The BMDL Fiber Guild was invited back to the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh MAKESHOP on April 29, for a medieval embroidery demo. (This is our sixth demo for the museum!) MAKESHOP is a partnership between the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) and the University of Pittsburgh Center for Learning in Out-of-School Environments (UPCLOSE). It is a space dedicated to making, reusing and designing things, using everyday materials and real tools. It has regular programs and special guests.
The goal of the demo was to introduce children and their families to medieval embroidery and basic techniques. As it can be a complex topic, there was a lot of fine tuning to make sure the program would be useful to the children who have never done any embroidery and to the more experienced adults. This required the talent and resources of many people to produce a successful presentation.
Mistress Ts’vee’a bat Tseepora Levi, Lady Gesa von Wellenstein, and Lady Rivka bat Daniyal generously donated their time and skills to the demo by teaching the stitches, drawing designs, and assisting with the kids’ take home projects.
Lady Rivka and Mistress Tsvia demonstrating skills to the children.
THL Renata Rouge sent us her embroidery stitch cards, which guided the kids through commonly used stitches using a “connect the dots” method (and the cards rhymed, too). They were so successful, that after the demo the Museum requested to keep a set. Mistress Rowena ni Dhonnchaidh of Coppertree donated a big box of embroidery floss, and we used a lot of it!
Embroidery stitch cards from THL Renata Rouge.
We also had a wonderful display of medieval embroidered items – the Baron and Baroness of the Debatable Lands Hilda and Brandubh loaned their embroidered heraldic hoods, Mistress Antoinette de la Croix lent us two amazing embroidered dresses, Mistress Tsvia brought her Elizabethan blackwork embroidery, Lady Gesa brought several traditional embroidery items, and Lady Rivka submitted her embroidered Ottoman Turkish coat.
Embroidered items display
Children and adults enjoyed the display, took home the embroidered designs they made, and learned about the use of embroidery in the Middle Ages. Great fun was had by the attendees and the demonstrators! We are looking forward to the next demo in the fall.
Photographs taken and article submitted by THL Luceta di Cosimo.
If you find your zen while embroidering, you won’t want to miss The Academy of St. Clare of Assisi: EVEN MORE Stitches in Time, hosted by the Shire of Abhainn Ciach Ghlais (central PA).
From the moment the site opens at 5 pm on May 4th until it closes at 11 am on Sunday, May 6th, it’ll be all embroidery, all the time!
Friday evening will feature a Show-and-Tell of finished projects from one of last year’s classes. Afterward, spend the evening making new friends while you stitch. (The first two events had attendees from five kingdoms!)
Saturday morning begins with a Keynote Address by Viscountess Leyla al-Manadiliyya, a Laurel from the Kingdom of Northshield whose specialty is Middle Eastern research, arts, and culture. Her presentation, “Holbein goes to Egypt,” will take you on a journey through time, across cultures, and between continents.
Two hours of short classes, on a wide variety of topics for all levels, will follow the Keynote Address. Topics include:
An Introduction to Celtic Embroidery
Blackwork, Beyond The Basics
Felted Knitted Bags and Pouches
Medieval Gold Work
Spanish Drawnwork and Other Unique Spanish Needlework
After a delicious lunch, stitchers will spend the afternoon attending their pre-selected “kit class.” This year’s “kit classes” include:
Assisi Work: leap into the void! (Students will create an end-bordered linen towel in red, green or blue.)
German Ornate Sleeve (Students will learn hand applique, pearling, beading to create a one-of-a-kind sleeve with a unique design based upon their own heraldry, interests and preferences.)
Pattern Darning (Students will embroider a 10” x 10” kerchief based on Egyptian finds.)
Russian Gold Work Embroidery (Students will decorate a small cloth bag with Russian-style embroidery using pearls, beads, padding and waste-of-time cording.)
These three-hour classes provide students, under the tutelage of skilled instructors, the time needed to learn and practice the skills needed to complete the “kit” project. To allow ample time to work one-on-one with students, instructors set a limit of students — from six to 15, depending on the topic. The kits range in price from $15 to $30 and include all of the materials for the project.
(NOTE: The only way to guarantee a space in a “kit class” is to pre-pay for the class you wish to take. To allow instructors sufficient time to order supplies and then prepare the kits, payment for “kit classes” must be received on or before March 31.)
Our celebrated afternoon tea provides the perfect opportunity to rest tired fingers and eyes and chat with friends and colleagues, while the interlude between tea and supper allows time to check out the work in the Embroidery Display, peruse the Reference Library, or bid on items in the Silent Auction.
