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Carole Lake Obituary

At our January meeting, we shared the news of Carole Lake’s passing. Several of her friends spoke up and shared just a few stories of how much she touched people’s lives. In honor of her talent and selfless service to EGA, we’d like to share her obituary here. We send our deepest condolences to her family and friends.

Carole Holmes Lake died January 5, 2024, in Austin Texas following surgery. Born September 14, 1949, Carole was an Austin native who lived a life of great diversity and accomplishment.
Carole was known by many as a “fierce lady and a force to be reckoned with.” She wielded her snappy wit and razor-sharp tongue to stand up for a diverse group of people who were lucky enough to be her friends. She showed her love and generosity with a tireless devotion. She was known for reaching out to anyone who might not have a place to go for a holiday and welcoming them into her home and life as if they had always been there. No matter how she found her friends, when she engaged them, she became a second home.

Carole graduated from Rice University in 1971. Among her great loves and talents was her passion for stitchwork, in which her aptitude was legendary. She generously shared her love of needlework with friends and students. She was a prolific designer, inspirational teacher, and wrote several books with Michael Boren with whom she founded Stitchplay Designs.

She was a much sought after teacher and taught at multiple regional and national seminars for the Embroidery Guild of America (EGA), the American Needlework Guild (ANG), Callaway, and the National Academy of Needlearts (NAN). In addition to teaching her own brilliant designs, she also conceived of and taught color work theory, needlework design and helped countless people with stitch guides to bring their own needlework to life. Her students describe her as a “phenomenal, warm and generous teacher…Smart and witty with a razor-sharp tongue, a great teacher designer, friend, mentor, and an incredibly talented artist.”

Carole gave generously of her time during her career, serving on National and International Needlework Associations, Teaching Certification Committees and as Chair of the EGA South Central Region Seminars in 1991, 2001 and 2011. In 2017, she received the National Academy of Needlearts Lifetime Achievement Award.

Married to her husband, Larry Lake for 48 years, together they created a cherished family in their children, Leslie and Jeffrey, who shared in the joys of her love, sense of humor, generosity, and uncanny ability to make the most unlikely of strangers a devoted friend with ease. The pride and comfort she found in her children and grandchildren cannot be overstated. Her delight in being with her grandchildren was as clear as it was reciprocated.

Carole is survived by her husband Larry, daughter Leslie of Garland, TX, and son Jeffrey, daughter-in-law Corina, and two granddaughters Livia and Lucia of Austin. Also, by brother David Holmes of Houston and sister-in-law Wendy Holmes of Dallas. She was preceded in death by her parents Robert Holmes and Mary Sue Kerbow, and brother Robert Holmes Jr.

We will be honoring Carole with a Celebration of Life held on Saturday January 27 which will be held at 2 pm at The Church of Highland Park, 5206 Balcones Dr., Austin, TX 78731.

Carole was an avid supporter of the Texas Performing Arts. In lieu of flowers donations to the Texas Performing Arts youth program are encouraged to assist in keeping generations to come enjoying the fine arts that Carole so cherished.

Making 2024 Count

Happy New Year, stitchy friends!

We’re ringing it in by starting off with a bang. Our chapter is featured on the EGA National website, thanks to the success of our Girl Scout Teaching Program. This makes me a proud Prez for two reasons: we’ve been increasingly successful teaching today’s youth about needlework…and we’re sharing how we do it with our fellow chapters all across the country. I love how passionate our chapter is about sharing our love of needlework AND helping our stitchy friends within EGA to make their own chapters successful. Huge thanks go out to Debra Bessent for writing the program manual and creating the program, and to Lisa Slay for everything she’s done on the Outreach team to get the program out there and get troops scheduled for class. The Outreach team has done a great job supporting the program as well, which wouldn’t be successful without all the hard work that goes into it. I can’t wait to see how many young lives we touch in 2024!

While we’re talking about Girl Scouts, get ready for some fun at our February General Meeting…because they’ll be there…with COOKIES! It’s cookie season for the Scouts, which is why we’re not teaching classes at the moment. They’re focusing all their energy on selling box after box of delicious cookies, so we invited them to stop by and sell to us! Did you know calories don’t count when you eat Girl Scout cookies at an EGA meeting? Facts.

We’re also going to learn how to make cording and tassels at our February General Meeting, which are useful skills for finishing your beautiful work. Bring an old hotel room key with you…or those dummy credit cards we all get in the mail. They’re the perfect size for this lesson.

