SOFAAR Annual General Meeting 2021

Normally SOFAAR holds its AGM in March but given the present Covid-19 restrictions in Nova Scotia the Board of Directors has delayed the meeting until it is safe for all members to attend. The Nova Scotia Registry of Joint Stocks informs us that if a meeting cannot be held according to the current Health Protection Act Order it enables a society to postpone it for a further 90 days after the state of emergency is lifted.

Everything decided on at the March, 2020, AGM remains in place until we are able to meet safely. The Directors remain the same and financial statements and other documents are sent to the registry after we hold our AGM.

An important part of our AGM is our spectacular Stash Sale and Give-away and the stash is continuing to grow with generous donations from our members and friends. We look forward to meeting with you all, not only to tend to the necessary annual business of the society but to find good homes for the fabric and fibre that has been collected so far.

Coming Up -- April 10: 1 to 2 P.M.

 Virtual Saturday Snips 

Since in-person groups are still not possible, we're continuing with our virtual sessions for our April Saturday Snips. Please join us on Zoom at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 10, for a bit of socializing and project sharing. You can come in your jammies! And you can work on a project while you're "zooming" -- just as if you were at an in-person meeting.

Use the link below to join via your computer or download the app onto your device. It’s pretty simple but there's also detailed online help directly from Zoom. We HIGHLY encourage you to read this first if you have any questions as they cover most of the platforms and browsers available. You should find yours on that page.

If you want to test your connection before the meeting, please go ahead. Once you connect, you will be placed into a ‘waiting room’ so you can test anytime. On the actual day of the live meeting, you will still enter the waiting room to be ‘admitted’ about five minutes before the meeting starts.

Take advantage of the waiting room feature to sign in a bit early to the actual meeting. If you should run into any issues, Aprille Janes, who hosts the ZOOM meeting, will be available 30 minutes before the meeting to help. Feel free to call her at 902-824-1926.

And that’s it! You’re zooming!

How to Join a Virtual Meeting

You have 2 choices on how to join:

1) By PC or MAC:
Click on this link  and download the free software. If this is your first time, allow a few minutes to get setup.

2) Smart Phone or Tablet
Go to your APP store and download the ZOOM app for Cloud Meetings.
Use Meeting ID: 393 681 8347



We all wish to stay connected through our love of fibre. And we all miss being together.

How about joining a virtual collective fibre project for the rest of this year?

The idea is for all registered participants to work on the exact same image as a project.

We would meet together via Zoom at an agreed upon time every couple of weeks to talk about our interpretation of the image and our progress.

Here are the details:

OBJECTIVE: Staying connected through a common project

TITLE: Trailing Threads


IMAGE: Mayflower or Trailing arbutus (hence the project name). Nova Scotia’s provincial flower.

REGISTRATION DATE: by April 1st, 2021 to

FINISH DATE: December 31st, 2021


1. Every participant uses the exact same image.
2. Coloured image (as seen above) is provided in a .pdf to all registered participants.
3. Size may be altered but colouring is to remain the same.
4. Any and all fibre and any and all techniques can be used, including but not limited to: embroidery, needlepoint, hooking, quilting, cross-stitch, appliqué, crochet, knitting, beading, felting, lace-making, etc.
5. Finished piece can take any form: rug, hanging, framed piece, chair pad, 3D stand alone, quilt, wearable art, etc. Limited only by imagination.
6. Participants work on their piece on their own time but every two weeks, participants meet via Zoom at an agreed time to discuss their work and their challenges and show their progress.
7. Participants MUST agree to attend the Zoom meetings to meet the objective of the project (see above).
Of course, once or twice, maybe, someone might have a conflict and miss a session.
8. Participants may create more than one finished piece in more than one technique.
9. Pieces must be finished by December 31st, 2021
10. A SOFAAR exhibit of all the pieces may be possible in the spring of 2022.

NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS: unlimited, but you must be a SOFAAR member. Participants will all be contacted via e-mail the first week in April to set up a time and day for the Zoom meetings.

COST: There is no cost. The project is open to all SOFAAR members and each participant provides their own materials.

If you would like to be a part of this collective stitch-along, please fill out the registration form and send it to Christine Igot. You can also find the registration form here on the Members' Only page of the SOFAAR website. The password is sofaarsogood. Or you can request a form from Christine by e-mail. You'll need to print it, complete it, scan it, and e-mail or snail mail it to Christine.


