Oakville Stitchery Guild

Meets: 4th Monday – September to May  (excluding December; AGM – June)
7:00 – 10:00 pm  ::    Joshua Creek Heritage Centre, Oakville

Report – July 2020

Submitted by Hernien Venter, ONN Rep                23 July 2020

The Oakville Stitchery Guild has had one Zoom meeting in the last three months, and will have the second one on July 26th.
People are continuing with their bug book project, and currently in the Artus exhibition, the bug of Joan Lindo’s can be viewed in all its splendour on the piano.

Also in the Artus exhibition, is the following fibre art works by our Guild members are on show: 3 Works by Anne MacMillan, who sadly passed away on July 11th, making her work especially poignant at this time.

Also two pieces by Barbara Hodkinson, who works on water-colour prints on fabric, one piece by our remote British member Wendy Nicholson, one piece by Roberta Eustace, and three by Debbie Bianco.

We’re making quite the splash!




Report – March 2020

Submitted by Hernien Venter, ONN Rep                23 March 2020

Like everybody else, the Oakville Stitchery Guild sadly had to cancel their last meeting in light of the coronavirus crisis, however before that we still had really good fun.

We are jointly working on a bug book that we want to bring out – every member can submit their bugs in any way shape or form, and the photographs will be compiled in a book. Amira just sent us her one submission, she opened a can of worms, it seems! And Debbie expressed her love of bees in an embroidery piece.

Birds take worms from a can

Also, during the January hands-on-session, the group worked on pendants. We had some of Sybil’s spectacular pendants as inspiration and we are all currently working to complete our own.

hand made pendant

Nancy presented a cheesecloth workshop that produced wonderful results. You can see here a sample that Mary created as an outflow of the workshop.

Pear fashioned from cheesecloth

During the February meeting the hands-on session was about collage, and more bug items were brought in.

4 hand embroidered bugs



Report – January 2020

Submitted by Hernien Venter, ONN Rep

The Oakville Stitchery Guild kept their dizzy pace and there were so many
wonderful creations to celebrate!  Here are some of the highlights.

During the Indigo Dyeing Workshop, our own Barb Hodkinson showed us the
ropes on indigo dyeing.  We dyed as much as we possibly could and there are
so many wonderful examples, but here you see some of Janet’s results from
this day.

indigo dyed clothing
This was followed by a Wool Sweater Bag Workshop.  Participants got an old
wool cardigan and felted it beforehand, and again thanks to Barb, we were
taught how to turn this into a handy bag for everyday use.  Some people used
their indigo dyed sweaters for this, but attached you see Mary’s bag made
with a grey sweater that was felted.

handbag made of felted wool sweater
During our hands-on Dorset button session, we learnt how to create these
magical buttons the way they used to.

hand-made Dorset button

During one of our hands-on sessions, we also got shown by Sybil how to take
her home-made walnut juice for a spin, as per the picture here.

walnut ink prints on paper

We still have a smocking workshop as well as a sewing box workshop coming up
in the near future, should there be enough interest.

Report – October 2019

Submitted by Hernien Venter, ONN Rep

During the summer break our members have remained busy.

Apart from the in-meeting hands-on sessions reported the last time, we have also already scheduled the following four workshops:

October 5, 2019: Indigo Dyeing Workshop taught by Barb Hodkinson.
November 02, 2019: Wool sweater Bag Workshop taught by Barb Hodkinson – if you only find a white pure wool sweater for this workshop and you’re attending the Indigo Dyeing workshop, then you can bring the sweater to be Indigo dyed.
January 18, 2020: Smocking Workshop taught by Leanne and Barb Hodkinson.
February 08, 2020: Sewing Box taught by Barb Hodkinson.

Nancy attended a cheesecloth workshop with Mary Pal. She brought in the work that she started, with her final accomplishment being the most fantastic horse image.

Given the hands-on Dorset buttons of the first meeting of the year, Leeanne brought the Suffolk pokes that she made at a workshop some years ago.

Helen attended a workshop with Naomi Smith, who teaches beadwork the way it is done by First Nations groups, and Helen completed this beautiful bag.

Our Guild is planning a Bug Book, where every member will have the chance to submit one (or plenty) bug works that will be photographed and placed in the book along with a little write-up about the artist. Gemma has gotten a head start on bugs by making a vast quantity of fantastical bugs that can go into a book. They are double sided and there are already a dozen or so completed!

Debbie worked on two projects during the summer, both embroidery pieces. See her most beautiful embroidery on black fabric that was bleached during one of our hands-on exercises.


Report – August 2019

Submitted by Hermien Venter, ONN Rep

Our Guild’s own Barbara Hodkinson held a tri-dye workshop for the members where three methods of dyeing were demonstrated and experimented with, namely using procion dyes, silk screening and marbling.  And as usual Barbara’s workshop was a combination of learning, fun and some fantastic results.  And who can resist using ultra-cheap shaving cream as a base?  Not us!

