NCEATA Newcastle creative embroiderers and textile artists, fibre fiber artists and art, textile art, felting, quilting, art quilts, jewellery, Hunter Valley NSW Australia.s
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How many of you always saved the best for last? As a child I always saved my favourite foods for last. Probably still do. Well, at NCEATA we’ve saved the best for last by having so many events to involve you as members. Creative Threads Exhibition at Charlestown Library’s a new venture for us, Art Bazaar (not one but two this year) at Lambton Park then again in the grounds at the opening of Lake Mac Art Gallery at Booragul, Cosmic Dreaming Exhibition at Timeless Textiles, the Travelling Suitcase for 2020 and then the workshops at Charlestown Library. We celebrate Christmas not once but twice at each meeting in November - thanks to the hostesses Rhonda and Ruth.

It’s extremely gratifying when members share success stories with us. Congratulations to Trish Thompson whose quilt was purchased by the Regal Cinema as a gift for Rachel Ward and Bryan Brown. It doesn’t get much better than that!

As president, I’d like to especially thank all those who have contributed to our continued success as a collaborative and supportive community group who inspires our members in so many ways.

Carolyn Clausen, President


The committee will next meet on Mon 14 October at 10am at South’s Leagues Club to review the three major events in September: Craftfully, Living Smart and Stitches and Craft.

What a bust month we’ve just had. Although Craftfully was cancelled with little notice I’d like to thank Tara for her effort towards this event. I do hope that those who were going to assist her were not too put out. An apology to anyone who didn’t receive our last minute notification.

An enormous thank you to those who responded to my very late SOS to assist in setting up Stitches and Craft when I realised that Rhonda was still in Glasgow the day before. Members took over the hanging with enthusiasm and the task was completed in record time. Thanks Ruth, Pam, Wendy, Tara and Ann-Maree for responding. Rhonda was pleasantly surprised by our “Lunar Dreaming” and was able to stand back (jetlagged on her feet?) and observe while we had everything in hand. Thanks to all those members who were on duty at NCEATA during the event. Many doubling up with Fearless Flowers and Gumnut Dollies.

Finally, a thank you to Trish, Susanne, Ruth and Tara who represented NCEATA at the Living Smart Festival. Trish did a magnificent job in directing our focus at meetings on repurposing household linens. Members’ responses produced some interesting results. Thanks Trish. And to Mick for his invaluable assistance in setting up and transport.

Ann Dean Pijpens will be host in October meetings and Ruth in November. Have you thought about being one of our hostesses for a meeting?

Carolyn Clausen, President


Have you been thinking of the moon lately? Been humming “Blue Moon”? Does .. come to mind or do you see a “bad moon rising”. Let’s see these moons in orbit at our display at the Stitches & Craft Show this year. We need lots more Lunar Dreaming to complete the display in the standard that we have previously attained.

Apologies for the error in August newsletter re slow stitching with Wilma as she was already in Nepal. Thank you to the Saturday members who attempted the paper bag challenge for S&C that she and Ann Maree had prepared.

Vale Maureen Grealy. Members may remember Maureen as a talented patchwork and quilter and as a member of Novacastrian Quilters.

Three major events in September: Craftfully coordinated by Tara Mann, Stitches and Craft coordinated by Rhonda Porter and Sustainability coordinated by Trish Thompson. Thank you all for your efforts.

Alterations to the S&C roster, add Shirley Bjornsson to Thursday, delete Merrie on Saturday.

As committee meetings are being held independent of our meeting we should be able to start the general meetings at 10am promptly, with minimum of business followed by Show and Tell, then onto the focus for the day. Please put any items to give away on the side table so as not to interrupt the meeting so that we start on time.

Carolyn Clausen, President


Welcome to Ruth and Tara as new committee members. Ruth as Vice President (although we all suspected that she had a bit of vice in her) and Tara as Craftfully and Travelling Suitcase Coordinator (here’s hoping Mr Right arrives in one of the suitcases). It’s always difficult to fill vacancies so their acceptance is very much appreciated. Now, to work on filling the current vacancies.

The incoming committee had a very successful planning meeting at Souths Leagues on Mon 29 July where we were able to organise 2019-2020. An initiative we are going to try is asking members to volunteer to be hostess for each meeting on a roster basis so that no one person has the responsibility all year. This will entail getting the milk, setting up the hospitality area, ensuring the urn is filled etc and closing up after the meeting. As meetings and workshops have already been planned the duties should be less onorous. What month/day are you available?

The committee will next meet on Mon 14 October to review the three major events in September: Craftfully, Living Smart and Stitches and Craft. My, we do have a lot to focus on in August.

Carolyn Clausen, President


What a wonderful way to finish the year with the Coptic Book Binding workshop by Maija at our last meetings. I’m definitely inspired to follow up on this technique. Although a bit sceptical about working with paper. I’m now a convert. Thanks Maija.

July marks the new year 2019-2020 for NCEATA starting with the AGM on Saturday 20th July. Then it’s full steam ahead until our exhibition in December. A reminder that fees are now due from 1 July 2019. Payment can be made at the AGM. Membership must be current to vote in the AGM. If possible I encourage you to pay online to make our job of keeping lists current easier.

