Newsletter 3, March 2019

The biggest news this month is – inevitably – the AGM.  The business of the day was successfully done, and our gratitude to those who have been loyal members, and who helped with the Exhibition was given due expression. You ARE a lovely lot of people, and we enjoy serving you in this way!

Highlights include our committee, which is more or less as I wrote last month:  Hettie Moller as Chair, Wendy Hutton as Treasurer, and Sue Sylvester who will be doing the teas once again.  Changes are to the Workshops – Carol Robinson will be taking the Tuesday ladies’ workshops, and Jenni Langford has hit the ground running with the first of her workshops for the Saturday group due to be given THIS COMING SATURDAY!!! (see details below.)  Agnes Janse van Rensburg has agreed to take on the Library on Tuesday (thank you Agnes!) and Hettie will continue to administer it on Saturdays, unless someone would like to be co-opted to do this not-very-onerous job?  All offers welcome.  The heroine of the day was Carole Walker who has not only agreed to continue with her job of running the Sales Table, but has agreed to be Secretary as well!  She will be probably one of the most hard-working member of the committee, and anyone who would be willing regularly to give her a hand with the Sales Table will be greatly appreciated.

The other significant motion passed was that we are looking seriously to increasing our teaching.  We will not be changing the present format:  members coming to the group to work and support one another, with a bit of help given when needed from a more experienced member of the group.  That will continue, as will periodic workshops which enhance and develop existing skills.  However unless we teach those who have never learnt, and this includes young people, our craft will die out, and we need to take urgent action to prevent this happening.  Many ideas are in place, one or two trial runs by members but outside the Guild, are being considered at the moment.  Anyway, this is VERY exciting, and we look to develop this more in the months to come.  WATCH THIS SPACE!

The other exciting thing is that “IGHALI” is now going to be held in Johannesburg toward the end of 2020 – next year.  “Ighali”, (which means “threads” ) is something of a National Convention on embroidery.  People come from all over the country, they stay at the venue, and go to classes, and in that way get to know some of the very best teachers in the country, they look at exhibits, they get to know other embroiderers and generally have a jolly good embroidery time. Toni Olivier has taken charge of it, and we will be asking for help as time goes on.  WATCH THIS SPACE TOO!

Well, that’s it for this month.  Below are the details and requirements of Jenni’s workshop, (and please send her a WhatsApp if you are interested – she needs numbers!)  Below that is a link to a website which shows you why what we are doing is so good for us!

Saturday workshop 9 March 2019 and 23 March 2019

Teacher: Jenni Langford

Amish Stump work 

(Also called German Tufted Wool Embroidery or Plush work)

We will be doing flowers and leaves.

Tools and Material You Need to Bring
  • Cardboard (cereal or biscuit box) (if you would like to make your own template)
  • Fabric to embroider – typically a thicker material
  • Embroidery hoop (if you have it on a stand it will be better)
  • scissors (small sharp point and one to cut the cardboard)
Tools and Material supplied
  • Template
  • Yarn in several colours. 1 or 2 colours for the centre, 3 or 4 for petals and 3 or 4 for the leaves
  • Embroidery needle (chenille)

13 Benefits of Hand Sewing


Newsletter 2, February 2019

Thank you very much for the positive feedback I received for the last newsletter.  I hope it continues making the administration of the Embroiderers’ Guild easier.

The big news item for this month is that our AGM will be held on Saturday afternoon, 2nd March at 14h00 in the hall.  Hettie Moller has agreed to remain as Chair, with Cordelia Robinson as the Saturday Rep, and Wendy Hutton as Treasurer –  key positions.  Carol Walker will continue to run the Sales Table, Sue Sylvester the Teas.  Merica Swarts has stepped down as workshop co-ordinator and trainer – and that will be quite a loss, but thank you, Merica for the wonderful work you have done.  Carol Robinson will now be running the workshops on Tuesdays, and Jenni Langford on Saturdays.  Thanks to those two ladies for stepping into the space. That leaves two positions vacant.

Louise von Glehn, who with Hettie organized our library into the wonderful resource it is, has decided to relinquish the position after 5 years, and do more embroidery, so we need at least one, and preferably TWO LIBRARIANS!  I have moved into communications and publicity so there is a vacancy for the SECRETARY.  Are there people willing to take on these roles?  Or are you willing to nominate anyone for them?  Please let us know so the right forms can be filled in.  We need to have these places taken up soon.

