Disclaimer: From time to time we may mention and/or include links to the websites of particular designers or shops. This would only be done where we think the additional information would be helpful to readers. Neither the Guild nor any author of Blog posts derives any financial benefit from these references/links.

The Blog is Back! April 2020

Due to time and volunteer pressures, our Blog has been idle for quite a while. However, while in the current circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 virus we are unable to meet in person, we have decided to share some of our members’ recent work here.

Show and Tell 25 May 2020

It’s a little quiet on the members’ photo front this week, although I’m sure that there is plenty of craft work of all kinds going on. Sarah K’s comment prompts me to remember how great it is when the picture starts to “appear” when doing counted cross stitch.

However I have heard on the grapevine that some members are still contemplating what to do about this year’s “Members’ Challenge” project, and I confess I’m one – will my idea work out? Who knows, but I’m pressing on.

Robyn D has been diving into her stash and found this lovely lavender bag that hadn’t been made up, so she finished it up ready for the gift shop.

Sarah K: “I have finished making up my challenge piece and am making good progress on my cross stitch, so I am feeling quite self satisfied at the moment. Progress picture on the cross stitch is attached. At last I have started the horse!
I have just spent another afternoon with my niece on video doing some surface stitching this time. We are really getting into the swing of it now! I think that she has already decided that she prefers the canvas work. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”

Show and Tell 18 May 2020

Jan H has once again been busy producing Pippa the Pygmy Hippopotamus. (Gotta love those ankles!)
An original design.

From Gloria S, here are some of the cards she has been cross stitching. Gloria says she really enjoys seeing what others are making.

From Sarah K: “My niece finished her very first embroidery, a canvas work bookmark that I showed her how to make over video conferencing. A very good first effort and hopefully I have helped her find a new interest.”

Sarah K: “[Spool hoops] are available at Fox Collection and on ebay and I now couldn’t imagine stitching with a hoop without them.”

Show and Tell 11 May 2020

Members are continuing to keep busy, and here is some of their latest work.

See the captions for details. I’m particularly enjoying members’ comments about their work, and Anne D, I’m with you on both the trials of beading, and the “need” for online shopping!

The final projects looking lovely in Agnes’s hallway

Anne D has completed ‘Daisy Meadow’ which is the final project she did in Jenny Adin-Christie’s whitework class during a tour of the UK
Anne D has also finished ‘Paisley Garden’ from Simplee Designs, which is a UFO finally completed after putting off the beading for quite a while. From Anne: “I did not enjoy the beading and am now over beading for life. Chasing tiny beads around a container, putting them onto a needle and trying desperately to get them to look right on the fabric is not my scene.
I have just about finished the preparation for the Trapunto kit from Annie London that I bought from the Great Australian Craft Show on line a few weeks ago. I definitely didn’t need it but what has need got to do with anything.”

Genevieve T says “The Fox is entirely appropriate for the year I think! It is a pattern from Spruce Craft Co”

Show and Tell 4 May 2020

We don’t usually have general meetings on an ACT Public Holiday (last Monday for ANZAC Day), however this week, Show and Tell is back. Lesley F is making progress on her piece, and Tracey K has a great sense of satisfaction in having finished some things.

Tracey K has a contribution for the Guild gift shop

Tracey K says that this Sashiko panel was a birthday present and was a pleasure to stitch – Dragonflies and irises by HM textiles. Stitched with DMC perle 8 – 92.

Tracey K says that this last one is a piece of sashiko that her mum started and she finished and made it into a purse for her mum’s birthday. The pattern in Shippo tsunagi stitched in Olympus thread Variegated Blue – color #72

Show and Tell 20 April 2020

Here are some more creations, old and new, from members. And you can’t stop members from finding a way to share knowledge. Sarah K says: “Now I am off to spend the day video conferencing with my 25 year old niece who wanted to learn how to embroider. She was going to come down from Sydney for a visit, but we have had to find a different way. I sent her a package of goodies and we are starting on a canvas work bookmark today. It will be interesting to teach via video conference, but I am sure we will work it out somehow.”


Monica A says:
This is a piece I did soon after I joined the guild, so probably between 1996 and 1998. The guild had a scented sachet challenge as part of the Christmas party and I decided to make a eucalyptus scented sachet. It’s made entirely out of hand-painted silk. I had painted the silk and made the leaves, and the wonderful Margaret Roberts, who convened the creative group at that time, suggested I add the flowers – and showed me how to do them. The flowers really lifted the piece.



