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 — August 2020

I would like to begin this month by saying thank you to all of you for being such wonderful, supportive people. The Instagram page is looking lovely – quite festive – with all the super things you have been making over the years.  We really did celebrate International Embroidery Day.  Now to think of something special to do next year ;-). Thank you too, for your support, virtual and actual of one another.  I know there is a lot of building up and helping those of our members who are struggling one way or another, and you have really done what you could under the limitations we are living with at present.  You are a lovely group of people.

A few of us have been meeting every fortnight on Zoom and we were thinking that actually, living through this pandemic with its new demands and challenges is something of a once in a lifetime event.  Even if we will have other pandemics, (and there are plenty of pessimists who seem to think so), this is the first time in 100 years that we have lived through something which has affected us as globally as this one.  Values have completely changed, and our perception of strong nations and weak nations has been turned upside down.  Weaknesses in our society have been exposed, and the strength and endurance of the human spirit has been expressed in some wonderful ways.  We felt that living through this needs to be given some sort of expression, and that we need to mark it in some way.  Accordingly, we have come up with the following:

Lockdown Project — open to all

We would like everyone who does embroidery (and we are not limiting it to this group only) to contribute to creating a small piece of embroidery which our Zoom group will put together in a frieze which will be exhibited at Ighali, when we hold it next year.  We will then look for other places to exhibit it, and hopefully find a permanent home for it where it will speak to those who have lived through it, or to those who come after us, for some time.  Eventually the “pandemic” character will fade from memory, but then, we want a piece of art which will speak of our craft for years to come. I hope you can catch the vision too, and will want to be part of this.

This is what we are looking for:

  • The General heading – at the moment– we can tweak this later:  “2020 – The View From the Inside.  Experiencing  Pandemic”
  • Each member produce one piece of embroidery which expresses her experiences of this period in our lives.  
  • The material should be a light coloured even weave (white is preferred, but we are aware that people may not have this in their stash).  
  • It can be either linen or cotton as long as it is of fairly good, durable quality.  “Threads” have some good quality stuff, (open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday 10h00 – 12h00) some of it still old stock at a reasonable price, but you don’t have to buy anything if you already have something that will do.  Should anyone have absolutely nothing in their stash, Danny has said her son and/or husband are willing to buy what you need and deliver it to you if you are unwilling to travel (thank you so much Danny!).  However, ordinary fabric is absolutely fine.  We cannot use canvas of any sort, and Aida is difficult to fold and attach to something else, so PLEASE don’t use those.  They are also too heavy in comparison with most other material. 
  •  Each piece needs to be 25 centimetres high by as long as you want it, up to 80 cm long, with an extra 2 cm border all round so we can sew it onto the holding fabric. You can make it a small square, or you could make it anything up to 0.8 metre in length.  The HEIGHT is important (25 cm), because it needs to match its neighbours.  You may also fit in more than one piece –  like four bookmarks in a row, or six miniatures on your piece if you want to, as long as the finished product is within 25 cm in height. You are asked to mark the boundaries of your picture, either as an embroidered frame around your work, or to tack where the picture ends so we can centre it properly when mounting it. The frieze will look something like this:
Each block represents one piece of work. We hope to have enough pieces to need three rows of frieze, so please join in this project if you can.
  • Any depiction of your experiences of this pandemic is valid.  Any embroidery stitch or technique, any subject matter, internal and abstract, or a picture of a scene, or a tribute to medical staff, any additions such as sequins or beads, ANYTHING that expresses your experience and conveys it to the public.  You may submit up to five pieces, and each piece must have your name (or artistic identity) and the initials of your organisation embroidered in small letters at the bottom right of your piece.  You want to your admirers to know where your work is, and for this to be recognised by those who come after you!  As they come in, we will display them on our Instagram page.
  • We would love it if Thusani or any other upliftment group can be included.  It’s important that all sectors of the population can be represented. Any other embroidery group you belong to would be very welcome to participate, and if your great-great granny is keen, or your great granddaughter’s Brownie group would like to be part of this, please let them! 
  • The time limit for this is by the 15thJanuary next year.  That allows us to work at piecing it together while it’s summer and we can work in the open air with suitable distancing if we are still in lockdown.  Hopefully, by then things will be a little more under control. 
  • When you finish your piece(s), since we are not meeting at the moment, you can submit them in one of three ways.  
  1. Deliver it to “Ribbon Fields” embroidery shop, which is situated at 14 Pierre Road, Bordeaux in Randburg.  At the moment hours are 10h00 – 12h00 on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, but Sue Clegg says she is considering opening on Saturdays too. Give her a call 082 338 4312.
  2. Deliver it to “Buttons and Bows”  at shop 31B Cramerview village, 277 Main Road, Bryanston. They are open Monday to Friday 09h00 to 14h00, and Saturday 09h00 to 13h00 (the shop is at the back of the centre).
  3. Send it to Postnet Victory Park, and make sure the recipient is marked “Margaret 082 880 9229” and they will phone me and I can pick it up. (Just make sure the Postnet you send it FROM is reliable.  I have had very mixed experiences, which is why Victory Park is the one I use.)
  • Advertise this to everyone you can think of. I will be sending something that can be printed out as a flyer so you can advertise it along with these instructions to your WhatsApp group, your local Spar or wherever Lockdown allows you to go.  And START SEWING!

We are really looking forward to what you will produce, and we hope to have something really special!