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T is for...


Consider, today, that there is likely no greater gift you can give another person than that of your copious wisdom. It is only when we use our resources and talents to help others achieve their goals that we can feel truly gifted and excited by our successes. In offering the benefit of our experience to people whose dreams run parallel with our own, we channel our abundance into our efforts to improve the lives of people in need of our wisdom and tutelage. As mentors, we utilize our achievements in a benevolent fashion. As a result, we grow alongside our charges, remembering what it is like to be struggling at the start of the goal-realization process. Our own struggles for success are put into perspective, and we can take pride in all we have accomplished. When you use your resources to help others fulfill their dreams today, you’ll feel highly accomplished.

Since 1995 I have been a teacher of needlework. I learned to embroidery at the age of 8 and throughout my life have pursued many forms of fiber art and crafting.  In the mid-1970s I worked in a needlework store and and enjoyed learning different types of embroidery (and knitting).  In the mid-1980s I became more involved with organizations that promoted needlework and of all styles.  Teachers  were brought in to teach new techniques and I loved learning so much I began to travel for lessons. After 20 years of striving to learn all that I could, I am considered proficient in needlepoint, counted thread, Japanese embroidery, Brazilian embroidery, crewel, and silk and metal embroidery.  The local shop knew of my ability and, in 1995, asked if I would teach classes.  It has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

In July the shop was sold and closed for over a month while the new owner redecorated and restocked. When she reopened, we (the students and I) were thrilled! 

All the threads were hung by color and there were many more choices and the variety of painted canvas designs were  much more to our liking.  It's a good change, a much needed change and we couldn't be happier.

The classroom now holds a large table and the walls are covered with possibility.

The beg table is very nice as the classroom can now hold up to 10 students.

JaneisalsoveryindutriouslyworkingIvadeneworkslongandhardonherdesign_1All the students are very good at needlepoint and I have been able to teach them a few techniques to improve their skills.  Together we take a painted canvas and pick threads, textures, colors and stitches to bring the canvas to life.  We strive to create needleart, not just to color and cover the canvas. 

JoanhasaverylargepiecethatisalmostfinishMargaretstitchesbeautifulllyWhile my knowledge is important in the creation of a piece, it is a collaborative effort. We discuss each choice and even try stitches and colors. Some students are very involved in the process of choice and others just want me to decide. They don't know that they really could do well without my guidance, but with my background I can teach techniques they don't know.  It challenges me each time they ask "What should I do here?" or "Is this color a good choice?"  Experience, trial and error and curiosity help in many of the choices.  We have a good time together and that makes class day very enjoyable. 

Margaret brought the last piece we worked together to class last week.  She is an excellent stitcher and, as with many of the other students, has surpassed my stitching skills. She considers this her best piece of work to date. It is truly museum quality stitching and I am very humbled to have a part in the creation of such beautiful art work.

Bestpiecemargarethasdonetodate Click to enlarge

Rarely does anyone in class complain (any more) that a project is taking them too long.  Over the years we have worked together the students have heard me say "It's the process." so many times they could scream.  But, they believe it, they live it, and they love it.


You are so talented and I just know you're a wonderful teacher. It takes patience and that's something I truly lack. I just stay away from teaching, myself. ;-)

I really liked your "t". It reminds me that my mom learned "bunka" (japanese embroidery) from my paternal grandmother; together they have produced some breathtaking work. I have always admired it, but now knowing what goes into handcrafting (via knitting) it floors me even more.

gah! that's incredible work.

Exactly right. We say that teaching is a mitzvah. And it is. That piece your student did is stunning.

Great T.

I hear you saying that all the time when I get frustrated lol Teaching is definately one of the most rewarding things and by the sounds of it they had an awesome one!

Your students are lucky to have you! Brings back the memory of my needlepoint classes. Every week I think this will be the one that I go back to it, but it isn't working out so well just yet. Maybe next week......

What a great T! I'll bet you're a great teacher. I haven't done any embroidery for years, but just looking at that wall full of colors is making me want to start again. (Honey, I'm taking up another stash-requiring hobby. Honey? Put down that suitcase!)

Wow. I admit I didn't love the one bit of embroidery I did. I do, however, enjoy cross stitch and am waiting for my newest addition to be reframed a 3rd time. I have a couple more on the night table and have unearthed a petit point--which I have never done before. With you as a teacher though...perhaps I could like embroidery a bit more.

I've never tried embroidery, but I do love cross-stitch. There's something about the slow-going-ness of it all that is really good for me. Teaches patience, forces you to slow down, all that. Some day I'll have to try the other kind of stitching, and I'd love to check out that shop some time when I come to Utah! (In about 6 years, when I finally finish the cross-stitch project I am currently sporadically working on, anyway...)

Wow! I had no idea! How wonderful! And I was just thinking I wanted to take a needlepoint class, now if we only lived closer...

I'm quite jealous of those who get to be your students in person, but very thankful you're sharing your teaching with us in the blogiverse.

Wow, I haven't touched my cross stitch or needlespoint in ages (was always better at the cross stitch). I still have a small painted canvas of a cat face that I just love but have never done anything with. I wish we lived closer and you could be my teacher!

Fantastic! You're a natural-born teacher. ;)

wonderful post - It is so nice to hear about yet another of your many talents. :-) I haven't done needle work for years, but I can certainly appreciate the beauty of what you've shown. wow.

How fortunate you are to have not only have the expertise in such a creative art, but also the extra qualities necessary to pass on your knowledge.

I can tell from getting to know you at SnB and from reading your blog that your classes must be enormous fun as well as informative and inspiring.

What a great post! I've dabbled in embroidery, cross-stitch (can't see well enough anymore)and needlepoint but never got far enough to have my fire lit. Guess I needed a Margene as a teacher!

Please show some of the Brazilian embroidery. That is so cool! I want to learn that next.

What gorgeous needlework. I agree that teaching is fulfilling. Teaching another person how to do something, or exposing a person to a new way of thinking is exciting.

I am so glad you have had the chance to share this gift. It is such a good balance to your "work world" the rest of the week, and you pour out what you have absorbed in a lifetime's worth of stitching. A wonderful post; darn, I just got "S" up and better start thinking about "T".

What a great entry, Margene. Fantastic!

All I can say is "Wow"! I'm sure you're a great teacher.

Is that the store in the same strip mall as the Wool Cabin?

That store is unbelievable. I can't get over the wall of thread! So much color! I bet you can feel your creativity surge just walking through the front door. :-)

I didn't know you were still teaching needlework. I'm even more amazed at your knitting/spinning productivity now.

I have many times admired your collection "needles with eyes". I wish I could study with you as a teacher!

That shop looks fantastic!

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