Members’ Exhibition 2021

SOFAAR presents Our Architectural Heritage

This is the last opportunity to remind you that SOFAAR will hold its members’ exhibition at the Chapel Gallery of ARTsPLACE, Annapolis Royal, from April 21 – June 6, 2021.

This is not a juried show but we ask that you send us a full digital image of your work for each entry along with the title, size, materials used and artist statement to by April 14, 2021. This helps us plan the layout of the show before the installation.

You will find the call for entry and full set of guidelines for this year’s exhibition on our website,, under Exhibits; on our Facebook page; and in the November/December 2020 newsletter, Snippets. If you have any questions or require further information, please contact us at

Member News

Christine Igot has her first finish of 2021 --this Strawberry Thief pillow in embroidery with strawberries appliquéd. Strawberries are made by embroidering French knots on to a separate fabric.
This is a kit by Natalie Richards of Paintby Threads. Strawberry Thief

is a William Morris design. For more information about the design, see Christine's article, Strawberry Thief, below.

We have this news from Frances Veinot: I have been on a quilting binge to say the least. I gave each of my children and grand children a card at Christmas and inside I had a picture of a quilt. I added a note “coming soon, but it won’t look like this one”. They know they are getting a quilt but have no idea what it will look like. I am now in the process of piecing six quilts, one is at the quilting stage, two are pieced tops, one is waiting to be cut and two are still in the planning stage, but that will come. When I tire of “living quilts” I take a break and crochet or work on an art project. Here are two table runners that I have completed recently while on break.

First I had purchased fabric from Deb Howard’s shop, it contained fat quarters in Robert Khaufman Christmas prints. I am so excited with my new stash! There was a piece with poincettias on it but they weren’t complete circles of the flower so I had this wonderful idea to place them along the border to look as if they were peeking out of an envelope or from behind a border. Well, I am happy with my completed project. The back is just the gold border fabric from the front.

Second, I belong to another quilt group and we were challenged some months ago to do something with half square triangles. So I came up with this runner idea, but I don’t really care to just put a single piece of fabric on the back of my runners but prefer to make them reversible if possible, so I pieced two of the colours from the front to make a more interesting back.

Now after this “rest” I am back to my family’s quilts. And I am looking forward to the “spring” challenge for SOFAAR as well as the architectural challenge we have from last year.



Julia Archer hooked this piece for her friend who loves beaches but was unable, due to Covid, to make her annual trip to Nova Scotia.






Julia has been busy! She was inspired to do this felting for a recent art exhibit at Round Hill Studio called Palate: Comfort Food. Julia's mom wasn't a baker but she often made this dessert for when the ladies came for bridge. Julia says she doesn't have her Mom anymore but she's happy to have the cake plate she served it on. And she's very pleased that the piece sold at the exhibit. 


Having just finished the cake, Julia decided to turn her attention to what other goodies she could felt. In her career as a package designer, she redesigned the Peek Freans cookie package lineup 4 times at different studios. So doing the "assorted cremes" was a perfect choice. As she ponders what food to tackle next, she's giving some thought to having a little business... maybe called The Felted Foodie.







Tammy Sanford-Hutchinson made this Valentine ribbon wreath back in late January. She says the materials have been in the works for a couple of years now and she finally sat down to get it done!






Members' Challenge

The members' challenge for the March/April issue was Spring! We're ready for a little warmth and sunshine. The guidelines called for any project depicting a spring scene or using spring colours. We hope these entries will brighten your day.




Nancy MacIntosh evokes spring with this piece exploring using felted wool as appliqué. 

Aprille Janes completed the fourth quilt in her Birch Seasons series and appropriately enough, it was Spring. While out driving last spring, she paid attention to what that early spring 'haze' looked like from a fibre point of view and thought 'French knots'. Many knots later, this was the result. She's quite happy with it but not sure if she's ready to take on French knots again for awhile. Check out the knots in the detail image, below right.



Christine Igot just finished this needlepoint of “Snowdrops”, which is very appropriate for spring.

Christine says it has actually been finished for a little while but she has finally stretched it, filled in the missing stitches and signed it! It now needs to be made into a pillow that will sit on the bed.

Tammy Sanford-Hutchinson submitted this Bargello stitch project for the Spring challenge.