An Embroidered Fashions Show on Saturday evening offers an opportunity to hear about and admire each other’s beautiful handiwork.
For those who haven’t had their fill of stitching yet, after breakfast on Sunday morning, the class “Bayeaux Basics” will cover the history and stitches Bayeaux tapestry. Students will receive a handout, preprinted linen, hoop, and enough wool to complete a figure from the Bayeaux tapestry.
For this weekend-long event, the Adult Event Registration is $40. (Adult Member Discount Event Registration is $35.) This includes lodging in a heated cabin as well as breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and supper on Saturday and breakfast on Sunday. (NOTE: Bunk spaces will be filled on a first-paid, first-served basis; please reserve early if you need special sleeping accommodations, such as a bottom bunk or access to electricity.)
Much more information – including detailed descriptions of each class and photographs of the instructor’s work in that style – can be found on the event website.
Gentles wishing to make favors or other items for Her Majesty Queen Gabrielle to give as gifts during Her reign are invited to use the information below. Note that these are a variation of the favors from Her Majesty’s last reign, so if you already have one of those favors, it can be easily modified for the current reign.
Embroidery Pattern For Her Majesty Gabrielle Escarbuncle & Crown with Parfume Drop
Designed by THL Jaqueline de Molieres 2017
Use this embroidery design when making items for soon-to-be Queen Gabrielle to officially gift. Place this design on anything you wish: belt favors, pouches, needle cases, pin cushions, drink covers, etc. Use whatever materials you like (linen, silk, wool, cotton), red background with white and gold threads. Reduce or enlarge the design as needed. The pattern is designed to use a chain stitch for escarbuncle and crown, and stem stitch for parfume drop.
Before you start, I suggest washing the fabric – red has a tendency to bleed.
Then do some test stitching to determine stitch size, how many strands of floss, etc. I counted stitches, but the number of stitches may change if you reduce or enlarge the pattern.
Do the escarbuncle first; then finagle the placement of the crown and drop if need be.
The completed escarbuncle and crown with parfume drop can be stitched directly onto the fabric for your finished piece, or cut into a rondel and appliquéd onto anything you want.
If you want, you could add a bead or pearl in the center.
For the base of the crown, make 2 rows of chains, slightly curved per the pattern, just above the escarbuncle. At each end, there are 3 chains up with a horizontal chain toward the center from the second chain. In the very center there are 3 chains up with 2 horizontal chains from the second chain. Between the end & the center on each side, place just one chain at the halfway point.
Surround the escarbuncle and crown with two rows of stem stitch parfume drops, the inner row being gold, a little space, then a second row being white.
A great gift for a special someone who LOVES embroidery is surprise reservation for the upcoming all-embroidery event, “Academy of St. Clare of Assisi: MORE Stitches in Time,” which will be hosted March 31 to April 2 by the Shire of Abhainn Ciach Ghlais.
At “Academy of St. Clare of Assisi: MORE Stitches in Time,” students choose classes suited to THEIR level and interests.
And instead of an unfinished sampler that gets tossed in a drawer, your special someone could go home with:
a beaded pouch (Class limited to 8 students!)
an emboidered book cover (Class limited to 10 students!)
a Viking-style bag to embellish (Class limited to 10 students!)
an Elizabethan-style flower to applique (Class limited to 20 students!)
a pair of embroidered cuffs to add pizazz to a garment (Class limited to 15 students!)
PLEASE NOTE: Classes with limits are filling up quickly! So, too, are the bunk spaces in the HEATED cabin. To avoid disappointment, mail your special someone’s reservation TODAY!
Duchess Siobhán inghean uí Liatháin recounts her trip to a textile seminar in Finland, including a visit to an archaeological dig!
Back in October, I found myself truly emerging myself in history. I had flown to Finland to participate in a weekend-long seminar that focused on ancient textiles, techniques, and materials from the coasts of the Baltic Sea. I was surrounded by archaeologists and history enthusiasts like myself, all there to learn from those who have had their hands on the “real deal” and learn ways to create the items ourselves. And even though this seminar was amazing, it did not hold a torch to what happened to me 2 days prior.
One of my hostesses in Finland was the amazing Mistress Joutsenjärven Sahra. Lovers of Tablet weaving may know her as one of the co-authors of Applesies and Fox Noses – Finnish Tabletwoven Bands. One morning she asked me if I would like to visit an actual archaeological site where Iron Age items had been newly discovered. I just about fell out of my seat with excitement and a resounding YES PLEASE came quickly from my lips.
