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Exhibit explores embroidery today

Intricate embroidered pieces that took hundreds of hours to create will be on display at the Lincoln Cultural Center this month.
“Embroidery Today” features the work of the Golden Needles Chapter of the Emroiderers’ Guild of America. The exhibit gives the group a chance to show off as well as recruit new members.
With pieces that have taken hours of meticulous work to create, however, nothing will be for sale.
“We don’t sell it because we could never get what they’re worth,” said Jinny Baker, a Lincolnton member of the group.
The Golden Needles is based out of Concord. It has 35 members, who hail from Lincoln, Cabbarus, Iredell and Mecklenburg counties.
They meet once a month to share helpful hints, learn new skills and enjoy time with people like themselves.

Marilyn Helms, who is wearing an embroidered necklace she made herself, arranges work for “Embroidery Today.” The exhibit will be on display until Feb. 28. Chris Dean / LTN Photo

“It’s good to get together with people who share your interest because my husband doesn’t understand it,” said Marilyn Helms, a member. “He thinks it’s too tedious.”
Helms’ husband isn’t alone in that opinion. Embroidering takes patience, concentration and a meticulous nature. That said, members find it relaxing.
“It’s pleasurable,” said Baker. “It’s a way to unwind.”
Most of the women in the club learned embroidery — whether it was needlepoint, hemstitching, hardanger or silk and metal thread work — at “their grandmother’s knee.”
Over the years, they have perfected the craft.
“The quality of work that is taught and exhibited is excellent,” said Carolyn Trail, a member.
Members hope, however, that their work is not too intimidating. While the pieces are impressive, they’re not impossible to do.
Baker says she hopes no one looks at her work and thinks “Oh, I could never do that.”
“That’s not true,” said Baker. “Anyone can do it.”
Not all members learned to embroider as children. Helms picked it up later in life after seeing an exhibit at a local mall.
She hopes “Embroidery Today” has the same effect on someone else.
“We’re hoping that we’ll pick up a member,” she said.
The show will be the group’s first in 12 years. It will include work of all kinds including bags, purses, pictures and doilies.
“(The goal is) mainly to show the public that the Embroiderers’ Guild exists because most people don’t know about it,” said Laura Smith, president of Golden Needles.
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Want to go?
“Embroidery Today” will be on exhibit at the Lincoln Cultural Center in downtown Lincolnton from Feb. 12 to 28. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The exhibit is sponsored by Knit One, Stitch Too of Huntersville.
by Sarah Grano

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