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

Newsletter — September 2021

Happy spring month! Let’s hope it comes with good rains, warmer weather and an increased feeling of hope and looking forward to great things. There are some things to look forward to, although there is not a lot to report this month.

Firstly, the Covid project “Through the Eye of a Needle” is officially through stage one. Around forty pieces have been collected and the “put-it-all-together” committee is looking for a place large enough where they can safely plan the layout but at the same time keep social distancing according to current regulations. There are some pieces which were handed in to other members of the committee/Guild, so will those people who have them, please make an arrangement to hand them over to Jenni ASAP so the process can continue. It would be dreadful for the whole thing to go on display and a participant brings the grandchildren to look and find that inadvertently HER piece was not included in the final work. I’m sure you won’t put us in that position!!!

Now that the project is over, I’m sure you will be looking for new things to begin – or old things to complete. If you can, please think about our retailers (shops) and producers of embroidery materials. Apparently House of Embroidery was badly affected by the riots which we all experienced recently, and have worked very hard to catch up and get their orders out. Please support them if you can and help the company get on its feet again. Chameleon threads has expanded and moved out of Benoni and the company is now based somewhere near the airport. Such a brave move during a pandemic will mean that they could use some support too. Even our imported DMC comes through a local agent. We lost Anchor cottons through lack of support. Let’s not let that happen again.

Our retailers too are finding that things are “a bit slow at the moment.” If these businesses can’t stay open, then people will be out of work, and we will be forced to use inferior materials or import anything we need. “Sales table” type of stuff doesn’t go on forever.

Jenni Langford has offered to collate and distribute a list of all the shops we know of where haberdashery is sold – with particular emphasis on embroidery things, of course. There are heaps of these little shops – gift shops, stationery shops, supermarkets, which have the odd shelf of embroidery stuff, as well as the specialist shops we all know and love. Our members also come from Alberton to Centurion and the borders of Germiston to Roodepoort. PLEASE let us know of any shop within these boundaries. I remember travelling from northern Johannesburg to Boksburg to get ONE ball of wool that I needed. Us crafty people are crazy like that, so no shop is too small or too insignificant for our list, and I’m sure the owners of the businesses would appreciate the support. And I’m sure Janis can make a plan if you need things. She’s a very local retailer! Nobody needs an excuse to buy lovely things. Take the opportunity for a good cause!

If you REALLY don’t need anything, please think about buying a few things to donate to charities. Many of our members are involved in one or other charity, either through their religious institution or other socially motivated societies. Next month, I would like to publish as well as the above-mentioned shops, all charities that could use embroidery materials, fabric, wool, scissors, needles, hooks or whatever else people use, and you as an individual or we as a Guild can support them. Even if money is tight, two balls of knitting wool, or a reel of cotton, or some embroidery skeins, will be well used, and in the October newsletter we will publish the list so, not only will you be keeping people in work, but you will be helping those who need it too. By all means, let me add the name of your pet charity. Marvellous people that you are, I’m sure you’ll contribute. How nice it will be for the poorest, struggling people in our land to have nice new stuff to work with. Other people’s “recycling” is useful, but I’m sure there’s a lot of joy in working with something brand new! Think about it! We will definitely not be meeting as a Guild at the Recreation centre this year. They are upgrading and renovating the building – work which is very necessary apparently – so no groups are meeting. A pity about that, but it’s nice to have a non-Covid reason for a change! In the meantime, we have the benefit of the internet in all its variety of communication options, so let’s keep sewing, let’s be creative, and let’s keep talking to one another.

Have a wonderful month.

Newsletter — August 2021

Colleen Goy has a number of new designs in the pipeline. We are privileged to be the first people to see the final product. This one is called “Summer Flowers”.

I hope you all survived the recent VERY cold front, and that your hands were not too cold to continue your beautiful embroidery. Now that the days are beginning to warm up, spring is on the horizon, and most of us have been double vaccinated (even though infection numbers are still high), we were hoping that meeting again would be possible in the not too distant future. Unfortunately that won’t be possible. The Roosevelt Park Recreation Centre is undergoing some renovations, and will be closed for the rest of the year. That means we will still be working from home, although I’m sure smaller, informal, self-generated meetings will happen, and perhaps the committee may have some plans for later on in the year.

We have reached the last month of our Covid project “The Eye of the Needle”. Jenni has between 20 and 30 pieces, and Hilary has a few as well. Please finish up what you are doing, and let us have them. The next collection day is the 28th August at the Roosevelt Park Recreation centre, and then the team will begin putting it all together. I finished my piece, and was truly inspired by a new book out this year “Threads of Life” by Clare Hunter. It is a story of the history of embroidery, but not about who wore what and which stitches were used, but rather a narrative of the author’s discovery of what embroidery meant to the many people (men and women) and how it is more than a hobby, but has been an eternal document of the lives and experiences of people of all ages, cultures and civilisations for about 1000 years. I bought an audible version and am still listening to it while doing handwork. You need a few tissues at times – it can be quite moving. It made me realize our Covid project is more than something to keep us busy during lockdown, but it is a statement of women in Johannesburg, in South Africa, during an event which is profoundly shaping us and will have huge implications in the years to come. Please don’t pass up the opportunity to have your say, and get your bit of cloth and do something for us. This is not about producing a piece of perfection which will be judged by the nastiest Home Economics teacher you ever met, but rather a statement, however imperfect, of our dealing with sadness, frustrations, deprivation, stress and a world-wide sisterhood (and brotherhood too) sharing the uncertainty of a spikey golf-ball shaped virus which has come to dominate our lives. Future generations will get to understand this in our unique way — WE NEED YOUR INPUT! I am including link to a review of the book which will tell you much more about what is in it.

https://www.thebookseller.com/profile/clare-hunter-embroidery-became-her-emotional-and-political-representative-899476

Jenni has once again included a short “how to” piece (see the bottom of this post). You will all remember that last Friday was World Embroidery Day. To mark it, perhaps you may like to try something new if you have never done cross stitch before, or you might like to teach someone. 95% of the time it will be one lesson and they will probably never pick up a needle and thread again, but at least they now know what embroidery is. That other 5% may take to it at once or may pick it up later. See what you can do! There will never be too many embroiderers in the world.