The drive to the site was not long but it was long enough for her to tell me that the place where we were going had been discovered in 2013. It is known as Ristimäki Hill in Ravattula village near Turku. The small hill was on private farm land and it was the farmer who noticed that there might be something in the ground that was not put there naturally. An archaeological team was called in and they were shocked at what they had found. What was discovered on this small hill was the remains of a late 12th century-early 13th century church. The church is, so far, the oldest in Finland and also the only one dating from the period before the creation of a Finnish parish system.
As we parked our car and started to walk the dirt road to the hill, I questioned whether we would get in trouble for walking on the private farm land. She told me that the site was protected by the Antiquities Act. This meant that visiting the site is possible within the framework of the Act and the Finnish “everyman’s right” (or in Finnish: jokamiehenoikeus). As long as we stuck to the road and did not disturb the site or surrounding area, we were allowed to visit. 200 meters down the road we turned left and there I was, standing in the middle of history.
Looking around, I saw taped off areas and tarps covering the ground. There was a team digging in few of the sites as well. I asked Sahra if they work all through the winter, as I pulled my wool jacket tighter because it had started to drizzle cold rain. She said no, they will soon stop digging and cover all open areas with tarps. I asked if security then comes and looks after the sites and I was shocked to learn that there was no security. The digging is donation-based and there was not enough money to pay for security. The archaeologists have to hope that no one comes and disturbs the sites. I also learned that publication is also donation-based and that even if they find amazing things in the ground, if there isn’t enough money to research it and publish, then it can sit in storage for months or even years.
Taking all that in, I walked over to where most of the people were and watched them carefully scrape and dig in the ground. Sahra also said that most of the people at this site were volunteers, probably from the local collages. There is one archaeologist in charge of the whole site, but everyone else is a volunteer. Just as I was thinking about how cool it would be if I could volunteer, there was a commotion in the digging area I was standing by. Sahra came over and asked a volunteer, in Finnish, what was happening, and she was told that they had just found a female bronze spiral apron. I just about fell over!
Here I was…in Finland because I love to recreate Finnish Iron Age aprons, and one was being discovered before my eyes. There are no words to properly describe my feelings but I can say I cried from being overjoyed. Sahra explained to the volunteers that I have made reproductions of aprons and because she said that to them, they brought up some of the spirals for me to look at. I was blown away at this opportunity I was given. I stood there staring at history and the source of my passion. It was magical.
I could not thank Mistress Sahra enough for taking me to this place and letting me experience this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The memories will stay with me for a lifetime.
If you want to read more about the excavation (sorry, it’s mostly in Finnish) you can go to www.ravattula.fi
If you love embroidery, please save the weekend of March 31-April 2, 2017, because you won’t want to miss the Academy of St. Clare of Assisi: MORE Stitches in Time!
This weekend-long, embroidery-only event drew stitchers from five Kingdoms the first time it was held, and we are anticipating even more in 2017.
Activities will begin Friday night (March 31) and run through Sunday morning (April 2). This year’s event offers:
all-new class topics
an additional hour of classes Saturday morning
FIVE “kit” classes to choose from (instead of four)
a Beginning Embroidery Track
an Embroidery Display Show & Tell
an Embroidered Fashions Show
Saturday morning classes will include these topics:
Some Basics on Gold and How It Relates to Embroidery by THL Jaqueline de Molieres
14th century embroidered purses by Lady Vika Grigina z Prahy
Would You Know a Saint If You Met One? by Lady Johanna Lemercer
How to Teach Fiber Arts by Lady Shirin of Susa
MORE morning classes are in the works! (Details will be posted to the event website soon!)
On Saturday afternoon, attendees may choose to attend one of these intensive “kit” classes:
Assisi work by Maestro Filipia Capriotti (Good for beginners)
Bead embroidery by Mistress Jeanmaire Ilaria Beatrice du Domrémy
Embroidered book covers by Cristina inghean Ghriogair
Viking bag and embellishment by Lady Elska á Fjárfelli
Opus Anglicanum by Mistress Elspeth nic Cormac
Please note that “kit” classes require pre-registration and pre-payment. This enables the instructor to know how many kits to prepare in advance. Instructions for preregistering for “kit” classes will be emailed to you when we receive your event registration.
On Sunday morning, Mistress Elspeth nic Cormac, a left-handed embroideress, will offer a class on “Teaching Embroidery to Left-Handed Stitchers.”
Looking for something to do at War Practice? Wishing to try your hand at a new art?
