a little extra money for clothing accessories comes from. The hair was covered by a scarf, then a cap pinned to an ear iron, then a hat of some kind.

Melinda was very excited to tell us about ear irons. Historians have long wondered how women kept the caps firmly on their heads. The realization that ear irons kept the cap not only shaped but created a base for the cap to be firmly attached to the head only came about recently because they were so common that people didn't bother to write about them.  How many things do we do today that are so common, so widely known and unquestioned, that we don't bother to record any details for posterity?

Melinda also had a costume for the merchant class. The woman would start with a shift, an overgarment, and then cover it with a kirtle. It's basically a dress with boning in it. There is no corset or petticoat because the kirtle contained the clothing's structure. Again, Melinda touted it's comfort.

Because women's bodies change over time because of pregnancy and aging, all these garments are highly adjustable. And there were no size tags!

 Melinda brought a few period-style pieces for us to see. This mermaid is mounted on a box made of clam shells.
 Melinda made these badges for herself and her husband. Silk and gold embroidery and they are absolutely beautiful.

This piece was covered with winning ribbons at the 2013 American Needlepoint Guild National Seminar. Goldwork with silk threads and lovely, lovely, lovely.

 Our March 16 program is a silk ribbon embroidery piece designed by our member Katherine Z. It will be mounted on a small box that is painted and waxed.

Here is a photo of the top. We haven't done a silk ribbon embroidery piece in several years. If you're interested, call Georgette (look at the newsletter page) and let her know so she'll reserve a kit for you. The cost should be about $7. Bring size 24 and/or size 26 chenille needles and a 5" or 6" hoop and scissors. We look forward to seeing you there.

We welcome new members of all levels of experience. Plus we are fun! See you on March 16 in Ontario, California.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

August Meeting 2015 Update

We had our annual ice cream social at this meeting. Really, who does NOT like an ice cream social? Even if you don't eat ice cream, most people are having at least a small dish and they're happy, happy, happy!

We had even more reason to be happy because Pat C. taught the remainder of the Hapsburg Lace project. Her notes are posted below.


1.       Discuss supplies required.  Stretcher bars must be used.  Must use mono canvas for eyelets.   Discuss method of attaching to bars.  Mount on top of bars…better to use tacks

2.      Locate starting point on canvas.  Decide if want to do finishing as described on page 21/22.  Tanya finishes as runner/mat.

3.      Terminology:  Tanya uses term “double cross stitch” (dcs) and long arm double cross stitch (ldcs).  Double cross stitch is also called “Smyrna”.  Essential point for dcs is last stitch always vertical or horizontal (US stitchers usually place top stitch on horizontal).  Ldcs top stitch is always slanted in same diagonal direction.

4.      Page 2, diagram 2c.  On drop down double cross stitch (dcs), change sequence of numbering:  instead of 41-42, reverse the order to 42-41.  The path from her 40 to 41 is only over 1 thread and comes up in a “dirty” hole.  It also puts no tension on 39-40 and 40-41.

5.      Count and recount these stitches….all internal patterns depend on this accuracy.

6.      Use an awl, large tapestry needle, crochet hook…something round…to enlarge the center hole in all eyelets. 

7.      Locate position of first eyelet in each block containing eyelets.  To ensure accurate counting, consider “punching” the eyelet holes before beginning stitching.  Much easier to count BEFORE stitching.  Enlarge hole more than you think required as they will tend to close up.  As you do each eyelet, punch the hole again…and you may need to do it more than once to maintain a round hole.  Punching breaks sizing and saves your fingers!

8.      Position waste knot in line with eyelets just above holes.  Make waste knot about 1 ½” long to the right of the first eyelet

9.      Page 4, diagram 4b.  Reverse numbering on eyelets.  To keep center hole clear….begin stitching at “23” and stitch in clockwise direction.  When you stitch the last stitch, now “21”, the drag to the first dcs keeps the pull on the eyelet center hole.  When you stitch the lower dcs, reverse the top stitch 39-40 to 40-39 to keep the tension on the stitch as you move to 41 on the second eyelet.  Once again, start the eyelet with the “67 -68” stitch and move clockwise to clear the center hole as you move from “65-66”. 