Our March meeting has me even more excited because it’s our annual STASH SALE!!!! If you have stash you’d like to sell, you can rent a table for $20. Our chapter makes money off the table rentals, you keep all your sales – unless you’d like to donate some of your sales to the chapter as well…we’re never going to turn that down. 🙂

The new year also means our Bingo game is back! Last year, Sherri Hagar managed a very fun Bingo challenge and Anna Todd picked it up this year. She’s given us new squares to work on…so if you participated last year you won’t get bored this year! There are four different Bingo cards to choose from or you can play them all. They’re $5 each. If you missed the meeting this month, don’t fret – you can buy your Bingo cards here on the website and Anna can send you the pdf versions of your cards OR you can pick up the hard copy versions at our next meeting. She’s given you lots of ways to pay and participate…so get your booty into Bingo, y’all!

I hope you had a safe and happy transition into 2024. Here’s wishing all of us a happy and prosperous new year!

Three Cheers for the Outreach Team!

What is Outreach in EGA? In the Fort Worth Chapter, it’s a lot of things: enabling the future stitchers of the world by teaching the art of stitching, promoting the many benefits of EGA membership to potential members, and engaging with our community to make it a better place. That’s not a one person job. In our chapter’s case, it’s a THREE person job!

Our members Lisa Slay, Deb Preissinger, and Garrett Kilgore are the three volunteers behind the Outreach team. We’re celebrating them in this blog post because they’ve gone and did it again: this time, they’ve created the Newbie News Flash video series. What’s more, they’ve launched our new YouTube channel in the process…a feat that’s been on my “to do” list since December. AND they’ve been featured in the EGA National blog on the website. You can check it out here.

Each month, the team will share a new Newbie News Flash video for our chapter members. We’ll also use the YouTube channel to share lots of other fun needlework escapades we get into in Fort Worth.

If you haven’t done it yet, hop over to our new YouTube channel and check out the first video in the series. It’s all about EGA National’s lending library, a benefit we all enjoy as active EGA members. And please make sure you hit that SUBSCRIBE button before you leave!

Speaking of Outreach, the next focused donation drive for the Safe Haven shelter will be school supplies. Please bring new school supplies for donation to our August meeting or you can drop them in our donation bin at The Stitch Niche any time during their business hours.

Volunteers are the key to making EGA a success and I hope you’ll join me in applauding our Outreach team, as well as every officer on our Board and every chair on our committees, for spending their valuable time making our chapter the best in the west!

“Water” Workshop

Need the info for our September workshop? You’re in the right spot!

“Water” is a design by Kathy Brees that will be taught to our chapter in a one day workshop by Gail Anderson from Fancy Stitches. Here’s everything you need to know before you sign up:

The cost to each member is $25. The workshop will be held on Saturday, September 16th at First Methodist Church in Crowley, Texas. The deadline to sign up is July 10th.

Ready to sign up? You can click here to complete your registration form.

How to Pay

If paying by check, please bring your check to our July 1 meeting. You can pay electronically here. Please note that we’ve added the processing fee that we’re charged in order to process electronic payments.

Let’s Get Patriotic!

Hey, y’all!

I’m super excited to share the project we’ll be doing at our July meeting on Saturday, July 1st…because it’s designed by one of our own: Anna Todd! Anna has designed this super cute cross stitch pattern, which we’ll receive at the July meeting. You’ll need to finish it in July and then bring it back in August because we’ll learn how to finish it at the August meeting.

Please bring your own 28 count fabric (or 14 count Aida) to the meeting and kits containing threads, pattern, and a hoop will be provided to all current members.

You must be a current member of our chapter in order to get the pattern. The piece is 50 x 49 stitches.

Also, please be aware that our meeting in July will not be at the Junior League of Arlington, as they’re always closed in July. The Chapter Calendar has the correct information:

Hope to see you all soon!


It’s Retreat Time!

Hello, stitchy friends!

It’s official: you can now register for our chapter’s members only retreat: Stitch Away!!! You must be a current member of the Fort Worth chapter of EGA in order to register AND attend. That means you must currently be a member when you sign up and you must also be a current member when the retreat happens in July. I’m just be’in clear, my darlings…we love our chapter members!!!

This year’s retreat is July 20 -23rd at the Marriott at Champion’s Circle in Fort Worth. All the information is on the registration form, which you can get right here. If you’re using a credit card to pay your registration fee, you can do that here. If you’d rather mail a check or use Zelle there are instructions on the form.

