Newsletter — January 2024

Our January 2024 newsletter is in the multi-page PDF below. You can read it here on this page by clicking within the frame below and then scrolling, or you can download it by clicking the ‘Download’ button below the cover image.

Meetings start again on the 9th and 13th January 2024.

Newsletter — August/September 2023

“Spring is the time of plans and projects.”

Leo Tolstoy,Anna Karenina’ 

Our August/September 2023 newsletter is in the multi-page PDF below. You can read it here on this page by clicking within the frame below and then scrolling, or you can download it by clicking the ‘Download’ button below the cover image.


Note especially the upcoming workshops. Details are in the newsletter.

  • Beginners’ workshops run in alternate months on a Saturday.
  • Goldwork workshop. We have managed to source some goldwork materials, so will be putting together a kit for those who attend (in contrast to the announcement in a previous newsletter).
  • Smocking workshop in November. Details will be sent out in due course.

Newsletter — June 2023

Hello everyone,

Eid Mubarak to all our Muslim members. We hope you all had a happy and peaceful Eid al Adha.

Mid-winter has certainly hit us with a bang. The images of snow on the Drakensberg, and all over the Cape, as well as the excessive rainfall and associated flooding have been incredible. Its clear that extraordinary climatic events are becoming more and more common. The Winter solstice has passed and now the days are getting longer, even if we can expect many cold days in the next six weeks. Winter solstice at my son’s school was always celebrated as the festival of St John:  a festival of rebirth with a bonfire and singing. The children made lanterns and we all brought soup. A precious memory.

Happy Birthday to our members who have birthdays in July and many, many more.



Alice Per continues to run external workshops on a Saturday. If you know someone interested in embroidery, please contact us.


The next internal workshop will be on the 8th and 24th of July when Jenny Langord will be teaching felt applique. 

This is one of the designs she has prepared, and she also has a house and a bunch of flowers.

After the successes of the Dorset Buttons and Ribbon Embroidery, these are sure to be wonderful. 

Please let Jenni know if you want to attend and she will send you the details and include you on the Workshop WhatsApp group. 


These will be held during September, and November. 

Goldwork: 10 and 24 September (bring your own kit and equipment) 

Smocking: November date still to be finalised with Helen O’H who will be teaching it.

Those attending the Goldwork workshop, please be on the lookout for gold thread and other similar materials, as we are not making up a kit. Jenni has contacted Spinnering and Diana van der Walt has a few Gold Work items in stock. Jenni can forward details if anyone would like to know more.

PATTERN RESOURCES ON THE INTERNET  This is a site run by the wonderful Mary Corbett who has a number of You Tube channels and is an excellent teacher.

Anyone who is on Instagram will know that there are a myriad of accounts with amazing embroidery. The Royal School of Needlework is a good place to start  @royalneedlework 

Vervaco, a Belgian needlework company, has a regular ‘Secret Stich- along’. If you are interested, here is a link:

Please let us know if you encounter any difficulties registering, and we will try to help you. (Spoiler alert: this one is cross stitch)


Linda Putter ran the sales table in June, and we raised a decent amount of money for the Guild. We welcome anyone who would like to sell at the Sales: you run your own table, enjoy Linda’s company, and give us 10% of your turnover, on an honesty basis. Thank you Linda for your ongoing help with this least glamourous of roles.



Our inaugural “Show and Tell” displays  were held on the 24th and 27th of June. To say they were a success is an understatement. 

Members voted for their favourites and on Saturday these were Tricia Leishman’s Bee eater and Aneeba Imran’s Memory Book.

On Tuesday the winners were Janet Holloway’s beautiful table runner and Sarie Sawers’ Rhino. 

Some of the other items on display:

We will be holding these displays regularly. If anyone has a suggestion for a theme, feel free to drop it into the suggestion box. These events are meant to be a bit of fun, and to other work.

In terms of the Constitution, they are also to allow members to share other kinds of crafts which they do, with each other. They do not have to be embroidery related as it is a chance for people to see what else is out there.


We have bought two new (second-hand) cupboards to store the workshop equipment and other stuff in. These will all be in the Strelitzia store and once we’ve moved everything, our workshop stash and other resources will be moved to its own cupboard. Hopefully this will make things much easier for Alice and Jenni.


We have bought two plaques for the donated embroideries at the SAVF centre and the Trinity Methodist Church:


Work on the next Market is proceeding. These are the initial details:

  • 2nd September 2023 at the Linden Methodist Church
  • One Table and one chair, bring your own table cloth
  • R100.00
  • R10.00 entrance fee

Please contact Helen O’H to book a table. As with last year, the YOCO machine will be available. We will not be taking a percentage, just the cost of the table.


Toni will continue to sell her threads and other delights on the first Tuesday and the first Saturday. As mentioned before, she also now has stock of Chameleon and House of Embroidery threads. Please do support Toni.


The committee at the moment is

  • Danny, Helen, Jenni, Diane, Agness
  • Linda Putter for Sales (we are still trying to get her agree to be co-opted)
  • Ciairan (Tea) (alternate)

Anyone willing to assist as an alternate or has a particular interest in an aspect of the committee’s work, please let me know. You will be very, very welcome.


Dear Agness had to return to surgery for an additional clean out of her wound. She is making an excellent recovery and is as always, so cheerful, loving, and kind. She is an inspiration. Hilary Walker very kindly visited Agness and anyone else who would like to do so, please contact Danny for details if you need them.

Both Alice Per and Danny Wimpey suffered a trauma in June as their husband’s fell, in separate incidents, and each suffered a cracked rib. So painful, and very difficult for the person taking care of the injured. Please send us your strength. 😊

Our name badges are here. Please collect them from Helen and bring R35 if you have not already paid.

Please send me any members’ news you would like to (and may) include here.


Raffle tickets in aid of Ighali are R5.00 each, and they will be on sale until the end of July. The draw will be conducted by Ina to ensure impartiality. Contact Helen or any other committee member.


The committee has decided to buy this beautiful book by Trish Burr. We have ordered it and will let you know when it arrives which will probably be in mid-July.

You can find it on her website:


Please remember to put your name on the tea roster. The way we find works best is to join with someone. The Tuesday roster is on the inside of the tea cupboard. Please ask Jenni or Di for the Saturday roster. Thank you everyone who has already brought tea this year. It is always appreciated.

Stay warm in July, not long to go.

To contact the Committee or Guild members, please email us:

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 — 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:

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.