Coulee Country Chapter

La Crosse, Wisconsin

The Embroiderers' Guild Of America, Inc.

Coulee Country Chapter

La Crosse, Wisconsin

The Embroiderers' Guild Of America, Inc.

2018 Coulee Country EGA Needlework Show

Each year since 1979, the Coulee Country chapter of the Embroiderer’s Guild of America (EGA) has held a needlework show which has grown and evolved into a show that now exhibits well over 100 pieces annually on average. A wide variety of needlework forms are represented each year.

This exhibit and competition is open to all area stitchers, not just EGA members. Below, is all you need to know to join us – as a participant or visitor.

The barest facts:
  • What: The 2018 Annual Coulee Country EGA Needlework Show
  • When: October 4-6, 2018
  • Where: Main Floor Exhibition Space (formerly Swarthout Museum), LaCrosse Public Library, 800 Main St
  • Handicap/stroller accessible: Yes
  • Fees: None
  • Prizes: Ribbons only

The details: Who can participate?

Any living Coulee region stitcher may submit his or her completed work for exhibition and judging. There are no minimum or maximum age limits. Pieces by children and adolescents are displayed in their own area.

What kind of work can be submitted?

An eligible piece is any finished work where needle and thread or yarn embellish a fabric. In most cases, your work will fall into one of 8 categories.

  1. Small cross stitch
  2. Large cross stitch
  3. Hardanger, a traditional Norwegian needleart form
  4. Canvas work, any form stitched on canvas
  5. Surface embroidery
  6. Youth, work in any form by children and adolescents
  7. Counted Thread, any counted form that is not cross stitch, canvas or Hardanger
  8. Quilted items, small items such as table runners, placemats, small wall hangings.

What is an eligible piece of work?

A piece must have been stitched by any living Coulee region stitcher of any skill level and MAY NOT have been entered in any Coulee Country EGA Needlework Show before. It must also be in compliance with all other rules of the show.

What do we mean by ‘finished’?

Essentially, ready to be displayed this instant with no additional work. If it is to be a hung picture, it should be framed and ready to go on the wall, for instance.

How do I know which category my work belongs in? What if I have combined multiple forms of needlework? How do I know if I’ve got a small or a large cross stitch piece – it’s sorta in-between?

EGA committee members doing the intake of entries will determine the appropriate category for all pieces.

When do I need to submit my work and how?

EGA committee members will be accepting pieces on Wednesday, October 3, 2018 at the venue, the Main Floor Exhibition Space of the LaCrosse Public Library’s main branch from Noon until 6pm. Library personnel can direct you if you are unsure where to go.

When you submit a piece, the committee member will have you fill out a brief form. On this form, you will need to put your name, address and phone number. You will write in the name of the piece and which category you believe it belongs in. Committee members will make the final decision as to which category a piece belongs. The committee member will copy some information into our official entrant’s book, make the display label and return the claim ticket from the form to you. DO NOT LOSE THIS CLAIM TICKET!!!! You will need it to reclaim your work at the end of the show. Please make a note of when pieces are to be picked up.

Is there an entry fee?


How many pieces can I enter?

While we have no rule limiting the number of entries each person may submit and do, in fact, encourage multiple submissions, you will want to use your judgment. Do you really want to submit all of your life’s work this year? Remember, you’ll have to haul it all in and out of the venue. Perhaps you will want to submit some this year and some next year.

Is my stuff going to be safe?

A member of EGA will be in the exhibition room at all times during the show. After hours, the room is securely locked and subject to the normal library security measures. No pieces can be removed from the room at any time without the owner showing the entry form claim ticket claim ticket as proof of ownership.

What prize(s) can I win? Can I win more than one?

Up to ten prizes are given out each year. In some years there have been no awards given in categories where there was an insufficient number of entries. The two big prizes are the Festmaster’s Award and the Mrs. Oktoberfest Award. These are awarded by the Festmaster and Mrs. Oktoberfest and are not subject to any specific judging rules. They are simply the pieces they like best. The winners will each receive a fancy, colorful ribbon announcing them as the winners.

People’s Choice Awards are also given for each category where a sufficient number of entries have been received. Each visitor can take a paper ballot and pencil and mark down which piece in each category they like the most. Each display label contains an ID number and this is written on the ballot. The ballot is then placed in a special box. All votes are tallied and People’s Choice Ribbons are displayed with the winning pieces. These ribbons are hand stitched by Coulee Country EGA members and are unique to our show.

The same person may win multiple awards. They may win for pieces in different categories or they may win two awards for the same piece if the Festmaster or Mrs. Oktoberfest award their ribbons to the same piece the people have chosen as their favorite.

Winners receive the ribbons only. NO MONETARY PRIZE IS GIVEN.

When is public viewing? What does it cost to see the show?

Public viewing is free and open to all visitors during regular library hours. This year those hours are on Thursday, October 4 from 9 am to 7 pm, on Friday, October 5 from 9 am to 5 pm and on Saturday, October 6 from 9 am to 2 pm.

What if I have a question about a piece on display? Or about anything?

EGA guild members are always in attendance -- they will be recognizable by the nametags they are wearing -- and possess a vast knowledge of embroidery between them. In the unlikely event they do not know the answer to your question, they will probably have an idea or two where you might find it.

Are the pieces I see for sale?

Not through the show, no. Our Boutique Table does contain small items stitched or created by members which can be purchased. All funds from these sales go to Coulee Country EGA to pay for the costs of putting on the show, for educational programs and for general operating expenses throughout the year.

Can I make a donation to the chapter?

Yes. A box for donations is available but no solicitations for donations will be made.

When do I pick up my pieces after the show?

Submitted work can be picked up on Saturday, October 6 from 2 pm to 4 pm. Please be prompt in retrieval. We have only a short time to return items and clean the venue. Additional staff will be on hand to return items without delay.

REMEMBER! You MUST exchange your entry form claim ticket for each piece for the piece itself. People have spent many hours and sometimes a tidy sum to create these works of art. We are not going to just give them to whoever walks up and says it is theirs. It is a security measure I am sure you can appreciate.

But, my dog ate my entry form claim tickets!!! What do I do now?

You will need to show a photo ID and comparison will be made to the official record of entries. Again, this is to ensure that no one walks off with a valuable piece of art they are not entitled to.

We hope this answers all your questions about our show. If you have a question that was not answered here, please use the “contact” button to reach the webmaster. All emails are responded to within 48 hours.

We hope you will join us this year and every year during Oktoberfest.

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