If you’ve never been to one of our members only retreats before, you are in for a TREAT! We have so much fun. Stitching! Games!! Door prizes!!! Also lots of talking, visiting, stitchy-related schmoozing, you name it.

We hope you’ll join us this year…it’s always such fun!

All About Stitch In Public Days

I love it when our new members ask questions! There’s a lot to absorb when you join EGA and I know from first-hand experience that it can be overwhelming. One of our lovely members recently asked me how Stitch In Public days work, and I feel like the blog here on our main page is the perfect space to share that info. If you have questions about anything in our chapter, our region, or EGA in general I encourage you to post a comment below. You might just inspire the next blog post!

Stitch In Public day, technically speaking, is an annual event that is observed in February. But you know how we are in the Fort Worth chapter…once a year is not enough! We love meeting up and stitching anywhere, but stitching in public often gives us the opportunity to make new stitchy friends. Here are more details on how our chapter Stitch In Public (SIP) days work.

Who Plans SIP days? Any member can plan a SIP day…even you! All you need to do is pick a location, a day and time, and reach out to one of our Outreach Team members so they can share the information for you. We’ll post it on Facebook and I’ll share it in the next email update. Not sure who that is? Ask any member of the Board. You’ll find us in the Yearbook, which you were emailed when you joined or you can use the Contact Us space here on the website.

Why Aren’t We Having SIP at Grounds & Gold Anymore? Well…we haven’t stopped having them there, we’re just giving different locations a try. Since we’re the Fort Worth chapter, we try to keep our activities on the Tarrant County side of the DFW Metroplex. There are many small businesses and other venues for us to meet at, and our members live all over the Metroplex, so it’s nice to spread out and have SIP in a variety of locations, as well as different days of the week and times of day. We’ll definitely be back at Grounds & Gold…we love them…but with over 90 members in our chapter we like to spread our stitchy vibes broadly so everyone has a chance to participate.

How Often Are SIP days? We love to have at least one a month, but sometimes that’s not possible. You’re not likely to see too many during the winter holidays, for example. But since any member is free to plan a SIP day, you’ve got the power! Trust me, if you put your hand up to “host” one there will be members coming to stitch with you.

Our next SIP day is Thursday, April 13th at 6 pm at Avoca Coffee Roasters in Fort Worth. You can find all the info on our Chapter Calendar and also in our Facebook Group.

I think I’ve covered the basics on SIP days, but if I haven’t please feel free to post a comment below so I can answer you. SIP days are super fun and you never know who we’ll meet. It’s a really fun way to get our favorite art form a little attention from the general public and it’s always great to make new friends.

March Update

Hello, stitchy friends!

Our March Meeting/Stash Sale was a huuuuge success! Congratulations to everyone who made it so popular. We’ve received overwhelming feedback that the Stash Sale should be a twice a year thing. We’re looking into it!

We have some exciting opportunities coming up:

Stitch In Public Day

Our next Stitch In Public Day is Saturday, March 25th from 8 am to 10 am at Brewed in Fort Worth. You can grab the address from the Chapter Calendar here on the website or on Facebook. You can also reach out to any member of the Outreach Team for more info: Lisa Slay, Kari Franklin, or Katie Leiferman.

April Program: Mystery Finish!

Our April General Meeting is Saturday, April 1st at 9:30 am at the Junior League in Arlington. We’re doing a mystery finish, so make sure you get that pre-work done! You can download the pattern here.

Kroger Shoppers: We need you!

If you have a Kroger shopper’s card, you can link it so our chapter gets a small donation from Kroger with every shopping trip you make! Simply click this link to start the process. Our NPO is  NQ284. Questions? Reach out to Anna Todd for more info!

There’s Always Time…for BINGO!

If you’re new to the chapter, you may not know about our BINGO fundraiser! Cards are $5 each and there are 4 different cards. You can buy cards at any meeting…then complete the stitchy goals on the cards in order to get BINGO. At the end of the year, members with BINGO can earn some really fun prizes! See Sherri Hagar for all the details.

Board Meeting Coming Up!

Our next Board Meeting is Monday, March 27th at 6:30 pm on Zoom. All members are welcome to attend, so if you’d like to be there please email our President so that you get the Zoom link. 🙂 You can reply to any email you’ve received from the President of our chapter!

As always, feel free to reach out at any time if you have questions or concerns.

February Update

Hello, stitchy friends!

