Set the table Kashubian style

Twenty-six participants tried Kashubian embroidery at the Opeongo Seniors Centre in Barry’s Bay on January 10. The free workshop was led by tutors Catherine Bloskie, Joyce Lorbetskie and Theresa Prince (above from left, displaying embroidery samples) who are members of the Kashubian Embroidery Club that meets at Wilno Heritage Park during July and August. This time, the trio were teaching the traditional needlecraft as part of “The Handmade Feast – We set the table for …” art installation. The Handmade Feast, a project of Ottawa Valley Creative Arts Open Studio (OV-CAOS), involves artist-led workshops throughout the Valley where participants learn how to create all the elements of a table setting. The goal on Friday was to use Kashubian embroidery techniques on a table napkin.

The eager participants varied in age, gender and sewing experience. Each person received a kit containing an unadorned napkin with a pre-printed design, thread, needle, handy needle-threader, embroidery hoop, diagrams, instructions and background information. The participants learned about the elegant simplicity of the Żukowo style (there are about a dozen Kashubian styles) and the meaning behind its limited palette (seven basic colours). During the afternoon, the tutors not only demonstrated to the group as a whole, but also circulated among the tables to ensure everyone received some one-on-one encouragement and instruction. Progressing at their own speed, most attendees had learned the stem, satin and satin leaf stitches, and how to make French knots, and ended the workshop by happily comparing their napkins.


Anya Gansterer OV-CAOS Co-creative Director (standing) welcomes participants .    Right: embroidered bookmarks sold at Wilno Heritage Park.


Samples of embroidered napkin and tablecloth (left) and placemat (right)


Left: needle-threaders were provided to participants. Right: everyone worked at their own speed

The Handmade Feast offers two remaining workshops (Candle-making on Feb.11 in Palmer Rapids, and Mixed Media  Collage placemats on Mar. 6 in Killaloe) before everyone is invited to the community feast that takes place at the North Street Community Centre, 12 North Street, Killaloe on Saturday March 29. The project has received funding from New Horizons, and workshops are open to everyone although priority is given to those over 60. To register for workshops or the feast, please click HERE to visit

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