A message from Danny. Until we know a bit more about this Covid 19 virus, ALL EMBROIDERY MEETINGS ARE CANCELLED – SATURDAY AND TUESDAY. Please will you let those who are NOT on email know about this so they don’t turn up and find no one there.
As soon as we know more, we’ll let you know, and we will also tell you when meetings will resume.
In the meantime, catch up with all those UFOs you can never find time for, watch movies on TV, and enjoy the clean, traffic-free air.
Keep safe, and may your supply of soap never run out!
Thank you all for
waiting an extra week. We have exciting
news from our AGM and a committee which will take us into the rest of the year.
Three main points
of interest from the AGM. Firstly, Toni Olivier came and spoke to us
about the progress of Ighali. She is
waiting for the final details from some of the teachers, then we will have a
firm agenda and we can open it up to registration. The only slight concern at the moment is
money! If we get all 120 places taken up, we’ll break even, but there is very
little slack, and any donations, fund-raising efforts on your part or other
forms of getting in funds will be most welcome (and please don’t come with any
more ideas unless you are prepared to carry them out. We have had a plethora of ideas,
suggestions, advice and instructions. We
need people to DO things.) Any amount is welcome.
Secondly, you will
be glad to know that the charge for tea will not be raised. It is still R2.50 per day – R10.00 per month
for Tuesdays, R5.00 per month for Saturdays, and you have the option of paying
in advance for the whole year.
Thirdly, there will
be NO exhibition this year. All our
extra efforts will go into supporting Ighali and encouraging people to attend
We are VERY grateful
that the Guild has always had a committee of dedicated hard-working people who
have carried our interests forward. We
welcome the committee of 2020 and assure them of our love and support, and look
forward to an interesting year.
Our committee for this year is
Chair: Danny Wimpey (new on the committee)
Secretary: Hettie Moller
Treasurer: Helen O’Hanrahan (back on the committee after some years)
Tea: Sue Sylvester
Library: Agness Janse van Rensburg, with Diane Walker helping on Saturdays
Sales Table: Jenny Henning (new on the committee)
Saturday Rep: Fatima Bhaba (back on the committee after a few years)
Workshops: Carol Robinson, with Jenni Langford on Saturdays as before.
Danny, our Chair, has asked me to send a brief biography since she is relatively new to the Guild, and has probably not met most of the Saturday members. I think you’ll agree she has a most impressive background, and will serve us well. Welcome Danny!
All the best for 2020, and Happy Sewing!
As you may know by now, I was elected Chairperson of the Guild at the 2020 AGM. Many of you do not know me so to make things easier here is a brief bio.
I have just turned 60 and am semi-retired, although as often is the case, am busier now rather than less so. I live with my husband, 2 of my children and several cats, dogs, and parrots, in Parktown North. I am Jhb born and bred, grew up in Parkview, and attended Parkview Senior and Parktown Girls. I studied law at Wits and was admitted as an attorney in 1985. After practicing privately as a lawyer for 9 years I was headhunted to UJ to run the UJ/Alexandra Law Clinic, which I did for 14 years. After leaving UJ in 2007, I worked at FNB for some years before resigning to start working in another direction: writing and fundraising. I have been doing that since 2011. I work part time for several NGOs as a fundraiser as well as writing for PR clients and doing some editing and proofreading.
I love to exercise, walk and do Pilates regularly. I am also a member of a knitting group: St Francis Knitters. We knit baby things for The Baby Box, a project which delivers to new mums in several government hospitals in South Africa. I am a keen cook, reader and gardener. I also do a bit of machine sewing but not as much as I would like.
I am looking forward to this year and hope to serve you all to the best of my ability. Please feel free to contact me, or chat to me about anything.
A very Happy New Embroidery Year to you all! I hope the holiday was happy, with lots of
friends and family and also time to do a bit of stitching. Welcome back, and welcome too to those who
are new, and also to those who are just “trying it out.” We hope you are very
happy with us. We love having you!
We are beginning with a workshop ALREADY! Carol Robinson is teaching us about silk
embroidery, both threads and material. The details are as follows:
On Tuesday in February we will be doing a class in Silk Thread embroidery
on Silk fabric.
The design is a sampler of various common stitches designed to give the embroiderer
an opportunity to learn how to condition thread and to learn how to work with
silk. It will be a small class.
I presume this class is already full, but you may want to speak to Carol and get your name down for a further class later on in the year. Please send her an SMS message or WhatsApp if you would like to know more.
