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Dazzling display of needlework comes soon to Heritage Center

By Nancy Grindle | Marion Times | July 26th, 2016

The Embroiderer’s Guild of America, the Cedar Valley Chapter of EGA, and the Marion Heritage Center are working together to present an exhibit of some of the finest needlework from across the United States and Canada. It will be held at the Marion Heritage Center starting on Saturday, August 6. This is the EGA’s 20th National Exhibit – called Through the Needle’s Eye — and it will travel to many locations, residing in each for a number of weeks.

This National Collection includes an award-winning piece created by Sally Olsen, who lives in Cedar Rapids and is a member of the Cedar Valley Chapter. “Celebrate Spring” received the Virginia Miller Memorial Award in honor of “new and exciting uses of materials and embroidery techniques.”

In her description of the piece, Olsen states that she “was inspired by looking through the branches of a redbud tree.” She used sheer fabrics for blossoms and ribbon for branches. Both machine and hand stitches were incorporated on a sticky water-soluble base, which was then dissolved. She added beads to the blossoms and a bobbin lace butterfly.

Olsen has studied with many exceptional teachers and completed the Master Craftsman program in canvas embroidery as well as a nine-part course under Katherine Colwell. She is a member of Fiber Forum.

Olsen became a Cedar Valley EGA member in 1986 and has served on its board in all of the elected positions and several appointed positions. Her work has received many ribbons at the State Fair and has appeared in five national juried exhibits.

Two more of Olsen’s works are in the traveling collection as well, “Stars & Stripes Forever,” and “Recomposition.” More than 70 pieces are in the exhibit and many are for sale.

To create a show with this high quality of design and craftsmanship, the EGA issued a call for entries. Members of EGA and also the public could submit digital images to a jury for consideration. The jurors for this exhibit were Georgann Lane, Cheryl Christian and Tom Lundberg. One other artist besides Olsen received an award. The Diana Grossman Memorial Award went to Florance Mellinger for a work called “A Time for Reflection.” And each juror – Lane, Christian and Lundberg – determined a Choice Award recipient.

The exhibit will be at the Heritage Center from Saturday, August 6, through Saturday, October 8. The admission fee for the special exhibition is $5 for adults and $2 for children ages 6 through 18. Group discounts are available. Cedar Valley EGA members will be on hand during opening weekend as well as at other times to discuss the art and techniques.

More information is available at (for the Cedar Valley group) or at

The Marion Heritage Center is located at 590 10th Street, Marion. Hours are Wednesday through Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. or by appointment. Email: Phone: 319-447-6376.


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