Region Representative Report

Did you know that when you purchase from, you can support EGA? Through Amazon’s Smile program Amazon will donate 0.5% of qualifying purchases to the charity of your choice. Of course National is suggesting EGA. Go to and search for Embroiderers’ Guild of America. Select the option in Louisville that is listed as Visual Arts Organizations.

The SCR Seminar in Dallas is coming soon. I hope everyone who is planning on going has sent in the registration. They will be drawing for an expense paid trip to Gone Stitchin’ Sugarland, TX June 7-10, 2017. You don’t have to be present to win.

If anyone has any bookmarks for the Region, please bring them to the May luncheon or a stitch in before the first of June.

Joan Vanderbrink

Region Rep.

Notes on the Electric Needle Program

Thanks to Ruth Krimsky, Kathy Wood and Mary Hodges for sharing their knowledge, embroidery machines and materials with both the Day and Night groups! We all had a wonderful time learning this other way to embroider and all went home with a completed project.

Short Threads from the Needle’s Eye…

One of the special things about being from San Antonio is that April brings Fiesta. I look forward every year to see how the themes for the parades translate into the gowns that Fiesta royalty will wear. This year’s theme for the Battle of Flowers Parade is “Texas Traditions…125 years”. Imagine my surprise that this year marks Fiesta’s 125th year anniversary.

So in honor of Fiesta, I have chosen my SAL piece for the April Showers Bring May Flowers SAL to be Northern Expressions’ Rainbow Sampler. It reminds me of Fiesta with all of its different colors. What makes this sampler different is that the bands are stitched on the diagonal. Each band of the project is a different specialty stitch. If you are not comfortable with specialty stitches the pattern is also charted in cross stitch only. I kitted the project the way that it was originally stitched with Lakeside Linen and Au Ver A Soie silk.

We have our May luncheon coming up on May 7th, so if you have not signed up yet make sure you get you check in the mail to Marilyn Veach by April 26th.

I would like to thank Diane Williams for teaching “For the love of Stitching Fob” for February and March’s technique classes. I look forward to seeing everyone’s finished piece.

I would like to thank Ruth Krimsky for the lovely demonstration on machine embroidered cards.

I would like to thank Kathy Wood, Ruth’s sister for bringing her embroidery machine and helping everyone out during the March meeting.

I would like to thank Mary Hodges for bringing her card making supplies and embroidery machine for the March meeting. The card making tools provided the finishing touches which took our cards from good to great.

I would like to thank Pat Sweet for graciously allowing us to use her house for the March meeting and for housing Yolanda’s Stash until we can find new loving homes for all of the items.

You may not have noticed but it is an election year not only for the nation, but for SANG as well. I will be appointing a member of the board this month to chair the nominating committee. I will also be asking for two volunteers from the day group and two from the night group to serve on this committee. If you are interested in an office with the guild for the next two years please let one of the committee members know. If you are not interested in serving as an officer please consider serving on the nominating committee.

As always happy stitching,

Jessica Jones

How I Grid Using Sewing Thread

In my last article I went over different items that you could use to grid your fabric. Now I am going to explain how to grid using sewing thread. You can substitute sulky sliver or R&S designs Easy Count Gridline instead if you want.

My tutorial is based on large scale cross stitch projects that span multiple pages. (Heaven and Earth designs are an excellent example of this type of design) This process can be scaled down to fit any size project.

When I grid a multiple page design I like to mark the following items in a different color thread: center lines, page breaks and 10 x 10 grids. If your pattern is only one page you will not have to mark your page breaks.

Start by folding the fabric in half lengthwise and then vertically. Then place a needle or a pin in the center of those folds to mark the center of the fabric.

Select a color thread for the center lines. I like to use threads that will contrast with my fabric as well as each other. I like to use red, brown, blue, and/or black. Some colors do not work well with others so you might have to experiment with placement.

