Our Beginnings, Our Firsts ....

During 1993, Sandy Williamson and Beverly Barton discussed possibility of founding a chapter of The Embroiderers' Guild of America, Inc. (EGA), in Northwest Indiana.

October 21, 1993: Original Organizational meeting was held. Beverly B, Mary C, Cheryl M, Elda M, + Sandy W met. They assembled a mailing list to send invitations, discussed arrangements for meeting needs and a meeting place.

Invitations were mailed, invited people to an Organizational Meeting November 2, 1993.

At the Organizational Meeting the purpose of the group was outlined. It was agreed to apply to EGA, for chapter status. A name, Needle Artisans of Northwest Indiana (NANI), was chosen by the group. Beverly B was elected temporary President and Cheryl M temporary Secretary. Sandy W was asked to be temporary Membership Chair and volunteers were requested to work on By-Laws for the group.

At the next meeting, By-laws were distributed and accepted by the group. Enough participants (15) paid the dues to enable the group to seek chapter privileges.

Among the first projects planned for Outreach were four samplers to be stitched by members on a voluntary bases. These included:
(01) A sampler for the Parks + Recreation Department
(02) Outpatient Children's Unit of a local hospital
(03) Center for the Performing Arts in Munster, IN
(04) One sampler for the Munster Public Library

Mary Helen Z, Publicity Chair, contacted local newspapers such as The Munster News, the Shopper, Community Section of The Hammond Times and Calumet Press, to publicize the monthly meetings at the Munster Social Center on Calumet Avenue.

June 1994: Members lent pieces of needlework for an exhibit installed at the Whiting Library by Cheryl M and Lillian P. Ten members participated in the display with 43 pieces and eleven embroidery techniques represented.

A Newsletter was inaugurated with Marjorie H, Editor, to be issued six times a year.

During Spring Break, Cheryl M and Lillian P taught cross stitch + needlepoint to a group of 4H Members at the Crown Point Fairgrounds.

April 9, 1994: NANI displayed samples of work at a tea sponsored by A Stitch in Time, located at Briar Ridge Country Club. Mary Ann J and her husband constructed a folding display stand. It was used for this event. They donated it to NANI.

May 1994: NANI organized the first day-long workshop featuring Dawn Lewis. She taught her Touch Your Dreams sampler.

July 1994: Beverly B arranged for a charted bus to take interested members for a visit to The Scarlet Letter in Sullivan, Wisconsin to view antique samplers, and buy sampler kits at the shop.

September 1995: the group lost founding member, Sandy Williamson.

October 1995: the group hosted Janice Love for a two-day workshop at Briar Ridge Country Club. She taught hardanger techniques for her Heirloom Wedding Pillow.

October 1995: the chapter was requested to host the 1998 Indiana State Day meeting by Kay G, President of Indiana Chapters.

February 1996: A sampler was presented to the Parks + Recreation Department and it hangs in the office at Town Hall. The sampler done by members for the Munster Public Library was presented and hangs in the library.

May 18-19, 1996: The first show of Members' work was displayed at the Munster Community Social Center. The show was titled The Threads That Bind, and was dedicated to the memory of Sandy Williamson and Claudia Swallow. Examples of their needlework were displayed at the exhibit that was attended by nearly 400 people. Opportunity tickets were available for an afghan and door swags. Local newspapers featured photographs and information about the exhibit.

September 14, 1996: NANI sponsored a table at the Old Munster Day. Marjorie H and Kathy V started anyone interested on an embroidery piece. Lillian P distributed Membership information.

Each December meeting was devoted to a pot luck dinner provided by the Chapter's Board Members. In 1997, it was decided to have a catered meal. This was in the form of a Holiday Party at the Center for the Visual and Performing Arts.

In 1997, we lost members Cheryl Matais and her mother, Elda Mastin. In their memory, funds were collected by circulating an envelope at a meeting and the money was then sent to the Education Fund of EGA.

May 3, 1997: The Chapter sponsored the Legacy of Antique Needlework presented by Mary McMenamin at the Center for the Visual and Performing Arts.

During 1997, members submitted project suggestions for 1998 State Day. The members voted for a Tea Cup Theme. Invitations to the 1998 State Day were distributed at the luncheon tables at 1997 Indiana State Day in Lafayette, IN.

Information from Lillian P.

September 1998:

Tea Cup Pulled Thread Sampler
Designed by Michelle P & Mylinda C
for the Needle Artisans of Northwest Indiana State Day 1998