Thursday, December 20, 2018

Did you Renew?

Did you renew your SAGA membership?

If you did , thank you.

If you did not, please do so before the end of December, as you don't want to miss out on any issue of SAGANews or all the other things SAGA has to offer, do you?

You can renew by signing into your SAGA page on the SAGA website. You can use PayPal and it will automatically update your information so SAGA has your correct mailing address and email.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

It's on it's way!

SAGANews Volume 39 Issue 4 is in the mail.

This is a special issue as it starts the celebrations of the 40th Anniversary of SAGA. This issue is all about smocking. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Extreme Sewing

I am going to let this photo say it all.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Vintage Hangers

I found this collection of vintage children's hangers while I was away for a few days in western Pennsylvania. They are so different from the plain plastic ones you find today. A special hanger for special clothes!

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Time to Renew

Now is the time to renew your membership to SAGA.

SAGA Membership Renewal Information
All memberships (except lifetime) expire on December 31. Improvements have been made to the renewal process that should make it easier for member renewal. If you renew on-line at through PayPal (you do not need a PayPal account), your membership will be updated in the database immediately! This is the fastest, most efficient way to renew. Don't miss out on SAGANews by renewing late!

Other options for renewing are to download the membership form and mailing it to the SAGA Post Office Box. 
                                        The Smocking Arts Guild of America
                                                          3712 Ringgold Rd #309
                                                           Chattanooga TN  37412
You can also renew in a group with your chapter, by sending one check.  If you choose this option, be sure to include everyone's name and membership number with the renewal information. Be aware that this option will take longer to process as all mail renewals will be processed by hand.

Early Membership Renewal Incentive
All members who are paid through 2019 either through PayPal on
November 30, or postmarked by the USPS by November 30 will be entered into one of five regional drawings for enrollment into a SAGA Correspondence Course during 2019.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Where was I?

Last weekend I went somewhere for a wedding. Can you guess where that was and what part of the city from the photos?

Okay, so did you guess the Garment District in New York? (I know, there was a give away with the banner advertising the art festival). 

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Just Pin It!

If you completed your Just Pin It! smocking sampler by October 15th and you have not yet posted a photo on the Smock Along Facebook page, please send your photo to Carol Kick at  
You will be awarded two Artisan points; you do not have to have completed the construction, but all smocking stitches must be completed.
Carol Kick's Just Pin It! Example

Monday, October 1, 2018

A poster says it all!

The next SAGA Convention celebrating the 40th Anniversary in 2019 will be held in Dallas, Texas from September 17 through to September 22.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Seen in and Around Winston-Salem

These photos were taken by Region I Representative Terry Poskay on her excursions outside of the hotel while at the SAGA Convention in Winston-Salem.

Outside the Convention Centre
The shop window of a local tailors

Inside the Mast General Store

Inside the Mast General Store

Inside the Mast General Store

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Things to do in Winston-Salem

Korner’s Folly
413 S. Main Street
Kernersville, NC 27284
(336) 996-7922
The Strangest House in the World 1880's home of artist, designer Jule Gilmer Korner. 22 rooms. 7 levels. 15 fireplaces. Intriguing and entertaining.
Körner’s Folly is the architectural wonder and home of artist and designer Jule Gilmer Körner. Built in 1880 in Kernersville, North Carolina, the house originally served to display his interior design portfolio. Visitors can now explore the 22 room house museum and its unique original furnishings and artwork, cast-plaster details, carved woodwork, and elaborate hand laid tile.

The Factory

210 North Main Street
Kernersville, NC 27284

A unique shopping area housed in a 1887 textile manufacturing in downtown Kernersville offers boutique-style stores. The attractive landscaped courtyard is the hub of the Factory.

Downtown Arts District

Trade & Liberty Street, Between 5th and 7th Street Downtown
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
An ultra-hip area of downtown, DADA, is an eclectic collection of working studios, galleries, shops, residences, restaurants, and nightlife. Just a block from the Benton Convention Center, this exciting neighborhood is easy to find.

Horne Creek Living Historical Farm
308 Horne Creek Farm Road
Pinnacle, NC 27043
(336) 325-2298 
Horne Creek Living Historical Farm serves as an outdoor museum dedicated to the study, preservation, and interpretation of North Carolina's rural and agricultural heritage, circa 1900 - 1910.

Historic Bethabara Park
2147 Bethabara Road
Winston-Salem, NC 27106
(336) 924-8191

Site of the first settlement in Forsyth County. Guided tour includes 1788 German Church and reconstructed fort. Medicine Garden and nature preserve on site.

There are also numerous wineries and vineyards in the region to visit, nut if you do visit one or two please remember not to drink and drive or operate a sewing machine!

Monday, September 10, 2018

One Week until the SAGA Winston-Salem Convention

So, only a week before the SAGA National Convention classes begin! Are you anywhere near ready?

Yes, I know you have tons more things to get done before you even start to think about packing but I hope you have checked your class supplies, completed your Design Show entries (only joking-you can work on those a few hours more) and are actually aware that it is only a week away?

