Newsletter — June 2024

Our June 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.

HIGHLIGHTS

The two-day embroidery conference, Ighali Gauteng 2024, has unfortunately had to be cancelled. 

The next outing is taking place on 29 June. It is to Spinnerin in Benoni – a fabulous sewing, knitting and embroidery shop, that caters for a multitude of other handcrafts.

Beginners’ workshops will be run on request, so if you are interested, please email the Guild. Let us know if there is something in which you are particularly interested.

The upcoming workshops are:

  • A very large group took part in the Chicken Scratch workshop (also known as Broderie Suisse, Australian Cross Stitch, and Depression Lace). This workshop will be continuing at the next meeting on 22nd June.
  • July: Smocking Balls (“Christmas in July”)
  • August: Shadow Stitch
  • October: Slow Stitch
  • December: Year End Craft

The cost of each workshop will depend on the cost of the materials, but the minimum charge for 2024 is R50.

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 — December 2023

Our December 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.

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

Newsletter — September 2023

Our 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.

WORKSHOPS

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

  • Beginners’ workshops run in alternate months on a Saturday. The October workshop will cover another five basic stitches.
  • Traditional Japanese Sashiko workshop on 3rd and 17th October.
  • Smocking workshop in November. The focus will be on making decorative smocked balls. 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.

WORKSHOPS

EXTERNAL

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

witsembroidery@gmail.com

INTERNAL

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. 

GOLDWORK and SMOCKING

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

https://www.needlenthread.com/patterns  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:

https://cdn.flxml.eu/r-e7180e94ad2ec16301c06db39541e7ac848f5f5fbc0b99fb

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

SALES

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.

FROM THE COMMITTEE

SHOW AND TELL

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.

NEW CUPBOARDS

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.

PLAQUES

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

SPRING MARKET

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.

OTHER SALES

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.

COMMITTEE

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.

MEMBERS’ NEWS

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.

IGHALI Raffle

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.

LIBRARY

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: 

https://trishburr.com/2023/06/21/kew-book-of-nature-samplers/

TEA TABLE

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: witsembroidery@gmail.com

Newsletter — February 2023

Our February newsletter is getting to you a little late, but is still jam-packed with information and fun. As with the January edition, it is now a multi-page PDF. 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.

Please note that the AGM will be taking place at the Roosevelt Park Recreation Centre on Saturday, 25th March 2023 from 12h00 until 13h00.

Some changes to the WEG Constitution and Rules are being proposed and we would like input from all our Members so please make every effort to attend. Please remember that only paid-up Members are able to vote. 

Newsletter — January 2023

Our newsletter is now a multi-page PDF which includes a crossword and lots of information about the range of activities that make up the Guild. 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.

Newsletter — December 2022

Here we are, at the end of another year. It’s time to start thinking of the Festive Season and all that that entails, and it will soon be January when we are Back In Business. It seems ages since we all met, but we will be back at the Roosevelt Park Recreation Centre on Tuesday the 10th of January (from 09h00) and Saturday the 14thJanuary (from 13h00) to pick up where we left off some three years ago. Who would have thought it would take that long? Please remember to bring your R300 which is your annual fee AS WELL AS your tea money. No monthly payments for tea any more, and if you do the sums, you will see that the Embroiderers’ Guild is one of the few places where it is CHEAPER to belong to than before Covid. We would prefer you to pay online, and please put your name is BOTH reference places.

Please contact the Guild for its banking details.

The big thing about this year is IGHALI! Toni Billings, our Secretary is also the chair of the Ighali committee and she is very busy picking up from where we left off in 2019/2020. Below are two letters she sent out to some of us giving details of where she is in the process at the present time. 

Good day Everyone

I spent Sunday 6 November scouting out venues for IGHALI. I’ve narrowed it down to two from the six I physically saw, but I’ll be looking at others in the weeks to come. 

It is quite a challenge as I need to look for an affordable price; a location that is relatively central for everyone; available dates at the venue that will suit most of us; a terrain that will be manageable for everyone; good quality food and reasonable quantities; plenty of rooms that are suitable for those ladies who are staying overnight; the proximity to airports with shuttle services for those who are flying in from elsewhere; the number of breakaway rooms and the facilities in these rooms such as the lighting, space, electrical points, projectors and screens; a secure place for our vendors; a safe spot for the embroidery exhibits; and a good area for our gala evening. Quite a list of requirements I’m sure you’ll agree! 