Come to the Great Hall and do just that!
In addition to classes in music and dance, and an embroidery salon run by THL Cristina inghean Ghriogair, you can try calligraphy and illumination under the helpful guidance of Mistress Yvianne de Castel d’Avignon and Mistress Liadin ní Chléirigh na Coille, play with fibers with Mistress Mahin Banu Tabrizi, or try cooking over an open fire with Mistress Katla úlfheþinn.
Scribal play time and the embroidery salon will run 3pm to 6pm on Friday; on Saturday, the various play times will be from 10am to 4pm. Stop in and try your hand at something new – embroidery, calligraphy, illumination, cooking, weaving in between attending the classes being run in the Hall. Or stop in and lend a hand to one of the areas, or just come spend the day doing something you love and sharing it with others!
Looking forward to the day.
Baroness Orianna Fridrikskona
Deputy Kingdom Minister of Arts & Sciences
Queen Ariella’s favors were designed by Lady Maggie Rue. Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope is coordinating volunteer efforts to make them, and wrote these instructions.
I am thrilled and amazed that so many people have volunteered to make favors for Queen Ariella! Thank you all.
These instructions are for making a hand-embroidered favor. However, you are free to machine embroider, silkscreen, paint, tool in leather, cast in pewter – we welcome all kinds of artisans’ contributions!
Kits with one strip of red fabric, enough floss in the appropriate colors, and these instructions will be available from THLady Elss of Augsburg, one of Her Majesty’s Chief retainers, at Blackstone Raid and Crown Tourney. Mistress Arianna will also have kits at Æthelmearc War Practice.
Here is the design, in color and as a line drawing. Note that the white object under the A is a winged heart, which is Queen Ariella’s badge.
Those who prefer counted thread embroidery can use the pattern shown here, designed by Lady Astrid vigaskegg. Just make sure to use red Aida or other even-weave fabric.
For free embroidering, any kind of lightweight natural fiber fabric in a nice bright red is suitable. Poly-cotton is fine. Make sure to machine wash and dry the fabric so it’s pre-shrunk, and to help prevent the fabric from bleeding as red has a tendency to do.
Cut the fabric into a strip suitable for a favor. I use strips that are 5″ wide by 14″ to 16″ long and hem all the way around the edges, but you can also make them double width, and after completing the embroidery, fold the fabric right sides together, sew a seam around the edges, turn and whipstitch the opening closed.
Transfer the design to the bottom of the fabric strip, leaving room for a hem all the way around. If the fabric is thin enough, you might be able to place the printed design underneath and see through the fabric to trace the design. Alternatively, you can use carbon paper, create a stencil, or just freehand it.
For the embroidery floss, you need white and an amber shade of yellow. I suggest DMC 728 for the gold color, but you can use any similar shades, or even metallic gold if you like.
Stitch the outline of the design in either a chain stitch or a stem stitch. An explanation of each is shown below (courtesy of THLady Jacqueline de Moliere). I use two strands of floss with the design about 2-1/2″ high. You might want to switch to a single strand and use either stem stitch or split stitch for the winged heart since it’s so small.
You can embellish the design if you like by filling in the capital A with satin stitch in yellow or adding a bead in the center of the half-escarbuncle or heart.
Once the embroidery is complete, hem the red fabric, then turn the top over to form a sleeve that allows the favor to be slid over a belt, making it less likely to fall off and be lost. The sleeve should be at least 2″ wide to accommodate larger belts.
Unto the Good Gentles of Æthelmearc does Ariella, Princess, send Warm Greetings!
The favor contest at Ice Dragon was a great success! We had six beautiful entries; thank you so much to the gentles who took the time to design and submit them. The populace’s choice, which was also my favorite for its simplicity and elegance, is shown here. It was designed by Lady Maggie Rue of the Shire of Hunter’s Home.
For the next step, we need your help!
I would love to have enough favors to give to everyone who requests one for both SCA 50 Year and Pennsic, most especially for those engaged in martial activities or serving as Kingdom Champions. That means hundreds of favors!
If you are willing to assist in the effort to provide Queen’s favors for the populace of Æthelmearc, please contact Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope
Favors can be done in any of the following media: hand or machine embroidery, silkscreen, or stencil on fabric, as well as tooled into leather or as pewter castings. If you have other ideas for favors, please let Mistress Arianna know. While we would like the design to remain essentially the same for all favors, you can feel free to embellish it by filling in the A or adding beads.
Mistress Arianna will be making kits available for those who wish to hand embroider or stencil favors. They will include the design and instructions for making it, as well as a piece of red fabric in the appropriate dimensions. You can get a kit from her at Coronation, the Siege of Harlech, and Æthelmearc War Practice.
Love to embroider? Does the thought of spending an entire weekend learning and doing needlework fill you with anticipatory joy? The Gazette caught up with two of the organizers of the first ever needlework-centered event in Æthelmearc. The event will be held from March 11-13 in the Shire of Abhainn Ciach Ghlais (See full event announcement at the end of this article.)
We interviewed Mistress Alicia Langland and Mistress Antoinette de la Croix.
Let’s start with the Obvious – who was St. Clare of Assisi? Alicia: We chose St. Clare of Assisi because she is the patron saint of embroiderers. An embroidered garment made by her for Saint Francis of Assisi is housed at the Convent of St. Clare in Assisi.
What prompted the organizers to try an embroidery only event?
Alicia: Subject-specific events are wonderful, in my opinion, because they allow attendees to focus on the topic at hand rather than being pulled in different directions. They allow more in-depth teaching than what is generally offered at a schola or university event. We can tell teachers, “You can offer a 3-hour intensive class, and people WILL come!” This helped us entice teachers from other Kingdoms to come and share their expertise.
An embroidery-only event allows us to bring together people who enjoy this art form and who want to delve deeper into the techniques and tools.
Because it is a weekend-long event, we can offer intensive hands-on classes that allow lots of time for the instructors to work with and guide their students. Another plus will be having ample time to get to know each other, to swap tips and techniques, and to build a sense of community.
We would love to see this become an annual event.
Antionette: A dear friend and I have been discussing this as a concept for at least a year. Given the increased interest in embroidery we wondered if there were enough interested gentles to create an active embroidery community within Æthelmearc that would be inclined to attend an embroidery specific event. The idea of getting the majority of embroiderers within our Kingdom in one place, talking about embroidery and sharing their stories is an exciting prospect! I have seen many introductory specialized needlework classes offered over the years but for the intermediate and advanced embroiderers there is less on the menu, so to speak. There are far fewer truly intensive classes offered outside of Pennsic. By offering how- to and longer classes within a set structure with instructor support, and with room for creativity and individualism, students are given the opportunity to create some extraordinary accessories. Research and documentation is also an area that we will address; everybody researches, however documenting can seem like the scary monster under your bed at night. By flipping on the lights we hope to reveal that the monster is actually a rolled up sock; we wish to foster less fear and more confidence by addressing documentation in a user friendly manner at this event.
How have you seen the needlework arts change in your time in the SCA? Do you think we are holding people to higher standards now that sources are more readily available? Is this a good thing?
Antoinette: Our path to knowledge has exploded with the internet and all the arts within the SCA have been affected over my last 17 years as a Scadian. On a rainy Sunday afternoon I can visit the London Library, the Getty in California and The Heritage in Russia and cap it with a visit to the Cluny- all from the comfort of my home. Frankly, I like to think of it as a Golden Age of Enlightenment for all of us. During my early years as a Scadian, I recall lovely embroidered wool coats with large zoomorphic patterns and exquisite late period Elizabethian and Renaissance styled embroidered items but they were far and few between. I must admit that I felt a little overwhelmed when I considered the scale of such a daunting undertaking. For me embellishment was a gradual process over a 10 year period: it began with a little stem stitching, a few beads, some pearls, even more pearls, embellishing trim to original design based on extant items, information garnered from statuary, paintings, illuminated manuscripts, funerary art and so on. Once you understand the standard canon, each piece of garb is a blank canvas for you to embellish and make your own, unique piece of art.
Standards creep does exist, but it is wise to remember that we all start at the same place, the beginning and this is not a race; we will all get to the finish line in our own time. As an artist, I want to be a positive force and an encourager. I don’t believe standards creep is an excuse to be negative, we are all here to help each other grow.
Alicia: The activity level in needle arts has waxed and waned as enthusiastic people come in, get active, and then take a break to pursue other interests. Overall, though, there has been a general trend toward a broader array of historic needle crafts. This arises from the increased number of source being published in books and on the Internet. You generally see a bump in needle arts when a major work on historic embroidery appears. Look for one later this year when the Victoria and Albert Museum holds its new Opus Anglicanum exhibit.
Are we holding people to higher standards now? No and yes. The single continuous standard I’ve known is “are gentles drawing inspiration from historic sources”. As more sources become available, it becomes easier to find sources. Yet some people stall at the idea of research and documentation. They don’t understand that research can be as simple as a Google search and that documentation is just writing up all the cool stuff you found during that search. That’s one of the things we want to talk about at The Academy of St. Clare: how easy research and documentation can be.