Okay, so you are planning the family’s meals for the week you are gone and doing the laundry and everything else you have to do to make sure that your husband and children survive without you, but believe me, they will survive. Maybe they will appreciate you a little more when you return (well for the first few days at least).

Whether you are a First Time attendee or have been many times to Convention you will have a great time. You will meet and make new friends and renew old friendships. You will be tired and mind numb after several days of classes and events. You may even wonder if you will ever finish the class project, but hopefully you will enjoy yourself enough to want to attend another Convention-they can be addictive!

Just to help you when you are putting your Convention items together, remember:

1.       Basic sewing supplies

2.       Special class supplies

3.    Your sewing machine; feet; bobbins; power cords; foot pedal

4.       Wee Care  and Trees for Troops items

5.       Name labels for the raffle tickets

6.       Something to write with and on

7.       Your kit fees (cheques or cash maybe in separate envelopes ready to give to the Teacher's Angel in each class).

8.       Money for market


9.       Design Show entry

10.       Show and Share entries

11.   Your chapter raffle basket


12.   Camera

13.   A few changes of clothes

14   Maybe some underwear

15.   Maybe some makeup

16.   Definitely yourself!

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Show and Share at SAGA Convention

Are you going to be at the SAGA Convention in Winston-Salem? Then why not bring something for the Show and Share display?

Show & Share are items that members are welcome to display. They are finished pieces to show the attendees and public visitors what you as an individual, or as a chapter, have done in the current year. These pieces do not have to be preregistered and there is not an entry fee. Pieces are not judged, but are to be admired and bring inspiration to those in attendance. Please limit yourself to three items. 

Items must be clean and pressed for display. Items may be gently worn or even vintage. Pictures of items may be shown if display space allows. Please provide a doll stand for all dolls wearing garments you have created.

Hangtags will be available at Registration, in Hospi­tality, and the morning of the show at the drop off site.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

What sewing tool do you carry everywhere and why?

Let's find out what sewing tool our teachers take with them everywhere.

Judith Adams:

Tapemeasure. So when out shopping I can measure clothes. My kids give me orders for shirts etc. when I am away so this way I can compare to ones I know fit.

Kathy Awender:

I always try to keep a measuring tape in with me. It has come in handy so many times for so many reasons.

Jeannie Baumeister:

My most favorite stitching tool (besides scissors and needle of course) is the Thimble. I carry it with me for any type of sewing.  I don't know how anyone stitches without one.  It makes your stitching so much faster.  I think everyone should use one.  If you learned to use a fork….you can learn to use a thimble!

Tess Ellenwood:

Scissors.  You never know when you’ll need to cut something. I once got stopped at a security check with six pair of scissors (dress shears, not little thread snips) in my purse. The officer knew there was something wrong with me; but back then, scissors weren’t against the rules, so they let me go. I had been teaching a class at lunch.  You can never have too many scissors.  My name is probably still on a list somewhere.


Cindy Foose:

I am never without my sharp-pointed embroidery scissors. The crown jewel of a stitcher’s treasure chest is a fine pair of scissors sheathed in a pretty case. Actually, I usually have a couple of different kinds of scissors at the ready. Why? Snipping close and with precision is paramount for many finishing techniques.

Susan O’Conner:

Well I can’t say scissors as you still can’t carry those on Australian domestic flights so I would have to say a needle.

Vaune Pierce:

A 6 inch ruler and a pair of small embroidery scissors.  Because you never know when you are going to need them.  The craziest place that I had to make use of them (the scissors) was when I was boating on Shaver Lake with some girlfriends.  We had stopped the boat near the beach and spent the afternoon chatting and (of course) eating.  When it was time to leave, we realized that the anchor rope got caught in the propeller and we had to go underwater and cut the rope a little bit at a time so we could free the propeller to get home.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Quilting British Soldiers

Quilts from the 19th Century are fairly commonplace both in the USA and UK, but there are some quilts that have a mystery about them, like the quilts once believed to have been the work of recovering soldiers, stitched in a far off corner of the British Empire.

It was said that the fabric for the quilts came from the uniforms of fallen comrades (a way to remember them) and the skills from the occupational therapy received in the clean environment of the well-maintained army hospitals. The quilts have been referred to a 'convalescence quilts', showing that the injured soldiers of Queen Victoria were well looked after.

That is what the story used to be, but after further investigation, Annette Gero, an international quilt historian has found out the real story behind the quilts. It is not know who actually made each quilt, apart from the fact they were, indeed, soldiers, but why or what they were used for and how they had the skill nobody really knows.

The quilts were made using many tiny squares and triangles of thick woolen of military uniforms in rich primary colours. Sometimes a hem or buttonhole and outline of pocket can be found. Whether the material is from scraps left by the military tailor or they are from discarded uniforms we do not know.The quilts are geometrical and stitched together with whip stitch. No two have been found with the same design, making it less likely that they were the product of occupational therapy. Some are crude while others are very complicated- the work of a professional, such as the military tailor. Some are from the Crimean War (more drab fabrics, less bright) while others are from time served in Indian (colourful and brighter).

