As members of a greater community, we believe in supporting organizations that are working to make the world a better place. We also take pleasure in sharing our knowledge and skills and with those who might not otherwise have exposure to needle arts.
Our relationship with DAIS started in 2013, with our members making a custom quilt celebrating the “Dawning of a New DAIS” and the grand opening of their new shelter. In 2015 we began our ongoing Pillowcase project. In the spring of 2016 our Outreach Committee met with DAIS to decide on two group stitch projects – “Around the Rainbow” and “Quaker Virtues.” These now hang at the DAIS facility.
Once a year, with other chapters around the country, our chapter stitches in public to share our love of embroidery. This occurs the first Saturday of February, and when available, we stitch at Olbrich Gardens in the Common Room. We also look for additional times to stitch in a public place to help people understand who we are and connect with our needle work. In 2019 and 2020 we stitched at Sequoya Library.
During the summers of 2016 and 2017, several EGA members worked with 8 elementary schools, helping them tell their own stories through stitching. Each student worked on her own “Fabric Storyscape” project. For most, this was a first introduction to using fabric, needles and thread to design and create a story quilt. The girls’ enthusiasm blossomed during the week as they worked around the table learning new stitches, found out how to layer a quilt sandwich and had an opportunity to help quilting the final project. They were proud to write artist statements and to share their story quilts at our fall EGA Needlework Show.
In 2016, several EGA members joined Nancy Daly at Hawthorne Elementary School in Madison to work with 350 students on an all-school quilt to be hung at the nearby William T. Evjue Access Clinic. After students designed and made their appliqué pieces for the quilt in March, Nancy did the layout of the complete quilt top, and in early May helped guide EGA members in teaching the children to sew on each of their pieces. With classes of 15-25 students at a time, it was a busy and exciting week as many girls and boys learned beginning sewing skills for the first time. Said one 3rd grader after her turn to sew when asked if she would like to do some more, “Oh yes! I’m just getting the hang of this now, it’s fun!” The finished quilt was brought to a chapter meeting for all members to see.
EGA members were delighted to share our love of stitching with the new generation of young fiber artists.