Once the color has been selected, measure a length of thread slightly larger than the vertical measurement of the fabric. Start working a basting stitch down the center of the fabric vertically. The pattern you use is totally up to you. Here are some suggestions:

  • 5 up and 5 down
  • 2 up and 2 down
  • 8 up and 2 down
  • 6 up and 4 down
  • 10 up and 10 down
  • x up and y down (x and y are random numbers)

How your threads cross each other vertically and horizontally with determine the borders of your 10 X 10 grids. So you might want to test out on a small piece of fabric how you want your basting stitches to cross so that you can plan to make them cross that way when you do the large piece.

Measure out a length of thread slightly larger than the horizontal measurement of the fabric and start basting using the same pattern chosen for the previous basted line.

I like to precut my lengths of thread that I use to baste, so when I have used all my threads I know I am done basting. I calculate how many lengths of each color I will need. I do this by taking the size of the piece in stitches and dividing it into 10s. For this piece let us assume that it has a size of 175 stitches wide by 226 stitches high.

I have already mark the center lines on the piece of fabric, they represent line 88 vertically and 113 horizontally.

I take my project pattern and notate where the pages breaks are vertically and horizontally.

Next I take the width size of my pattern (175): starting at 10, list all of the numbers divisible by 10 between 0 and 175. This will be my vertical 10 list.

My next calculation will use the length size of my pattern (226): starting at 10, list all of the numbers divisible by 10 between 0 and 226. This will be my horizontal 10 list.

If any number in the 10 list represents a page break, I remove that number from that list. For example vertical 80 represents a page break so I will use the page break color to represent this line on my fabric and remove it from the vertical 10 list.

So now that I know how many pieces of each color I need I will cut that many lengths of thread. I tend to use the longest length of my piece as my standard and cut all of my pieces that length so I do not have to double check if it is long enough to mark the side. So for this piece I will cut 38 pieces in one color and 8 pieces in another color.

I will then start putting in the verticals listed in vertical 10 list and start with 90 because it is the easiest line to identify. I will baste that line and continue to the right till I get to the end of my list and then I will come back and do the items on the other side of the center line.

I will then start putting in the horizontals listed in horizontal 10 list and start with 110 because it is the easiest line to identify. I will baste that line and continue up till I get to the top and then I will come back and do the items on the other side of the center line.

I will then repeat this process for placing the vertical and horizontal page break lines. You can put the page break lines in as you come to them when you put the 10 by 10 lines in but make sure you use the correct color.

You might ask why you would care where the 10 by 10 lines are or where your page breaks are – it is because they are lines of demarcation. They become more or less important depending on how you stitch your piece. For full coverage designs that have a lot of confetti (lots of color changes) some stitchers find that using the parking technique is very helpful for getting through these sections where you are changing colors constantly. Your tension can vary between these vertical columns of 10 x 10 and you may be able to see the vertical lines across your piece where you made a hard stop. The same holds true if you are a cross country stitcher and you are stitching a page at a time. You want to have a consistent tension on your piece to have the best looking results. One way to minimize the hard stops in your piece at lines of demarcation is to not stop at this line. If you are stitching a color and it carries over into the next page or 10 x 10 square, keep stitching till it comes to its natural conclusion. You want to have your starting and stopping of threads staggered along these lines of demarcation.

Other bonuses of gridding are that your piece is centered on your fabric and you know that you will have enough fabric to complete your design because you have gridded the entire stitch count of your design. You don’t have to worry about miscounting – if you want to start in a different location; you just match the grid on the pattern to the grid on the fabric. If you use a standard pattern, one benefit of gridding is: your intersections will form a uniform pattern which will act as a double check — you will be able to visually see places where you did not count correctly when you gridded the fabric.

May Luncheon Program

The program will feature a talk by Helen Schneizer of Threads of Blessing (previously known as Hands of Hope)-an international ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas. They are an inter-generational group of ecumenical women who support and nurture the creative process. By using each member’s unique talents, Threads of Blessing creates original pieces of textile art. Using appliquéd fabrics and hand embroidery, Threads of Blessing produces fine art banners, wall hangings and clerical stoles designed by group members. Members work together to create and sell the ministry’s own embellished works of art. The proceeds are then used to support the mission aspects of Threads of Blessing in emerging countries. Helen will bring some of the wonderful clothing, jewelry, hand bags and hand embroidery created by the ministry to share with us and for sale.