A stitch in time

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Southland Embroiderers' Guild members (from left) Elaine Little and Rowena Larsen with Erin Streeter's turkey stitch artwork Kiwi and Jan Gibb's contemporary stitching Mossy Rocks which feature in the organisation's exhibition at the Copper Kettle at H&J Smith.

MEMBERS of the Southland Embroiderers’ Guild are artists of many talents.

A selection of their work is on display at the Copper Kettle, at H&J Smith, and the exhibition showcases a variety of styles.

Guild committee member Elaine Little said it was nice to get the opportunity to showcase their work and creativity.

Their range of skills includes contemporary and traditional embroidery, including cross-stitch, counted thread, ribbon work and drawn thread work.

“You can do whatever you set your mind to.”

Member Rowena Larsen said the exhibition was a good way to create some exposure for the guild.

“There’s more to the art than people think there is.”

Embroiderers could also incorporate other crafts into their work. Larsen said her pieces in the exhibition featured stitched sunflowers, along with monoprinting and screenprinting.

The guild has about 37 members ranging in age from those in their 30s to 80s, and Little said they always welcomed more. She said it was also the first embroiderers’ guild established in New Zealand and would be celebrating its 60th anniversary next year.

Members gather at the Hearing Association Rooms, 126 Leet St, on Mondays (7.30pm-9.30pm in summer and 7pm-9pm in winter), except for the second Monday of the month.

Along with working on their own pieces, they would often have tutorials or projects, Little said.

“Sometimes we have little projects and everybody does that – learning something new. You don’t just sit there and do your own thing all the time.”

Larsen said beginners could also learn new things from more experienced members of the guild. Tutorials were also held through the national guild and in other centres.

H & J Smith display artist Emma Coppin said the guild’s show was a high-calibre exhibition, which drew a lot of excitement before the work was even on display.

“It’s a bit of a privilege to have them here.”

The department store’s exhibition space was in demand and was currently booked out until 2020, she said.

They could fit about 18 or 19 works on the walls of the cafe, and the next exhibition would be the Southland Photographic Society.

For more information about the Southland Embroiderer’s Guild, phone (03) 217 6815, or email info@southlandstitchers.org.nz

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