Agnes S describes her work:
Well it’s an original and it’s on organza. It is 3D and I made up the picture using photos from internet.


Diana C has been able to finish her stunning Black Cockatoo.


Gail H says:
My counted cross stitch band is now ready to attach to a hand towel, for the Guild gift shop. The design is from a DMC Creative World booklet – Ideas for Embroidery.



Julie’s mystery project

Members will know that Julie K is just brimming with creativity, and we never know what she will come up with next. Sometimes Julie likes to tease her friends with something crafty, and recently she had a little “competition” asking for guesses as to what her latest project was going to turn out to be.

Here are her comments, complete with some “fun facts”!:

OK so this is ‘Lady Covid Bug’. She certainly is a crowning glory bug. You can see she is not tiny, the 50c piece gives her scale.

Fun Facts:
There are over 5,000 species globally
An adult can live from 1 to 3 years
Main predators are frogs, wasps and spiders
They have 6 short legs
They have a top speed 24km/h
They secrete an oily, yukky, yellow fluid from joints in their legs.
Diet – mostly carnivores
In its lifespan a single ladybird can gobble up more than 5,000 aphids
The most common ladybird has seven spots
Maximum length 1cm
Some people may be allergic to their bites and may develop a rash
In many cultures they are considered GOOD LUCK (you got it)

Show and Tell – 13 April 2020

Feedback from members indicates that many of us have decided to continue our regular Monday Guild meeting embroidery. Liz C has said “The first Monday in “lockdown” I pretended to go to the Embroiderer’s Guild. Got my bag, said Goodbye to my husband and headed out one door and in another. Of course we started with a cuppa!”
So members, settle down with your beverage, keep on stitching your Monday projects, and don’t forget to send in some photos (works in progress, as well as finished items are welcome) – our member newsletter told you how and where to send them.


Sarah K says:
I have actually started putting needle and thread together on my creative challenge piece, and it is starting to come together. Also it gave me a chance to get out my Kumihimo Disk and make some cord to use on it. Lots of fun and very meditative once I got into the flow. I am also trying to spend my Mondays doing the embroidery that I would usually take the guild. As my travelling piece, it wouldn’t otherwise get much done on it at the moment. It is a design by Paula Dengel which was included in one of the Nordic Needle annual competitions.


Meryl F has been enjoying the company of her regular visiting magpies. She doesn’t have anything ready to show this week, but says:
Have my head in my current embroidery piece……trying to remember the method for lacy wrap…..almost about to stamp my feet!!!!! Does that sound crazy enough?


Lesley J has finished her “travelling sampler”, that went with her on a tour of Europe (mentioned in a previous Monday Facebook post), and is now wondering what to do with it!


Lesley J hopes that there will be many more angels like this. The pattern is from Burda Hardanger E862


Lesley J has been busy! This dogwood, from Candamar Design, is waiting to be washed and blocked. This pattern came from the Guild recycle table.


Gail H was working on a counted cross stitch, eventually to go onto a hand towel for the Guild gift shop. She said:
I remembered that the pedal thingy was in the garage, so now I can multitask!

Show and Tell – 6 April 2020



Jillian B is obviously getting an early start for Christmas, and has sent in this photo of her craft table


Our member Loic J has recently been studying Chinese embroidery in Adelaide with Margaret Lee. Here is what he is currently working on while back home in Canberra. He says it’s not finished yet(!), and adds: I’m pretty happy with myself, the second layer of the fur cat face is done and can go back to the fur body. I have some colour arrangements to do with the white but will do that during the 3rd layer.

#australia #canberra #embroideryisart #embroidery #handmadeembroidery #handembroidery #chineseembroidery #chinese #cat #threadpainting #silk #peinturealaiguille #broderiedart #broderiechinoise #broderie #broderiemain #chat #soie


Weekend Wonderfuls 1


The Creative Group meets on the first Saturday of every month from 10.00 – 2.30 p.m. to play with fibre. For the last couple of months they’ve been experimenting with paper – mainly making cards and book binding.

Here are some of the results:


Dorothy Rudling bird card

This bird card was made by Dorothy R who was busy splashing paint, stamping, stitching and generally manipulating paper.

Pat Bootland card green pouch and sishas

I couldn’t resist taking a photo of Pat B’s card with this pouch of crocheted sishas. They add a real pop of colour.

