We know that turning up to a new group can be daunting, so we thought it might help if we put some information here to explain things.
Firstly, you really don’t need to be an experienced embroiderer to come along, or even an embroiderer at all. Some members are traditional embroiderers, some do modern ‘textile art’, some do felting, beading, dyeing, printing, or all sorts of other art and craft things. Others prefer to just look at the work on show and listen to the speakers. Don’t be put off if everyone seems to be busy chatting – we all arrived as new members, so we are very receptive if you just sit down next to one of us and say ‘hello I’m new’. If you would like to make sure to have someone to talk to, ask at the door to be introduced to a committee member; or ask for Sue Bush, who is our first contact point for welcoming new members. You can get in touch in advance if you want to, or you can just turn up to one of our monthly Tuesday meetings once they are up and running again.
Southdowns Creative Stitchers
This group was formed in March 2021. It grew out of the Worthing Tuesday Embroiderers Guild, which was a local branch of the National Embroiderers Guild. We plan to carry on with the events and activities that we have enjoyed for many years, which are explained below. In addition, we plan to set up a new sub-group which will focus on contemporary textile art and mixed media. The information below covers what we do in ‘normal times’ when we can meet in person. During lockdown times, we meet once a month on Zoom.
What happens when?
We normally meet once a month, on a Tuesday afternoon. We often have an invited speaker who tells us about their work, and shows some photos and brings examples of their work for us to look at. Sometimes a member offers to show us their work or to do a talk on an area of special interest. Tea and biscuits are available before the speaker starts, and there’s a bit of time for chat, but most of the meeting is taken up with listening to the speaker. Before the talk, and afterwards, you can look more closely at the work that the speaker has brought with them.
Sit and Stitch
Sometimes we have a ‘sit and stitch’ get-together for our Tuesday meeting, when people bring something that they are working on. It is very companionable to sit and stitch in company. If you are just starting out then you can come along and get ideas from what other people are doing, or there is help and advice available if you want it (but not if you don’t!) The programme makes it clear whether there is a speaker or a ‘sit and stitch’ session. Entry is included for members and there is a small entry charge for visitors. There is a sales table with textile-related bric-a-brac, and sales of good-value background fabrics by the metre. You can come and ‘try us out’ for a couple of monthly meetings before you decide if you want to join.
The ‘Workshop Group’ meets on a Thursday; it has proved so popular that an additional Thursday has been added in most months. This is a smaller, hands-on session, when we ‘have a dabble’ at different textile-related things. This is usually led by a member. It’s a good way to get to know people as there are fewer people and there’s more time to chat. It’s a chance to try different techniques with less expense than a day-school (there’s just a small charge to cover hire of the room). These can be good sessions for beginners, as well as for more experienced people. They are informal, and everyone learns from each other. Contact Linda Hoddy if you’d like to come along.
The Traditional Embroidery Group (or TEG) meet on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of the month. This is an informal group for anyone who wants to learn or share traditional techniques. You will sometimes hear it referred to by the old name of DIID or DIDDI. Projects are chosen by the group. For more information, speak to Anne Turner.
Day-schools are structured one-day courses / workshops, taught by an outside tutor, usually with limited numbers. These need to be booked and paid-for in advance. There is a charge to cover the hire of the hall and the tutor’s fee, and sometimes a bit extra for materials. Some are good for beginners and some require a little previous experience. Check with Gay Hibbs if you want to know if it is OK for a beginner.
Members of the old EG branch will be sent information and membership forms with details of how to join the new group. New members can contact us via the link on the Contact page, for more information or to have a chat.