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EGA returns to Morris with national embroidery exhibits

The Embroiderers Guild of America returns to Morris this month. The EGA's first exhibit in 2006 (file photo) drew thousands of visitors.

"Through the Needle's Eye," a national showcase of the best in artistic and technical embroidery, will be hung in the gallery of the Stevens County Museum beginning Jan. 24-25.

An additional display depicting the beauty of our country's bounty, titled "America the Beautiful," is the Embroiderer's Guild of America's National Tapestry exhibit and will be included in the showcase.

This will be the only showing in Minnesota and one of only a few showings in the Midwest.

As the winter progresses, there will be events and special speakers each Saturday for the duration of the exhibit hanging, which concludes April 6.

The EGA's first show in Morris in 2006 drew more than 3,000 people. The national exhibit is a three-year juried exhibit by the National Embroiderers Guild of America.

This year's show includes 62 original pieces of contemporary embroidery from across the U.S. The exhibit presents traditional and contemporary embroidery, beading, quilting, surface embroidery, fabric manipulation, counted thread, appliqué, canvaswork, goldwork and crewel.

Works include clothing, wall-pieces, jewelry, vessels and sculpture, and show the diversity of embroidery.

The additional exhibit of "America the Beautiful," EGA's National Tapestry, will be a unique look at a five-panel display stitched by more than 500 EGA members.

Designer Judy Jeroy created a tapestry to depict the beauty of our nation in embroidery. Stitched on No. 18 count, hand-painted white canvas, the five panel tapestry incorporates an enormous variety of stitch techniques. The piece was unveiled at the EGA's headquarters in Louisville, Ky., and begins its national tour in Morris.

The local committee programming for the exhibits has put together weekend activities related to needlework, with four key presenters, two needlework classes and guided tours for needle workers.

Local needle workers within a 150 mile radius of Morris were also included in a juried show called "Fantastic Fibers," which will complement the national exhibits.

The show committee includes Carole Johnson, Susan Gilbert, Sue Gooch and Randee Hokanson.

"The crates have arrived, full of the fiber arts pieces," Hokanson said. "The first look at the National Tapestry, "America the Beautiful," is breathtaking. This exhibit alone is worth coming to the museum, and yet there is the national exhibit, "Through the Needle's Eye," and the regional one that includes 49 additional pieces."

There will also be a unique exhibit case dedicated to heritage needlework.

Opening weekend includes speaker Barbara McPhee. Barbara is a nationally known EGA instructor, who will speak on "The Three Historical Tapestries," at 11 a.m.

The Stevens County Historical Museum High Tea group will put on a High Tea on Saturday, Jan. 24 from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The museum will be open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on opening day. On Jan. 25, McPhee will teach a class on Japanese Kogin stitching. There is a pre-registration for the class, which has a 25 person limit. Call the museum at (320) 589-1719 for details on time, materials and to register for classes.

Details on other Saturday speakers or instructors can be obtained at the museum, and schedules are available at the Common Cup, Helen's Fabrics and the Prairie Renaissance Cultural Alliance.