First Place, Professional Original; Judge’s Choice

Two summers ago my husband and I celebrated our wedding anniversary over a long early August weekend at Paradise Lodge on Mt. Rainier. The weather was perfect for relaxing and hiking and the meadow flowers, due to a late snow melt, were prolific.

When Lois Kershner’s EGA Extended Study Program, Nature from Photo to Needle Art, was offered, my first thought was to pick one or two of the photos I took during this stay on the mountain and try to convert one of them to needle art.

During our class time with Lois, she stepped us through the process of evaluating our photos using color and design principles and then transferring our photos onto a stitchable ground fabric. I chose Congress Cloth, a fabric that allows for counted as well as non-counted embroidery techniques. Lois helped me see that the redundancy of the meadow on the left of the photo could be removed and focus placed on the flowers and tree on the right. Orientation of the work was then converted from landscape to portrait.

I had a lot of fun creating fanciful and somewhat real flowers for my meadow. The white seed heads are Western Anemone. My father called them “Goat’s Beard”. The tree took several weeks of sculpting and layering. I have purposely left the background mountains and sky unstitched. By doing so, the tree and meadow take center stage.

Lois’ program was pure enjoyment from beginning to end. I learned new embroidery techniques, reinforced my color and design tools and made new friends. I encourage everyone to consider participating in a similar program should one become available. Programs such as this offer so much more than just a stitching weekend away from home.