Category Archives: Louisville 2013 EGA Seminar

Last Day of Cardinal Country and EGA Seminar


Hi, Everyone —

It seems impossible to believe that my week in Louisville is almost over.  Sue will drop me off at the airport tomorrow before heading home to Mendham.  I think I would much rather be driving with Sue!

Today’s class continued much the same as the other days — with us just stitching whatever we wanted and Joan teaching us each new thing as it arose.  Today I learned the fly stitch for leaves and needle-weaving — also for leaves.  I finished two blue flowers and a smattering of pink ones.

Cardinal Country -- Day 4

Cardinal Country — Day 4

The EGA Banquets are much more compact affairs than the ANG ones — not so many speeches or prizes or drawings.  Sue and I both put in our preferences for classes next year in Phoenix.

Cheers, Rosie

A Wonderful Seminar Week Comes to a Close


I have been so fortunate to have spent so much time in the past three weeks stitching with friends and learning new things. I now have a wealth of things to work on during the dreary days of winter. You will see a big change in Zelda tonight as she now has a tail! Her ear hair has had it's first trimming. I need to wait for the final trimming sessions until I purchase a pair of sharp scissors with skinny blades that whisper when you cut.

Zelda with tail

It was not as difficult to attach the tail as I had thought. This technique would be great for pig tails! The tail will be shortened and attached again on the rump when all the stitching is complete. As it is now, it will be easy to move it aside to complete stitching the zebra. You will see that there is more added to the florentine ground. This was a case of two steps forward and one back. I need a quiet time to make sure that I don't mix up the color I should be using. I also added a bit to the sun. It took me so long to find where I was in the pattern that I did not straight round three! I did write a note as to where I left off in the design. The last thing we tackled today was the grasses of which you can see none. We can't add the grasses until the florentine ground is complete. The directions and Gale's demonstration will make that easy to do.

The week ended with the banquet of good food and good company and a great wait staff. We got hot, black tea served twice during dinner! Again it was a table laden with tea drinkers–five of the eight at the table. I am mostly packed, have written out the route changes–no Rosie to read it to me–and am ready to go. It has been grand this week to be able to share our excitement and fun with like minded people. See you at the next meeting whatever it may be! Sue


Zebra! Day Three


The first hour of class today, as on Tuesday, is spent stitching on areas where we feel we need to work. For instance, this morning I knew that I needed to get the rump done in order to be able to attach the tail tomorrow and the head near the ear to fill in the ear with turkey work this afternoon. After an hour, Gail gave us directions on the white in the rump and how long to make or not make the satin stitches and why.

Untrimmed Turkey Work in Ear

Zelda's ear now looks like she needs a good trimming! I haven't finished the ear yet and will put it on my list to address first thing tomorrow when I get to class. After lunch we began the sky, a simple stitch that I finally got right on try number five! We are using Accentuate, one thread. Accentuate is a filament with very little to see, but it does glisten nicely. The pattern darning is over six under one, over six under one. Once you have gone out as far as you wish, you drop down one channel, go back or forward two vertical threads and head back. You “should” end up in the same relative position to the sun as where you started, “Should” being the operative word. Finally on try five I did! My problem was that it was hard to see the thread I was using and even harder to see where it came up and went down which resulted in poor counting. I hope that at home that part will be easier. I do understand what I should be doing.

I signed up for classes at the seminar next year in Phoenix. Three classes, am I crazy? They do have a number of nice canvas/congress cloth pieces which I find easier to work now and they are great designs. So my goal before then will be to finish the seminar pieces from this year at both seminars, a total of three. Since I enjoyed all of them, I expect that I will complete them.

One of the things that Rosie and I have both enjoyed at this seminar has been sharing meals with a variety of members from the Metropolitan region. Tonight's dinner included friends we have met from Long Island, Brooklyn, Paramus, Freehold, New Windsor, NY, Morristown and Mendham. It was a dinner of excellent food, many laughs and stories.

It hardly seems possible that tomorrow is the last day of seminar and we will soon be returning to our real lives!



Cardinal Country — Day 3


Hi, Everyone —

I think I FINALLY got the name of my class correct — although I still refer to it as Cardinal in the Garden mostly.  Today was day 3 and it was much the same as day 1 and 2.  I did make progress on the female cardinal and a few flowers and trees.  Tomorrow we will use the memory thread for the cardinal claws and flower stems and we will learn needle-weaving for 3-D flowers.  Most of my classmates are loving this class — admittedly our teacher, Joan Thomasson, is a lovely person.  We only have six people in the class and that is a real boost for something that requires so much individual creativity.  Unfortunately, the class does not put me in my Zen space!

Cardinal Country -- Day 3!

Cardinal Country — Day 3!