I’ve also learned that I have to actually SEE all the facilities because telephone assurances and internet descriptions leave a lot to be desired. Hopefully, I’ll have found a suitable spot by the end of the year and then I’ll be able to let you know.

As to the date of the seminar, for now, I’m considering August/September 2023, but that date will obviously be determined by the availability of our excellent teachers as well as the venue. So, this too will be confirmed nearer the time. All I can say for now is save, save, save! This will be an event not to be missed and will be worth every cent.

If you have any teachers or vendors you believe will add value to our embroidery journey, please urge them to contact me so we can ensure that we have the very best seminar possible. I’ll also be contacting those who were kind enough to offer their help in 2020, so … be prepared ladies I’m coming for you!

As always money is in short supply so donations and sponsorships etc. are all welcome and we will gladly advertise the services of those who want the publicity. To the many ladies who have up to now contributed and donated their time, skills, materials, items to be raffled, tips, hints, goodies, suggestions and ideas, thank you, thank you, thank you. We would be lost without you! It’s so uplifting to know that we have a supportive embroidery family to depend on.

Until we chat again, take care and keep those scissors sharp.

And here is the second one. Please contact Toni directly if you can help in any way.

Good day All

Those of you who were part of the IGHALI 2020 group may remember that there was a seminar theme, which we’ve decided to keep. (You may have noticed my “subtle” hints at the end of my previous emails.)

For obvious reasons, “Cutting through Time” is now symbolic of the IGHALI journey we’ve taken, from the initial “proposed” date (pre-COVID) until we eventually meet in Gauteng. 

As a part of our IGHALI programme, we would love to hold a competition featuring your embroidered interpretation of this theme. Entries will be judged and prizes awarded at the end of the seminar. So ladies, get your thinking caps on and let your imagination run wild. I’m looking forward to seeing all your beautiful, inspiring creations on show. 

In the same vein, if you have any “scissor” related quotes, stories, history or other information that our delegates would find interesting, please share these with me. I want to create an enduring record of our thematic collaboration to celebrate our return to normality.

Another amazing feature of our IGHALI Gauteng programme will be the display of a remarkable imaginative achievement representing the last three years. The Witwatersrand Embroiderers’ Guild (“WEG”), of which I’m proud to be the secretary, was inspired to create an amazing COVID frieze, featuring incredible artwork by various members of our Guild. The theme of the project was the “Eye of the Needle” and the brief given to the ladies was to create an embroidered memory of their personal COVID voyage. The frieze reminds us of how a connection to embroidery brought many of us through this challenging time, so we felt it fitting that it should be shared with like-minded delegates at IGHALI Gauteng.

In conclusion, I’d like to urge you all once again, please save-save-save! This is going to be a magnificent event and you’ll be awfully sorry if you miss it.

Until next time, keep stitching and be happy. (No more scissor references here!)

This is going to get our embroidery off to a very good start! Thank you Toni for all that you are doing. 

And now for some (for me) sad news. I have thought for some time that this newsletter, fun though it has been to do, may be coming to the end of its time. I began it when the only means of communication was announcements before tea at the meetings, which meant anyone who wasn’t in the room, wasn’t at the meeting, was busy following complicated instructions, or whatever else, missed out on what was being said. The newsletter was a written copy of what we all needed to know and we could refer back to it when we needed to. During Covid and the non-availability of the Recreation Centre, it was a means of keeping us all in touch with one another. 

Now that we are meeting, we have, as has every other organisation, hit the ground running, and the newsletter probably doesn’t fill the same urgent need. We are all more able to cope with email and WhatsApp, and Danny Wimpey, our Chairperson is a superb communicator, both written and spoken, and sends out whatever you need to know immediately. Toni Billing is also very efficient, and will send beautifully written emails and other messages as soon as we need to know what she wants us to know. To keep information for a month so it goes into a newsletter is the slow way of doing things and not particularly efficient, and to have both periodic notices AND a newsletter is cluttering up your inboxes unnecessarily. 

In addition – and I took it as a sign – I have been offered work for the coming year, which doesn’t often come to people 70+ years of age, and I would really like to take it. It involves amongst other things, developing course material, and meetings often take place on a Tuesday morning and sometimes on a Saturday. My attendance at meetings will be sporadic for the first few months of the year, so I don’t think that I could do full justice to a newsletter which is an agent of communication. For the time being, Toni has undertaken to keep you informed of anything going on, possibly/probably in the newsletter format, and should things change in the course of the year, and you REALLY need the newsletter, we can always look at it again. Accordingly I am sending your email addresses to Toni and Danny ONLY, (and you already gave them to us and they are on our membership lists) and if for ANY reason you don’t want to be contacted any longer, please let us know immediately and your details will be removed from our mailing list. 

