Submitted by Roma Smith, ONN representative
Report – October 2016
The first week back, the room was filled with approximately 100 excited folk who were looking forward to participating in our versatile quilting and stitchery programme.
Each year, we focus our stitchery programme around a particular technique to give our members plenty of practice using the technique so they will have the confidence to begin stitching a pattern they may be thinking about purchasing. Last year, we focused on blackwork. This year it is pulled thread. We will hold three workshops on pulled thread, taught by our experienced stitchers. Other workshops will be offered in embroidery and chicken scratch (what a name for delicate needlework!). For stitchers we offer a technique workshop once a month and during another week our stitchers may participate in a “stitchery cottage group”.
Our guild has borrowed this cottage group concept from a guild in Florida. What is it? It is a group of members pursuing the same interests. Remember, we are a quilting and stitchery guild. We provide both quilting and stitchery to our members. One evening a month, a stitchery workshop is offered. That night, the quilters will have a cottage group they may attend. In an evening when a quilting workshop is offered the stitchers assemble in their cottage group. What are the stitchers doing in their cottage group if they are not learning a technique? The cottage group is not formal teaching. It is a group of stitchers who are sitting together, stitching, talking and learning stitchery from one another. The activity of the cottage group can go in any direction the group wishes. It is a group of stitchers sharing a common interest and supporting one another. They might bring in a project they are working on and demonstrate what they are doing. They might bring in a project they are having difficulty with and ask the experienced stitchers for help with it. They may be exposed to a new technique by watching someone working on a project.
We were so impressed with the displays we saw at the ONN annual meeting that we came back home excited and motivated to try some new things. So, our resident needle and quilt artist, Marilyn Clulow is going to lead us on a journey in contemporary stitching. Concentrating on one stitch each time we meet in cottage group she will help us create an original piece. Our crazy quilt artist, Carmen Huggins, will be coaching some of our ladies to finish a crazy quilt sampler they started two years ago. These are some of the things that can happen in a stitchery cottage group.
Our participation in the ONN annual meeting gave us a real boost and has motivated us to keep on stitching and teaching stitchery. Many thanks to all the guilds who set up a display at this meeting. You blessed us with an invisible gift, the love of stitching.