The Creative Stitchers Guild is hoping to show off some of its body of work while showing the public some of the different kinds of things that can be done with needlework during its annual show on now at the Grace Campbell Gallery.
The guild had an opening reception at the gallery Sunday afternoon. The gallery is inside the John M. Cuelenaere Public Library, and the show runs for the rest of the month. It includes a variety of needlework, including cross-stitch, knitting, crochet and weaving. It also includes the group’s theme for the year, music, displayed as stitched ornaments of a Christmas tree, along with other ornaments, cards and other objects up for sale.
For guild president Sheila Soulier, the show is a chance to see everyone’s work come together.
“It was a surprise because everybody was saying they hadn’t done much during the year,” she said, “yet I came here and we have a lot of nice things.”
Soulier has works in the show herself. She pointed out some of her favourite works from the other artists, including quilting and embroidery. One corner of the gallery has the group’s challenge for the year, weaving, which came out of a workshop held for the members.
She went pointed out projects guild members had completed for family and friends, including hats, scarves and knitted sweaters. It’s a part of the art Soulier enjoys herself.
“I enjoy creating things for people, for family members and friends,” she said. I enjoy that I can do the work sitting there, watching TV.”
Soulier was joined at the opening by fellow guild member Julie McIntosh. McIntosh, who has been a part of the guild for 18 years, said she is always amazed by how the annual show turns out.
“It’s exciting,” she said. “You get a pile of stuff and wonder how it’s going to loo, and then it all comes together. It’s always different.”
McIntosh said the group is always inspired by the theme.
“It was a great theme this year,” she said. “You can see how many decorations are on the tree.”
According to McIntosh, the guild members are always learning from each other, trading patterns and ideas. In addition to the workshop, they also explore embroidery stitches, because there is a lot of embroidery stitches out there.
“That’s the whole point of the group,” she said. “To share ideas and inspire people.”
Both McIntosh and Soulier said it’s important to showcase work done by the guild over the course of the year. It’s different from the usual media of paint and drawing that typically adorns the Grace Campbell Gallery walls.
“It’s something we enjoy doing and want to share with other people,” Coulier said.
“It’s also an attempt to get other people interested if there are others in the community who want to do this and join our club.”
For McIntosh, it’s also about displaying what many feel is a dying art.
‘it’s another form of creativity I think that’s underappreciated,” she said.
‘There’s a lot of skill involved, but also a lot of creativity. Yes, some of the things we do follow patterns that somebody else has created, but a lot of our members create their own patterns or come up with their own ideas.
“Even if it’s just coming up with the right colours, it’s important to showcase. It’s a skill that’s dying, and we’re trying to keep it alive.”