The major concern at the moment is the
AGM which will be held in March. We need
people to stand on the committee. There
is NO exhibition this year, so it is not a stressful “baptism of fire.” We really need someone with a bit of
bookkeeping knowledge to be our treasurer, and we need someone to manage the
teas, one for Saturday and one for Tuesday, we would like a secretary as well
if anyone is willing. Please think about
it and let Hettie know.
Just a brief reminder about the annual
membership fees. If you haven’t already
paid, please do so, and also tea money is due.
Either R10 per month for Tuesday or R5 per month for Saturdays. You may like to pay your tea money up front
for the whole year.
This is not an official newsletter – that will be coming in
February. But I just want to remind you
that MEETINGS ARE BEGINNING AGAIN IN THE COMING WEEK!!!
Our first Tuesday meeting is on the 14th, and the Cordelia
arranged that the Saturday ladies can have an extra meeting this month, so we
will be meeting on the 18th.
I hope you have had a calm and happy festive season. I know Cordelia has had a hip replacement and
she is doing well. I believe Hettie has
had cataracts removed from her eyes, and we wish them both, (and anyone else
who has had health issues), well and may their troubles all be behind them.
You have all been made aware of the devastating bush fires in Australia, and I hope that if any of you have children or other family members who emigrated there, that they are all OK and that they haven’t lost anything is this travesty. Many little animals have not been that lucky, and animals indigenous to Australia, most notably koala bears and kangaroos have been seriously affected, huge numbers have perished in the fires, and there are a lot of little ones who are struggling with injuries and the loss of their parents. Arthur Bales has sent out a FaceBook post offering to take pouches for orphaned baby kangaroos (called Joeys) and if any of you have got bits of cotton or flanalette lying around, you might like to make some and get them to the shop, and Arthur Bales will send them to Australia. They will be sending a consignment on the next three Fridays, the 17th, the 24th and the 31st. I’m including the pattern in this letter (see link below to download the PDF). We can fit this in before the Mandela Day jerseys have to be started!
The last letter of this year comes during yet another
heatwave. What better excuse than to sit inside with a glass of something with
lots of ice and our embroidery? I hope you are all looking after yourselves in
We had a wonderful party – at Carvers again. They really did us proud, and music was provided once again by Basil Walker and he also brought a singer, his friend Henry Coppen to add to our enjoyment.
We would like to thank everyone who has made our year
such a pleasant one. The centre itself is well-run by Ina and we are kept clean
and tidy by the ministrations of Ida, and our cars looked after by the various
security guards. The Committee under Hettie Moller has kept us well organised. We
have had wonderful workshops under Carol Robinson and Jenni Langford, and Jenni
has asked me to pass on the following to you:
To all students and teachers, thank you for your participation.
I don’t know about you but I have learned a lot, I have also been encouraged by your enthusiasm and participation. My embroidery skills have been challenged and in my research I have learnt a lot about the history of the different techniques.
The work produced by the students have been excellent – well done to all of you.
My motto is, “try and see if you like it” some have gone on to do more and some only the class sample.
Thank you too, to those members who assisted them both and taught us so much.
Janis Savage has brought to our attention that DMC
has, because of EU regulations, changed the chemicals used in some of the
colours of their embroidery cottons, with the result that there are slight
differences in some of their shades. The changed colours are now indicated on
the colour chart which she has, and she asks you please to check when buying
more of any skeins that you need to complete an article, that you check with
her (or whoever you are buying from) to make sure that you are able to match
what you had with what you now are able to buy. I have heard from other
merchants that these chemicals are outlawed across the board, and that ALL
brands of thread are affected, including some of our local ones. I haven’t been
able to ascertain to what extent this is true, but I suggest that you check
with any new thread you buy, and make sure you get enough to finish your piece.
Who knows what other changes will be made?
The Roosevelt Park Recreation Centre is closing on the
6th December, and that means the Saturday group has had their last
meeting for this year, and the Tuesday group has its last meeting on Tuesday 3rd
December. It re-opens next year on the 13th January, so the first
meeting of the year is on Tuesday 14th January. Cordelia Robinson
has once again worked her magic, and the Saturday group will be getting an
extra day in January. We are holding meetings on both Saturday the 18th
and Saturday the 25th of January.
There will be
no newsletter in January, so please note the dates given above, and let me also remind
you that the New Year is also the time to pay our annual dues. If you have
forgotten, they are as follows:
60 years of age and under – R140
60-69 years – R120
70-79 years – R100
80-89 years – R80.
90 years + – free
The costs of tea will be the same as they were this
year to start off with – any change will be decided at the AGM.
