Newsletter — August 2019

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 following information:

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.

 website http://festival.quiltsouthafrica.co.za  for information

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

Cutwork

Newsletter — July 2019

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!

Comparing science and religion isn’t like comparing apples and oranges – it’s more like apples and sewing machines. Jack Horner
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/jack_horner_560231

When I write sad songs, I feel like I’m sewing up a scar in me, and the outcome always feels so much better than when I write happy ones. Sam Smith
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/search_results?q=sewing

I love taking prints, embroidery, appliques – precious things that seem to be from another time – and using them to create a contemporary, new story. Alessandro Michele
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/alessandro_michele_866599

Keep warm, keep embroidering, and enjoy the pictures!

Newsletter June 2019

A very full letter this month – but there are so many wonderful things happening.

Firstly, we MUST say a big thank you to Sheila Meyerowitz who has donated books and also back-issues of the magazine “Inspirations” for us to sell in order to raise funds for Ighali.  Thank you so much Sheila!  This is very generous of you.  They will be on sale soon at R50 a copy.

Our workshops this month are two very interesting and simple techniques.  Carol Robinson will be introducing us to a creative, freestyle embroidery.  She brought some samples to the last meeting, and it is very beautiful.   The details are as follows:

So the next class for the Tuesday ladies is a FREESTYLE EMBROIDERY one. We will be exploring textured embroidery done on fabric painted material. The ladies are to bring:

  • Hoop – 15 cm (slightly bigger or smaller will work)
  • Hoop stand, if you have one
  • Various needles for embroidery thread and thicker thread
  • Scissors
  • Thimble, if you use one
  • Threads – perle and embroidery thread (there will be textured thread provided)
  • R10 cash for class

Our Saturday ladies will be exploring Redwork, and Jenni Langford has sent these details:

Saturday June Workshop – Red Work (Needle Book)
What to bring:
Needles
Scissors

Kits will be available @ R10.00 each
Material with picture
Cotton Embroidery Floss  – red
White sewing thread
Felt (2x)

Please contact Jenni on SMS if you would like to add your name to the list.

There are two very interesting festivals which celebrate handwork of all descriptions, including embroidery.

The first one you may know about if you are on Hazel Blomkamp’s newsletter list.  It is taking place in Benoni at “Spinnerin” and includes all sorts of interesting things. This is an extract from Hazel’s letter:

This event is inviting you to attend workshops that include a wide range of styles and techniques.  Everything from miniature, beginners and more advanced embroidery to teddy bear making, hairpin crochet lace, felting, hand applique and quilting, creative crochet, knitting and even loom weaving.  The organisers have gone out of their way to provide you, the needle working public with not only an interesting programme but also, some of the best tutors in the country.

If this event sparks you interest you need to go to the website which you can do by clicking here.  From there you can download the workshop schedule in order to see what is being offered and, also, to make your choice.  After that, you can register online.  If you are not comfortable with registering online, you can download a registration form and email it to the organisers who will make sure that you registration is completed and confirmed.

So easy.

The following is from Sandra de Wet and concerns the Quilters’ Festival.:

I would like you members to know about the Festival as there is so much of interest to embroiderers, although our focus is quilting and patchwork.  It will be held form 17-23 August 2019, at Heronbridge College in Fourways, Johannesburg. 

The Festival is worth a visit, I think, even if you no longer attend classes.

Entrance fee per day is R50. That gives you access to all the attractions: exhibitions, shopping (around 45 vendors), daily 1 hour workshops, demonstrations, free sessions, food  and drink.

 Then we have longer workshops: we have two overseas embroidery teachers coming, in Dorothy Tucker from the UK and Sue Spargo from Ohio, USA.  Dorothy has been Education Officer at the UK Embroiderers’ Guild and specialises in Kantha embroidery, the running stitch work from India. Sue Spargo is an expert in embroidery on felt: she teaches widely and has many books to her credit. Its a great chance to learn from such experts right her here in Johannesburg. 

 All the details, including of all the teachers and workshops, are easily accessed on our website  http://festival.quiltsouthafrica.co.za

 There are also South African teachers offering classes that would also be on interest to your members, all hand sewing: I  would mention Elaine Barnard and Kathryn Celliers-Louw. 

 There are also classes in beading, applique, embellishment, printing and dying on fabric, as well as general design classes. 

 Classes run for 1-2 days and prices start at R380 per day. 

Bookings are open already, via a ticketing agency:  see www.Tixsa.co.za

As I said, this is a long newsletter this month, but a lot of very interesting things going on.

Happy sewing!

Newsletter May 2019

What an exciting week we are going to have!  The first attempt by Gauteng of holding “Ighali” is slowly but surely getting underway.  “Ighali” is a sewing-teaching-meeting-learning embroidery weekend experience which up till now has happened every second year in either the Western or Eastern Cape. At the initiative of some of our members, led by Toni Olivier, we are beginning to make plans to hold this event next year.  Toni will be at the Tuesday and Saturday meetings this week to tell you more about it, so I am not going to say anything more.  Please come and learn all about our biggest, most wonderful venture to date.