Dimity family hstory card

Dimity was experimenting with making a card that included a photo of her mum – her work really sparked some ideas for presenting family history photos in a fresh and relevant way.


Doreen Grey purple flowers notebook

Last Saturday everyone tried their hand at bookbinding. Doreen G brought in some books she’d made for inspiration – look at this beauty.

Pat Bootland Heart notebook

Pat B used handmade hearts paper for her book.

Glendas book with green leaf

At one point Glenda was about to give up on the whole process but kept at it…..and look what she produced! The leaf detail is really cool.

Fran Novitski Monet notebook

Meanwhile Fran upcycled a flier from a newspaper into an arty notebook.

Next Meeting

The next get together of the Creative Group will be on 5 October and the business will be entrapment. This is putting found objects between layers of fabric. The possibilities will only be limited by your imagination.

Come and join in the fun!

Italia Invita: Noriko Endo, Quilt Artist

The 6th International Italia Invita Forum of Textile Creativity was held in Parma, Italy from 10-12 May. I was lucky enough to be there for the whole three days. This is the first in a series of posts on what I saw there.

At one level Italia Invita is a Quilt and Craft Fair with suppliers from Italy, France, Spain and Germany. What makes it so much more than this is the fact many regional associations, specialist museums and Italian needlework schools have booths showcasing their traditional needlework and collections.

There were also two competitions with entries from Italy and some featured artists and displays. It covered two pavilions and was sensory overload and just wonderful.

Noriko Endo, a Japanese quilter, was a featured artist at Italia Invita. There were four of her works on display in an alcove in the first pavilion.

This display was not curated and so the only information available were the names of her quilts. In the end this turned out to be a positive as it meant I could look at her work in an unfettered way – without preconceptions about her technique, history or context in the quilting world.

…. and this is the first thing you saw as you walked through the turnstiles:

Cherry blossom quilt by Noriko Endo

her quilt, Cherry Blossoms #3.

This quilt has a luminous quality which drew a continuous stream of people to it. It captures the intensity and exuberance of Spring but there’s also delicacy, restraint and stillness. Here’s a closer look:

Close up cherry blossom 3 quilt Noriko Endo

The sakura or cherry blossom has a depth created by a layering of the flowers. There were also areas of colour in the surrounding space that suggested blunt brush strokes.

Here’s another of the quilts on display Sylvan Ambience

Sylvan Ambience quilt

All four quilts were very thin. Looking at them closely (there were no rope barriers) suggested a painted surface which had then been densely covered in free motion quilting for texture. Machine embroidery usually in metallic threads was added to highlight features such as the tree trunks in the following details of birds in the quilt Guest Appearance

Bird detail Noriko Endo quilt


Two birds detail Noriko Endo quilt

The painterly quality of the quilts turned out to be an illusion. When I came back to Canberra I did some research and discovered that Noriko Endo invented a quilting technique called Confetti Naturescapes.  As the name suggests she creates the picture by cutting fabric into small pieces (some as small as matchsticks) or shapes (the cherry blossom flowers) and then laying these out in the elements of the image. These are overlaid with tulle and quilted. Several layers are built up to create the colour and complexity of the scenes in her quilts.

The fourth quilt in the Italia Invita show was a tour de force called Peony:

Peony quilt by Noriko Endo

It had the added graphic element of the tree trunk and peonies in the foreground against the rich background of the raked stone garden and forest. The effect created was almost three dimensional. Peonies brought back memories of Kyoto and early morning visits to the stone garden of Ryoan-ji.

If you want to see more of her quilts Noriko Endo has a website with an extensive gallery.

She’s also published a book

Noriko Endo book

which thanks to Jan H will soon be in the Guild’s library.

And while we’re on the subject of things Italian…..

Jeanine of the Italian Needlework blog has recently written about Valentina Sardu and her blackwork  designs. If you’ve been looking for a fresh take on blackwork then it’s worth checking out Jeanine’s post and her link to Valentina’s on line shop.


Looking over Shoulders

One of the best things about writing the blog is that I get to look over everyone’s shoulders to see their work in progress.

Here’s a sampler of the work in progress in the evening group over the last 3 weeks:

Sam iphone case

Sam was working on an iPhone case from a kit by Make It


Tam was using an incredibly fine hook to work this crochet blanket

Tam needlecase

I wondered if I could sneak away with her needlebook when she wasn’t looking…

Heather stitch on paper

Heather was just beginning one her stunning stitched works on paper. You can see the vibrant blue tones she’s painted the paper and the start of the stitching.

