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Needle Arts Guild of Toledo

A member Chapter of the Great Lakes Region
of The Embroiderers' Guild of America, Inc..
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Virtual Exhibit Categories and Classifications

Please provide the Category and Classification of pieces submitted for our Virtual Exhibit based on the information below.


Please choose one of the following categories for your entry. These definitions are based on the EGA Needlework Glossary.

1. Smocking/Quilting
Smocking is manipulation of fabric into pleats which are held in place by stitches. The surface embroidery holds the gathered fabric in even folds or pleats. The embroidery can be worked to create geometric patterns, or it may be worked to create picture smocking.

Traditionally, Quilting is the joining of two or more layers of cloth together with a batting or filling with stitching to provide warmth, protection or comfort. This may include full bed quilts, or smaller wall hangings or garments. Please indicate where machine or hand techniques were used to create the piece.

2. Silk and Metal
The use of silk and metal threads for embroidery. The embroidery can be worked on any fabric, evenweave, non-evenweave or canvas. Metal threads usually contain some gold, silver or other metal and often must be couched or worked as beads, although some fine Japanese gold and silver can be used as a thread and stitched into the fabric. They may tarnish and work done with these threads is not washable. Examples include true metal threads such as plate, Japanese gold and silver, passing thread or tambour, bullion and purl or Jaceron.

Metallic threads have the appearance of metal threads but are made of synthetic materials (for example, Kreinik threads). These threads are less expensive, often easier to work with, and are washable. Pieces stitched with metallic threads are not eligible for this category unless a substantial amount of metal threads are also used.

3. Counted Cross Stitch
A basic Cross Stitch is two stitches that cross one another diagonally, so the points form a perfect square. Counted cross stitch designs are worked from a chart or graph, with each square on the paper equal to a cross stitch.

4. No Longer Available

5. Canvas Work
Canvas Work, or Needlepoint, is embroidery on open evenweave fabric, including Silk Gauze. It is worked with one stitch, or with a sampling of stitches. In traditional canvaswork, all of the area is stitched.

6. Embroidery
Non-counted techniques, including surface embroidery, usually stitched on a non-countable fabric. Examples include Crewel, Shadow Work, Casalguidi, Stumpwork and Mountmellick embroidery.

7. Children
Only stitchers 16 and under may enter this category. All types of needlework may be entered. Children may choose to enter their work in the appropriate regular category if they wish, where the piece will be judged as an adult.

8. No Longer Available

9. Open Work
Open Work includes a variety of techniques which leave openings in the fabric, usually creating a lace-like appearance. Individual threads may be cut and removed, as with Hardanger, Drawn Thread or Cutwork; or the fabric may be distorted into open areas, as with Pulled Thread.

10. Counted Thread
Embroidery done on easily counted even weave fabrics (such as linen, congress cloth, aida, etc.) not included in other categories, such as Assisi, blackwork, samplers, etc..

11. Beading
This includes beads stitched onto a ground fabric to create a decorative pattern, or stitched together without a ground fabric to create flat graphic designs or three-dimensional sculpted objects. The beads should be the primary design element, not just used to embellish another technique. Loom work, Peyote, Brick and Herringbone stitches are commonly used without ground fabrics.

12. Miscellaneous
Any technique using a needle with an eye to manipulate fibers that does not fit into another listed category. Temari have been included here in the past.

13. Mixed Technique
Two or more techniques combined in one piece. For example: free surface embroidery on canvas-worked ground, or a piece that has substantial amounts of cross stitch and hardanger.

Please note that a piece that has predominantly one technique with small embellishments of a different technique should be entered in the predominant category. For example: a cross stitch piece with a small amount of hardanger should be entered in the cross stitch category; a hardanger piece with a small amount of cross stitch should be entered in the open work category.

The mixed technique category is for pieces that display a significant amount of multiple techniques.


Please choose one of these four options.

An original work is one which, from the beginning, is solely the creative product of the stitcher.

An adaptation is needlework inspired by or based upon a source other than needlework and modified through significant change. Source(s) must be documented.

An interpretation is needlework developed from a needlework design (chart, painted canvas, class project, etc.) and modified by the stitcher through the use of different colors, materials and stitches from the original design. Source(s) must be documented.

Minor color changes, such as a different outline color, may not be interpretations, whereas significant color changes, such as a scheme different from the published design, would be classified as an interpretation.

Commercial designs are works from kits, charts, preworked centers on canvas work, painted canvases following instructions provided. Credit to the artist, company, etc., should always be given when the piece is exhibited.

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This page was last updated on July 5, 2020.