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Great Lakes Region

The Embroiderers' Guild of America

Serving EGA Chapters in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and parts of Illinois, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia

Indianapolis, Indiana - Indianapolis Chapter

General Chapter Information

Guests are always welcome to attend our meetings. Please contact one of our members listed below for additional information.

Meeting Times and Information
Day Group: Christ United Methodist Church
Location: 8450 US 31 South, Indianapolis, IN, 46227

Meetings are every 2nd Mon, 10:00am
Night Group:Christ United Methodist Church
Location: 8450 US 31 South, Indianapolis, IN, 46227

Meetings are every 3rd Tues, 6:30pm-9:00pm

2024 - 50th Anniversary !

Celebrating the "Golden Threads" of 50 years of friendships made through creative embroidery stitching, the Indianapolis Chapter of Embroiderers Guild of America (EGA) announces the special events of its 50th anniversary year, (2024), featuring three stitching workshops and a members' luncheon.

The Indianapolis chapter's celebratory luncheon was held Monday, April 22 at the Skyline Club of One American Square in Downtown Indianapolis. The luncheon speaker was Cissy Bailey Smith, an expert in stitched samplers with a teaching certificate in canvas work from the Valentine Museum in Richmond, Virginia.
\images\indy-pic4a-50th.jpgCelebration luncheon Monday, April 22 at the Skyline Club in Downtown Indianapolis.
photo by Julie Vanduesen
Cissy Bailey Smith is seen advising the work of Brenda Keefer, EGA member. The class was held at Christ United Methodist Church, Greenwood.
Photo by Julie Vanduesen
Cissy Bailey Smith, an expert on stitched samplers, spoke about antique Scottish and English samplers at the 50th anniversary luncheon of the Indianapolis chapter of the Embroiderers Guild of America at the Skyline Club April 22.
photo by Kay Millar
Cissy Bailey Smith, (left) celebrates at the 50th anniversary luncheon of the Indianapolis chapter of Embroiderers Guild of America with Joanne Porento, chair of the anniversary planning committee and a past president of the chapter.
photo by Kay Millar

The first class will be "Samplers Stories Huswif," a cross stitch piece to be taught by Bailey Smith in a three-hour session held Saturday, April 20 at Christ United Methodist Church, Greenwood.

The second class will be "Autumn's Bounty," a surface embroidery piece with gold work highlights, to be taught by Marylyn Doyle, a teacher and exhibitor of a range of embroidery techniques and holder of EGA certification in silk and metal thread on fabric. The class is scheduled for Saturday, July 27 at Christ United Methodist Church, Greenwood.

The third class will be "Beautiful Windmills," counted canvas work to be taught by Ann-Marie Anderson-Mayes of Beautiful Stitches based in Perth, Western Australia. A two-day class scheduled for Friday and Saturday, September 13-14, this event is designated as Indiana State Day and is open for registration by all Indiana EGA chapter members and EGA/Great Lakes Region members. The class will be held at Christ United Methodist Church, Greenwood.

The "Golden Threads" theme is derived from a quote of John Evelyn, English diarist and Founding Fellow of the Royal Society: "Friendship is the golden thread that ties the heart of all the world."

The theme is appropriate for the Indianapolis chapter, as Joanne Porento, chair of the 50th anniversary planning committee, explained, "Here's to 50 years of stitches and stories, where embroidery and friendship are equally cherished and celebrated."

History of the Indianapolis Chapter - EGA

The Indianapolis Chapter of the Embroiderers' Guild of America originated with a small group of embroiderers who knew each other through their husbands' work. It soon grew to encompass the entire Indianapolis Metropolitan area.

The nucleus was the Creative Stitchery Group of the Indiana University School of Medicine Faculty Women's Club. One of the members, Druscilla Defalque, was an EGA member-at-large. She suggested that the group establish an EGA Chapter. She contacted the New York office and chapters already established in Indiana, at Fort Wayne and Lafayette. On February 13, 1974, the Indianapolis Chapter was chartered, with 15 founding members. It was the 40th chapter formed under the national organization.

Growth was immediate. A story in The Indianapolis Star announced the March 11, 1974, organizational meeting at the Nora Library. It was jam-packed, and 40 new members joined that morning. Soon afterward, the Nora Night Stitchers was established. Later, in 1981-83, daytime and evening groups were formed on the Southside, growing the Chapter to more than 200 members.

The Chapter also grew in programming, with emphasis on expanding the skills of its members, fostering the highest standards of work, and creating awareness in the community of the value of needlework. Knowledgeable local teachers gave of their time, and nationally known teachers were brought in for workshops as well.

Community service projects were initiated early and tended to be monumental. Projects included embroidering the State Seal of Indiana, the City of Indianapolis seal in silk and gold, and, for the Governor's Residence, a fireplace screen and canvas bands for benches in the foyer. For the Ronald McDonald House, Chapter members made nearly 100 embroideries, adding decoration to the walls and doors, in addition to a huge House of Bears showing various scenes, and a 5-panel counted thread Nativity (only hung at Christmastime), appraised in the late 1990s for $7,500. The Chapter also created a wall hanging for the Riley Hospital for Children, as well as a huge one for the children's section of the Richmond Public Library.

In 1984 the Chapter, led by Lelia Chernish, put on an exhibit at what was then the Indianapolis Museum of Art (now Newfields). This exhibit was the first by any EGA chapter, and its popularity was evidence to the museum that fiber arts have broad appeal.

The Chapter was the first and only chapter to host both an EGA National Seminar and the National Biennial Exhibit in the same year. The 1992 Seminar was a great success, with 592 in attendance.

The Chapter has also hosted many State Days and several Regional Seminars. In a continuing effort to educate the public about our Chapter, we have had exhibits at the Indiana State Museum, Conner Prairie Museum, The Hyatt Regency Hotel, St. Meinrad Archabbey, and at public libraries in Boone, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Marion, and Johnson counties.

These events and exhibits have marked the Chapter's public face. But for most of its members, the Indianapolis EGA contributions have been more personal - new skills learned, the satisfaction of making creative and skilled work, and the lasting friendships formed as we gather month after month to share a common interest. Hence our theme for our fiftieth anniversary year - Golden Threads.

- Ginny Kellar

Contact Information

President: Kathy Cummins

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This page was last updated on August 2, 2018
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