Another of Colleen Goy’s new designs, Volaré.

Colleen Goy has been busy and she says she has a number of new designs in the pipeline. She has given us two of them and we are the first people privileged to see the final product. When you have done your “Eye of the Needle” project and handed it in, here are some exciting new things to take on. I have attached them to this letter. Keep an eye on the Roseworks website, and look in our favourite embroidery shops, and we will soon have new things to do.

In the meantime, keep on keeping on. These trying times will end someday, and let us use our art to make us stronger, kinder, and more resilient people – although most of you are there already! Lots of love.

CROSS STITCH

FABRIC

Most counted cross stitch projects are worked on even weave fabrics made especially for counted tread embroidery.  These fabrics have vertical and horizontal threads of uniform thickness and spacing.  Aida cloth is a favourite because its weave forms distinctive squares in the fabric, which makes placing stitches easy.  To determine a fabric’s thread count, count the number of threads per inch of fabric.

In addition to even weave fabrics, many stitchers enjoy using waste canvas, perforated paper, and plastic canvas.

Waste canvas is basted to clothing or other fabric, forming a grid for stitching which is later removed.

Perforated paper has holes evenly spaced, 14 stitches per inch.

Plastic canvas can be found in different counts and shapes.

NEEDLES

Size 24 and 26 blunt-end tapestry needles are used for stitching on even weave fabric and Aida cloth.  The ideal needle size is just small enough to slip easily through your fabric.  When stitching on waste canvas, use a sharp needle. Sharp needles are also recommended for back stitch and other embroidery stitches used to embellish cross stitch work.

HOOPS AND SCISSORS

An embroidery hoop is recommended for cross stitch, and a pair of small, sharp embroidery scissors is very helpful.

Newsletter — July 2021

Welcome to midwinter – or just after.  I hope you are all keeping warm and safe from the ills that are affecting our society at this time.  I also hope that your embroidery is providing you with that “Zone” where you can escape and forget everything that has to be endured at the moment.

Before we get on to Embroidery business, I have to let you know that we do come under the POPIA act, and while Toni and Jenni are going to send you all a formal notice about it when they have drawn it up, let me assure you in the meantime that 1) we will never give your contact details out to anyone and 2) if you do not want to receive these newsletters, or any other communication from the Guild, please let us know and we will remove your name and details immediately. Other details concerning this Act will be made known soonish.

Helen O’Hanrahan as asked me to remind those of you who have not yet done so, you please to pay your fees for this year if you can.  If you have any problems, please let her know.

The Member Fees are:

  • Under 60          R140,00
  • 60   –   69         R120,00
  • 70   –   79         R100,00
  • 80   –   89        R 80,00
  • 90 +                 Honorary

About the Eye of a Needle Covid project: thank you very much to those of you who have submitted your pieces so far. We now have well over 20 pieces, which even now will make an effective artwork. However, we know there are those of you who have not yet finished and with this current wave, we also know there are those of you who won’t or can’t leave your residences. Accordingly we have decided to extend the deadline until the end of AUGUST. So you have two more months to finish what you have begun, and if you are a super sewer and would like to make another one – please do. Jenni will be at the Roosevelt Park Recreation centre on the last Saturday of each month – the 31st July and the 28th August between 14h00 and 16h00, and you can hand your things in then. Thank you Jenni – you devotion to the cause is admirable. Jenni has also given a useful little article on how to look after your scissors which I have put at the end of this letter.

There are those of us who have been ill, and we hope you have recovered. Please be careful. Many of us will be ready for the second vaccine around now. I hope you all manage to get vaccinated. The sooner this happens, the sooner we will be able to meet again.

We also have some good news. The embroiderer’s Guild has three new grandchildren. Our little Rebecca was born last year, and is proving to be a feisty young woman. Hilary Walker’s Max was born about 4-5 months ago, and is growing into a very charming young man. Louise von Glehn became a granny for the first time last month with the birth of little Owen. Unfortunately he is an English baby, so Louise and Frank will only be able to see him when we are allowed to travel again. If there are any other babies or children you would like to tell us about, please let us know. You are allowed to brag! Otherwise, keep on keeping on. We will get through this, and we will meet again, hopefully sooner rather than later. In the meantime, keep well.

How to care for your Embroidery Scissors

  • After use, wipe the inside of blade surfaces with a soft dry cloth to prevent lint build-up.
  • Lightly oil scissors periodically at the screw assembly and between the blades at the pivot area. Remove any excess oil residue to prevent staining.
  • Avoid using force in cutting as it can seriously damage the blades and alignment. Struggling through a cut means the scissors are too light or too blunt for the job.
  • Handle with care and avoid dropping.
  • A qualified scissor expert should do adjustments and sharpening, when necessary.