Embroiderer’s Guild Looking To Expand Participation

Standing from left to right are Allene Hooper, Shirlea Roman, Sandra Gilebarto, Ruth Walton and Sandy Pryll members of Chautauqua Region Chapter of the Embroiderer’s Guild. Each member displays her embroidered version of a Sudoku puzzle in which stitches were substituted for numbers. Submitted photos

“We are a group of people who get together on a monthly basis to stitch, talk and eat,” were the words member Ruth Walton used to describe Chautauqua Region Chapter of the Embroiderer’s Guild of America (CREGA).

Members range from needlework novices to experts. Skill is not a requirement for membership.

“A caveat of being able to be in the Embroiderer’s Guild is that members must use a needle with an eye,” states Shirlea Roman of the group that is part of a national organization.

The local chapter of CREGA started at an informational meeting at the Lakewood Fire Hall in 1981. The group was chartered by Embroiderer’s Guild of America (EGA) in 1982 and remains one of over 260 chapters in the United States and Canada. EGA was established in New York in 1958 as a branch of The Embroiderer’s Guild of London withdrawing in 1970 when The Embroiderer’s Guild of America was formed. Today it boasts a membership of over 8,800.

The EGA website states “We’re deeply dedicated to the study, preservation and promotion of needle arts.” EGA was formed for fostering the art of needlework and associated arts. The guild promotes the exchange of ideas among those interested in needlework throughout the world, encourages a high standard of design and technique in embroidery and provides a center of education and information regarding the art of embroidery for all guild members. Their purpose is to conduct instruction and research in the art of needlework and to distribute materials and publications.

This is one of many needle art pieces exhibited by Chautauqua Region Chapter of the Embroiderer’s Guild of America in the Heritage Room at the Lakewood Library. This particular piece, stitched by Ruth Walton, is embellished with beads made in Jamestown in the 1920s. The show runs until August 31.

There are currently 29 members in the local group, but only 8-9 are active members. The membership is aging and fewer people are able to attend meetings, therefore the group is hoping to expand its membership. Meetings are held at 6:30 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month in the undercroft of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church located at 410 N. Main St., Jamestown. The room is easily found when using the Fourth Street entrance and is handicap accessible.

“Cross-stitch was popular in the 90s with many stores selling it. Scrapbooking has usurped it,” says Mrs. Walton.

“Interested persons may attend two meetings before officially joining. One does not need to be an expert to come,” Mrs. Roman adds. “We all had to learn.”

An annual membership fee of $50 for the local chapter includes a subscription to Needlearts Magazine, which is printed quarterly.

“We welcome all comers, regardless of their stitching skill or experience,” Mrs. Walton says. “We always have a good time stitching, enjoying tasty treats provided by a different member each month and visiting with each other and admiring everyone’s completed projects during a show and tell period. It is a monthly treat for the senses.”

Members may work on group projects or work on their own. As a group the chapter recently finished embroidered versions of Sudoku puzzles in which stitches were substituted for numbers. Some members learned new stitches to complete their puzzles while others created their own stitches.

Skills can be taken to the next level and beyond by attending annual seminars provided by the national organization. Regional seminars are also held.

“It gives people an opportunity to meet people who are masters at their craft,” says Mrs. Roman. “It gives them an opportunity to meet people from all over.”

A group correspondence course is offered by EGA where each region choses three or four courses that can be used throughout their region. Finished work may be turned in for the teacher’s critique, if the student desires.

Those who are considering taking up needlework, as well as experienced stitchers, may find inspiration by visiting an exhibit recently hung in the Heritage Room of the Lakewood Library. Swedish weaving, hardanger, ribbon embroidery and black work are represented as well as stump work, surface embroidery, counted thread and beading. One of the many pieces on display has been embellished with beads that were made in a Jamestown factory in the 20s. The needle art will remain on display throughout the month of August. Library hours are Monday-Wednesday through Friday 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 1 pm.

“This is the third exhibit at the Lakewood Library. They are always happy to have our work,” states Allene Hooper.

Members take turns signing up to supply snacks for each meeting and a pot luck dinner is held every December.

“As you might imagine, most of the members are terrific cooks, too. They have yummy recipes to share,” adds Mrs. Walton.

“Family lore goes that Grandma Yancey’s Pound Cake recipe originally called for an actual pound of most ingredients, hence the name,” says Ruth Walton. Needless to say, the recipe was refined by several generations of family bakers until it got to me, at which point, I decided generations of Yancey women couldn’t be wrong, so I left it alone.”

“Close your eyes and you’ll think you’re eating crab. Old Bay seasoning and shredded zucchini do the magic,” are the words of Sandra Gilebarto about her Faux Crab Cakes recipe.

“Easy Cheesy Muffins freeze well for use later and keep well in fridge for a few days, if they last that long,” says Shirlea Roman. “From the fridge it is good to microwave them a few seconds. They taste and smell like fresh-baked.”

