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The Greater New Orleans Chapter of the Smocking Arts Guild of America (GNO SAGA) invites you to become a part of our informative, educational and friendly organization. Art enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels can join and enjoy the numerous benefits SAGA offers. SAGA, a non-profit organization, will provide you with new ideas, patterns, instructions and a way of staying in touch with others in the world of smocking, fine hand sewing and related needle arts. Let us help you learn new techniques or enhance your old ones. The cost of joining GNO SAGA is $15 per calendar year. In addition all members are required to join our parent organization. National dues are $35 per calendar year.

2014 Officers

President - Gayle Hanrath Campbell

Vice President - Diane Palmisano

Secretary - Muriel Palmgren

Treasurer - Margie Fiasconaro

Education - Barky Graziano & Jeanne Buffat

Newsletter - Georgia Hildebrandt

Service Projects - Lynda Devenport

(Click on any name to send an email.)


On April 27, 1979, nine women met in Gatlinburg, Tennessee to get acquainted and to share ideas, problems and needs as teachers of smocking. As they forged a bond from the love of smocking, they thought, wouldn't it be great to get a group of fellow smockers together for the purpose of sharing ideas. It was from this concept that the Smocking Arts Guild of America was born.

The first seminar was held in Gatlinburg on October 5, 6, and 7 that same year. Eighty women representing 18 states were present. It was at this meeting that SAGA elected its first national officers. SAGA has grown to 153 chapters worldwide with over 3,000 members. Women all over the world meet regularly to share in their love of smocking and related needlearts. It is this dedication and commitment that keeps SAGA alive.

Among the 80 attendees of the first SAGA National Convention were Dorothy Walden and Donna Bergeron. Ms. Dorothy was one of the guiding lights of SAGA from the earliest days of the organization. When the suggestion was made concerning the development of chapters, she was quick to suggest that Donna be the first to apply.

Having taken the legal steps to procure a charter, the application was submitted on November 30, 1980. On May 27, 1981, the Greater New Orleans Chapter of the Smocking Arts Guild of America was born. Only four other charters were finalized prior to GNO.

Since 1981 our local chapter has grown to an organization of nearly 100 members. Overflowing with talent, our chapter members include an artisan master, national board members and teachers, and numerous winners of prestigious national awards. We work hard and reap the benefits of the work we do. Our annual fundraisers help subsidize the cost of bringing the top teachers in the world to our guild. And through our Wee Care Service Project we provide twelve area hospitals with over 400 preemie gowns and bonnets each year.

Brought together initially by our love of smocking and needlearts, our members have shared information, ideas, and inspiration and most important of all -- friendship.


Class Policies

GNO SAGA members who meet the specified requirements are entitiled to take classes at half price. There is no discount on kit cost. To be elgible for the class discount, a member must donate two preemie bonnets, two preemie gowns, and one item for the chapter fundraiser each year. Eligibility remains in effect until the next fundraiser (approximately one year).

Members may sign up for one class per teacher initially. Class fees must be paid by check only and payment is required to reserve space in a class. A member may place her name on the waiting list for the other class(es) with that teacher. In the event that there are openings 30 days prior to class time, members on the waiting list will be notified that space is available. If they wish to take the class, they must reserve the space with a check at that time. Once all members on the waiting list (if any) have had a chance to register, classes will be opened to other Saga chapter members and the general public.