If any of you are able to serve on the committee during 2020 (and beyond if possible) please let us know. It is not an onerous job, but it does need some dedication and a willingness to see things through. There are several people whose term is up and they have to stand down, and there are vacancies on the committee which must be filled. Embroidery people are VERY NICE PEOPLE indeed and you will enjoy your year. Please let Hettie Moller know – and if you can decide to take the plunge before Christmas, that will be the very present she could possibly have!
2020 will be our Ighali year. We need funds to make it
an awesome event. Toni Olivier has gone to a great deal of effort to raise
funds, and she has organised a fun afternoon. Details are as follows:
A Barnyard Silverstar Fund Raiser (to raise funds for the Ighali embroidery conference) is on Sunday 8 December @ 14h00. Tickets are R150 pp. The show is 101 Radio Hits. Everyone is welcome & I’d appreciate your support. RSVP & payments asap please so I can fill all 56 seats. Thx a mill ladies.
Please go if you possible can, and take friends with you.
In the New Year there will be flyers which you will be
asked to help us distribute, and we will all be asked to help as much as
possible. In the meantime, let as many of your craft and handwork friends know.
We’d love to have a full house.
In the meantime, have a wonderful Festive Season. Travel safely, enjoy time with family and friends, and have plenty to tell and to show by January 2020.
I cannot believe there is only one more newsletter for this year after this one. Where has the time gone? I hope you all have lots of completed work to look at so that, you can see that you have achieved something worthwhile and that this year has been a productive one at least as far as embroidery goes.
I am sure we have all longed
to pack it in and head for the wild blue yonder at some stage. Most of us never
get there, but our erstwhile treasurer, Wendy Hutton and her husband Brian are
doing just that. They are spending the next three months in the USA catching up
with family, then back in South Africa they are going to travel in their newly
acquired caravan and get to see things we don’t even read about in travel
magazines. Thank you, Wendy for your sterling work over the last number of
years on our committee. We are going to miss you greatly, but we don’t begrudge
you the time for yourself at all. We all hope it will be better than your
Now back to business. Carol Robinson has designed a fun project for us to do which will be completed in one lesson. It’s a key tag, but I’m sure you creative people will be able to do many things with it – Christmas tree decorations, earrings – (exotic ones, admittedly), handbag accessories, and many other things. It is designed to be fun, and the Guild is sponsoring this one. Carol’s instructions are as follows, and the final result in the picture.
This project is designed to be completed during the morning or afternoon meeting. Tuesday 19th November and Saturday 9th November. The perle cotton (8 and 5), wooden bead, gold thread and gold beads are included in the kits. Each lady is to please bring : tapestry needles – size 22/24/26 (embroidery needle with large eye can also work), a needle threader if they use one and normal scissors. If you haven’t yet put your name down to do the project and would like to do it, please contact Carol Robinson as soon as possible.
We have had a wonderful start to Spring.
Our hat competition produced some wonderful creations by those of our
members who participated, and the winners, voted for by all members present
Tuesday, Hettie Moller, with
Helen Bird as runner-up
Saturday – Corinne van Deventer,
with Jenni Langford as runner-up.
Our last workshop for the year will be on October 8th when Alice Per will teach Schwalm work. This amazing apparent combination of whitework, hardanger (sort of) and cutwork has its own beauty and will be appreciated by all who learn this technique. Unfortunately the class is full, but I’m sure we will be able to persuade Alice to do it again.
However, we can still learn things! Carol Robinson promises us a fun end-of-year
project. We look forward to that, and
she will let us know what is in store.
From the Ighali project, we have 83 out of 120 felt needle cases
completed, and 70 cross-stitch scissors/bird key tags done. The challenge is to have them ALL completed
by the last meeting of this year. How
about it ladies?
One last request from me. We need
to start advertising Ighali early in the New Year so we can get a number of
participants. I have been looking at
placing advertisements in our local craft magazines. Unfortunately “Creative Hobbies” only comes
out once a year in July, but the owner/editor says she will advertise it
through her publicity channels, and the “Stitches and Crafts” has ceased
publication. I shall investigate the more general magazines when I know a bit
more about costs, but in the meantime, I
think it would be best to go the route of the Quilters Guild who had posters
and flyers everywhere. And this is what
we need. We need someone who has graphic art training/experience who could
design a flyer and/or poster for us.
Does anyone have any such contacts?
Please let me know. We would like
to begin promoting this in January.
Finally, a number of people were very impressed with the poem presented at the memorial service for Riana, and have asked me to re-produce it here.