Frans Stumpwork in progress

Fran was meticulously creating stumpwork elements for a project called A Siennese Treasure. This is from a class by Alison Cole at the South Australian Guild’s Summer School

PrueParterre Canvas work

Prue was working on her own canvas work design called A Kitchen Garden. Her parterre design and the summery but soft colours give it the relaxing quality of a real garden. You’ll be able to see the finished work at the Guild’s Spring Exhibition at the Albert hall from 27-29 September.

Detail of Elvis Panda blanket

Elvi was nearly finished the cutest panda baby blanket for a very special new addition to her family. It’s a kit from Windflower with easy stitching and applique. You’ll also be able to see this in the Spring Exhibition

Detail Tasmania Anne Ecclestone 1950s Semco tablecloth

Anne E is a magnet for vintage embroidery as she’s passionate about saving these pieces and giving them a new lease of life. This piece is a 1950s Semco map of Australia – here’s the detail of Tasmania

Rosie Diane Lampe in progress

Rosie was finishing a piece her Mum started – it’s a cottage garden design from Diana Lampe’s book Embroidered Garden Flowers published in 1991.

Pat Bootland beading in process

Pat B was beading away on one of her own designs and making us all laugh with her stories about the latest crazy adventures of her dogs.



Portuguese Embroidery

Portuguese Whitework

Last weekend a dozen or so of us joined Yvette Stanton at Gorman House for a workshop on Portuguese Whitework.

Yvette provided the kit which included her book Portuguese Whitework……and of course we all lined up to have our books signed.

Yvette Stanton signing books

This style of embroidery is intricate and Yvette deftly steered us to the right way to draw threads, introduce new threads and do the bullions that are a feature of Guimaraes embroidery. The buzz over coffee was her very clever tip on how to do eyelets.

Here’s a sample of the work in progress:


Close-up Portuguese whitework hoop

Close up Portuguese Whitework 2

Close-up Portuguese Whitework 3

Thanks Yvette for a great workshop!

If you want to know more about Portuguese Whitework then head over to Yvette’s blog White Threads

Portuguese Redwork

The latest issue of Inspirations magazine (No.79) includes a traditional Guimaraes embroidered bag from Portugal in redwork.  If you’d like to try this other style of Portuguese embroidery – see Inspirations Magazine

This bag is stitched by Meri Almeida of the agulhas da méri blog. She’s incredibly knowledgeable about Portuguese embroidery and very generous in showing readers how to do the various stitches. She writes in English and Portuguese so her blog is easy to read.

Have a great weekend!





Springing into action

Spring has arrived – the days are getting warmer and longer, the light is changing……the signs are all here that the long Canberra winter is coming to an end. Blossom and Spring flowers are everywhere

photo of spring blossom

Spring blossom

Floriade can’t be too far away

photo of tulips at Floriade



So what better time for a new project – our new website and blog. All the work for this website has been done by volunteers. A great example of the spirit and sense of community in the Guild. So a BIG thank you to everyone but most of all to Sharon Boggon.

We couldn’t have built this website without Sharon’s expertise and design flair. Sharon’s Pintangle site is one of the most loved and admired on the Web. So if you haven’t done a TAST (Take a Stitch Tuesday) or enjoyed the eye candy of Sharon’s crazy quilting and sampler then head over here and enjoy!

This is the beginning of our journey with the new website. We’ve only just begun to add the photos to the members gallery. When Sharon comes back in November from her amazing overseas trip we’re planning to add more galleries, features and newsy items.

In the meantime please be patient with us as we find our feet in this very new world of WordPress. There are bound to be some thrills and spills!

Now to other news! On Monday we had the last celebration for the Guild’s 50th birthday – a morning and evening tea. As usual there was the most amazing spread of food. Then our President Fran sprang a really cool surprise – a gift for everyone!

Packet Mogear mohair threads

Pack of Mogear mohair threads


photo of Mogear threads

Mogear threads in delicate jewel colours

It was a pack of mohair threads in delicate jewel colours from Mogear. These threads have a local story as Mogear is based in Yass and owner Jenny Findlay has dyed all the threads herself in 90 shades – all of them lovely. So a BIG thank you to Jenny for an awesome gift and if you want a colour chart or more information then contact Jenny on 61 2 48458257

Bye for now!