Newsletter – May 2020

I am sure you are enjoying the little window of “free time” when we are allowed to exercise each morning outside our property. I don’t think the dogs know too much about social distancing, but I am sure they, and all the under 20’s are enjoying being able to move a bit more freely. Let’s hope we see the end of this horrible virus soon so life will get back to normal.

I don’t see us getting back to meetings for another couple of months. The government is being very conservative about gatherings of any sort and many of our members are in the “vulnerable” age group and will therefore have to be that little bit more careful. However, there seems to be a lot of work going on to get a treatment for this illness, and hopefully there will be a vaccine within the next year or two. I’m sure you have all learned a lot by being separated form “normal life,” and by the looks of the WhatsApp group, there is a lot of lovely embroidery going on.

Arthur Bales sent out a notice saying they are not allowed to sell anything other than face mask materials so I suppose that means all embroidery shops are closed for the time being. I’m sure our relative stashes will keep us occupied for a while. I have discovered that Elizabeth Leather and MaryHickmottDesigns sell embroidery designs which you can download and print on your computer if you are short of inspiration. Trish Burr has some free patterns available to download if you want something fairly straightforward to do. Pinterest, Inspirations magazine and Etsy also
have a lot to tempt you or at least give you ideas. I daresay you all have resources of your own which are keeping you busy. (I was wondering if we couldn’t place online orders with Janice Savage and Sue Clegg, and get them delivered in polystyrene containers under the title of “Food for the Soul”. They will be quite cold and therefore not breaking any rules. We can dream!!!)

Please look after yourselves. Now that Lockdown is easing up a bit, it’s tempting to be a bit more casual with the regulations. However the disease is still out there, and if you are one of the people who might get it badly, it’s really horrible.

I got this “periodic table of sewing” from a website called “www.sewfunny.com”. If any of you suffered with chemistry at school you might find it amusing and very clever. The site as a whole is mostly for quilters, but it does have quite a bit of embroidery humour too.

Sewfunny.com image originally from scientificseamstress.com

Newsletter – April 2020

I hope that you have all developed some sort of sanity-saving routine for these days. Many, I am sure, have put the time to good use and created some beautiful embroidery and other things. Some of the pictures sent I have reproduced at the end of this letter. (spread through this post in the online version)

This from Jenni Langford

Some interesting developments – Jenni Langford has re-discovered our FaceBook page. It’s called Jozi Stitch and I think will be useful platform for sharing pictures of what we have achieved, and news about other embroidery things. I know we looked at it for advertising purposes, but no one seems to know who the administrator is. I know Jenny Shippey’s son
came up with the name and was responsible for quite a bit of our online stuff, but it may be useful to scrape of the rust and get this and other things back in service. If anyone knows about this, and where it all came from, please let me/us know, so that proper controls and organisation can be put in place.

This from Gaye Neille

Secondly, I would remind you that Wendy updated the membership lists last October and sent it to all of you. Should you wish to contact someone or to express congratulations/condolences/where–have-you-been messages, please use that list to contact them. No everyone wants their business known to all and sundry, and posting such matters on public places like FaceBook or WhatsApp groups is for THEM to decide, not wellmeaning
but misguided members of the Guild. Which leads me to the next issue – TARA……….

This from Amina Ismail

Thirdly, Hilary Walker has been given the go-ahead to set up a WhatsApp group for the whole guild. This is a very useful way to keep in contact and to get out mini-messages which need to be communicated immediately. HOWEVER!!!!!!!!!! No is obliged to be on the group, and you may exit the group if you wish. HOWEVER NUMBER TWO!!!!!!!!!!!! Please be disciplined and mature about your use of it. If you want to post pictures and motivational articles and funny stories, please use the FaceBook page for that. If you start a long chat about something and people’s phones are ‘pinging’ like a faulty heart monitor when they are in the bank, in church, at the doctor’s or in the cinema, then all that is going to happen is that they will exit the group and it will become a pointless exercise. Something of this sort has happened on the Saturday group, with the result it is now the exclusive domain of about 10 people. WE ARE SENSIBLE, GROWN UP PEOPLE WHO ARE VERY CONSIDERATE OF OTHERS and we know how to behave ourselves. We know that members of the Guild are wonderful people, Everyone is kind and no one means to be a nuisance, but sometimes we are a bit impulsive. Please know we are NOT going to check up on you like a lot of naughty children, but it would be a crying shame if we have to abandon this useful bit of technology because it’s not very user-friendly.

This from Robyn de Klerk

Apart from that – we don’t know yet when lockdown will be lifted and we can meet again. Let’s keep cheerful and busy, and creative, and I’m sure it will all be resolved one day. Keep healthy too, and don’t take chances. You are precious people and no one needs this very nasty virus.

Happy birthday to those who are celebrating this month. We have had two “virtual” birthday parties in my family. It’s not the same, but is something of a life-saver when we can’t physically meet. And NO ONE wants to get or give this virus.

Newsletter — February 2020

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.

Enjoy your embroidery, and also enjoy the bit of history you will find in the insert. (https://pioneerthinking.com/crafts)

Regards,

Margaret

Pre-newsletter — January 2020

Dear All,

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.

Sewn pouch for baby animals orphaned in the Australian bush fires

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!

Love to you all, and have a wonderful year.

Margaret

Click here to download the PDF pattern for the pouches.

Newsletter — December 2019

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 this weather.

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.

Newsletter — November 2019

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 wildest dreams.

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.

Samples of the key tags.

Newsletter – October 2019

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 were: 

Tuesday,  Hettie Moller, with Helen Bird as runner-up

Saturday –  Corinne van Deventer, with Jenni Langford as runner-up.

Tuesday Hats
Saturday Hats

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.

Happy sewing!

Newsletter – September 2019

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
11h00
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.

Happy Spring Day

Tissue holders made by Robyn de Klerk for Ighali.

Pincushions made by Merica Swart for Ighali.