Service to the community is one of the most rewarding goals for members of a chapter of the Embroiderers’ Guild of America, Inc.  The New York Capital District Chapter has been involved in many service projects in which we use our needlework skills to help organizations in the community.

Grant’s Slippers

Grant sitting on porch at cottage.In 2021, Terry Case, Chapter Outreach Coordinator, was contacted by the NYS Parks Bureau of Historic Sites to recreate President Ulysses S. Grant’s slippers for a special exhibition of his clothing planned for Grant’s Cottage in Wilton, NY. Based on a photo of Grant wearing the slippers at the Cottage, Chapter members decided that the slippers were most likely felt with needlepoint on the uppers. After Terry asked for volunteers, two members offered to work on the project. Dawna Johnson designed the pattern based on Grant’s shoe size and felted the new pair of slippers. Louise Butler used Scotch Stitch for the needlepoint uppers and then attached the canvas to the felt. The finishing touch was the addition of leather soles by conservators from Peebles Island Resource Center, home of the Bureau of Historic Sites.

Grant's slippers

Jerusha Calkins Sampler

This sampler, the original of which resides in the Saratoga Historical Society’s Brookside Museum in Ballston Spa, NY, was stitched by Jerusha Calkins at the age of eleven in the year 1826. Sadly, she died just four years later, but she left us with a beautiful legacy of her work as an example of 19th century learning.  This is an exact reproduction just as Jerusha stitched it, including her mistakes.

This project was undertaken by members of the Capital District Chapter of the Embroiderers’ Guild of America.  Proceeds from the sale of this sampler pattern will be used by the Saratoga Historical Society (www.brooksidemuseum.org) to conserve the original sampler as well as other items in their collection.


Library Quilt

Chapter members present a quilted wall hanging to Patric Ryan, director at the Terrace at Beverwyck on March 16, 2017.

Historical Needlework Re-creations

Chapter members researched and stitched recreations of historical needlework for the Schuyler Mansion, Albany Institute of History and Art and the Ten Broeck Mansion.  Projects included a sampler, pocketbooks, tambour work, a pocket, a small needle case, a silk picture, pincushion and chair seats.

Gold Work for the Executive Chamber of the Capitol building

Members of the chapter stitched 10 panels of gold work for the drapes in the Executive Chamber of the Capitol building. Five motifs taken from a sunflower motif found on the gilded, embossed wall covering were stitched on each panel.

Ronald McDonald Wall Hanging

Chapter volunteers stitched this wall hanging for the Ronald McDonald House children’s playroom.

Habitat for Humanity Samplers

An ongoing service project for the chapter is stitching personalized samplers for all families who receive homes built by Habitat for Humanity Capital District (Albany and Rensselaer Counties) and Habitat for Humanity Schenectady County. On December 19, 2012, eleven homes, built to coordinate with the facades of nineteenth-century homes in the neighborhood and named Morton’s Walk, were dedicated in Albany’s South End. This is the largest build undertaken by Habitat for Humanity Capital District.

Make-It, Take-It Samples

These samples were used to teach creative design at the Altamont Fair, Clifton Park Farm Fest, and Schaghticoke Fair.

Frou Frous for Beverwyck Assisted Living and Resurrection Nursing Home

Many members of the chapter stitched these frou frous that were donated to Beverwyck Assisted Living and Resurrection Nursing Home for their dining tables.

East Greenbush Library Displays

Two East Greenbush Public Library cases are filled with various types of needle art (e.g., Hardanger, needlepoint, cross-stitch, etc.) in response to a request made by the library.

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