I finally took the plunge and took a needlework class, my first since Covid began. I held my breath (figuratively), masked up and went to Luv2Stitch in San Mateo, CA. Yes, yes, I know for me there is a lot more draw to CA than a needlework class! (Read that as time with the “little people”, aka grandchildren). However what could be better than combining one’s two loves?
The visiting nobility was Deborah Merrick-Wilson teaching two days of goldwork. The project is called “A Taste of Tudor”. With Deborah’s permission, I am publishing a photo of the finished project. The other photo is my attempt at goldwork. I made some progress, but with metal threads, it’s slower stitching than usual.
Deborah’s interest in gold work goes back to childhood when she fell in love with the “patch” of gold on an uncle’s blazer. She went on to become an expert in dimensional embroidery and traditional and interpretive goldwork. She has received numerous awards for her work. One can read more about Deborah’s numerous accomplishments on the EGA website under events (more about that later.)
Deborah’s style of teaching is what made me so excited. She breaks downs an area of the design into smaller chunks, so that the execution of that section of the design made total sense. Her pacing was spot on. We covered prep work, followed by execution of some of the stitches, but we did not rush. At the end of the second day, Deborah spent the last half hour going over the stitch guide and explaining in detail the areas of the design that had not been covered in class. I did not walk away thinking I will never be able to do this. Instead, I felt as if I had covered enough basics to help me through the remainder of the design. Of course, we shall see how I progress! One can’t leave a goldwork design to languish in the closet because the metals do start to change colors and one wants their piece to age at approximately the same rate.
So now on to why I mentioned EGA in an ANG sponsored blog. Deborah was in the process of retiring when the pandemic hit. This class was supposed to have been taught in 2020. Thankfully, Deborah did two make up sessions last week and this past weekend. That way the class was divided in half so that we had more room to social distance a bit. When Deborah was asked where else she might be teaching, she informed us that probably her last class taught would be as an extended study program for EGA early this spring. That event, which might be her last teaching gig, is to be held in March of 2022 in Alexandria, VA. One can find more information on that event on the EGA website.
So it is hard to tell whether all this excitement of mine is due to the fact that I was actually sitting in a classroom again. (I love, love taking classes) or because I was enthralled with the material. I suspect it is a little of both!