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.
From July 2021 we started meeting in person again. If regulations change at short notice, members will receive an email to advise that we will meet by Zoom rather than in person that month. For that reason, we suggest that new members check with us shortly before a meeting, rather than just arriving at the venue.
Southdowns Creative Stitchers
This group was formed in March 2021. It is an independent stitch group which 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. We have also taken the formation of the new independent group as an opportunity to introduce some new activities.
What happens when?
We normally meet once a month, on a Tuesday afternoon at St Mary’s Church Hall, Sea Lane, Illex Way, Goring. 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!). If you want to come along but don’t want to stitch, that’s fine. 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 one Thursday per month at the Scout Hut in Goring. Before Covid, this group met twice per month by popular request. At the moment we are trying one Thursday per month and this will be reviewed over time as the Covid situation becomes clearer. This is a hands-on session, when we ‘have a dabble’ at different stitch-related projects, for example projects from Stitch Magazine or making items for charity. This is usually led by a member. This group is a good way to get to know people as there are fewer people than at the Tuesday monthly meeting, 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 for more information.
The Traditional Embroidery Group Meets on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of the month, sometimes at the Quaker Centre. This is an informal group for anyone who wants to learn or share traditional techniques, e.g., blackwork, silk shading, cross stitch, drawn thread etc. Many of the accomplished embroiderers in this group started as beginners, encouraged by other members. You will sometimes hear it referred to by the old name of DIID or DIDDI. Projects are chosen by the group. For more information, contact Anne Turner.
This is a new group that started in September 2021. It meets on the first Wednesday of the month at Glebelands Community Centre, Greystone Road, Worthing. It is an opportunity to try a wide range of media and techniques which may or may not be stitch-related. You may try new things that you can use as a foundation for stitch later on, but the stitch element will not be the main focus of the group. It could include things such as paper-making, silk paper, collage, paper-cloth backgrounds, 3D construction techniques, print, stencilling, batik etc. The group has an exciting programme for the first year, and has informally started to call itself the ‘Playgroup’! At the moment this group is full, but if you want to put your name on the waiting list please contact Jane Baskerville.
Day-schools are structured one-day or two-day courses, 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. They tend to book up very quickly, so booking details are initially only sent to members. Check with Jane Baskerville or Annette Ragless if you want to know if it is OK for a beginner.
Membership is £55 per year, or pro-rata if you join part-way through the membership year. This includes entry to the monthly Tuesday meetings including speakers and sit-and-sew days, newsletter, social activities and information about other events. The sub-groups make a small additional charge towards room hire. Day-schools are charged separately. If you would like to join us, contact Betty Byford, Membership Secretary or send a message via the Contact link on this page and your details will be forwarded to Betty.