Newsletter — October 2022

Just a short letter this time, but still an important one. 

Firstly, about when we can meet again. As yet, nothing firm, but things are looking promising. The Roosevelt Park Recreation centre seems to be grinding along to finishing their renovations, but no definite date yet. The committee are investigating another venue, but there are still a few things to be managed. We’ll let you know as soon as we have definite confirmation. It will be wonderful to meet as a Guild again.

The other BIG NEWS is that our market is going ahead. On the 29th October our Craft Market will be held, at the Trinity Methodist Church in Linden, corner 5th Street and 5th Avenue (bordering on Montroux – about half a Kilometre away from Arthur Bales, and round the corner from the Roosevelt Park Recreation Centre). It will run between 09h00 and 15h00, and you are invited to come and spend, spend, spend, and if you don’t want to add to your stash (but we bet you won’t be able to resist it,) there will be all sorts of things to eat. I have attached the flyer (see image below, or download here). Please send it on email to EVERYONE, copy it on to your social media, and print out copies and give to your book club, your bridge club members, and you relatives. Make more copies and put some in each of your favourite shops. 

One of the BIG ATTRACTONS will be the first ever display of our Covid “Through the Eye of the Needle” frieze. Jenni Langford has put it together beautifully, and we thank Robyn de Klerk (as she was then), Louise von Glehn, Lynn Puttick and Hilary Walker for their input. It is looking totally stunning!!!!!!!! Thank you to those of you who contributed to the making of it. I have added a mini-flyer for that as well, which you can also print, send, copy etc, and perhaps staple it to the main flyer (see image below, or download here). Drag your family along to look at that if nothing else, and if they don’t want to come, I suggest you go on kitchen strike for a month! That’s all for this month. See you before the next newsletter.

Embroiderers' Guild Market at Trinity Methodist Church flyer
Share this flyer with your friends — download it, share on social media, email it, anything and everything.
The first displaying of the "Through the Eye of the Needle" Covid lockdown frieze

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 — August 2022

Another month gone, and another month nearer to springtime. It has been wonderful meeting again, both Tuesdays and Saturdays, although it’s a pity so few people have taken advantage of the opportunity. We will be meeting again on the 13th August at 09h30, and then on Tuesday the 16th at 10h30, both at St Martin’s in-the-Veld church. Let’s try and spend a bit of time with one another to keep up our art and to keep in contact with other members. Since President Ramaphosa’s announcement about the abating of the pandemic at the moment, we will no longer insist on vaccination certificates or masks, but we will continue to keep doors and windows open, and anyone who feels vulnerable is welcome to keep their mask on and to move their chair to a distance they feel comfortable with.

It appears that the Roosevelt Park Recreation Centre still has a “snag list” to complete, but we are cautiously optimistic that the end may be in sight. No definite date yet, but we’ll keep you informed. 

Please would you pay your dues to Helen O’Hanrahan, either at the meetings or online. The fees for this half-year are R50, and we are going to re-think how it all works at some stage next year when (hopefully) we are back at the Rec.

The Flag is an ongoing project. Since it is government, there will probably be tenders and we have to abide by the processes. Materials are being sourced, and plans and designs are underway. While the waiting is frustrating, it IS going to happen, and we will keep you informed along the way.

The year-end Craft market IS going ahead, and everything is in preparation for that. Please continue preparing for it. 

Finally, unfortunately I have been asked by Jenni to post the notice below from Trish Burr. Theft takes all sorts of forms, and embroidery designers are no exception. If you are a supporter of Trish’s designs and do shop on Etsy, be aware of this person who is guilty of copyright infringement. 

Until next time, keep sewing.


Trish Burr Embroidery Blog

Copyright Infringement

trishburr
Jul 30
Hello everyonePlease take note of this buyer and share it with any friends that make purchases on Etsy – she has copied and is selling illegally many of my patterns on her site ALISA HANDICRAFTS.
As you know this is an ongoing problem which I am having to address on a regular basis. I appreciate your support.
Thank you
Trish

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 — December 2021

So here we are at the last letter of the year. It seems like forever since we met, and except for those few brief meetings earlier this year, we haven’t seen one another for a very long time. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel. It appears that the renovations at the Roosevelt Park recreation centre are underway, at last, and, if everything goes according to plan, we should be able to meet again next year at around Easter at the latest. Let hope so anyway.

Hilary Walker has asked PLEASE if those of you who are not going away this December, would give a few hours of your time to sew up the pieces of the Covid “Eye of e Needle” project. They need to be hemmed with some lovely fabric which the team has found, and then placed on a background of the same material. This is a very arduous task when it is done by only one or two people, but if everyone does something, it will go much faster. It’s not difficult work, but it does take time.

An idea for Christmas – a woman took the pictures that her grandchildren drew for her (the stuff you keep on the fridge forever) traced them and embroidered them and made the finished work into a wall decoration as a Christmas present to the artist when she was old enough to appreciate the work gone into it. That might be an idea for you to take on if you are at a loss as to what to get children or teenagers for Christmas. I would love to show you a picture of it, but it was from a friend of a friend of a friend, so I don’t have permission to share it.

Jenni Langford has offered a special service to Guild members at this point in the year. If you need anything researched – how to do a certain stitch, information on a style of embroidery, where to buy what, or anything else embroidery connected, she will research it for you and give you whatever answers she can find. This is a generous offer, and for those of us who find trawling our way through the internet rather challenging, this is a wonderful initiative.

That’s all for now. There is not usually a newsletter in January, but if there is any news about when we can meet again, or anything else important, I will send out an interim letter. Until then, have wonderful holidays, spend time with those you love – even if it’s only electronically, keep well away from the Virus, and hopefully, we’ll see one another in the new Year.

A Christmas decoration by Mandy Kort,  from the Guild's 2016 exhibition.
A Christmas decoration by Mandy Kort, from the Guild’s 2016 exhibition.

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: https://gfiartgallery.com/current/.

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.

Newsletter May 2019

What an exciting week we are going to have!  The first attempt by Gauteng of holding “Ighali” is slowly but surely getting underway.  “Ighali” is a sewing-teaching-meeting-learning embroidery weekend experience which up till now has happened every second year in either the Western or Eastern Cape. At the initiative of some of our members, led by Toni Olivier, we are beginning to make plans to hold this event next year.  Toni will be at the Tuesday and Saturday meetings this week to tell you more about it, so I am not going to say anything more.  Please come and learn all about our biggest, most wonderful venture to date.

As regards workshops – Jenni Langford is not teaching anything new this month, but is available for anyone who would like help with unfinished pieces.  She says:

For May there will not be any workshops but you are encouraged to bring any WIP (work in progress) or UFO (unfinished items) you have problems with. Bring them along to the meetings and I am sure there will be someone who will be able to help or encourage you with your project/s. 

Sometimes we need help and/or encouragement when we have lost interest in a project we are/were working on.

One of the things our Guild has undertaken is to provide items for the “Goodie Bags” for each participant at Ighali.  Carol Robinson has designed and produced some blank felt needle cases to go in each bag.  We are asked to embroider some form of Mandala on each as one of our gifts to those who attend the Ighali weekend.  Carol  will be at both Saturday and Tuesday meetings to explain what is needed and to distribute those needle case kits she has already prepared. You are invited to take one and embroider it for the event. You will be required to provide your own thread – and Carol says you need either perle cotton or else 3 strands of regular embroidery thread.  Carol has made one already as a sample – see below – but you are free to design your own.

All the very best, and happy sewing!