“Don’t grieve for me, for how I’m free. I’m following the path God laid for me. I took his hand when I heard him call; I turned my back and left it all. I could not stay another day, To laugh, to love, to work or play. Tasks left undone must tay that way; I found the place at the close of day. If my parting has left a void, then fill it with remembering joy. A friendship shared, a laugh, a hug, a kiss. Oh yes, these things I too will miss. Be not burdened with times of sorrow, I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow. My life’s been full, I’ve savoured much. Good friends, good times, a loved one’s touch. Perhaps my time seems all too brief. Don’t lengthen it now with undue grief. Lift up your head and heart and share with me. God wanted me now. He set me free.
Have a wonderful month, and hopefully, by the time of the next letter,
we will have had some rain.
This letter goes out to you on the first day of Spring. I’m sure there is a lot to inspire us in our craft, and the beautiful fresh green colours which are available these days will be very conducive to wonderful creative efforts.
Some sad news – one of our members, Riana Dijkman died last week after a long struggle with cancer. We remember her not only for the wonderful lace that she made, and her exceptional embroidery as well as the lovely clothes she made and wore, but more particularly for her courage. She chose her path, and made sure that those around her would have the easiest time possible, and to that end, we remember, she sold the wonderful store of sewing, knitting and embroidery things she had so that her family would not be burdened with it after her death. We could learn a lot from a person like her. For those of you who able to attend, her funeral details are as follows:
Wednesday 4 September 2019
Florida Methodist Church, Cnr 7th Avenue and Madeline Street, Florida.
Another form of courage which we need to acknowledge is that of Fatima Bhabha, who nursed a very ill husband for a long time, and who is now in the mourning period following his death. Our condolences go to you, Fatima, and we are all thinking of you at this time.
Our Ighali project is ongoing and out thanks go to Toni Olivier who is making great strides with it. She has managed to acquire some impressive sponsorships to start us on our way, although, obviously, there will be more money needed. I have attached pictures of the very beautiful gifts which have been made by two of our members, Merica Swart has created cute little pincushions, and Robyn de Klerk has made an impressive pile of tissue holders. Both useful gifts, and they will enable the Guild to hold its head up high! Thank you to them, and also to all who are helping with this effort in various ways.
Exciting news! Two days from now
we will be exactly ONE YEAR away from the beginning of the first Ighali held
north of the Karoo! Toni Olivier has
been extremely busy getting the initial organizing going, and has sent the
The original concept was that of Via Laurie, chairlady of the Helderberg Embroiderers’ Guild in 2001. The vision was a gathering of the Cape Embroidery Guilds, in order to share information and teachers.
The word “Ighali” is derived from the Xhosa word for “thread” and the idea was to host an Ighali every second year, opening it to guild members as well as the general public.
The aim was to hold hand-embroidery lessons of exceptional quality, from traditional to contemporary, and for these to be presented by skilled embroidery teachers. In so doing, participating embroiderers would be exposed to educational, informative, constructive, inspiring and hands-on embroidery workshops.
Ighali 2020 is to be hosted at the Ekudeni Exclusive Country Venue in Muldersdrift, Gauteng from Thursday 6 August to Monday 10 August. More details will be available soon, so we urge you to save the date and start saving for this awesome event.
We look forward to creating many new embroidery friendships in 2020!
Please, Please, Please let as many people as possible know about
this! Ighali virtually unknown in
Gauteng, and there are many little informal embroidery groups and individuals
who would love to be part of this.
Muldersdrift is not that far from anywhere in Gauteng, and I’m sure
there will be those who would like to be day-visitors. Please start the
advertising process now.
At the end of this paragraph, I have included a link to the Quilters’ Guild exhibition
and conference held later this month at Heronbridge. If you are planning to visit, please give
yourself an extra half an hour to get there – they are re-building the road,
and Heronbridge College is right in the middle of it all.
As regards workshops – Jenni Langford is enjoying a well-earned tour
around the UK and seems to be having a wonderful time. We look forward to hearing all about it, and
learning new things from her when she returns later this month.
This month Carol Robinson is teaching the something many of us have not seen since we visited Granny in our childhood, although it is still popular, mass produced and on sale in various interior decorating shops in the country. Cutwork – an example of which you can see below – is the new skill, and I think that the classes are full, but I am certain Carol will offer it again – we must just ask her nicely. It’s very beautiful, and we look forward to adding further creativity to our efforts. That’s all for this month. I hope you have survived winter successfully, you are still sewing madly and with passion and enjoyment
It seems as though we are hibernation this month. There are no workshops, and some of our members have escaped the cold and gone somewhere warmer. However, Ighali work has gone on apace, and some of the beautiful creations are depicted at the end of this letter.
Here are some quotations about sewing that you might find amusing – there isn’t a lot about embroidery, so I have chosen some about sewing as well. Enjoy them!