Speaking of Zen space — I sort of went off at the manager of Thelma’s coffee stand here at the hotel when he had NO English Breakfast Tea available at 7:30 AM this morning.  I must admit that he checked his storeroom and finally volunteered to go in search of it elsewhere in the hotel.  He found some and I thanked (and tipped) him profusely.  Sue and I had tried to buy regular tea bags at two delis and at CVS yesterday.  In my not so humble opinion — this tea crisis is unacceptable!Tonight the seminar attendees from the Metropolitan Region of EGA (Skylands Chapter’s Mothership) went out for dinner at Bistro 301.  Sue and I had eaten there earlier in the week and had already decided that we would eat this last free dinner there as well.

Eleven Members of Metropolitan Region of EGA!

Eleven Members of Metropolitan Region of EGA!

Sue and I both had the wonderful salad of mixed greens, grilled chicken, melted brie, grapes, apples, and candied walnuts with a Merlot vinaigrette dressing.  It was wonderful — and no doubt both Sue and I will attempt to recreate it at home.

Grilled Chicken with Brie at Bistro 301 -- Yummy!

Grilled Chicken with Brie at Bistro 301 — Yummy!

I hope to complete my SOTM stitching tonight while I catch the opening kick-off of the Arizona football game!  Go Wildcats!

Cheers!  Rosie

Tour Day, Tour Day!


Hi, Everyone!

Greetings from Louisville!

Mint Julep Tours took nineteen of us on a wonderful journey to some interesting Louisville sights!  We started the day at the Art and Craft (NOT Arts and Crafts) Museum which is only a few blocks from our hotel.   The director of the museum explained his vision to show the relationship of craft to art.  There were two special exhibits and a permanent exhibit for us to view.  My favorite was the special exhibit of black and white photography taken in the 1950s and 1960s — from what may have been the original paparazzi!  When the photographer died, he left his collection of photographs to his sister who lives in Louisville.  It was so much fun to go around and guess who all the famous people were.

The other special exhibit showed Judith Scott’s artwork.  Judith is a deaf artist with Down’s syndrome.  You can’t help but be charmed by her and her story as told by her sister.  Her art consists of yarn tied around objects that she finds (the bigger the better).  Here’s an example:

Two of Judith Scott's yarn sculptures!

Two of Judith Scott’s yarn sculptures!

Apparently her work is shown all over the world.  The director stressed that the museum wanted to emphasize the art and not the artist’s disabilities.  Several other artist’s works were also part of this exhibit.

The permanent exhibit showed the “Best of Kentucky” crafts.  This lovely quilt depicts Haley’s Comet surrounded by dinosaurs.

Haley's Comet Quilt!

Haley’s Comet Quilt!

But by far the most noteworthy part of the Best of Kentucky exhibit was the trash fashion — dresses made from Sunday comics, juice bags, lollipops and …. can you guess what the one in front is made of?  Answer at end of post!

Fashion from Trash!

Fashion from Trash!

Next, we drove to the Conrad Caldwell House in a very swanky part of Louisville.   A major flood on the Ohio river wiped out most of Louisville in 1937.  After that, the wealthiest families rebuilt and Mr. Conrad, who had made his fortune tanning hides, was one of them.  He built this stunning limestone “castle” and monument to his wealth.

The Conrad Caldwell House

The Conrad Caldwell House

Unfortunately, Mr. Conrad died soon after the house was finished and his widow sold it to Mr. Caldwell who had made his fortune in constructing water tanks (after prohibition killed the bourbon vat business!).  So the giant Louisville Slugger bat in Sue’s post was one of his creations.  It seems that the city would not allow the bat to be erected unless it had a useful purpose.  So there are water pipes all inside that giant bat!

Anyway — this was one of the coolest house tours ever because the three tour guides for our group were all related to Mr. Caldwell.  The house had passed out of the Caldwell’s hands and had become a rest home for Presbyterian widows.  When their numbers became too large, a new facility was built and the church turned it over to the city and a non-profit organization was founded for its upkeep.  So, the great-granddaughters of Mr. Caldwell run the tours and provided us will all manner of Caldwell history and anecdotes!  They knew which furniture was original and which bannister their father had slid down as a kid.  What a wonderful way to get to spend time in the old family homestead!

We saw an old vacuum cleaner that took two people to function — one had to work the bellows while the other moved the hose over the floor!  We also saw a very old sewing machine — and you know what?  It still works!

Old Sewing Machine!

Old Sewing Machine!

Can you see the brown book at the left had side of the picture (next to the dress?)?  Do you know what it is?  It was our tour guide’s great aunt’s stitch notebook!!!  Here’s a sample page:

Stitch Notebook!

Stitch Notebook!