She says: Searching through some magazines and craft books for something a little bit different for this challenge I found this pattern called Tropic Skies in The Cross Stitcher, April 2006 issue. Rather than skies, it reminded me of spring tulips so I decided to try stitching it. Bargello stitch looks pretty simple as this stitch uses a satin stitch to create a stepped design. This pattern is a four-way design and was created by turning the cloth and repeating the same design in each of the four directions.

This type of stitching sure does keep you on your toes because any mistake made and your stitches do not match up to the next section. I think that for every two stitches, I unstitched an additional stitch to correct a mistake. Even so, I really enjoyed creating this piece using a technique outside my norm.



This is Julia Archer's work in progress for the spring theme. She also made up 7 kits to send to her firend in Ontario and did a Zoom afternoon with her friends teaching them the basics of felting.




Grace Butland loves seeing all the red-winged blackbirds around Annapolis Royal's French Basin trail in spring. Here's her rendition, inspired by a recent on-line workshop with Mandy Pattullo through the Textile Artists Stitch Club.





Next Challenge

The next challenge is Nature, deadline May 15, to be published in the May/June issue of Snippets. Warmer weather means we can all spend more time in nature. Animal, vegetable or mineral, we're all part of it. What represents "nature" to you? 

Send submissions to

Goals Challenge

We also issued a Goals and Resolutions challenge for our Jan/Feb issue.  We asked you to send us a few words about your fibre plans for the new year. Aprille Janes missed that challenge deadline but just submitted this:This coming year, my goal is to play with the intersection of painting and fibre. That may look like whole cloth, painted quilts or something else entirely, because that word 'play' is the real goal. Experiments and fun. After 2020, I need more fun!

It's not too late to send us your 2021 fibre goals -- We'd like to hear from you anytime. Send to

William Morris and the Strawberry Thief Design

by Christine Igot

William Morris is part of my life though he died 125 years ago. His philosophy of design and “truth to nature” are very important to me. The trending movement of “sew bros” with a few celebrity males being celebrated for knowing how to mend a hem or sew on a button have nothing on what this man could do and did.

Morris died in 1896, at the young age of 62, having founded the British Arts and Crafts movement. He was a poet, a novelist, a painter, an architect, a textile and wallpaper designer, a weaver, an embroiderer, a dyer, a book-binder and a shop owner. He was a member of the second-wave of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood along with his life-long friend the painter Sir Edward Burne-Jones. Morris was also a socialist who believed that art was everyone’s birthright and must be shared.

He is famous for the following quote in a speech called “The Beauty of Life” that he gave in 1880: “have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful”.

In his short life, Morris designed 600 patterns for wallpaper, textiles and embroideries. One of those designs is The Strawberry Thief from 1883.

The inspiration for this design came about as Morris watched the little thrushes swoop down into his beloved garden at Kelmscott Manor and steal the strawberries. He would never have the birds harmed and their thievery led to this much-loved design. Morris drew the foliage and his architect friend Philip Webb drew the birds.
The production of this design was a triumph for Morris as it marked his perfecting of the indigo-discharge technique of printing on which he was working at Merton Abbey (his dye workshop). It is said his hands and arms, up to his elbows, were permanently dyed blue at this time of his creativity.

Morris produced his own prints in order to avoid the industrialisation of the decorative arts that was taking place in the 1880s. With the wood blocks, the pattern would have taken days to print and was one of his most expensive cottons. It proved, however, to be one of his most commercially successful repeating patterns. The photo below is of one of the original Morris wood blocks used to make the Strawberry Thief pattern. (Collection of the V and A, London). 

The pattern begins with two blue-winged thrushes facing away from each other; each one with a strawberry in her mouth. Blue matching foliage swirls up and away from them and above there are two more pink-winged thrushes facing each other and a beautiful pink flower. The image repeats so it can also be viewed as the two blue-winged thrushes facing each other and a big blue flower. 

This is the part of the image that Natalie Richards of Paint by Threads chose for her own interpretation of Morris’ Strawberry Thief which she produces as an embroidery kit that I have just finished stitching in satin stitch, long and short stitch, stem stitch and French knots. (see Member News, above)

Strawberry Thief is an enduring (copyright free) design that can be found everywhere now on home décor products from tea towels to place mats to tablecloths and curtain fabric.

