Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Embroidery Exhibition - Cape Embroiderers do it again

Back from my travels to visit family in Bangkok and Brisbane, I was just in time to see the Cape Embroiderers' Guild embroidery exhibition on its opening day. There is some truly outstanding work on display and a good variety of techniques to interest you no matter what type of embroidery you enjoy. If you are in or around Cape Town do go and see it.

The drive through the vineyards of Constantia along this tree-lined road is worth a visit in itself - even on a rainy day.

And now for some of the embroidery. Here is the charming result of a Guild project where members were simply asked to embroider a 12 cm square for a 'Flower Garden'. We all wondered how the different colours, types of embroidery and range of canvas and fabrics could possibly be put together coherently. What a lovely surprise this was to see.

A two hundred year old sampler was recently donated to the guild, in a fragile, crumbling state. Old samplers are rare in South Africa so we were delighted to have it. It is in the process of being conserved by mounting it onto a supporting linen. Careful research has enabled the tracing of the family history of the embroiderer and a direct descendant of the embroiderer has been found and interviewed in Cape Town. She is pleased to know that the sampler is being cared for and is now bringing pleasure to so many.

Next to the faded antique sampler is one that has been recreated as closely as possible to the original. It took 464 hours to stitch on a 40 count linen!

Some wonderful three-dimensional gold work and a cheerful set of place mats designed for a Christmas lunch:

Below are four canvas work pictures all the result of workshop, and some beautiful counted thread pieces. You may recognize the pulled work on the cover of the book in the right hand corner? It was pictured in issue 77 of the Inspirations magazine.

On the top shelf of the display unit look out for these tiny embroidered houses:

Another group of canvas work pieces, this time four of them are the result of a Bayeux stitch workshop. Yes, that's the same stitch as on the historical Bayeux tapestry but variegated and shiny threads give the stitch a completely different, modern look. On the lower shelf don't miss seeing the exquisite hardanger pincushion in a tea cup.

These samplers were made for a Band Sampler Challenge. All started out the same, but ended up oh so different!

Amidst the beautiful hardanger and counted work on show,

I wish you could see the embroidered swan. His wing feathers are stitched strand by strand just like the structure of a feather and the water at his feet is a shimmering froth of French knots and beads.

Overlooking the garden is a cosy corner of beautiful cushions and I really did like the blue smocked one in the centre made with a striped blue fabric and a single colour of thread.

There is lots more embroidery to see including outstanding crewel work and there is a sales table with some beautifully embroidered items too. Before I left I took a walk in the big shady garden which lies beyond the tea garden at the venue.

Its a haven for birds so birders take your binoculars with you and you may see one of the tiny waxbills that are resident in the area.

The exhibition ends on Sunday 3 November and you will find it at the Little Stream Conference Centre, Klein Constantia Road, Constantia, Cape Town. Its open between 10h00 and 17h00. Entrance is R10. Take your time along the road, it ends rather abruptly around a corner at the gates of the Klein Constantia wine farm. Little Stream is right next door.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Embroidery Exhibition of the Cape Embroiderers' Guild

The Cape Embroiderers' Guild Exhibition opens on 29 October 2013 and runs until 3 November. There will be a wide variety of beautiful embroidery on show for you to see and a sales table too where you can find small embroidered items and second hand embroidery supplies and books. The exhibition takes place every two years and is always a most worthwhile event to visit.

This year the exhibition is at the Little Stream Conference Centre, Klein Constantia Road, Constantia, Cape Town. Its open between 10h00 and 17h00. Entrance is R10.

I hope to be back in Cape Town in time to see it, jetlag and all. If you are unable to visit the exhibition you can still enjoy seeing some of the embroidery done by members by going to the Gallery page on the Cape Embroiderers' Guild website here.