In the meantime, thank you to those who of you who have been so appreciative of my efforts. It was a pleasure to do it, and if it did something towards helping a group of wonderful ladies stay in contact, and motivated to practice our ancient art of embroidery, it will have done its job.  

Lots of love, and thank you.

Newsletter — November 2022

This is a long newsletter with some important things in it. I am going to use headings, which I think will make it easier for you to keep track of what is happening.

Market Day

What an amazing day it was on Saturday! Our first official Embroidery meeting since lockdown. The tables looked lovely, we were welcomed by a very helpful Trinity Methodist Church and it was good to see everyone again. I took a number of photographs, but I’m afraid I won’t be able to include them in this letter. They use a lot of data, and some of your domestic computers will not be able to handle the load, and you’ll miss out. I shall however put some of them on the WhatsApp group after this letter has been sent. Even though this was the first official meeting, we should express appreciation to Paputzis who hosted us at their restaurant last summer, and also St Martin’s in-the-Veld who let us use their parish room free of charge, and even provided tea and coffee for us, even though we didn’t ask them to. 

I think the Piece de Resistance of the market was the frieze. Jenni Langford did a wonderful job of putting it all together, and it would not have happened had she not taken it under her wing and got on with it. However we are also grateful to Hilary Walker whose idea this was – she suggested we do something to keep us focused during what proved to be a long lockdown. Lynn Puttick, with her professional art training was a valued advisor on materials, and Robyn de Klerk, Louise von Glehn and Helen O’Hanrahan also helped in the initial stages. Thanks are also due to “Buttons and Bows” and “Ribbonfields”, both embroidery shops, who agreed to be delivery points while we weren’t able to meet. I think a valuable piece of history has been documented here. Thank you to all of you who contributed. This will truly be something to show your grandchildren.

Meeting at the Roosevelt Park Recreation Centre

Now we are back to normal – if that’s possible. I am re-printing the relevant part of Danny’s letter which I sent out to you earlier this month. Mark the date – we are longing to see you all again.

am very happy to be able to write to you with so much good news. I know some of you will have heard already, via the WhatsApp group, but for those that are not on the group here goes:

  • The first and most important thing is that we have arranged with Ina to reopen meetings at the Recreation Centre, from January 2023. The first meeting of the year will be on Tuesday the 10th January, 2023, from 9am to 12 midday. The first Saturday meeting will be on the 14th January 2023, from 1pm to 4pm. The Guild Committee will do the tea for the first meeting and we will be encouraging people to sign up to provide the eats for tea, as before. 

Please start planning what you will be sewing, and come back to us!

We have had long, difficult discussions about costs, teas and subscriptions etc. The outcome of these discussions is the following:

  1. We will no longer collect separately for tea and subs. These will be amalgamated into a membership fee of R300 per year, payable by the end of February 2023.
  2. We have obtained a Yoco machine which will allow us to take payments using debit cards. We are still trying to establish if credit cards can be used and will let you know once we hear back from Yoco.
  3. We would very much like to limit the collection of cash at meetings, but of course, if this is your preferred way, we will take your money! However, I feel sure that most members would prefer the convenience of paying by card.
  4. There will not be any different charges for various age groups etc. other than for those over 90, who will be exempt from paying anything.
  5. Payments for Workshops and any other transactions, will need to be made separately. In that vein, we have some exciting plans for future workshops, but more about that later.

Annual General Meeting

As Danny says, there are many exciting things in the pipeline. But most importantly, PUT THE DATE OF OUR AGM IN YOUR DIARIES NOW.

It will be held on:
Saturday, the 25th March 2023 at 12h00

The committee has spent a lot of time over the last few months listening to you, thinking over the changes this Virus has brought, and what place in society our art takes. We are going to have to make some changes in our approach so as to encourage new people to come, to teach embroidery to those who have never done it, to investigate advanced forms of it, and to look seriously at promoting it amongst children and teenagers so at least they know what it is and how special it is, even if they don’t actually get as far as picking up a needle themselves. SO … We need as many of you there as possible. Some changes to the constitution will probably have to be considered (and our lawyer-chairperson Danny is well up on how to do that!) and we also need your contribution to the future of our Guild. Please make it a priority.