Another beautiful embroidery interpretation of Strawberry Thief is called “Morris Magic” and can be found in the new “Inspirations A Passion for Needlework” book. The design is by Brenda Sortwell: Contrary to Natalie Richards work done with DMC pearl cotton, this one will be done in crewel wool and is more intricate. I’m just waiting for the threads to arrive!


You Really Should Check These Out!

There have been lots of interesting on-line articles about fibre arts recently. Thanks to our members who sent the following items of interest. If you see an article or reference that interests you, chances are your fellow SOFAAR members would be interested also, so please send it along to share.




Thanks to Cathy Malon for this article on Dr. Jill Biden's Inauguration Evening Dress. It had flowers from all 50 states plus the US territories embroidered on it, with the flower of Delaware sewn near her heart and the other flowers branching out from it.

Designed by Gabriel Hearst, the materials used were existing available fabrics to minimize the impact on the environment.

Google "Jill Biden's Inauguration Gown" for lots of yummy images.







Rachael Cheechoo sent along this link to a article on UK artist Caroline Nixon, who is known for her botanical eco-printing and stitching.





American artist Hillary Waters Fayle creates beautiful designs by stitching colourful threads into leaves. Thanks to Christine Igot for sending this link to an article in The Guardian.


Here's another interesting article, also sent along by Rachael Cheechoo, this one on how to start and enhance a stitcher's creativity.






And thanks to Christine Igot for sharing this article and images from a young artist named Madison who wants to normalize normal bodies.









Erica Wilson was a huge influence on American Crewel work and embroidery in the 1970s and 1980s. The Winterthur Museum is having a virtual exhibit of her embroidery. You'll find lots of info about her career and photos of her work here.

Just check out these boots made in bargello stitch.

Thanks, Christine Igot, for the link.





It's A Pin Loom

In our last issue, we asked for help in identifying this item.

Thanks to everyone who wrote in! Many people recognized it as either a type of weaving loom or a frame on which to mount the heavier canvases used in rug hooking or needlepoint. 

Both our President, Céleste Thibodeau-Stacey and our newest member, Grace Keating, seem to have "nailed it" exactly when they identified it as a pin frame.

Indeed, searching this name reveals lots of photos of this sort of frame as well as the fact that Pin Loom Weaving is making a comeback! Check out this Interweave site for just one source.

- Cathy Malon


Member Resources

Be sure to check the Members Only page on our SOFAAR website for members' resources -- how-to articles, our lending library, etc. We've just added instructions on how to make hand-made paper from paper scraps -- thanks to Tammy Sanford-Hutchinson for the instructions.

Making Things Easier

Is it time to renew your membership? Don't forget -- you can now pay your dues by e-transfer to What's easier than that?


(Slightly) New Look

You may have noticed a few small changes in the look of Snippets this month. That’s because we’ve changed our mail program from MailChimp to Cyberimpact. Cyberimpact is a Canadian company and is therefore subject to Canada’s more stringent privacy laws than MailChimp, which is a US company. We’ve updated our privacy policy to reflect this change. You can find the updated privacy policy on SOFAAR’s website,

The deadline for the May/June 2021 issue of Snippets is May 15, 2021. Please send submissions to the editor at snippets@sofaar.caWe welcome your input and we're always happy to have members write articles about topics of interest. (If you'd like to write an article please contact the editor). We'd love to have your feedback.


Your SOFAAR Board

Céleste Thibodeau-Stacey, President

Cathy Malon, Co-Secretary

Aprille Janes, Vice President

Tammy Sanford-Hutchinson, Co-Secretary

Rachael Cheechoo, Treasurer

Julia Archer
Grace Butland
Sharon Moody
Barbara Nutley Hunter
Gail Robertson







Remember to check the SOFAAR website,,

frequently for up-to-date information on all SOFAAR activities. Please like us on Facebook.

SOFAAR’s sponsors offer discounts to our members and support our events.Please support them with your business when possible.Please check websites or Facebook pages to determine business hours/services during COVID.

Gaspereau Valley Fibres 30 Gaspereau River Road, Gaspereau

10% discount on regularly priced yarn & fibre

Printwright Printing Services 205 Centennial Drive, Bridgetown

20% discount on printing services

V&S – Bridgetown 14 Queen Street, Bridgetown

10% discount on selected items

Wools on the Corner 23 Queen Street, Bridgetown

10% discount on regularly priced merchandise