When Joyce Lukomsky, founding editor of needlepoint now,
first considered starting the magazine, she went to see Gayle
Bicknell at her home. Joyce elucidates, "She [Gayle] told
me that she had some projects I could use. I took all of them
but while I was sitting I saw this wonderful thing on the wall.
It was 'Pieces of Eight.' I asked her for that one and she said,
'Sure, but I stitched that just for fun and didn't keep a record
of the materials or stitches used.' We brought it back to the
office and began doing detective work. The crew at Fireside Stitchery
helped us to identify the threads and we all worked on the stitches.
We didn't get everything exactly right, but we had so much fun.
"Pieces of Eight' first appeared on the cover of the September/October
1999 issue of needlepoint now and the final installment
ran in the July/August 2000 issue. At that time we knew that
we had an exceptional project and we issued this invitation:
Pieces of Eight
By Gayle Bicknell
CALLING ALL STITCHERS OF PIECES OF EIGHT!
What exciting work you are doing! It thrills us to travel
around the country and see so many fabulous innovations of this
project. You have used different color canvas, stitching threads
and many other creative ideas. We thought how great it would
be to share your creations with other stitchers. We plan to feature
a 'Gallery of Pieces of Eight Projects' in the July/August 2001
issue. Send us photos of your project by April 15, 2001. Include
your name, address and tell us what you did.'
Joyce continues, "Little did we realize that an avalanche
would follow!" A virtual tidal wave of submissions of their
renditions of "Pieces of Eight" arrived from stitchers
from all over the U.S., Canada, Europe and even Bermuda. Joyce
continues, "Literally hundreds of pictures were submitted
and, to have shown them all, would have required devoting an
entire issue of the magazine just to them. As it was, four additional
pages were added to the magazine to accommodate the entries chosen.
We plan to show other submissions in the magazine from time to
time and many will also be posted on the magazine website."
Collage of "Pieces of Eight" Designs
submitted to needlepoint now
from the back cover of the July/August Issue
The introduction to the Gallery of images displayed in the
magazine's July/August issue states, "Pieces of Eight -
just the sound of these words conjures up exciting images in
our heads...images of old coins, Spanish Galleons, a brave new
world, marauding pirates, romance on the high seas." Stitchers
used Gayle's "Pieces of Eight" design as a springboard
to access their own creativity and ingenuity - exactly what Gayle
Below are the variations on "Pieces of Eight" stitched
by the members of the Bermuda Guild of Stitchery, which we present
as a special tribute to the design's creator, Gayle Bicknell.
Pieces of Eight
Designed by Gayle Bicknell
Stitched by Members of the Bermuda Guild of Stitchery
Kathy Faries, past President of the Bermuda Guild, tells how
the Pieces of Eight project evolved, "It was actually at
one of our monthly stitch-ins that we were discussing how wonderful
the magazine, needlepoint now, was and Barbara Cuoco commented
that she would love to do the 'Pieces of Eight' project. Everyone
agreed. Ten members signed up for it. We ordered the threads
and the rest is history. The fact that needlepoint now was going to feature the different interpretations that each
stitcher came up with, spurred most of us on to finish by the
deadline. The piece itself lends itself to creativity, to use
your own personal choice of colors, threads, and designs. It
was a joy to stitch!!!" Each of the stitchers interpreted
the design differently, resulting in incredibly diverse and personalized
Barbara Cuoco rearranged most of the octagons,
embellishing many with beads in her colorful rendition. She then
filled in the small diamonds with a gold design.
Shina Lyons used blue canvas and also rearranged
Sue Simmons changed many of the colors suggested
and used different threads as well in some areas. She also eliminated
2 of the octagons and repeated the designs from 2 others she
Wilma Frith used pink canvas, rearranged the octagons,
and created some new designs for her octagons.
Gail Rego used green canvas and decided she wanted
to fill in the background of each octagon. She also added stitching
in the diamonds adding a very finished look to the piece.
Judy Khoo, stitched her Pieces of Eight on green
canvas and designed some of her own octagons using different
Kathy Faries used blue canvas instead and switched
the order of the octagons. She employed some different threads
than those suggested substituting ones in stronger color tones.