As regards workshops – Jenni Langford is not teaching anything new this month, but is available for anyone who would like help with unfinished pieces.  She says:

For May there will not be any workshops but you are encouraged to bring any WIP (work in progress) or UFO (unfinished items) you have problems with. Bring them along to the meetings and I am sure there will be someone who will be able to help or encourage you with your project/s. 

Sometimes we need help and/or encouragement when we have lost interest in a project we are/were working on.

One of the things our Guild has undertaken is to provide items for the “Goodie Bags” for each participant at Ighali.  Carol Robinson has designed and produced some blank felt needle cases to go in each bag.  We are asked to embroider some form of Mandala on each as one of our gifts to those who attend the Ighali weekend.  Carol  will be at both Saturday and Tuesday meetings to explain what is needed and to distribute those needle case kits she has already prepared. You are invited to take one and embroider it for the event. You will be required to provide your own thread – and Carol says you need either perle cotton or else 3 strands of regular embroidery thread.  Carol has made one already as a sample – see below – but you are free to design your own.

All the very best, and happy sewing!

Newsletter 4, April 2019

I hope you have had a wonderful start to the year, and that your various projects are well under way.  I know we have had some lovely workshops – Jenni and the Saturday ladies with their Amish Stump Work on the two Saturdays in March, and Carol Robinson spent the last Tuesday of the month teaching Shadow Work, with the help of some of our more experienced embroiderers.

More workshops are to come.  Jenni will be teaching “Mirror Work” on both Saturdays in April. And Carol will be opening our minds and developing our creativity with some freestyle work a bit later in the year. Available details of the courses and contact numbers are available at the end of this letter.

This newsletter is for the benefit of Guild members, and I took all the email addresses from the membership list of 2018.  Members are those who have paid their annual subs by the end of February, and who attend at least 10 meeting per year. Obviously, provision is made for those who join later. Wendy has now given me the 2019 list, and there are some people who have not paid up for this year.  I know how it happens – you mean to come to meetings, but other things get in the way, and before you know what has happened, the year has gone. If you are receiving this letter, and have not joined for this year, please consider coming back.  We do miss you, and would love to see you again. I will be editing the address lists during this month, and will be deleting anyone who is not on Wendy’s latest list, or who has not come back, and I don’t want to take off anyone I don’t have to!

This month, I have included some quotations about embroidery.  Some are a bit strange, but others you may find interesting and amusing.

https://www.azquotes.com/quotes/topics/embroidery.html


The Tuesday workshops

Please contact  Carol Robinson

The Saturday workshops in April

Mirror Work (Shisha Stitches)

We will be making Scissors Keepers, to hold 3 pairs of scissors.

Kit supplied (R25.00 each)

Material

Thread

Mirror

What to bring

Crewel Needles

Scissors

Cardboard A4 (If you would like the Scissors Keeper Pattern)

Newsletter 3, March 2019

The biggest news this month is – inevitably – the AGM.  The business of the day was successfully done, and our gratitude to those who have been loyal members, and who helped with the Exhibition was given due expression. You ARE a lovely lot of people, and we enjoy serving you in this way!

Highlights include our committee, which is more or less as I wrote last month:  Hettie Moller as Chair, Wendy Hutton as Treasurer, and Sue Sylvester who will be doing the teas once again.  Changes are to the Workshops – Carol Robinson will be taking the Tuesday ladies’ workshops, and Jenni Langford has hit the ground running with the first of her workshops for the Saturday group due to be given THIS COMING SATURDAY!!! (see details below.)  Agnes Janse van Rensburg has agreed to take on the Library on Tuesday (thank you Agnes!) and Hettie will continue to administer it on Saturdays, unless someone would like to be co-opted to do this not-very-onerous job?  All offers welcome.  The heroine of the day was Carole Walker who has not only agreed to continue with her job of running the Sales Table, but has agreed to be Secretary as well!  She will be probably one of the most hard-working member of the committee, and anyone who would be willing regularly to give her a hand with the Sales Table will be greatly appreciated.

The other significant motion passed was that we are looking seriously to increasing our teaching.  We will not be changing the present format:  members coming to the group to work and support one another, with a bit of help given when needed from a more experienced member of the group.  That will continue, as will periodic workshops which enhance and develop existing skills.  However unless we teach those who have never learnt, and this includes young people, our craft will die out, and we need to take urgent action to prevent this happening.  Many ideas are in place, one or two trial runs by members but outside the Guild, are being considered at the moment.  Anyway, this is VERY exciting, and we look to develop this more in the months to come.  WATCH THIS SPACE!

The other exciting thing is that “IGHALI” is now going to be held in Johannesburg toward the end of 2020 – next year.  “Ighali”, (which means “threads” ) is something of a National Convention on embroidery.  People come from all over the country, they stay at the venue, and go to classes, and in that way get to know some of the very best teachers in the country, they look at exhibits, they get to know other embroiderers and generally have a jolly good embroidery time. Toni Olivier has taken charge of it, and we will be asking for help as time goes on.  WATCH THIS SPACE TOO!

Well, that’s it for this month.  Below are the details and requirements of Jenni’s workshop, (and please send her a WhatsApp if you are interested – she needs numbers!)  Below that is a link to a website which shows you why what we are doing is so good for us!