What can we do to encourage newer participants to get started with needlework projects?
Alicia: Hosting “Stitching Solars”: a quiet corner where embroiderers can gather at events and sit and work on projects would be a terrific way to pull people in. Lots of folks who wouldn’t consider attending a one- or two-hour embroidery class might be more likely to drop by and check out what’s going on.
Small projects for the Kingdom, such as last Pennsic’s embroidered favors for Queen Gabrielle, are another way to pull people in. Posting clear instructions with photographs of each step on the Kingdom website and in the Gazette was a brilliant idea.
I would love to see more embroidered pieces entered in displays. The more folks see how much better garments look with even a bit of simple embroidery, the more others are likely to pick up a needle and hoop. Seeing other ways to use embroidery than just to embellish clothing would be inspiring, too.
Antoinette: The best way to encourage budding newish embroiderers is to provide them with what they need to achieve their own goals and this will only happen through conversation and community. More structured Embroidery circles at events and non-events for folks to show up, catch up, stitch together, and share their recent triumphs and tragedies.
What are some online places to gather for Æthelmearcians interested in needlework?
Alicia:Embroidery for SCAdians on Facebook has nearly 700 “likes.” It’s a great way to get inspiration, help with a project, or news about sources and resources.
Fun Fact: “Embroidery for SCAdians” was started 3 years ago by an Æthelmearc embroideress who wanted a way to reach out to other embroiderers.
Antoinette: There are several places on FB; I see some amazing items posted on the wall of the Facebook page mentioned above.
BMDL has a fiber arts group that gathers to share knowledge and spend time together Honestly, I prefer face time with others as my community building activity of choice: good coffee, pastry, good company; that’s where it’s at.
What is your favorite hard copy resource?
Alicia: I’m a big fan of the “Medieval Craftsmen” series published by the University of Toronto. There are 8 books in the series; one of them is on embroidery. “Embroiderers,” by Kay Staniland, contains black-and-white and color photographs of extant objects as well as images from medieval manuscripts. The text is packed with well-researched information. It’s a great resource for documentation. (HINT: Read the text!)
Antoinette: I could no more pick a favorite needle arts book than I could pick a favorite daughter! My go to series for any new technique I wish to learn are the Royal School of Needlework series. Beyond this I have spent the better part of my adult life studying paintings, sculpture including funerary art, stained glass windows and illuminated manuscripts. I also have a small leather sketchbook that I take to museums wherein I sketch designs I see painted on clothing within portraits and sacred paintings within the medieval period. I also study ornamental architectural elements and lately medieval tile floors for inspiration. This adds to my standardized canon on design motifs and patterns that were used and which increases my arsenal for designing my own work later.
Tell us a little about yourself and your involvement with needlework/favorite medium.
Alicia: I have done some embroidery (I learned to do stem stitch so I could embroider my husband’s tunic for his elevation to the Laurel. That was … over 15 years ago!), and I find it very relaxing. But I don’t really consider myself an embroiderer … yet.
Antoinette: I am a life-long embroiderer and I love gold and pearls and more pearls and even more pearls. My mother taught me to embroider when I was a little girl and she believed in excellence in all things- so I learned at a young age to always give my best possible effort in whatever I endeavored to do. I find it also prevents scribal burn out for me, I flip back and forth between needle arts and scribal arts. Embroidering is equally relaxing and exciting so to me it is the best of both worlds!
Is the event in garb?
Alicia: Yes, please! What better way to show others embroidery in use? We also want gentles to bring more embroidery than they can wear to stock the display area.
Anything else you would like to add?
Alicia: One thing that might be worth mentioning is the two-step registration process for this event, as this might be somewhat confusing.
For most schola or university events, students sign up for classes with limits the morning of the class and pay the instructor at the start of the class.
But we didn’t want instructors to break their banks buying supplies for their classes, not knowing whether or not they would be able to recoup their expenses. So we are asking students to pre-register for the event first. When your event registration has been received, you will receive an email with information about how to register for your afternoon class with the Class Coordinator.
Payment for the kits must be received by the Class Coordinator on or before February 12, 2016; this will give the instructors sufficient time to acquire the materials and assemble the required number of kits.
Speaking of the kits …
Compared to most SCAdian class fees, the cost of the kits is higher than what most folks are accustomed to. But when you read the kits’ contents, you’ll see why: Kits contain high-quality supplies and period materials such as linen, silk, and wool. To replicate a kit’s contents, you would have to pay far more than what is being charged for the kit.
