As of this fall, the YWCA Princeton’s Needlework Class will no longer be offered. Instructor, Jane Sweeney, who has been teaching this popular class for the past 30 years, will be moving on. Many of her students have said, “It feels like the end of an era”.
Since 1987, Jane Sweeney has taught a wide variety of needlework techniques and designs, including needlepoint, Hardanger embroidery, crewel work, Brazilian embroidery, and many more. Her class was always conducted in an informal way, allowing students to bring their ongoing projects for help and advice. Jane, who has a degree in design and color, is especially talented at pulling appropriate threads and colors for a given project, and at envisioning particular stitches that will make the design look more realistic. Many of her students have been coming to class for 20+ years and comment that they don’t dare move ahead too long without Jane’s supervision, as she so often has excellent suggestions and they really make a difference to the end result. Beginners were also always welcome, and Jane very happily taught them a series of introductory stitches, while encouraging them and giving them confidence to select and begin a project of their own.
One of Jane’s special talents is her genuine interest in each of her students’ projects, treating them practically as her own. When attending a sale or visiting a new shop, she often calls or texts a student, saying that she has found the perfect bead, charm, thread or canvas for her latest project. She is known for going the extra mile to help students design a stocking from scratch, transfer a favorite illustration or photograph onto canvas; no challenge is too difficult for Jane! Moreover, she freely shares her network of framers and finishers to showcase finished work in trays, boxes or frames, or as pillows, ornaments, stockings, belts, brick covers, footstool and seat cover, and many other small accessories.
Jane, who began stitching at the age of five under her grandmother’s tutelage, has demonstrated her lifelong passion for stitching by making countless personal gifts for friends and family, as well as veritable works of art to decorate her home.
One of the founding members of the Princeton Chapter of the Embroiderers’ Guild of America (EGA), Jane became an EGA certified teacher in 1983 and went on to become a Master craftsman. For over 40 years, she has remained an active participant in the chapter, designing and teaching multiple workshops for its members. Jane introduced many of her students to the EGA, thus mentoring an entire generation of engaged stitchers. In this way, Jane’s legacy is ongoing.
In addition to her needlework, Jane has been an active and competitive 4.0 USTA tennis player.
Jane will continue to offer similar workshops privately, with many of her loyal students in attendance. For more information, please feel free to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will miss you Jane!