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

Newsletter — September 2022

Spring has arrived, and with it the promise of new things. I hope you are enjoying the slow greening of all our plants and trees, and that your embroidery captures some of that joy! 

New life seems to be abounding in our Guild as well. We ARE going ahead with the Market, and Danny posted a notice to that effect on the WhatsApp page, the salient information of which I have reprinted here: 

Morning all, I promised news about the Market, and we will be posting an item about it in the newsletter. The details are as follows: 29th October 2022 at Linden Methodist Church corner 5th Avenue and Milner Avenue, Linden. Set up from 8am, Market from 9am until 3pm or until you have had enough. 😀There is no charge for a table, and Linden Methodist will provide tables and chairs. We ask that you give the Guild 10% of your takings – an honour system. Someone will be available to help you offload and carry your things. We will have a card machine available. You can sell anything you like. We will send more details later. Even if you decide not to have a table, please come and support us. 

So now you have a chance to find those pre-loved things you no longer use but someone else would love to adopt and love too, you can sell some of your creative work, and above all, come on the day and have fun with all the wonderful things the committee is planning. 

The next new thing is that it is looking VERY likely that we will, in the near future, be able to go back to the Recreation Centre. We anticipate the rest of this year will be taken up with catching up on all those post-renovation things that need to be sorted, but hopefully by early next year we should be back “home”. Come the day!

We will be meeting again at St Martin’s this month at 10h30 on the 6th and the 20th September (Tuesday mornings) and on the 10th at 09h30 (Saturday). We will not be extending our time there. Too few of you came, and the church really put themselves out with providing tea/coffee etc for us. So on those days, if any of you would like to bring some wool supplies for their knitting group, or would like to make a donation to the church, please do. They gave it all to us for nothing, so it would be a nice “thank you” to them. If I am not there, take them to the office and leave them with either Kuda or Nataski who will see to it that it reaches the right people. 

In the meantime, the committee are looking at a venue nearer the recreation centre. More details will be posted on the WhatsApp group, or in the next newsletter. We will meet until the end of the year, so keep your eyes peeled.. 

One final thing, I would like to remind you again of the exhibition of the Keiskamma Trust which will be held on the 24th September at the Constitutional Court. For those of you who know very little about it and what it does, I have taken a section from their website (see below). It is not only a worthwhile project, but is a significant contribution to the creation and development of a valuable art and culture identity in this country. Please support this! It is well worth it. 

Keiskamma Trust

Keiskamma Trust (KT) is a not for profit making trust established by Dr Carol Hofmeyr in 2000 in Hamburg in the Peddie South District of the Eastern Cape, and registered with the department of social development in 2005, in response to local impoverished communities’ basic needs such as health, education and employment. Over the past decade, the Trust has assisted thousands of vulnerable people in 53 rural villages to enrich and encourage healthy individuals, families and communities.

The Trust provides support via the following four programmes:

Art Project began as a means of restoring the self-esteem of people in this poor area, and providing a diversion from their bleak circumstances. This soon grew into the Keiskamma Art Project, a talented group of developing artists who communicate through their artworks. More than 200 people in Hamburg and surrounding villages have been trained by the Art Project and it creates much-needed opportunities for income for over 130 male and female crafters and artists. Their work showcases local culture, heritage and environment through award-winning textile works, ceramics, bead and wire-works.

As the HIV pandemic spread through the Eastern Cape and began impacting upon artists’ lives, a Health Programme was established. Today, it provides HIV prevention, testing, counselling and treatment, in addition to an extensive community-based health care network, which consists of 80 Community Health Workers who conduct home based care, community awareness events with a special emphasis on HIV/AIDS, TB prevention, PMTCT, TB screening, sexuality and HCT, community dialogues, psychosocial support, nutrition & food gardens and patient transport in 53 remote villages. The Health Programme is also involved in advocacy campaigns and/or other actions in collaboration with different stakeholders to ensure access to health facilities and social services.

The Music Academy was founded in 2006 and has introduced over 120 children to music tuition. Fifty-six committed students attend several classes weekly, following a full programme of instrumental tuition, music theory, aural and ensemble workshops. The young musicians undergo examinations and perform concerts to standing ovations nationally. KMA gives children an opportunity on developing not only a creative skill but an attitude of responsibility and dedication that they’ll carry throughout their lives.

The Education Programme provides the full spectrum of care, education intervention programmes, nutritional support, developmental activities, and access to ICT training and facilities to approximately 700 children from 12 months old to youth in their early 20’s. The programme activities include early childhood development, after school-care classes, nutrition, creative development, nutritional support & food gardens initiatives as well as the youth development resource centre called Vulindlela Centre, which focuses on youth connectivity and development activities. The Vulindlela Centre offers educational resources, supplementary education, career guidance, driving lessons through driving simulators, teacher development, ICT training & internet access, assistance with bursary and tertiary applications and Isango (Gateway) youth bridging programme which trains and prepares out of school and unemployed youth for apprenticeship and college/university access.

The Trust is governed by a strong Board of Trustees, with Trustees who are experts from several different fields such as business, economic development and HIV/AIDS work, as well as community representatives. An experienced Management team runs the day-to-day operations of the Trust, consisting of the heads of each programme, as well as an Executive Director.

Collectively the Trust budget is over 10 million rand per annum, and our beneficiaries number in the thousands. Our reach extends to 53 rural villages in this area where endemic poverty and disease continue to have devastating effects.

Our strength is that we remain focused on fostering the resilience and creativity of the communities we live in, in an effort to ensure a hope-filled future for every member.

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 — 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 — May 2021

Before we begin with the embroidery business of this month, I’m sure we all want to wish our other centenarian, Helen Bird, hearty congratulations on reaching this awesome milestone earlier in April. You are an inspiration to us all, and we are privileged to know you. We all wish you well for the future.