After the house tour, we went to a  local cafe for lunch.  Our waitress was able to take all nineteen of our drink and food orders, deliver them without a hitch, and provide separate checks with zero mistakes.  I think she earned the huge tips that we all left her!

After lunch we drove up into the hills to the Little Loom House.  This is a series of three log cabins in which Lou Tate perfected her art of weaving and where she researched woven coverlet history!  She was visited by Eleanor Roosevelt who fell through the floor of the cabin.  Today, many school children come for tours and are able to weave a few rows in the weaving studio.  As I understand it, the small looms that are used in the studio were designed by Lou Henry Hoover!

Weaving Studio

Weaving Studio

Two sisters who were neighbors to Lou Tate are credited with the original “Happy Birthday” song!  It was a variation on a song that school children used to sing to their teacher each day!

A fun day and a welcome break from the cardinal!

Did you guess condoms?

Cheers!  Rosie

Louisville Slugger factory and Louisville Stoneware factory


I began my day with a tour of the Louisville Slugger Factory which is nearby the hotel. It was not hard to find!

Entrance on Main St.

It was fascinating, especially for a lonnnng time baseball fan and a former science teacher. They still have an employee who can “turn” a bat by hand, but unless there is a special request all bats are made with the help of high speed tools and computers set for the specifications of each player. The company even owns the forests from which they harvest the trees!

The tour I went on in the afternoon included a stop at the Louisville Stoneware factory which was led by a very enthusiastic young woman who explained the entire process as she led us through the factory.

A Special Order

From the shaping to the paraffin placed on the bottom of each piece to the painting to the glazing by an air brush to the firing, we went through the whole process. Then we had a chance to shop in the store attached.

Cute Pumpkins!

We continued on the a glassworks place where we were able to see glass blowing but I was more impressed with the museum type pieces on display in the gallery!

Winnie the Pooh 8-10

I got back in time to walk to the park we can see from the window by the elevators and along the river. The park is over I-64 between the hotel and the Muhammed Ali Center and has statues of George Roger Clark who first settled Louisville and York the slave who accompanied Lewis and Clark on their expedition to the Pacific.

York with our hotel in background

Today was a good break from the routine! Tomorrow I will be ready to dive back into Zebra! Sue

(Hopefully, this will be posted only once!)


Cardinal — Day Two!


Hi, Everyone —

Today the work progressed on the Cardinal in the Garden — mostly stitching, so that felt better.  I loved doing the Florentine variation and the leaf stitch, but the long and short stitches on the flowers are not my cup of tea.  I did learn how to do turkey work (the purple flower center — unfinished) and it isn’t at all the way that I taught myself from diagrams.  This afternoon, I started stitching the tree branch that the cardinals are sitting on and I realized that the branch had gored the male cardinal.  So, I pulled out some stitches and filled in the cardinal so that he is whole again!

Cardinal -- End of Day 2!

Cardinal — End of Day 2!

I know that I will learn a few more new techniques before Friday, including needleweaving.  The piece is beautiful, but the guidance is “Do whatever you want” and I am not finding this do it yourself stitching to be relaxing.  Hard to get into my zone!

Tonight was merchandise night, so I bought a glass of wine and prepared to wander around.  Alas, unlike ANG, I was not allowed to enter the room with wine — so I sat outside until my glass was empty.  Then I started my power browsing (and shopping).  I caught up to Sue quickly and bought two projects before I left to return to the room.  Total elapsed time:  about 15 minutes!  It is interesting to compare this merchandise night with the one at the ANG seminar.  The biggest difference is that the space was about four times larger than the ANG space.  This prevented a lot of jostling and it allowed better visibility of the wares.  Several well-known designers were on hand with most of their designs fully-kitted.  Lovely items from Kathy Rees, DebBee Designs, and Ann Strite-Kurz.  Most of the regional EGA groups had booths to support their fund-raising.

Tomorrow is tour day and I am looking forward to getting out and seeing some of the sights of Kentucky!

Cheers!  Rosie

Sun Shines on the Zebra


I am afraid that this will be a dull and short post as there is not much to report. Today in my zebra class we added white to the face, worked on the florentine ground and began the sun. Gale, our teacher is very specific as to what she wants us to work on so she can make sure we understand the things that could lead to problems. I am enjoying her class and find her directions and diagrams clear.

Day 2

Tonight was Merchandise Night. Rosie and I talked at dinner tonight about the differences between the merchandise sales for the two different seminars which Rosie plans to report.