Consider the event a gift you give yourself! Have a hard-to-shop-for friend who loves to embroider? Paying your friend’s event registration and/or kit fee would make a wonderful present!
Despite this being a small event, it has an inter-kingdom faculty. Teachers are coming from AEthelmearc and the East. We also expect attendees from Atlantia. (The event is listed on the calendars of 5 Kingdoms!) The Academy of St. Clare will be a great place to meet embroiderers from all over the Kingdom and the eastern seaboard.
The Academy of St. Clare of Assisi: Stitches in Time Shire of Abhainn Ciach Ghlais (central PA)
Friday, March 11th through Sunday, March 13, 2016 EVENT WEBSITE
Do you love to embroider? Does the idea of stitching with friends fill you with joy? Ever wish for an embroidery class that offers more than basics? If so, then clear your calendar because the Shire of Abhainn Ciach Ghlais is opening its doors to embroiderers and stitchers from all over.
The Academy of St. Clare of Assisi: Stitches in Time is an event for embroiderers, by embroiderers and about embroidery. It offers a keynote address about medieval embroidery, small specialized classes on single topics, long detailed classes on beloved styles, and a chance for embroiderers to form the community that we’ve been waiting for.
Site This Embroidery Extravaganza will be held at Boy Scout Camp Karoondinha, 225 Thomas Dam Road, Millmont PA 17845-9448 (GPS Coordinates: 40.85630, -77.2547) Site opens at 5 PM on Friday, March 11, and closes at 11 AM on Sunday, March 13.
NOTE: The site is a Boy Scout Camp located on the side of a mountain, and the roads and paths are gravel, not paved. This can make getting about difficult. Some walking will be required, as the two buildings we will be using are not near each other. If you have mobility concerns, please request a parking placard when you send in your reservation. Cell phone service at the site can be spotty, depending on one’s carrier.
From Picture to Pattern, THL Jaqueline de Molieres
Tools and Materials, Lady Etain ingen Ruaidri
Applique, Mistress Antoinette de la Croix
The Oxburgh Hangings, Mistress Briony of Chatham
Saturday Afternoon “Kit” Classes:
Whitework, Mistress Caterina Giaocchini
Embroidered Hoods, Mistress Antoinette de la Croix and Hrefna fruthikona Thorgrimsdottir
Pleating, Mistress Fredeburg von Katzenellenbogen
German Brick Stitch, Lady Elizabet Marshall
Each “Kit” class is 3 hours long and will be limited to a small number of students. Kits will contain specialty supplies and period materials needed to complete the class project. (Kit classes may require more equipment; if needed, you will be notified of additional items to bring after you have pre-registered.) Details about the kits can be found on the event website.
Schedule & Activities Friday: 5:00 PM
Troll opens; check in at Edna Sheary Lodge
What’s in Your Toolbox? A roundtable discussion about favorite tools and suppliers. Saturday: 8:00 AM
Troll re-opens; check in at the Dining Hall
8:30 – 9:30
Embroidery Display Area: Display your work, for feedback & inspiration.
10:00 – 11:00
Keynote Address: History of Embroidery
11:00 – noon
noon – 1:00
1:00 – 4:00
Afternoon Classes (Students must pre-register for “Kit” classes by 2/12/16.)
4:00 – 4:30
4:30 – 6:00
Visit embroidery displays, check out the library, stitch and chat, relax …
6:00 – 7:00
7:00 till …
Roundtable Topics ** Sunday: 8:30 – 10:30
Breakfast / Research and documentation can help you take your work to the next level. Two Laurels will share their know-how over breakfast.
** Roundtable Topics:
Show-n-Tell (Bring the most beautiful thing you’ve ever made, bring a project you want to make but haven’t gotten the courage to start, … )
Athena’s Thimble (EK Embroiderers’ Guild: What they do, how it works, etc.)
Using the Embroidery Rubric to Judge/Improve Your Work
What to Bring: Bring scissors, an embroidery hoop, and (if possible) your favorite lamp/lighting device with extension cords.
In addition, please bring items for the Embroidery Display and to share during Show-n-Tell.
We invite all attending to bring relevant books from their personal libraries to contribute to an event reference library. The library will be staffed, and books will not leave the library area.
Please DO NOT bring alcohol, as the Boy Scouts have a strict no alcohol policy for those who use the camp. Nor do they permit pets on site or smoking in any of the buildings. Do not jeopardize our future use of the site by violating their policies. If we find that you have alcohol, you will be asked to leave the site with no refund.