For questions or additional information contact Membership Chair and Treasurer Catherine Way at 664-7291 or Guild President Allene Hooper at 569-6532.

Faux Crab Cakes

Sandra Gilebarto, Chapter Secretary

21/2 c grated zucchini

1 egg

2 T butter, melted

1 c seasoned bread crumbs

1/4 c onions, minced

1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning

1/4 c flour or Panko

1/2 c vegetable oil for frying

In large bowl, combine zucchini, egg and butter. Stir in seasoned bread crumbs, onion and seasoning. Mix well. Shape mixture into patties. Dredge in flour. In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium high heat until hot. Fry patties in oil until golden brown on both sides.

Zucchini Casserole

Allene Hooper, Chapter President

1/2 lb link sausage, chunked

1/2 c each of chopped onion, celery and mushrooms

1 c zucchini, grated and drained

15 oz spaghetti sauce

3 c cooked minute rice

1 tsp salt

1 c mozzarella, shredded

1/4 c grated parmesan

Brown sausage, onion, and celery in skillet. Add zucchini and mushrooms and cook for 5-10 minutes. Stir in sauce, rice, salt and half the cheeses and place in a greased 9×13 casserole dish. Sprinkle the remaining cheeses over the top. Can add more spaghetti sauce, if it seems dry. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Zucchini Pasta

1/4 c onion, chopped

1/4 c bell pepper, chopped

1 large zucchini, cubed

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 c each chopped celery, and mushrooms

kielbasa, cubed

2-3 c spaghetti sauce

salt and pepper

2 c penne pasta, cooked and drained

1 c shredded mozzarella

In skillet, brown onion and pepper in olive oil. Add zucchini, celery, mushrooms, kielbasa, spaghetti sauce and garlic. Salt and pepper to taste. Simmer a few minutes. Add the pasta and cheese. Simmer 5-10 minutes. Serve.

Chicken and Spinach Casserole

Sandy Pryll

2 c torn bread

2 T extra virgin olive oil, divided

coarse salt and ground pepper

4 c packed flat-leaf spinach, washed

1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1/4 c white wine

2 T flour

1 1/2 c half and half

1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice

1 c shredded rotisserie chicken

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine bread with 1 tablespoon oil; season with salt. Set aside. In a medium pot, heat 1-1/2 tsp oil over medium-high heat. Add spinach; season with salt. Cook, stirring until wilted, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a colander. Let cool. Wipe pot clean and heat 1-1/2 tsp oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, about 8 minutes. Add wine to pot and cook until almost evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring 30 seconds. Gradually whisk in half and half. Add lemon juice and bring mixture to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat and stir in chopped spinach and chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a 2-quart baking dish and top with bread pieces. Bake until bread is golden brown and mixture is bubbling, 8-10 minutes.

Corn Custard

Betty Przepiora

2 cans creamed corn

1 can sweetened condensed milk

2 eggs

pinch of salt and pepper

sprinkle of nutmeg

Mix ingredients in order given. Bake in a greased 2 quart casserole dish at 325 degrees for 1-1/2 hours.

Easy Cheesy Muffin

Shirlea Roman

2 large eggs

2/3 c water

4 T butter or margarine, melted

1-1/4 cups flour (for gluten-free use GF flour blended with xanthan)

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 c (4 oz) shredded parmesan and Romano cheeses

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray or line muffin tins. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, add water and melted butter. Mix on low until blended; increase speed to medium for 30 seconds. Turn off mixer. Add flour, baking powder, salt and cheese. Mix on low until blended. Scoop into muffin tines. Bake 20-22 minutes, until a bit of golden color appears and muffins spring back when lightly touched.

Cool briefly before removing muffins from pan.

Roman Gorgonzola Dip

8 oz cream cheese, softened

4 oz gorgonzola cheese, crumbled

1/3 – 1/4 cup assorted pitted Greek olives, chopped

2 tsp dried oregano

2 T lemon juice

water, as needed.

2 T chopped walnuts, optional

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except water and nuts. When partially mixed, add water a tablespoon at a time, until the desired consistency is reached and the ingredients have been completely incorporated. Use less water to use as a spread. Refrigerate for an hour or more before serving. Place in small serving dish and top with walnuts, if desired. Serve with assorted crackers and/or chips.

Grandma Yancey’s Pound Cake

Ruth Walton

1-1/2 c butter (3/4 pound)

2 c sugar

7 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

3 c flour

1 tsp baking powder

Cream butter and sugar until thoroughly combined. Add 3 eggs, one at a time and then add the rest 2 at a time, beating 5 minutes after each addition. Add vanilla.

Sift flour with baking powder and add a little at a time. Grease 2 loaf pans and line with waxed paper. Evenly divide batter into each pan. Bake at 325 degrees for at least 50 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes.