Newsletter — August 2022

Another month gone, and another month nearer to springtime. It has been wonderful meeting again, both Tuesdays and Saturdays, although it’s a pity so few people have taken advantage of the opportunity. We will be meeting again on the 13th August at 09h30, and then on Tuesday the 16th at 10h30, both at St Martin’s in-the-Veld church. Let’s try and spend a bit of time with one another to keep up our art and to keep in contact with other members. Since President Ramaphosa’s announcement about the abating of the pandemic at the moment, we will no longer insist on vaccination certificates or masks, but we will continue to keep doors and windows open, and anyone who feels vulnerable is welcome to keep their mask on and to move their chair to a distance they feel comfortable with.

It appears that the Roosevelt Park Recreation Centre still has a “snag list” to complete, but we are cautiously optimistic that the end may be in sight. No definite date yet, but we’ll keep you informed. 

Please would you pay your dues to Helen O’Hanrahan, either at the meetings or online. The fees for this half-year are R50, and we are going to re-think how it all works at some stage next year when (hopefully) we are back at the Rec.

The Flag is an ongoing project. Since it is government, there will probably be tenders and we have to abide by the processes. Materials are being sourced, and plans and designs are underway. While the waiting is frustrating, it IS going to happen, and we will keep you informed along the way.

The year-end Craft market IS going ahead, and everything is in preparation for that. Please continue preparing for it. 

Finally, unfortunately I have been asked by Jenni to post the notice below from Trish Burr. Theft takes all sorts of forms, and embroidery designers are no exception. If you are a supporter of Trish’s designs and do shop on Etsy, be aware of this person who is guilty of copyright infringement. 

Until next time, keep sewing.


Trish Burr Embroidery Blog

Copyright Infringement

trishburr
Jul 30
Hello everyonePlease take note of this buyer and share it with any friends that make purchases on Etsy – she has copied and is selling illegally many of my patterns on her site ALISA HANDICRAFTS.
As you know this is an ongoing problem which I am having to address on a regular basis. I appreciate your support.
Thank you
Trish

Newsletter — July 2022

Now that we are past the shortest day of the year, we can begin to look forward to Spring and new things. and what exciting things we have in store!

Firstly, WE ARE MEETING AGAIN!! It’s official. Beginning this Tuesday, we have been given permission to meet at St Martin’s In-the-Veld church in their smaller hall, called the Parish Room. We will be meeting on the first and third Tuesday mornings of the month beginning in two day’s time, on the 5th July, and on the second Saturday MORNING of the month beginning on the 9th July. This is not a long term arrangement. The church is a busy one, and they are helping us out at no charge as part of their social efforts to help communities rather bruised from the Covid experience, but it will only be in the short term. The committee are busy investigating some more permanent possibilities, but in the meantime, we are meeting at this venue which is fairly central to all our members, and we can become a Guild again. 

The address of the church is the corner of Eastwood Road and Cradock Avenue in Dunkeld. Cradock Avenue, which runs parallel to Oxford Road, is where you go in. There are two gates in Cradock Avenue, you go in in at the LEFT hand gate and park in the grounds. The right hand gate is the exit and you may meet someone head-on if you try to go in there. 

The Tuesday meeting is at 10h30 and finishes at 12h30 at the latest. There is a service earlier in the morning, and the ladies have tea in “our” room afterwards. They usually finish at around 10h15, but we have been asked to respect their space and not go into the hall before 10h30. We will bring our own tea/coffee/milk/sugar and, while they said we can use their cups and saucers, I think it unfair to expect their staff to wash up and tidy after us when we are not paying anything towards their service, so please, as other groups in the church do, bring your own cup and spoon and take it home with you afterwards. The Saturday group will be meeting at 09h30 and finishing at 11h30 at the latest. On Saturday, the church’s craft and knitting group will be meeting in the hall, and you are welcome to look at what they do, and I have said they can come and see what you are doing. 

Since we are using their premises, the committee decided that some form of donation to the church would be the decent thing to do. You can bring a cash donation or you can bring any knitted blankets, beanies, jerseys or baby clothes that you have made, and we can give to their knitting group to be distributed amongst their charities. Failing that, you can also bring some knitting yarn or bits of material for them to use in their own making of things. 

Finally on this topic, you WILL be required to show your Covid vaccination certificate the first time you return. We will note it on the register, and you don’t need to bring it again unless any new venue we will find demands it. Unfortunately the committee is unanimous on this issue – no certificate, no admission. Covid has not gone away, we are just not testing any more, and we are people of a vulnerable age and our society is totally freed us from protective practices. We are not prepared either to expose a non-vaccinated person to serious illness, or unnecessarily spread this virus. Masks are at your own discretion, but the hall’s windows and doors will be open. 

As regards FEES for this year, we have decided to make it one flat fee of R50 for the rest of the year. Please bring that with you to one of the meetings. The fee structure for next year will be a little different from before – much more user-friendly, and not expensive.  

Secondly, the Flag project is going ahead. Danny has been extremely busy sourcing material, and Jenni likewise has been looking at threads. It’s going to be very effective, and it really puts our Guild on the map. However, we need more people who are willing to be part of this. Some of you have been unnaturally coy about your talents. No one is expecting machine embroidery perfection, so please let’s have some volunteers.

Thirdly, the committee has decided that instead of an end of year party this year, we will hold a come-and-sell-craft day. Anything you make, from jams to jerseys to duvet covers to embroidered tray-cloths, will be acceptable. There will also be the opportunity to sell those craft materials we no longer want to use, so you can make space in your home, and earn money for it. It will be on an individual table basis – you will be able to book a table, possibly for a fee, and you set up your stuff. The pricing system, we’ll let you know later. WE WILL ALSO SEE OUR COVID FRIEZE which will be on display. More details about that later.

Finally, the Keiskamma Trust will be displaying some of their magnificent work later on this year on Heritage Day, 24th September, at the Constitutional Court. Mark the date in your calendar. This is not something to be missed. 

That’s all for now – a very full and exciting time ahead. We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday/Saturday, and let’s hope this is the beginning of a new era in our Guild. Like everything else, these two years have changed a lot of things, and we may have to think seriously about attracting new members, about passing on our skills to a younger generation, and about taking our work seriously once more. 

I want to end with a poem by Mary Oliver. I think it may resonate with where we are now.

“I Worried”

I worried a lot. Will the garden grow, will the rivers
flow in the right direction, will the earth turn
as it was taught, and if not how shall
I correct it?

Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven,
can I do better?

Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrows
can do it and I am, well,
hopeless.

Is my eyesight fading or am I just imagining it,
am I going to get rheumatism,
lockjaw, dementia?

Finally I saw that worrying had come to nothing.
And gave it up. And took my old body
and went out into the morning,
and sang.”

― Mary Oliver, Swan: Poems and Prose Poems

Newsletter — June 2022

This letter is a week late, but I decided to wait until we had our committee meeting (the first full meeting in about a year) and I could keep you up-to-date about what we discussed. We have some very exciting news, and we are intentional about starting up again as soon as we have found a suitable place to meet.

Firstly, some loose ends that need to be tied up. Jenni Langford is getting the last couple of pieces of the Covid Frieze together and will put the whole thing together soon. There were not sufficient contributions to make a decent frieze, so she is forming them into a large wall hanging instead. That should be quite eye-catching.

Some people have been asking about the Instagram page that we started. It seems that there was not enough input – too few people were posting, so it is in abeyance until we start meeting regularly again. However the Facebook page “Jozi Stitch” is still running, and Jenni has been posting several useful articles, and anyone who has work to show can put it on that page. The Wits Embroidery Facebook page, a newer initiative, will be closed. There is also the WhatsApp group which has been our main source of day-to-day communication and anyone who is not on that group can ask to be included. Hilary Walker is the chief administrator.

It appears that the Roosevelt Park Recreation Centre is still not ready, and no one seems to know how soon we will be able to go back there. It is really not very satisfactory but there doesn’t seem to be much else we can do. The meetings at Paputzis and Random Harvest went/are going well, but it’s an expensive way of doing things if we want to meet regularly for a longer time. We are investigating other alternatives, but other recreation centres are in exactly the same place as ours, and those which are not being renovated, are not suitable for other reasons – the lack of on-site parking being one of them. We’ll get back to you on that one. We will have to pay – nothing worthwhile comes cheaply, but we are planning to have another venue available soon. We have waited long enough. 

In the meantime, we have decided to delay the need for annual subscriptions until we DO actually meet. We have also decided to delay the AGM until we are meeting regularly, and the committee has agreed to remain in office until we are back to normal. In the meantime, please download and print a copy of your Covid vaccination certificate. The Recreation centres have ruled that no one is to be admitted unless they have shown on the government official form that they have been fully vaccinated. Most other venues are likely to have similar regulations, so be prepared to present that document.  

Now for some more “newsy” news. I had a phone call from Helen Bird – who is now 101 years old and recovered well after a fall from her stationary bike which resulted in a nasty cut on her leg. She was doing Sudoku at the time and wasn’t concentrating. She manages to walk to the embroidery meetings held at her village, and has at last had to get a hearing aid. But she is well, she is enjoying life to the full, and sends her love to all of you. I have tried to contact Helen Paton’s daughter to find out how she is doing, but have not managed to do so yet. I have also not been successful in contacting her retirement village either, but will keep trying and will let you know as soon as I have made contact, and I’ll let you know.

Now for a VERY EXCITING REQUEST! Our Chair, Danny Wimpey was contacted by the South Africa Air Force near Pretoria, and our Guild has been asked to make a new flag for this important part of the army. It is to replace a similar one which has become very worn, and we will have to submit a quote (yes – all expenses will be met) which will cover material, threads, and anything else we need. The flag is big – at least a metre by a metre and a half. The material will be something very durable and hard-wearing, and the thread will be most likely number 5 cotton. The design is four large proteas in each corner, and an eagle in the centre, and probably some lettering as well. All of this is to be done in satin stitch and long and short stitch, and will hopefully fly aloft for many years to come. 

SO………. We need volunteers who are passionate and very good at satin stitch and long and short to offer their services. We will ask for a sample of your work – not because we have any doubt as to your capability (we wouldn’t have been asked otherwise) but we need to match tension and style so that the whole thing looks uniformly done – this is the military, after all! Please contact Danny or any one of the committee if you are willing to help, and we will let you know further details. This is a marvellous opportunity not only for our status as a Guild, but also it is a significant affirmation of our art. Please let’s hear from you.

Now for the last thing in this very long letter. We need to update our membership list. Some of you have changed address since lockdown and other details may have changed. PLEASE UNDERSTAND WE ARE POPI COMPLIANT and will never share, give away, sell or do anything else with your details without your permission. If you have left Gauteng and would like to continue receiving the Newsletter and remain on the WhatsApp group, you are very welcome to do so. Please answer ANYWAY. Don’t remain silent and let us guess whether you still are a member or not. If you wish to be taken off the membership list, please reply.

The form can be downloaded by clicking this link, and must be filled in and returned to our secretary, Toni Billing.

That’s all for the moment, have a wonderful month, and we’ll be in touch as soon as we can find a meeting place.

Newsletter — May 2022

I would like to begin by thanking everyone for the fortitude and stalwart efforts you have all made over the past two very difficult years. You have cheered us all up with your happy messages on the WhatsApp group, I know you have met with other members of the group, online or in person (in safe environments) and not only kept the art of embroidery going, but have also kept the ethos of the Guild alive. So many groups, societies, businesses have gone under – and not because they were at fault, but the world has been caught on the back foot with this thing, and a lot of mistakes have been made, a lot of good and necessary things were legislated but were onerous in the carrying out of them, and there has been a lot of suffering too. Whenever we meet again as a whole Guild, it will be different, but our art has seen a lot of changes over the generations, and it will survive. Let us keep on going, keep on being careful and healthy, and look forward to the time when we can meet again.

This month we say goodbye to Colleen Goy who, with her husband, Tim, has moved to Plettenberg Bay to be nearer family. I’m sure the cold wind of the last two weeks has been the draught caused by the gap she has left. She has been a remarkable teacher, and her classes will miss her a lot. Plettenberg Bay ladies have no idea what they will be gaining, and how enriched their world is about to become. She has also been and will continue to be a strong, creative force in the embroidery world, and we look forward to many new designs that will no doubt be arriving in due course. Our very best wishes to Colleen and Tim, and may this new venture in their lives be a happy and fulfilling one. We will miss you!

We have had very happy and successful informal Guild meetings at Paputzis over the last few months, and it has been wonderful to see one another again. However The Virus has always hovered over us, and the committee has decided that since it is getting colder, it’s not pleasant sitting outside, and small rooms inside, while comfortable and isolated, are small and ventilation is not great. The Tuesday group in particular are all people of a vulnerable age, and we felt it is best to hold these meetings as official Guild meetings in abeyance for the next few months until things warm up and the current spike of infections goes down. It’s heartbreaking to do this, but we have to be responsible and erring on the side of caution is the safer option. 

However, if these issues don’t worry you, and you would like to get together as friends, on either Saturday or Tuesday, there is no reason why you shouldn’t. Through the WhatsApp group you have access to your friends, and Paputzis isn’t going anywhere. If you want to meet in your personal capacity, by all means make your own arrangements. I shall be staying away for the time being, but you all know how to eat at a restaurant, and we wish you joy in your self-made satellite embroidery meetings should you wish to hold them. 

In the meantime, we can all sew at home, and we look forward to (probably) August when we can meet again – maybe back at the Recreation Centre. Let’s hope so anyway.

Newsletter — April 2022

Not a long letter this time. Just urging you to keep warm as the weather cools, and the WHO warns us not to drop our guard over Covid, even though governments are opening up society. Let’s be sensible and keep on with our beautiful craft.

Meetings at Roosevelt Park are not going to happen soon. It seems there was extensive damage and wear and tear on the roof and with the rainy weather, it has taken longer to fix. At this point we are looking at the middle of the year (this year, I think, though it feels like any other year in the future.) We are continuing to meet at Paputzis every second Tuesday – and I here let me remind you that we meet again THIS TUESDAY, the 5th April. If it is still chilly, dress warmly. We can meet indoors – they have set aside a room for us if we need it. If we do meet there, and open windows do not give too much air circulation, it might be advisable to keep masks on all the time when we aren’t eating and drinking, but we are hoping that we won’t have to do this yet.. 

We are also starting a meeting for the Saturday ladies. This coming Saturday, the 9th April, we are meeting at Paputzis at 12h30 until 14h30 where we can meet up again, sew a bit, and enjoy a light lunch. Please come if you can, and bring cash to pay. They like issuing only one bill, so you will have to reimburse whoever is the paying person. We really look forward to meeting up with our working members and catching up after a very long time.

The Committee has had a meeting, and it was agreed that at some stage, we will need to update our records. In the next Newsletter we will probably have a form for you to fill in and return to us where we will ask you to check details as regards address – actual and email -, phone numbers, next-of-kin, and other things. Please be assured that we are bound by the Popi regulations, and we will never disclose any of your private details ever to anyone, and the number of committee members who will have access to the list will remain limited.

There isn’t much else to report – a short letter this month. 

Keep well, keep warm and keep embroidering!

Newsletter — March 2022

Not a lot of new things this month. We are still waiting for news about the re-opening of the Roosevelt Park Recreation Centre. Until then, we keep sewing. In the meantime, we have been meeting once a fortnight at Paputzis in Linden where we have VERY good coffee and eats that are even better. It is also very nice to see one another again. We have a new young member who has joined us both times, and we are hoping that the members of a hardanger quartet will join us tomorrow. It’s exciting that we are attracting new members while enjoying the ambience of a very nice restaurant garden.

Embroidery classes are available in various places in Johannesburg. 

  1. On the 9th and 10th of March, Colleen Goy will be holding embroidery classes at “Buttons and Bows”, a shop in the rear of the Cramerville shopping centre (which is opposite the nursery which is next door to Sandton Clinic). Phone (011) 465-6229 if you are interested or know of someone who would like to learn more. 
  2. Until we meet again on Tuesdays, there is a class which takes place in Fourways run by Wendy Barton. It’s on a Tuesday morning, so on the days you are not having coffee with us at Paputzis, you could go and let Wendy help you. She is a very effective teacher, and you would enjoy these classes. Contact the Guild for her number.
  3. Classes also take place at Ribbonfields in Bordeaux. Phone in the mornings, after 10h00 and before 12h00 at (011) 675-1253 to find out times and costs.
  4. Moon and Son also runs embroidery classes. They are situated in the Valley Shopping Centre, and their number is 082 728 8103, if you would like to make enquiries.

A few of you have had problems finding “Threads,” the embroidery shop that used to be situated in a house in in Linden. They have moved, and are open at 
60 Sixth Street in Linden. With all the building going on at the corner, it’s difficult to see them. If you stand facing all that building work in Sixth Street, keep going right, past the hawkers, and stop at that first block of flats, which is partly hidden by all the building activity. “Threads” is in the ground floor, right-hand flat. There is a notice in the window, but I shall ask them to put a notice on the fence where it is more visible, at least during shopping hours (10h00 to 12h00 on Wednesday, Fridays and Saturdays, but 10h00-14h00 on Tuesdays and Thursdays). 

I hope you all keep well. Keep the Embroidery flag flying, and hopefully we’ll meet again sooner rather than later.

Newsletter — February 2022

It’s a bit late for “Happy New Year”, but this is the first letter of 2022. I hope you all have had a wonderful summer and festive season, and that this year brings a bit more normality to our lives.

Firstly, we had to say goodbye to Carol Walker on the 26th January. She died very unexpectedly, and it must have been a great shock to Diane and her father. Carol was a very loyal and devoted member of the Guild, and didn’t let her own physical difficulties stop her, with the support of Diane, from running the Sales Table and she was also a very vocal member of the committee. She had a strong sense of what was right and fitting, and could always be relied on the turn up and do her bit. During a long association with the Guild, she did some wonderful embroidery too. Meetings won’t be the same without her. We will miss her.

The committee has decided, after some deliberation, that Ighali will be postponed to next year. While it seems that the pandemic is losing some of its fire, authorities, including the World Health Organisation have warned us that it is not over yet. If, as has been predicted, we get another spike in infections during winter, it will be very difficult to put such a big event together in the limited time we have available. We’ll see how things go and make a decision later in the year or early next year, when the best time will be to hold it. It WILL HAPPEN, but not just yet.

Renovations at Roosevelt Park are under way, and it seems we will be able to meet there this year. April/May has been mooted as a possible starting date, but we all know builders! Let’s not be too fixed in our hopes, but we are optimistic it will happen sometime soon. However, we have noted how we are longing to see one another and get back to doing our lovely work at a meeting, so we have made provision for a Guild Social Event. This coming Tuesday, the 8th February, at 09h30, we have arranged for those of us who want to, to meet in the garden at Paputzis (a restaurant in the same street as Arthur Bales, 4th Avenue Linden, near 6thStreet, next to the Library). It is NOT an official Guild meeting. You come as an individual, and meet other members of the Guild, have a cup of tea and something to eat (which you will pay for yourselves) and do some embroidery until about 11h45 when the staff need to sanitise and get ready for their lunchtime customers. They did ask that we have something to eat (come early and have breakfast!) because serving a bigger group does mean greater demands on the staff, and more sanitising of tables, toilets and so on, and we must remember that restaurants have been very hard hit by the pandemic. If it goes well, we can meet again. It may be too expensive to meet weekly, so fortnightly or monthly may suit most people – we’ll decide that on the day. This IS Guild initiated, but not run by the Guild. The management did ask that, for the first meeting, we phone and book, so they have some idea of what will be demanded of them. Most businesses are low on stock as a result of the pandemic, and do not have the bandwidth to buy in extra “in case.” It will be a few months before small businesses will feel financially secure, so we can help them in this way. The number is (011) 782 9393. I know some people have already booked. Do come if you can. It will be great to see everyone again.  

Before I end, I’m sure we all wish Helen O’Hanrahan well. She fell and broke her hip and went through a hip replacement. Some of you know what that means, and I’m sure we will all send her our good wishes and prayers, and we look forward to seeing her back with us again. 

It’s time to dig out a favourite piece of embroidery, and we’ll see you on Tuesday!

Newsletter — December 2021

So here we are at the last letter of the year. It seems like forever since we met, and except for those few brief meetings earlier this year, we haven’t seen one another for a very long time. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel. It appears that the renovations at the Roosevelt Park recreation centre are underway, at last, and, if everything goes according to plan, we should be able to meet again next year at around Easter at the latest. Let hope so anyway.

Hilary Walker has asked PLEASE if those of you who are not going away this December, would give a few hours of your time to sew up the pieces of the Covid “Eye of e Needle” project. They need to be hemmed with some lovely fabric which the team has found, and then placed on a background of the same material. This is a very arduous task when it is done by only one or two people, but if everyone does something, it will go much faster. It’s not difficult work, but it does take time.

An idea for Christmas – a woman took the pictures that her grandchildren drew for her (the stuff you keep on the fridge forever) traced them and embroidered them and made the finished work into a wall decoration as a Christmas present to the artist when she was old enough to appreciate the work gone into it. That might be an idea for you to take on if you are at a loss as to what to get children or teenagers for Christmas. I would love to show you a picture of it, but it was from a friend of a friend of a friend, so I don’t have permission to share it.

Jenni Langford has offered a special service to Guild members at this point in the year. If you need anything researched – how to do a certain stitch, information on a style of embroidery, where to buy what, or anything else embroidery connected, she will research it for you and give you whatever answers she can find. This is a generous offer, and for those of us who find trawling our way through the internet rather challenging, this is a wonderful initiative.

That’s all for now. There is not usually a newsletter in January, but if there is any news about when we can meet again, or anything else important, I will send out an interim letter. Until then, have wonderful holidays, spend time with those you love – even if it’s only electronically, keep well away from the Virus, and hopefully, we’ll see one another in the new Year.

A Christmas decoration by Mandy Kort,  from the Guild's 2016 exhibition.
A Christmas decoration by Mandy Kort, from the Guild’s 2016 exhibition.

Newsletter — November 2021

I must begin this month’s newsletter by remembering our dear friend Fatima Bhabha who died at the end of last month. She was the Chair when I re-joined the Guild after 20 years’ absence, and I could not have been made to feel more welcome. She took an interest in everyone’s work, and always had a bit of practical philosophy to share when the creative process became a bit frustrating as happens, even with embroidery! We had some lovely chats, and her work was always beautiful. She will be sorely missed, and we are grateful for all that she did for the Guild and its members. RIP Fatti, and our condolences to her family and numerous friends.

A selection of Fatima’s work from the Guild’s 2016 exhibition.

Further information about our “Eye of the Needle” project – the backing material has arrived and is waiting to be used to mount our efforts. Two of the working group are on a well-deserved holiday at the moment, but no doubt over the December period there will be some progress. We look forward to seeing the end result.