Event Fees and Reservations The cost for the weekend – which includes lodging in a heated cabin as well as breakfast, lunch, and supper on Saturday and breakfast on Sunday – is $25. Those without proof of current Society membership must pay the $5 non-member surcharge at the door. Event reservations must be postmarked on or before Saturday, February 20, 2016. Make checks payable to “SCA PA, Inc. Shire of ACG”.
Along with your SCA and modern names, please include your email address so we can confirm receipt of your reservation. Include any food allergies with your reservation. If you have mobility concerns, request a parking placard to place in your vehicle after you check in.
Reservations should be sent to:
Maistresse Marguerite d’Honfleur
c/o Dawn Maneval
922 College Court
Lewisburg, PA 17837
“Kit” Class Fees and Preregistration Upon receipt of your event reservation, we will send you details for pre-registering for the “Kit” classes. Because each “Kit” class will be limited to a small number of students, pre-registration is required. Students must pre-pay for their class kit; class rosters will be filled based on the order in which payment is received. To give the instructors sufficient time to acquire the materials and assemble the required number of kits, payment for the kits must be received by the Class Coordinator on or before February 12, 2016.
Refund Policy Because the site requires us to pay the rental fee in full well before the event, we must ask our guests to reserve in advance. If you request a refund of your event registration prior to March 1, we will refund your event fee. On or after March 1, we can only refund your event fee if we have sufficient attendees to break even.
If you have paid for a kit, we will refund the cost of the kit if we are able to re-sell it. If we cannot re-sell your kit, we will mail it to you after the event.
Lodging and Parking The heated sleeping cabin (Edna Sheary Lodge) is accessible to those with mobility restrictions and has indoor bathrooms with bathroom with showers, toilets, sinks, and electricity. The cabin also has a kitchenette and a meeting room.
There are 32 individual cots (with mattresses) in 2 sleeping areas. Overnight guests should bring bedding (pillow, sleeping bag/sheets and blankets) and towels.
If you arrive on Friday night, drive to the Sheary Lodge to unload your gear. Parking spaces in front of the cabin will be reserved for those with mobility concerns.
If you arrive on Saturday, drive to the Dining Hall and check in. Parking spaces closest to the Dining Hall will be reserved for those with mobility concerns.
Directions According to Google maps, we’re about 4.5 hours (or less) from almost everywhere! Abhainn Ciach Ghlais is truly the heart of Æthelmearc!
Guests coming from the East or West will probably travel on Route 80 to Route 15 to Route 45 to Route 235. Guests coming from the North will probably travel on Route 15.
From State College: Find your best route to Route 45 East. Follow Route 45 East through the Hairy Johns State Forest. Just past the Laurelton State School (there will be many large stone buildings and well-kept ground on the left), turn right onto Route 235 South. Follow from ** below.
From the East, North, and parts farther west: Find your best route to Route I-80. Take Exit 210 A, Route 15 South, to Lewisburg. Stay on Route 15 S for about 7 miles; you will come to the intersection of Routes 15 and 45 at a light. Turn right onto Route 45 West. Continue from the * below.
From the South: Find your best route to Route 15 North. In Lewisburg, you will come to the intersection of Routes 15 and 45 at a light. Turn left onto Route 45 West. Continue from the * below.
* Proceed west on Route 45 West for about 17 miles, passing through the towns of Mifflinburg and Hartleton (follow speed limits here). At the intersection of Route 235 South, turn left.
** From this turn, follow signs for 235 South for approximately 3 miles through Laurelton (last chance for food, gas, and ATM) and Glen Iron. The road makes several 90-degree turns; just before the last one, you will pass the West End Fire Company on your left.
Turn right onto Creek Road at the 4-way intersection past this last 90-degree turn. Penns Creek should be on your left. Stay on this road for approximately three miles; you will pass a large 3 story stone house with three arches, on your right, at this point you are about one mile from the Camp.
After you cross the bridge over Penns Creek, Penns Creek Campground will be on your right –turn right at the sign for Thomas Dam Road/Boy Scout Camp.
Camp Karoondinha is on the left, up the hill. The Dining Hall is the large stone building with 3 flagpoles in front. To get to the Edna Sheary Lodge, continue up the hill past the Dining Hall. Sheary Lodge is located in the wooded area just past the large field on the right. Site Restrictions (to top)
Drivers are asked to use their flashers and to travel at the posted 10 miles per hour.