During the hands-on sessions we created talismans with the help of rock-friends, and Wendy, one of our remote members, created the beautiful talisman complete with butterfly that you see here.  Another time we had a bleaching seminar, and Debbie our president has already started creating the most beautiful work from her bleached black fabric.

And then there is Gemma, who produces critters at a faster rate than most people can process – each one a masterpiece.  This time around it was a tortoise, who could come clean out of its shell, too divine!  And on the shell lives a tree and in the tree swim the fishes, what can I say!  I’m only including the photo of it safely in its house, but had a hard time doing that, as the buff tortoise is as sweet as the housed one.

We have laid out our plans for the hands-on sessions for the next year, and among the ideas are:

Fibre Art Jewelry – Necklaces, Bracelets, Earrings, Pendants
Sharpie Tie-Dye
Oven Fabric Rusting
Artistic Fabric Manipulation
Fabric Painting on Stitch Witchery
Tea / Wild walnut fabric staining
Arm Pin Cushions
Dorset Buttons
Rope Coil Basketry
Embroidery – Seed Stitching / Encrusted Embroidery (Bead & Heavy Application of Stitch) / Mandalas / Sashiko / Stitching Text (Words)
Story Telling on Fabric
Papercloth –   Layers of Paper and Cloth
Weaving with Nettles, Grasses, Twigs and Found Objects
Stitch meditation with Felt and Tyvek
Reverse Appliqué
Fabric Stenciling – making your own stencils and stamps


Report – April 2019

Submitted by Hermien Venter, ONN Rep

The Oakville Stitchery Guild has been busy with workshops.
Barbara Hodkinson gave us a stumpwork workshop and instilled in us a huge respect for that skill set. We have several members who are really accomplished at stumpwork, so it was great for the rest of the group to learn a bit more about it.
Debbie Bianco and Hermien Venter gave a Critters and Monsters workshop inspired by the work of Amanda Louise Spayd after that, where we had loads of fun creating troll-like dolls.
Our hands-on sessions during our monthly meetings are still turning out fantastic work. We created scissor fobs at the February meeting that now keep our small scissors from getting lost.
Also, Sybil Rampen from our group is currently having a retrospective show of her work at Joshua Creek Heritage Art Centre that also show-cases some of her fiber art from the last 7 or so decades of her work. It’s worth a look-see!


Report – January 2019

Submitted by Hermien Venter, ONN Rep

The Oakville Stitchery Guild had a second eco-dyeing workshop for its members, presented by two of our own members and, as the first time, it was a resounding success.

And because we love workshops so much, we will be having another workshop on stumpwork mid-January, again presented by one of our own.  Later in the year we will have a dyeing, silk screen & marbling workshop in the same manner.

During our monthly meetings we are continuing with our hand-on sessions.  The group made Christmas decorations, as you see below, during the November meeting.

For December, we followed the example of Constance Howard’s Colourama exercises and wrapped cards in different colour combinations for an exercise in colour, right after we celebrated the season with a potluck dinner.


Report – April 2018

Joan Lindo, ONN representative

The calendar says Spring and though still somewhat chilly it is wonderful to see the blue sky and the sunshine!
After our wonderful as always Christmas Dinner at Joshua Creek, the guild has once again settled in for some serious stitching and investigating some different embellishments.
January – Hands on Fabric Brooches from scraps of fabric, thread, metal etc.


February – Fun with buttons – fish buttons & couching and necklace
Other finished show & tell items from our members.
Felted bag (with just the right button!).
Dying with onion skins and avocado peel
In our March meeting we will be exploring Fabric Collage.
In the meantime … Happy Easter and spring everyone from us at the Oakville Stitchery Guild

Report – December 2017

Our guild has had a busy year so far … Our new president, Debbie Bianco, welcomed all to the first meeting in September after our summer break. She explained that the first half of our meetings will be about the business of the Guild; the second half will be about fun and learning something new.

For that September meeting we welcomed a guest speaker, Ann MacMillan, who presented a wonderful showcase of her felting work – a combination of wet and dry felting and needle felting.

Our members’ show and tell included Nancy’s eco-dying projects.


In October / November the ‘Joshua Creek Heritage Art Centre’ was the venue for ‘The Fibre Art Feast Exhibition’ featuring the ‘Connections Fibre Artists’ group. Several of our members submitted pieces for an accompanying Oakville Stitchery Guild exhibit which was very well received.

For our October meeting we worked on a series of ‘Twinchies’ – a fun project – to get us thinking quickly.

At the end of October we engaged Monika Schaefer for a 2-day workshop on felting. All who attended had a wonderful time and learned much from Monika – we learned techniques with wet felting – on its own and with silk, and needle felting.


For our November meeting project we made fabric beads.



Our last meeting for the year will be next week – our Christmas Potluck. Our project for that meeting will be Handmade Felt Appliqué Pincushions … I’ll tell you about that in the next report.