COVID-19 — all meetings cancelled

Dear All,

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!

Margaret

Newsletter — March 2020

Dear All,

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 that instead. 

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 as follows:

  • 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!

FROM DANNY:

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.

Best wishes, Danny Wimpey

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 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!

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

2016 Embroidery Exhibition

The committee is working hard to put together the upcoming Witwatersrand Embroiderer’s Guild Exhibition which will be showcasing work done by Guild members over the past two years.

The piece started by Dolly Willowstone sometime in the early 20th Century (we believe), hidden for many years in a garage, and completed this year by Veronica Talbot will also be on display — see the image at the top of the page.

Our Guild members produce the most magnificent and inspirational work. Even husbands and sons have been awed when they’ve visited in previous years. Bring them along, and tell your friends, family, and strangers you meet in the shops to pop in too.

It is being held at the Roosevelt Park Recreation Centre, Preller Drive, on Friday 14th and Saturday 15th October from 10am-5pm. There will be prizes to be won, completed items (Christmas gifts?) and embroidery supplies will be on sale, and your ticket entitles you to delicious tea and cake in our tea room.