There is evidence that injured soldiers did stitch in their beds as paintings from the time show this, but they also show the patient in a clean, well ordered environment, something totally different from the truth. The paintings were to reassure the public the that the troops received good care. Conditions in the areas where the fighting was, such as the Crimea, South Africa and India were far less sanitary and soldiers often died from infections due to the poor conditions.

There is also no evidence that the fabric came from the clothing of fallen soldiers as none of the quilts show the signs of having distressed fabrics in them. They are too clean to have been made from cloth retrieved from the battle fields. If they were made by bed ridden soldiers they would have to have been taught by the military tailors and supervised.

It is more likely that the quilts were made by soldiers who were bored and needed something to do when not off fighting. The only choices were drinking and gambling after drill practice, which in India took place in the early morning and evening due to the heat. Although that doesn't explain where the skill to make the quilts came from as most men could sew very little. They were supplied with a 'housewife' (hussif) sewing pouch with needles and thread, but to make such wonderful quilts they would have needed to be taught. It might be that they did receive some training to help relieve the boredom and keep the drinking and gambling to a minimum as

idleness was thought to lead to disobedience-not a good thing in your fighting troops.

Unfortunately it is the story of the wounded, recovering soldiers used for propaganda that is documented rather than the real story of the men who actually made the quilts.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

What is the biggest enemy to your creativity?

So today we find out what it is that hinders our teachers in their design work.

Judith Adams:

Probably time. Design Show used to force me to create a special garment each year as I felt it was both a wonderful opportunity and it was a tangible way for me to support SAGA. This year felt very strange as I did not have the panic of creating a garment in perhaps the month before I left for Convention! And this year was the only year I had actually planned what to do 12 months before and designed it in my head after buying a heavily embroidered ribbon at the Houston Quilt Show. The dress with the smocking echoing the design on the ribbon-,that would in turn be the sash looked wonderful in my head! Perhaps another year!

Kathy Awender:

Time. There are so many things I want to stitch, and I keep adding to the list, but I never seem to have enough time to catch up.

Tess Ellenwood:

House work!

Cindy Foose:

Housework and the computer. Dust, dirty dishes, and laundry all work in tandem to stymie my creative efforts along with the time-gobbling gremlins of email, Pinterest, Facebook, online videos and an occasional game of Candy Crush.

Susan O’Conner:

Not enough time.

Vaune Pierce:

My biggest enemy to my creativity is not having enough time, as I am sure we all can relate!  When I am designing something, I usually have the basic idea at the beginning, but as I work on it, my best creative work comes as I am sleeping.  The ideas that I get when I am sleeping are what make my designs go from good to great, at least in my eyes. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

SAGANews Volume 39 Issue 3 is in the mail!

The latest issue of SAGANews is in the mail and this is the cover to look out for.

If you really can't wait for it to arrive then you can view and download the PDF version from the SAGA website (, but remember you have to be a SAGA member to receive the magazine and to be able to access it online!

Friday, August 3, 2018

SAGA Feather Stitch Video

Another SAGA tutorial video has been released to YouTube!

This one is Susan O'Connor demonstrating Feather Stitch. So if you have ever wanted to learn this beautiful stitch often found on baby garments and bonnets, then follow the link to the You Tube video!

Monday, July 30, 2018

What inspires your designs?

Some of our teacher who will be at the SAGA Convention in Winston-Salem tell us how they are inspired.

Judith Adams:

Anything I see that has a regular shape may “plant a seed” for a smocking plate, or it could just create a theme in my mind, such a “bows”. I always come away from SAGA Convention or a workshop feeling inspired to create. I think it is being surrounded by ladies that are just so enthusiastic about smocking and it makes me try and think “outside the box”.


Kathy Awender:

So many things! I have been inspired by advertisements, color combinations, and of course by fabric that begs to made into something special. I also have collections of antique magazines, patterns, clothing, hankies and other textiles and I often look to them for inspiration.


Jeannie Baumeister:

My designs are mainly inspired by old things.  I love old baby clothes.  I examine old baby garments for inspiration and am lucky that many people share their treasured baby clothes with me. Many of my designs/patterns and classes came from garments shared with me.   I am especially drawn to the styles from 1900 through 1940's.


Tess Ellenwood:

Absolutely everything!  One time I based a design on a bar of soap.  When we went to the beach, I took a picture of the dime-store rug in the entranceway of the beach house rental because I really liked the palette; everyone else was snapping pictures of the ocean. Once, a furniture ad inspired a vest.  When I walk through my yard, I take time to look at the really tiny wildflowers, count their petals, and decide which stitches they could be.  I tend to see tiny pieces of things, not necessarily the whole.  I really have a different drummer (maybe we all do, but just don’t realize it), and I like to push the envelope.  As a consequence, I try a lot of stuff that just doesn’t work J


Cindy Foose:

This question makes me laugh! I wish I knew the answer to this question. If pressed for a real answer, I would have to say that visiting museum collections of antique clothes and perusing vintage photos and patterns of children’s clothing. Inspiration can be anywhere; you just have to open your mind to all possibilities.


Susan O’Conner:

All sorts of things – historical embroidery, flowers, periods in history, poems and stories.


Vaune Pierce:

A fabric, a color, a shape.