At dinner Rosie also mentioned how EGA members seemed to know so many more attendees than you see among attendees at ANG seminars. Since EGA has more input from local level to the region level and since the region does so much more related to individual chapters you can see how that happens. It is interesting to see how the two are so different in their organizations. Another major difference in the seminars became very clear today when a woman in my class (also a friend of mine) was hit by a car while she was crossing the street with the walk light while she was in her electric scooter. Where ANG has a security man who would give the support needed and make sure that what should be done was done, Dorna had to rely on friends with her and the police who reported to the scene. Fortunately, she was not injured but jolted badly and bruised.

I did find things that I could not live without at the merchandise night. Now if we have a blizzard that keeps me in the house with power I will have lots to work on. But tell me how can I resist a small Kathy Rees piece that I can take with me on my trip to Colorado next week? Sue

First Day of Cardinal in the Garden


Hi, Everyone —

Today was the first day of my seminar class and it wasn’t at all what I expected.  Joan Thomasson is the very sweet lady who is teaching this class.  Our kit consists of two blank canvases and about 50 skeins of DMC and silk flosses.  WOW — every color but blue!

First off, we had to paint our canvas — we did this by painting on paper and then ironing the paper to transfer the paint to the canvas.  The paints got really bright with the heat of the iron.  One canvas was blank except for an area which we had screened from paint by pinning on a cutout of the cardinals in the tree.  On the second one, we had to trace the overall design onto the canvas before ironing the canvas.  Joan challenged us to pick the one that we then wanted to stitch.  She lost me at “paint” — not to mention “iron” or “trace” or “choose”.

Anyway, you will see by my choice of canvas, that I painted a lot of blue into the sky.  So at the first break I had to run to the store to buy some blue thread — Sue can tell you that I had nightmares about HAVING to go to the store for this class.  All true.  So — finally, after the break, we started stitching the male cardinal.  Random long and short stitches, buttonhole stitches that I hadn’t done before, and satin thread.  Now this is what you would call a nightmare in the middle of the day!  After lunch, we finished the cardinal and moved on to flowers — another new stitch — the Lazy Daisy.  My chest hurt, me head ached!  But still — I think the result turned out okay.

First Day Progress on Cardinals in the Garden

First Day Progress on Cardinals in the Garden

So…when Sue got back to the room, she could tell that I was feeling pretty gloomy.  We took out our SOTM since neither of us had any homework and IMMEDIATELY I felt better — this is the kind of stitching I like to do.  How therapeutic!!!

Around 6:30 we decided to walk around to find a place for dinner.  We ended up at Bistro 301 — we had tried to get a reservation there on Saturday, but the wait was a few hours long!  What a delicious meal we had tonight.  Sue had a local vegetable risotto and I had a salad with grilled chicken, brie, candied pecans, grapes, and apples.  We walked past the Fifth Third Bank on the way home.  Hmmm.

So all is well as we prepare for bedtime.

Cheers!  Rosie

The Coal Barge Returns and First Day of Zebra


After the rains of yesterday, today was clear, crisp and breezy. Being on the 19th floor we are constantly looking out the window at the river. This afternoon what do we see going upriver but a coal barge. Is it the same one as yesterday? A barge where no one will takes its offering? Who knows.

Barge Going under the Second Street Bridge

I began my Out of Africa, Zebra class with Gale Washington today. Class began with a line drawn canvas, a bag of threads that were subdivided by where on the canvas they would be used, an instruction booklet with five beautiful photos showing the different phases of stitching as well as the finished piece. We worked first on the black on the head as she said the head was the hardest part with the small sections of black separated by white. Once I got over the fear of making the wrong decision on exactly where to place each stitch, I enjoyed it. We began the florentine stitching after lunch where Gale explained what she wanted the back to look like as well as the front and why. Tomorrow we start the day with an hour of stitching on any of these sections before we learn something new. I like that idea! Plus we were told not to stitch on our piece tonight.

Zebra, after day 1

We were not happy with the Express Breakfast offerings–pre packaged bakery products, sausage in a biscuit, but no eggs! We went to the restaurant for breakfast but decided we needed to get foods for the room. Tonight before going out to dinner we stopped at the information desk to ask for a convenience store nearby. There are none! BUT we got directions for the nearest grocery store, Kroeger's, right across the river. It seemed simple enough. We take the Second Street bridge, the same one the barge is moving under, over the river onto what we think would be called a service road or access road for I-65. Fortunately, we never had to get on the highway. We made the left as directed and started looking for Kroeger's on the right. We looked and looked and looked! Just as we pulled into a service station to ask, Rosie spotted the Kroeger's sign. We got our hard boiled eggs, fruit, pop-tarts, raisins. I then went to the customer service desk for directions back as we could never have backtracked the way we came without going the wrong way on a one way road. The man behind the desk began, ran into problems and called someone else for help. A few minutes later we were on our way. Now that is customer service! As we were walking into the store I told her that we were not making this trip daily! Sue