The Rocky Mountain Region (RMR) of the Embroiderers Guild of America (EGA) has an annual exhibit at the Region Seminar called Prospectors. You can find more information on the RMR website
It usually has a theme but you are not required to follow the theme. Since the 2014 Seminar was in Albuquerque with a Route 66 history, the theme was Road Trip and it spoke to me. I designed and stitched a project for the Prospectors exhibit depicting my Needlework Road Trip. I made it to fit an 8" x 10" frame and framed it myself.
So here is my road trip.
I am starting from the bottom up since the bottom two rows represent my foundation. My grandmother and mother. Grandma made beautiful things, as did my mom. But, mom bought me projects and craft items and even gave me from her "stash" (not sure she called it that then). She always made sure I had some sort of craft or needlework item to work on or try.
First (or bottom row) my maternal Grandmother LW (I could have used LSW, but I think of her more as LW, so I left her maiden name initial off). I did her letters in black since she has passed and in a Gothic font since she was German. She did stamped cross stitch and I am lucky to have some of her work. She also sewed clothes for us and made quilts for all her grandchildren and that is what I chose to represent her with - quilt blocks. I adapted the blocks from the quilt I have in my cedar chest.
The next row up is for my mother EWD. These letters are also in black, but I did the W in the Dutch sampler style since her (and my) immigrant ancestor came over from Holland in the 1600s. Although I have sine learned it may have been Denmark! Oh well. My mother was an excellent seamstress and also knit and crocheted. I am lucky to have a pair of mittens she made in a Icelandic design. The yellow square is crocheted since she taught me how to crochet and I did it in her favorite color, yellow. The fabric swatch represents the Raggedy Ann dolls she made each of her nieces and the two I made for my nieces (since she could no longer sew) and she supervised my sewing and advised me on the correct hair color! This fabric is what I used for Ann's legs.
The third row from the bottom is my row - MDM. I do not usually use my maiden name initial, but thought it would show the ancestry better. The "D" is done in Scottish Sampler Style and colors since my father was Scottish. The flower block represents embroidery and my love of flowers shared by my grandmother and mother. The bargello represents needlepoint or canvas work.
I will skip to the top row before talking about the bigger band (4th from bottom). The top row is the sky since I feel the sky is the limit when learning embroidery and needlepoint. The sky is done using a technique I learned in a class I took at a National EGA seminar; the cloud is done in pulled work and the sun is there because my mom once told me that I always drew a sun like that in all my drawings when I was little. The outline is couched down, a technique I first learned through EGA.
Now for the bigger band. In it are various needlework techniques I learned from being an EGA member, either as a Chapter member in Iowa, North Carolina or Colorado or at Region or National Seminars. Some even from Group Correspondence Courses or as Cyber Courses. Some motifs also double as symbols of my childhood or have other meanings. It was fun deciding what to include and how to do it.
Starting at top left is Hardanger in my favorite color, peach.
- The round motif represents Temari.
- The red N is a black work design in red representing the University of Nebraska at Lincoln where I went to graduate school and my mother was a die hard Husker fan for ALL her life!
- The flower is a stumpwork rose - my grandmother grew roses and we all loved them
- The blackwork borders the open space which represents future learning
Now at far left middle and moving right
- The suits of cards are done in Assisi embroidery with a set of books to the right of them and a moon and stars in between. In the summer when school was out, my mom would let me stay up very late and read or we would play cards together. Both of us being night owls and I still am (as much as work will allow). Lucky me I married a night owl too.
- To the right of the books is a frying pan. When my dad worked late and ate out, we would have taco night. My brother, mom and I each having a job in the taco making process. My dad did not like tacos and would not be home, so taco night was born.
- The triangle shapes to the right of the pan is Sollerosom. A Swedish embroidery technique I learned at a class taken at the Carolinas Region Seminar.
- Below that is drawn thread work which I first learned as a Petite Project offered by the Cedar Valley Chapter of EGA in Cedar Rapids, IA.
- The date is done using peyote stitch & beads (first learned at the Cardinal Chapter of EGA, Raleigh, NC.
- Samohi = Santa Monica High School in the school colors of blue and gold (yellow). My mom, brother, some cousins and I all graduated from SAMOHI.
The green line of cross stitch represents the road and runs past and through what I have learned taking me to the open space of future learning.
For my hard work I received a Prospectors Pin and Certificate along with kind words from my fellow stitchers and stood for recognition at the Seminar closing banquet.
Thanks go to my maternal influences and fellow EGA members and teachers in the Chapters and at Seminars.
A Little more history:
In 1998 I joined EGA as a member of the Cedar Valley Chapter, Cedar Rapids, IA. This was my first exposure to EGA and it was love at first sight!! All those fantastic projects to learn - now know as WIPS!
We moved to North Carolina where I joined the Cardinal Chapter and was a charter member of the Gifted Hands Chapter. I attended many Carolinas Region Seminars, once to Calaway and one EGA National and one ANG National Seminar. North Carolina was were I was introduced to ANG (the American Needlepoint Guild). While here I decided to become a Life Member of EGA and ANG, I used some of my inheritance when my dad died and it was like my mom paid for it too.
We moved to Colorado and I joined the Colorado Chapter and the Foothills Chapter. Currently I am only a member of Foothills since I work days and Foothills has a night meeting I can attend and enjoy the same benefits as those who attend the day meeting.
I have gone to many Rocky Mountain Region Seminars and three National EGA Seminars so far while living here in Colorado and I am sure to attend more.
I enjoy the fellowship of my fellow stitchers and the many techniques and fun projects available as a member of EGA and hope to continue for a VERY long time.
Thanks for reading and I hope you liked it (sorry it was a tad long).