You might consider starting the eyelets in the top or bottom center, to provide even more clearance.

Try to keep the threads lined up side by side in the center and not overlapping each other…this requires tension and keeping the hole enlarged.

10.  Scalloped filling:  Do not stop/start this in middle of row.  Use a long thread and use back of eyelets to tie on/off.

11.  Stem stitch outline…..I learned this by using the tips of the eyelets as the position for each stem stitch, and throwing the loop to the outside, not the inside….”outline” stitch, not “stem stitch”.

12.  If an eyelet stands alone….tie on/off behind it.

13.  Page 9….last line, 1st paragraph…..Change No. 8 to No. 12 perle cotton.

Long Armed Double Cross Stitch…it you’re not planning to do the hem/finishing shown at the end of the instructions, you can do these at any time.  Watch carrying thread from one the next, weaving behind eyelets and dcs.

14.   An alternative to the Stem Outline Stitch is to place a French knot at the tip of each spoke of the eyelet.  Carol Costello used this on a number of her patterns.


  1.  Always check and double check the size of perle coton to use for any section. She often uses both 12 and 8 in same block.  Usually indicated by one of them in gray shading.

  1. Page 10…sequence of 1dcs…reverse top stitch for better pull…7/8 reverse to 8/7.

  1. Pg 12…Watch thread size here.  Work cross stitch in sequence shown so carry on back is always the same.  Reverse the 3/4 stitch for better pull

            DO NOT tighten 7/8 (gathering stitch) til bringing up needle at “6”.  Note needle comes up one thread inside the vertical laid thread at 7 and goes down inside at 8.  Nudge vertical stitches aside to do this.

  1.  Pg 13 – 13c
Reverse 19-20…see travel to 21….change direction of top stitches.

(NOTE:  If you follow her sequence, there is little/no tension on the top stitch before traveling to the next stitch. )


  1. Pg 14 – Pattern 8
Work partial eyelets at tip of each 16 spoke irregular eyelet as you come to it….from center of short spoke.
This is an area where you must watch travel across open areas!

  1. Pg 16 ….leaf
Be VERY careful not to split into 5/6 as you come up to do 11/12.

  1. Pg 22.....Mitre the corner when you do fold back/stitching across the corner.
These were her notes for both her presentations and they do make sense when you are working on Hapsburg Lace Sampler by Tanja Berlin. If you need more help, come to a meeting or stitch in.

More news is that we have a project coming up being taught by Margaret Bendig for our October meeting.

 It's our own Baldy View exclusive needle book!

It is stitched on 18-count canvas and uses many different stitches. The kit includes everything needed except the stretcher bars. It comes in two color choices - green and pink or red, white, and blue. The kit is $20.00 and the pattern is $15.00. However, Baldy View is covering $10.00 towards members' patterns so their cost is only $25.00. Let Georgette know if you want to participate at the September meeting or call her at 909-920-1931. Sign-ups close Thursday night September 17. Check the newsletter for more information.

Our program in September is a DVD of the Italian Embroidery Treasurers lecture given by Vima de Marchi Micheli at the EGA National Seminar in October 2014. She shared a lifetime of research about embroidery customs from all over Italy. And we'll have Helen's famous caramel corn popcorn!

We will be meeting again on Wednesday September  16 at the US Bank building at Euclid and D Street in downtown Ontario, California. Social time begins at 6:30 with the actual meeting beginning at 7:00. Our next stitch in will be Wednesday, September 23. Check the stitch in page above for more information.

Monday, July 20, 2015

July 2015 Meeting

Our meeting was held on July 15 at the US Bank building in Ontario, California. Our President and other members were not in attendance. Poor babies, they were stuck in Phoenix, Arizona at the Needle Arts Mystery Retreat. Sorry Helen, Alice and Pam, we feel for you.