Guild History

We have a store room of some beautiful banners and in the minds of many of our members are memories of wonderful stories of the Guild. I have taken on the job of putting together some sort of history of the Guild – all sorts of things. What is the story behind this or that banner and who was involved? Who were some of the characters of the past? What things have been learnt? Anything special that gives you warm happy memories of your time at the Guild. Also, if you know of people who no longer can or do come to the Guild and they have good stories to tell, please put them in touch with me, and let me put it all together. You are receiving this from me, so use my email address above if you have any bright thoughts about this. 

An offer we can’t refuse!

Now here is something I haven’t heard of before. A lady by the name of Suzette Plekker makes shoes and bags out of TAPESTRIES THAT HAVE BEEN WORKED! So if you have cupboards of tapestries that are beautifully done, but are too expensive to frame, you have run out of wall space and relatives to give them to, perhaps this might be an option. Apparently she will take unworked tapestries too, so if you have that kit which you bought as a bargain, or that present which really doesn’t inspire you, send that too. I’ve never seen tapestry shoes, but tapestry bags are very smart. Here are her details if you are interested:

Suzette Plekker
SUZ FABRIC ART
Facebook – SUZ Shoes; Fabric Art, Shoes and Bags
Email – suzette.p@telkomsa.net
Address – 14 Bosman Street, Paarl
Contact – 083 250 5005

Finally

We will be meeting again in January, the same arrangement as before – every Tuesday morning, and every 2ndand 4th Saturday afternoon. Beginning on the 10th and 14th January 2023. 

See you then!

Meetings back at the Rec Centre from January 2023

And an update on the market on this coming Saturday, 29th October

I am very happy to be able to write to you with so much good news. I know some of you will have heard already, via the WhatsApp group, but for those that are not on the group here goes:

  • The first and most important thing is that we have arranged with Ina to reopen meetings at the Recreation Centre, from January 2023. The first meeting of the year will be on Tuesday the 10th January, 2023, from 9am to 12 midday. The first Saturday meeting will be on the 14th January 2023, from 1pm to 4pm. The Guild Committee will do the tea for the first meeting and we will be encouraging people to sign up to provide the eats for tea, as before. 

Please start planning what you will be sewing, and come back to us!

We have had long, difficult discussions about costs, teas and subscriptions etc. The outcome of these discussions is the following:

  1. We will no longer collect separately for tea and subs. These will be amalgamated into a membership fee of R300 per year, payable by the end of February 2023.
  2. We have obtained a Yoco machine which will allow us to take payments using debit cards. We are still trying to establish if credit cards can be used and will let you know once we hear back from Yoco.
  3. We would very much like to limit the collection of cash at meetings, but of course, if this is your preferred way, we will take your money! However, I feel sure that most members would prefer the convenience of paying by card.
  4. There will not be any different charges for various age groups etc. other than for those over 90, who will be exempt from paying anything.
  5. Payments for Workshops and any other transactions, will need to be made separately. In that vein, we have some exciting plans for future workshops, but more about that later.
Market
  • Secondly, and I hope all of you know, we are having our inaugural Market this Saturday at the Trinity Methodist Church, 5thAvenue, Linden. This market is a chance for all of us to reconnect, so please wear your badges.

Some members are manning stash-busting stalls and there are several other stalls including jewellery, soap and bath goodies, baking kits, bric a brac, Christmas goodies, smocking and cross stitch. Helen Bird is selling her books of poetry and we have pancakes, hot dogs, tea and biscuits as well as cooldrinks on sale. There will be a display of the Covid Frieze, which Jenni Langford has put together magnificently, as well as other displays of work. Please take a Covid Frieze selfie as a reminder of your contribution/s.

Helen O’Hanrahan has been working tirelessly on the market, despite having an injury to her back, and I am sure it will be a great success. It will be fun no matter what and we have already learnt so much that we can be put to use in the future.

If you are happy to lend us some work for the display, we are at the church on Friday afternoon from 4pm and Saturday morning from 7am, for drop-offs. Please do bring things, we have people on duty to guard them and it will be wonderful to show off the skills in the Guild. I am running a White Elephant to raise funds for the Guild funds, so if you have anything to donate, please feel free to bring it along on Saturday (or Friday afternoon). Anything not sold will be donated to charity.

There is a R10 entrance fee. We will add this to the Guild coffers as well.

We hope to see you all there.

Warm regards,

Danny Wimpey
Chair:
WITWATERSRAND EMBROIDERERS’ GUILD