Next Tuesday, the 5th of February are the first of our workshops.  Hettie Moller’s Advanced Smocking Course is full, unfortunately, but we are assured that she will repeat it later in the year.  There is a Beginner’s Smocking Course due on the same day, and at the moment there are another three places available (please contact Merica Swarts, 074 171 3085 if you are interested) but we are still trying to get hold of the teacher to confirm her willingness,  availability and what materials will be needed.  Merica will be in touch with those who put their names down for it when we know a bit more.  Apologies for the uncertainty, but we are working very hard to organize this and get the year off to a good start.

Thank you to those who have paid your annual subs, and if you still have to pay, please don’t forget to bring them to the next meeting.  Just to remind you:

  • 60 years of age and under – R140
  • 60-69 years – R120
  • 70-79 years – R100
  • 80-89 years – R80.
  • 90 years + – free

Thank you so much for your co operation in this.

Now to end off – I have included an interesting link which talks about the history of smocking.  The most fascinating thing is that fact that it was used as an early form of elastic!

Have a wonderful month

Newsletter 1, January 2019

Welcome to another year of embroidery fun, as we begin again after what I hope was a pleasant break for you all.  Now it’s time to either find the unfinished piece from last year and get going again, or perhaps you will show us what wonderful things you achieved since last time we met.  We’d love to see them.

The committee has decided to communicate with you a little differently from the way we have done in the past.  If all goes according to plan, we will, during the first week of each month, be sending out a letter in this rather more straightforward way.  That doesn’t mean the beautiful magazine-type letter of the past is never happening again, but we are in the process of deciding what the best way is to communicate and celebrate the beauty, the achievements and the fun of our art.

So, for now I want to remind you that we begin meeting again next Tuesday, the 14th January, and for the Saturday ladies, we have an extra meeting (thank you, Cordelia Robinson for making this happen) .  We meet on Saturday afternoon the 19th January, and again on the 26th.

This is also a gentle reminder that this is the time where we ask you to pay the annual subsidy for the Guild.  It is, as you remember, a once-off payment, and we are loading the amount as follows:

  • 60 years of age and under – R140
  • 60-69 years – R120
  • 70-79 years – R100
  • 80-89 years – R80.
  • 90 years + – free

For now we are keeping the cost of the tea the same as last year.

To end, I thought you might enjoy the following:

Love is a canvas furnished by Nature and embroidered by imagination. — Voltaire

Now the Earth with many flowers puts on her spring embroidery — Sappho

Happy embroidery!

Ighali 2018 — dates and venue announced

Ighali 2018 will take place from the 19th – 24th September 2018 in Constantia, Cape Town.

Ighali is hosted biennially and is open to guild members as well as the general public.

The aim of Ighali is to host hand embroidery workshops of high quality – traditional to contemporary – presented by competent embroidery tutors.

This gives all participating embroiderers exposure to educational, informative, constructive, inspiring and hands on embroidery workshops.

Download Ighali 2018 Brochure

Download Ighali 2018 Registration Form

Committee for 2017/18

The AGM held on 11 March returned all of the existing WEG committee members to office, and added a new representative for Saturday Guild.

  • Chairlady & Assistant Librarian – Hettie Möller
  • Treasurer – Wendy Hutton
  • Secretary – Alice Per
  • Saturday Representative – Cordelia Robinson
  • Workshops – Merica Swarts
  • Tea – Tricia Leishman
  • Librarian – Louise von Glehn
  • Sales Table – Reina Oudmayer
  • Newsletter/Website/ENSA – Heath White

2016 Embroidery Exhibition

The committee is working hard to put together the upcoming Witwatersrand Embroiderer’s Guild Exhibition which will be showcasing work done by Guild members over the past two years.

The piece started by Dolly Willowstone sometime in the early 20th Century (we believe), hidden for many years in a garage, and completed this year by Veronica Talbot will also be on display — see the image at the top of the page.

Our Guild members produce the most magnificent and inspirational work. Even husbands and sons have been awed when they’ve visited in previous years. Bring them along, and tell your friends, family, and strangers you meet in the shops to pop in too.

It is being held at the Roosevelt Park Recreation Centre, Preller Drive, on Friday 14th and Saturday 15th October from 10am-5pm. There will be prizes to be won, completed items (Christmas gifts?) and embroidery supplies will be on sale, and your ticket entitles you to delicious tea and cake in our tea room.