After a brief business meeting, Laurie McClellan from El Segundo Chapter presented part two of her emery bag project.

So why have an emery bag? You know that cute little strawberry often attached to a tomato pin cushion? That is supposed to be filled with a fine grit emery sand. Emery comes in black or white (there is no difference in quality). The purpose is to sharpen and polish your needles. You simply poke the needle into the emery several times. Laurie emphasized several points about good emery bags: 1. It should be packed in a tightly woven fabric then encased in another fabric. You don't want sand leaking everywhere, and if any does make it through the tight fabric, it should be caught by the second layer; 2. Don't use any synthetic fabrics in your bag construction. They will dull your needles, which takes away the benefit of using the bag in the first place; 3. Don't use the emery bag as a pin cushion. Emery has a small amount of moisture in it because it's sand. Your needles will rust left in emery; and 4. Only use your emery bag for sharp needles. Tapestry needles have a blunt tip and won't go through the bag fabric without making a hole. Since Laurie is the curious type that does unspeakable things like cut open little fabric strawberries to see what's really inside, she told us that a lot of those little strawberries are actually filled with wood shavings. They make the strawberry look cute, but they don't do much for your needles.

Our May meeting was covering a button with beads. Laurie's kits included a button she had covered for us in Ultra Suede with an initial button already glued in place, lots of different seed beads, some accent beads, needles, beading thread and a beading mat.

Laurie again came with everything all organized and ready so that the project could likely be completed during the meeting. She had made little yo yos of tightly woven muslin, filled them with white emery sand, and sewed the tops firmly shut. She had all-wool felt in different colors, charms, trims, and colored beading thread. We had to cut the right-sized felt circle, make a yo yo, tuck the emery-filled yo yo inside it, and then sew on the button. We then trimmed it out with something pretty and finished it off with a charm.

The bag is about 1 1/2 inch across. It's an attractive and useful addition to our stitching tools.

Thank you Laurie for such a fun and easy project. Our chapter always enjoys your programs. The mermaid design is a free chart at
Don't forget to check out our stitch-in page. Our August meeting will be another session with Pat on the Hapsburg Lace Sampler AND our annual ice cream social. We meet at the US Bank building, 33 N Euclid Ave, Ontario, California. Social time is 6:30, the meeting starts at 7:00. Keep stitching!

Monday, July 13, 2015

June Meeting and some Stitch-In Photos

Our meeting on June 17 was pretty much the usual. First, people started drifting in about 6:30, found a comfortable seat (isn't it funny how we tend to prefer the same seat?), grabbed a snack from our new snack table, and started to talk. Then we started the business portion at about 7:00 and got the boring part our of the way ASAP. Then we got to our program.

Pat C. taught our new project, Hapsburg Lace Sampler by Tanja Berlin. She talked a bit about the background of Hapsburg Lace, about which frankly not a lot is known. She did point out that about 25 years ago, there was some interest by a local designer. Pat said there were knots used, oh so many knots. Here is a pic of one of the old design leaflets.
Click on any photo to enlarge

Our Education Director, Yvonne B., stitched up the sampler using overdyed pearl cotton, solid pearl cotton, and metallic. We thought the effect was lovely. 

 It's hard to tell in the photos, but she stitched it on iridescent canvas. 
I really like the way the overdyed pearl created additional interest in the larger areas.
Dark Solid on Light Background

Light Solid on Dark Background

Overdyed and Solid Threads on Light Iridescent Background

The same section in three different thread/canvas combinations.


Here are a few pictures from our Stitch-In on June 24. We have quite a range of techniques.
The start of Hapsburg Lace

Hapsburg Lace on Blue Canvas

Embroidery by one of our quilters
A canvas piece from ANG

Stamped work on a tea towel
The beginnings of a sweet bag

Another stitcher working on that ANG piece

Counted cross stitch

Cross stitch by Ursula Michaels - finished and framed!