Note: Four Guild members, Barbara Cuoco, Kathy Faries,
Shina Lyons and Sue Simmons, completed their projects by the
deadline and their pieces were displayed in the July/August issue
of needlepoint now. Members, Judy Khoo, Gail Rego and
Wilma Frith, finished their pieces subsequently. The Caron Collection
extends congratulations to them all and would like to thank the
members of the Bermuda Guild of Stitchery for sharing some of
their history, group activities and projects with us, to be included
to this special tribute to Gayle Bicknell.
For more information about needlepoint
now contact the magazine at
P.O. Box 729
Prince George, VA 23875
phone: (804) 732- 9140
fax: (804) 732- 5601
e mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bermuda could almost be described as William Shakespeare referred
to another island, "This fortress built by Nature for herself
against infection and the hand of war. This happy breed of men,
this little world, this precious stone set in a silver sea..."
This tiny island, because of
its distance from other land masses, has made its inhabitants
resourceful and dependent on each other. For some 60,000 people,
we don't do too badly under either of those headings. Our inhabitants
come from Canada, America, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom,
the Azores, Portugal and other European countries.
Members of the Bermuda Guild of Stitchery
Surprisingly, there was no guild of stitchery until 1994,
when a Canadian immigrant, one Nancy Brown, a long-time member
of the Toronto Guild of Stitchery, gathered together a group
of friends and set the ball rolling. A church hall was found
and a meeting advertised in the Royal Gazette, which everyone
reads if they want to know what is happening on the Island. Soon
after, we were off to the races!
Because of our location near the North American continent,
we looked for an umbrella association to join, The Embroiderers'
Association of Canada was the most welcoming and we soon joined
as a chapter earning the rather impressive title of International
Chapter! We have found our EAC connection has provided us with
exposure to other stitcher's ideas and
many new projects have evolved as a result of our Guild President's
attendance at the regional meetings. These meetings have resulted
in making many new friends and providing stimulating ideas.
Bermuda is hot and humid in summer so we operate from October
through June. The last meeting consists of an Annual General
Meeting, lunch and a display of members' work. This provides
an opportunity for our day members and those of the evening group
to meet and see each other's work. We try to balance our meetings
with workshops and lecturers from abroad. The former have included
items as diverse as Christmas decorations, Tamari Balls, shadow
embroidery, learn-a-stitch samplers and origami. Amongst the
latter, we have welcomed Beverly McInnes, Maggie Glossop, and
Anna Marie Winter from Canada, Beth Russell from England and
Anthony Minieri is booked for May 2002. We are planning to continue
with this type of exposure and stimulation. Fortunately, Bermudians
travel almost more than any other people in the world and our
members travel to courses on both sides of the Atlantic, so we
co-opt them into passing on their knowledge. We have discovered
a wealth of talent amongst our own membership.
We hold tightly to our Bermuda heritage. Our newsletter is
named the Bermuda Longtail, a beautiful migratory bird who arrives
in the spring heralding the warm days to come. Our logo is the
little bright blue flower called the "Bermudiana" which
adorns our letterhead and our membership pins.
We hold one-day marathon stitch-ins at a local hotel twice
a year. We have stitched gifts for a local charity to sell at
their Christmas craft sale. Several members have or are currently
taking EAC Correspondence courses in Blackwork, Crewel and Deerfield
embroidery. Our members have run courses for senior citizens
and younger members of the community. Wherever possible we try
to live up to our aim, "To encourage and promote the practice
and knowledge of the Art of Embroidery in all its forms and to
develop a fellowship of persons interested in needle art in Bermuda."
It is hoped the above will give you a taste of Bermuda. If
you want more, please come and visit us! You can be assured of
a warm traditional welcome from the Bermuda Guild of Stitchery.
Note: This profile of the Bermuda Guild was written
by member, Brenda Younie, and provided to us by Kathy Faries,
past President for the last two years. Sue Simmons took over
that position as of June 30, 2001. Kathy has been the editor
of the Guild's newsletter for the past five into the present.
For further information about the Bermuda Guild of Stitchery
contact them at:
P.O. Box HM1988
Hamilton, HMHX, Bermuda
e mail : email@example.com