I can’t believe we’re nearly halfway through February already. Time is flying by! I hope you’ve had some time to stitch. I haven’t had as much as I’d like, if I’m being honest, but I’ve been having other adventures…like my recent trip to London to see the Royal School of Needlework’s exhibit “A Girl’s Education in Stitch”. I’ll share details on that in another post soon. Today I’m here to share what’s going on in our chapter.

MORE new members! Question: how many stitchy friends is too many? Answer: there is no such thing as too many stitchy friends! We’re growing again, y’all, and as of 8 pm on February 13th, we have 82 wonderful members in our chapter. WOW! In the words of our amazing Treasurer/Membership ninja Anna Todd: “Can we get to 85?”

I’m not going to share their names on the website, as we’re still figuring out some of the finer points of communicating here, but I’m sure you’ll meet them at the next meeting or two…or maybe on a WIP Wednesday one night!

Speaking of new members, the “Facebook Memories” feature on Facebook recently reminded me of one of my favorite Stitch In Public days our chapter has ever had. If you’ve never heard of Stitch In Public before, it’s just an excuse for us all to get together and stitch…in a public place where people can look over and think to themselves “Wow! What a cool bunch of people over there. Look at all those amazing things they’re stitching. We should go over and say hi!”

On this particular SIP day, many friends were made – and by the end of our time together we had 3 new members. We even decided to take our new friends over to the Stitch Niche to introduce them to one of the amazing local needlework shops in the DFW area. Every time I see these pictures, I’m reminded of the reason I love our chapter so much: the friendships we make. I know life gets busy and messy…and I know it’s not always easy to get to our monthly meetings…but I do hope that all of our members take the opportunity to participate in the many activities our chapter has to enjoy. We’re all joined by the common thread of our love for this art form. I am so grateful that we continue to get new members and make new friends!

Upcoming Events. I’ve updated the Chapter Calendar with the latest events, including our next Stitch in Public day (this Saturday), and our Stash Sale. Be sure to check it out!

While we’re at it, I wanted to point out a very annoying issue on our calendar. Right now, you can view three months at a glance…but what a glance! As you can see by the example below, the months bleed into each other and make it hard to read. Just in case you’ve noticed it too, I want you to know I’m working on figuring this out and I hope to have it resolved soon.

Reminder: Donate Items for Stitching Texas “Opportunity Knocks” basket. Jeanne Maxwell is working on gathering donations for the gift basket we’ll raffle off at the next Stitching Texas retreat. If you have any stitchy stash or stitching gift related items you’d like to donate, please reach out to Jeanne. If you want to add an extra bit of flair, it’ll be helpful to share that this year’s theme is monarch butterflies…but you’re not required to donate items with butterflies on them. You can find Jeanne’s contact information in the Member Yearbook. If you don’t have the Yearbook or can’t find your copy (it’s a pdf file you were emailed when you joined…and it’s also updated and emailed to all members annually), please feel free to reply to any President’s emails you’ve received and ask me for a copy. That goes for any questions, really. Need something? Just yell!

March Program: Our Big Public Stash Sale! Who is ready? This is going to be so fun. Here’s how it’ll work: members who want to sell their stash, craft supplies, or stitching related gifts/items can buy a table for $10. There is no sign up list and no need to reserve a table. You can roll up to our March 4th meeting with all your stuff and pay your $10 on the day of the sale. From 9:30 am to 10:30 am, we’ll have a quick meeting. At 10:30 am, members will be allowed to set up their sales tables. The sale will run from 11 am to 1 pm, then clean-up will happen from 1 pm to 2 pm. If you’re selling, it’s up to you what types of payment you accept. And yes…you can split a table with one or more members if you don’t have enough to fill a whole table. Questions? Reach out to our Vice President of Programs, Debra Bessent, for more info.

February EGA Stitch A Long Facebook Group Project. For those of you on Facebook, EGA National has a Stitch A Long group that provides free monthly projects for everyone. The group is open to everyone whether they’re a member of EGA or not. This month’s project is called “Fill Your Hearts With Stitching” and it involves stitching a mini embroidery hoop pendant or ornament. You can find the group here.

April’s Program…it’s a Mystery! If you were at our last meeting, you got a copy of Sherri Hagar’s cross stitch pattern for our mystery finish project in April. If not, here’s your chance. Click here to download the pdf of the pattern. Between now and our April meeting, stitch this up in any color combination you’d like. Sherri will guide us through finishing it into a fun mystery shape at the April meeting. So what are you waiting for…get stitching!

Until next time…happy stitching!