Cross stitch Flower Power by Crossed Wing Collections
Another start of the Hapsburg Lace

Counted cross stitch
Needlepoint piece of a Charleston house, a souvenir from a trip
  Last, in May we started an emery bag project by Laurie McClellan. It is a beaded Ultrasuede-covered button surrounded by beads to top an emery bag. Those of us not named Darlene will be finishing up our emery bag at the July meeting.
Darlene V. always adds a little extra to make it unique
Darlene's finished emery bag next to Denise M.'s started button
Laurie planned it to go along with our mermaid project that was our January birthday gift to our members. We paired on online freebie with linen, threads, a jewel and teeny pearls.  The design is from from the blog Cross Stitch Happy. We finished it as a pincushion with the trim stitchers' choice.
 I wish I had a picture of the one stitched by Kendra - she sprayed her linen with blue floral paint first and it looked terrific.

Our next meeting is July 15, with optional social time (and a snack) starting at 6:30 and the meeting itself beginning at 7:00. We meet at the Community Room at the back of the US Bank, 333 N Euclid Ave, Ontario, CA, or as the locals call it Euclid and "D" Street.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

A Brief Catch-Up and Future Plans

With a volunteer organization, sometimes things like a blog fall through the cracks. And so it went with this one. A brief recap is that we've been meeting steadily over the past several months and having fun.

That's pretty much it.

Now for the present and future, we are planning some fun things.

Tanja Berlin Hapsburg Lace Sampler, light background with dark thread
Tanja Berlin Hapsburg Lace Sampler, dark background with light thread
 This is the Hapsburg Lace Sampler by Tanja Berlin. We will be starting this at our June meeting. It will be stitched on 18-count canvas using #8 and #12 pearl cotton.

As with any photos on this blog, just click on them to enlarge in a separate window.

Our members were encouraged to choose canvas and thread of their choice that had a strong contrast. As long as the blog doesn't fall into any more cracks, we should have some more photos to post in a few months.

Our next meeting will be on June 17 at the US Bank Building at 333 N. Euclid Avenue, Ontario, California. We meet at 6:30 for social time and 7:00 for the business meeting and program. Stitchers of all experience are welcome. Remember, the EGA concentrates on any technique that uses a needle with an eye. See you there!

Monday, June 10, 2013

June 10 Stitch Gathering

Here are some of the projects our participants were working on at our June 10 gathering at the Hobby Lobby in Upland. We had a great time as always. Anyone and everyone interested in needlework is welcome.

 Ruth P. is working on a hardanger runner from Nordic Needle. She got all the way around the everything matched up, but when she started the inner section, it didn't fit. It turned out that she'd made the exact same counting error in the mirror image spot at the opposite end, so half of her stitching had to be taken out! But it will be very pretty when it's done. This is a beginner piece and is really fairly simple to stitch. Hardanger is quite sturdy.

 Barbara S. is working on "Rainforest" by Kathy Rees on congress cloth. It's a lot of little samplers that make up one big canvas-work sampler.

Sally A. is trying to complete a project from Stoney Creek Pattern of the Month but keeps having to correct the count. When it's done it will be finished into a bell pull.

Denise M. is starting a new project by Dorothy Lesher called "Dragons Tea Party." This is from a recent workshop in Ontario.

Mary Lee M. had two little projects, a lighthouse by Stoney Creek and a small project from a Baldy View meeting.

We had a visitor today who received a needlepoint lesson from Denise M. We look forward to seeing her again.
Once again, thank you to Hobby Lobby and the Upland general manager Meribel for allowing us to use the classroom. Our next stitch gathering will be Monday July 8. Needle workers of all levels are welcome. We'd love to see what you're working on. Our regular meeting will be in Ontario on Wednesday June 19 at the US Bank building at "D" Street and Euclid at 7:00.