Saturday workshop 9 March 2019 and 23 March 2019

Teacher: Jenni Langford

Amish Stump work 

(Also called German Tufted Wool Embroidery or Plush work)

We will be doing flowers and leaves.

Tools and Material You Need to Bring
  • Cardboard (cereal or biscuit box) (if you would like to make your own template)
  • Fabric to embroider – typically a thicker material
  • Embroidery hoop (if you have it on a stand it will be better)
  • scissors (small sharp point and one to cut the cardboard)
Tools and Material supplied
  • Template
  • Yarn in several colours. 1 or 2 colours for the centre, 3 or 4 for petals and 3 or 4 for the leaves
  • Embroidery needle (chenille)

13 Benefits of Hand Sewing

 

Newsletter 2, February 2019

Thank you very much for the positive feedback I received for the last newsletter.  I hope it continues making the administration of the Embroiderers’ Guild easier.

The big news item for this month is that our AGM will be held on Saturday afternoon, 2nd March at 14h00 in the hall.  Hettie Moller has agreed to remain as Chair, with Cordelia Robinson as the Saturday Rep, and Wendy Hutton as Treasurer –  key positions.  Carol Walker will continue to run the Sales Table, Sue Sylvester the Teas.  Merica Swarts has stepped down as workshop co-ordinator and trainer – and that will be quite a loss, but thank you, Merica for the wonderful work you have done.  Carol Robinson will now be running the workshops on Tuesdays, and Jenni Langford on Saturdays.  Thanks to those two ladies for stepping into the space. That leaves two positions vacant.

Louise von Glehn, who with Hettie organized our library into the wonderful resource it is, has decided to relinquish the position after 5 years, and do more embroidery, so we need at least one, and preferably TWO LIBRARIANS!  I have moved into communications and publicity so there is a vacancy for the SECRETARY.  Are there people willing to take on these roles?  Or are you willing to nominate anyone for them?  Please let us know so the right forms can be filled in.  We need to have these places taken up soon.

Next Tuesday, the 5th of February are the first of our workshops.  Hettie Moller’s Advanced Smocking Course is full, unfortunately, but we are assured that she will repeat it later in the year.  There is a Beginner’s Smocking Course due on the same day, and at the moment there are another three places available (please contact Merica Swarts, 074 171 3085 if you are interested) but we are still trying to get hold of the teacher to confirm her willingness,  availability and what materials will be needed.  Merica will be in touch with those who put their names down for it when we know a bit more.  Apologies for the uncertainty, but we are working very hard to organize this and get the year off to a good start.

Thank you to those who have paid your annual subs, and if you still have to pay, please don’t forget to bring them to the next meeting.  Just to remind you:

  • 60 years of age and under – R140
  • 60-69 years – R120
  • 70-79 years – R100
  • 80-89 years – R80.
  • 90 years + – free

Thank you so much for your co operation in this.

Now to end off – I have included an interesting link which talks about the history of smocking.  The most fascinating thing is that fact that it was used as an early form of elastic!

https://charlottesydimby.com/blogs/news/the-history-of-smocks

Have a wonderful month

Newsletter 1, January 2019

Welcome to another year of embroidery fun, as we begin again after what I hope was a pleasant break for you all.  Now it’s time to either find the unfinished piece from last year and get going again, or perhaps you will show us what wonderful things you achieved since last time we met.  We’d love to see them.

The committee has decided to communicate with you a little differently from the way we have done in the past.  If all goes according to plan, we will, during the first week of each month, be sending out a letter in this rather more straightforward way.  That doesn’t mean the beautiful magazine-type letter of the past is never happening again, but we are in the process of deciding what the best way is to communicate and celebrate the beauty, the achievements and the fun of our art.

So, for now I want to remind you that we begin meeting again next Tuesday, the 14th January, and for the Saturday ladies, we have an extra meeting (thank you, Cordelia Robinson for making this happen) .  We meet on Saturday afternoon the 19th January, and again on the 26th.

This is also a gentle reminder that this is the time where we ask you to pay the annual subsidy for the Guild.  It is, as you remember, a once-off payment, and we are loading the amount as follows:

  • 60 years of age and under – R140
  • 60-69 years – R120
  • 70-79 years – R100
  • 80-89 years – R80.
  • 90 years + – free

For now we are keeping the cost of the tea the same as last year.

To end, I thought you might enjoy the following:

Love is a canvas furnished by Nature and embroidered by imagination. — Voltaire

Now the Earth with many flowers puts on her spring embroidery — Sappho

Happy embroidery!

Ighali 2018 — dates and venue announced

Ighali 2018 will take place from the 19th – 24th September 2018 in Constantia, Cape Town.

Ighali is hosted biennially and is open to guild members as well as the general public.

The aim of Ighali is to host hand embroidery workshops of high quality – traditional to contemporary – presented by competent embroidery tutors.

This gives all participating embroiderers exposure to educational, informative, constructive, inspiring and hands on embroidery workshops.

Download Ighali 2018 Brochure

Download Ighali 2018 Registration Form