Last month Jenni Langford took a lot of trouble to collate a list of all available suppliers of embroidery materials. There is a new shop which has just moved to the Jan Smuts Avenue area. It is called “Moon and Son” and as yet has small amounts of wool, embroidery thread (mostly Chameleon) and quilting material. The delightful young lady who runs it is offering classes in knitting, crochet, quilting and embroidery – she did tell me the name of the teacher, and it sounded familiar, but I’m not going to write it here and get it wrong. Since the shop is new to the area, the dominant offering will ultimately be according to whatever the demands are. The shop is situated in the Valley Shopping centre, and if you come out of Clicks, turn RIGHT and it is tucked into the northern most corner of the centre. Go and have a look. The phone number is 082 728 8103, and I’m sure she would source anything you needed.

While we are talking about lessons, Colleen Goy is teaching again, at Ribbon Fields and at Buttons and Bows. Phone the shops concerned to get days and times if you or anyone you know is interested in upping their skills.

Danny has been in touch with the Roosevelt Park Recreation Centre to find out about re-opening again, but it seems as though the re-furbishment is nowhere near ready. We really don’t want to wait forever to begin again, and the committee is considering other venues. If any of you know of a possible meeting place which is within about 10 Kms of Roosevelt Park, has secure parking and also is big enough to allow for Covid protocols (and the WHO says we are only about halfway through the pandemic. We still need distancing, masks etc), please let one of the committee members know, or reply to this email and I’ll make sure it is passed on. Even if we meet only in temporary accommodation from the beginning of next year, it will be good to see everyone again.

A couple of years ago I was looking for embroidery groups around the country and I happened upon the South African artist Sally Scott, who does the most magnificent paintings of the country around the Eastern Cape. She also calls herself a “Fibre Artist,” which is like post-graduate embroidery and quilting, and some magnificent creative things are done by those groups of Fibre Artists or (Textile Artists, which is the better-known name), who create these things. At the moment there is an exhibition being held in Gqeberha (the old PE) and I asked for the brochure to be sent to me so you can see what sort of work is done. It has links with the Keiskamma project – you remember that project where a number of concerned people went to the area around Hamburg and taught the indigent women art work of various kinds. That excellent outreach is still going on, and you will see some outstanding samples of what they are producing as well. Apparently there are fibre art groups all over the country, and I am sure we can only benefit by seeing a slightly different approach to our craft. This is the link: https://gfiartgallery.com/current/.

Other than that, I hope you are finding that the heat, the exhaustion from Covid – (is it ever going to go away?) and the general winding down towards the end of the year is not stopping you. Perhaps now is the time to be a bit embroidery mad. Let’s see if you can be REALLY crazy and different. Who knows – you might be South Africa’s next great world-renown artist! We look forward to seeing your creations and bragging about you to all our friends.

Keep well and keep cheerful.

Newsletter — October 2021

I hope you are all well, and that the warmer weather (after some lovely rain) and the reduction in Covid rules have made you happier and more optimistic about the future.

Last month we asked you to let us know about embroidery suppliers near you so that we all have places to go when we need things, and that we can spoil ourselves a little in the interests of keeping these places open. Jenni has collated the list, has made sure the businesses concerned are happy for us to share their details (POPI regulations) so please look them up. I’m sure they will stimulate interest and get you to be your usual creative selves and produce some beautiful work. There are always presents needed, particularly towards the end of the year, and now is a good time to start. The list is on the new “Resources” page of this website, which can be accessed via the menu links above.

Other than that, the Covid “Through the Eye of the Needle” project is going ahead. Jenni Langford, Lynn Puttick and Louise von Glehn met at Hilary Walker’s house and, with the added input from Helen O’Hanrahan, your pieces have been placed and the backing and framing fabric has been more of less decided upon. We look forward to more news on this front. This is really exciting.

We will let you know as soon as the Recreation Centre has been upgraded and meetings are like to start again. We presume it will all be ready for the beginning of next year. Let’s hope the builders don’t hit any snags which could cause delays.

For now, happy sewing