Meeting again

Very Exciting – we are going to start meeting again this week – this coming Tuesday the 4th at 09h00, and this coming Saturday the 8th at 14h00. It will be wonderful to start again. However, some of us are still being very careful, and that is totally acceptable and quite understandable. If you feel safer staying away until vaccines are further down the track and the weather is warmer, by all means. You are still a valued member of the Guild. However, Ina, Danny and the committee have been very intentional about making sure everything is well within the Covid regulations, so we can safely welcome everyone who wants to attend. If we are all sensible and considerate of one another, there is no reason why a very pleasant time will not be had by all. Agness has asked that since the library was always held on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays, that we NOT hold library this week, and it will also give us time to work out the logistics of how safely to borrow books. You can however bring back books previously borrowed. I am sure Diane will be on track with the library by Saturday. I also presume those who wish to buy embroidery things from Janis have already been in touch, and that is all organised.

If any of you Tuesday ladies are prepared to come a little early this week to help with the sanitizing, the temperature taking etc, please WhatsApp or sms Danny and find out if anything from you will be needed.

The Committee

Some of you have asked who the committee for this year is – last year’s AGM took place in another era, but the committee then is as it is now:

  • Chair — Danny Wimpey
  • Secretary — Hettie Moller
  • Treasurer — Helen O’ Hanrahan
  • Library — Agness van Rensburg (Tuesday) Diane Walker (Saturday)
  • Tea — Sue Sylvester (in abeyance)
  • Sales table — Jenny Henning (in abeyance)
  • Workshops — Carol Robinson (Tuesday) Jenni Langford (Saturday) (both in abeyance)
  • Communications — Margaret Place (co-opted)

Resources

It has been suggested that we get a list of resources for embroidery things – cloth, threads, haberdashery, and also good framers. Janis will keep us supplied with the essentials, but sometimes we need something not readily available. We want not only walk-in shops (and where they are located) but also online suppliers – with their online locations too. We live in different times, and a lot of things have changed. Please help us to help you keep up to date. You can email the Guild address, let any of the committee people know, or else post it on one of the WhatsApp groups.

“Eye of the Needle” Covid project – made easier

We are in the last two months before the closing date for “the Eye of the Needle”. Covid project needs to be handed in. Some lovely things have been submitted but it’s still a little bit slow. We know that some of you are at a bit of a loss as to what to do, and to that end, Carol Robinson has made a very helpful suggestion. She says:

If choosing something to do for the frieze is too much of a challenge, we have some printed cotton fabric that lends itself to stitching and embellishing (Leek embroidery). As the fabric is printed, creating a background, only a portion needs to be worked to have an effect.

  1. Perle No. 8 and normal embroidery thread work well
  2. No backing fabric needed
  3. Work out where the seams will be to ensure work done in the correct space
  4. Use hoop to keep stitching and tension right
  5. All kinds of stitches work fine on this fabric (stem, satin, blanket, French knots etc.)
  6. No two pieces of fabric exactly the same design so all will be unique
  7. Simple redwork (outline stitching) an option
  8. Beads, lace, braids can be added

Jenni Langford has the squares at a cost of R10 per square. (see example in the picture)

All squares need to be handed in at one of the meetings by the third week of June

That’s all for this month. Have a wonderful time, and we look forward to seeing some of you this coming week.

Newsletter – June 2020

I hope that you have managed to keep cheerful and keep sewing, and that we have many more lovely winter days as we have had this past week. The good news is that our sewing shops all seem to be functioning either with reduced hours or online and pick up. I suggest that should you need something, phone the relevant shop first and find out what their arrangements are. I have found all their lockdown regulations on their websites and Facebook pages for level 4, but I don’t know whether or not they have changed anything for lockdown 3. Whatever they have done, I know that most of their customers are, like us, of the “vulnerable” age group and they will be managing accordingly. If not, then it is up to us to manage ourselves and take advantage of the helpful things they have put in place. Whatever the system – we can buy embroidery supplies again.

On Tuesday this last week, I took part in a wonderful Zoom meeting with those of us ladies who normally share our table on Tuesday mornings. Since it was my first attempt at hosting a Zoom meeting, we were given a little extra time. It was so great to see one another, and catch up, that we have agreed to do it again in a fortnight’s time. Zoom is ideal for small groups of 6 to 10 people, and I think we all thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s been a long time since we have seen one another. Even if we stick to the free 40 minutes, it’s amazing how much talking can get done in that time.

I would urge all of you to try and make some effort to communicate with others of the Guild, if you are not already doing so. Staying in touch with those you normally interact with on Tuesdays or Saturdays keeps our group alive, and modern technology gives us many options – Zoom, Skype, Facetime, emails, and even ordinary telephone calls. We are all in different places with this, but we can all do something.  

A day or two after that I had a letter from Danny our Chair person, and she may well communicate with you herself at some stage. It appears that it will be some time before we are able to meet again and that is worrying for the life of the Guild. I’m sure we are a tough lot and the Guild will survive, but we will try and make it easier and more pleasant if we can. Ideas are still brewing. Watch this space!

In the meantime, keep sewing. We love seeing what you have done on the FaceBook page (and for those of you who may have forgotten, it is to be found under “Jozi Stitch”) Robyn de Klerk has posted a fascinating article on Embroidery becoming a Power Player – a very worthwhile read. The WhatsApp group is also alive and well, and we are seeing lovely stuff there too.

Embroidery began long before we did, and it will still be creating beauty and keeping sewers happy long after we are gone. Covid 19 is just a hiccup. Let’s keep the flag flying – and we will fly flags done in cross-stitch, Crewel, Jacobean or whatever!

Below is a link to an article telling us why it’s a good idea to sew.

Keep warm and keep well,

Margaret