Rhonda has the Stitches and Craft Show in hand. Have you completed your piece to hand into her at the meetings? Did you see coverage of the moon landing recently? I often find it difficult to focus on my exhibition pieces. Do you? By completing the paperwork and sending it to Lyn Adamson I’ve been able to become more focused and organised. She needs submissions ASAP. Members are continually working on projects for the Living Smart Festival on Saturday 28th September at Speers Point Park. Thanks to Trish for her inspirations and ideas on how to repurpose and recycle obsolete textiles. I’m looking forward to seeing the results at the Festival. We’ll be having a double site, with power again this year so that we can further show visitors how they too can use these skills.

The convict bonnets will be on display at the Lovett Gallery in Newcastle City Library with the opening on Tuesday 30th July at 5.30. The event is called “They Sent Me North: Female Convicts in the Hunter” as the book will be launched at this event. Free tickets are available at

Helen Tolhurst, a long time member has a display of her amazing work “Enchanted places” at Readers Café East Maitland until 27th July. Well worth a visit (not open Sundays). Congratulations to Judi Nikoleski on her and husband Vlase’s recent exhibition and her 2nd prize Mixed Techniques with “Ethnic Perspective” at the Sydney Quilt Show 2019 (

At our last meeting we elected to give a donation of $250 to Seven Sisters, an organisation that Wilma and her friend Pam are going to Nepal in August. The donation will enable one girl, who has disabilities to go to school for a year. A most worthwhile recipient for us to support.

Carolyn Clausen, President


Almost the end of this year with the AGM to be held on Saturday 20th July. Please consider taking on one of the vacant positions viz: Exhibition Coordinator, Travelling Suitcase Coordinator, Saturday and Monday Coordinators. After holding President and Secretary positions for several years I’m ready to pass over President. Any takers?

We had 12 members enrolled to do Marie-Therese’s workshop on Sublimation on two consecutive Saturdays. Day one focused on learning the principles and basics using disperse dyes. The second day we created some amazing designs using Marie-Therese’s sublimation techniques and we all went home eager to continue experimenting thanks to our mini dye pots.

30 of us met at Hamilton TAFE to acknowledge 40 years of NCEATA. Previous members included Suzie Bowring Miller, Jan Cummings, Narelle DeLosa, Margaret Ferguson, Denise Gill, Margaret Laughlin, Kate Pattison, Marcelle Sandeman and Sue Shute.

After a delicious meal designed, cooked and served by the Hospitality students Sandra brought out old photo albums. Lots of memories were shared and laughter abound regarding some of the fashions of the era.

Living Smart Festival paperwork has arrived for Saturday 28th September at Speers Point Park.. We’ll be having a double site, with power again this year. Does anyone have upholstery sample fabrics in their stash that they’d like to pass over as I’d like to make a few skirts for Living Smart. Please bring to June or July meetings.

As the Stitches and Craft Show coincides this year with Living Smart we’ll need lots of members to volunteer, especially on Saturday 28th Septeber. If you’re unsure. Let us know and you will be paired with a member who has done it before.

Carolyn Clausen, President


Let’s use Sunday 12th to celebrate all the amazing women in our families whether they be a mother, grandmother, daughter, sibling, aunt, niece, mother or daughter in law. Each one is unique and deserves to be celebrated, not just mothers. I’ll be spending my day with my family celebrating my three score years and ten.

We have 12 members enrolled to do Marie-Theresa’s workshop on Disperse Dyes and Transfer Printing.

25 past and present members are coming to the dinner at Hamilton TAFE on 21st May.

There are still seats remaining so if you’d like to come please let me know and pay before 13th May as final numbers will be due then.

Art Bazaar and Living Smart have fuelled my creativity and I’ve been productive. Have you?

Carolyn Clausen, President


Firstly, our thoughts are with Jim and Wilma as we wish him a speedy recovery. Jim is the quiet supporter behind Wilma's enthusiasm.

Usually it's not until later in the year that we have a lot happening, however May is an extremely busy month this year.

Art Bazaar's on 4th May at Speers Point Park. Plenty of table space still available.

Our special 2 day workshop with Marie-Therese Wisniowski on the 18th and 25th. Have you enrolled yet?

21st May is our 40th aniiversary dinnerat Hamilton TAFE. Are you coming along to share an evening of friendship without having to bring pins and needles. Bookings now being taken.

Carolyn Clausen, President


Rhonda has created our latest challenge that all members can contribute towards. I’m looking forwards to see our display at Stitches and Craft inspired by the maroon and lunar theme. Have you had creative thoughts already?

It’s only through the dedication of committee members that NCEATA continues to be so successful. As with any progressive organisation it’s critical that new blood is introduced to ensure a dynamic culture. With this in mind, please consider putting up your hand for two important vacancies that will occur at our AGM in July.

A new Exhibition coordinator to replace Wilma is essential. (Yes, I know that Wilma can’t be replaced but she’ll be available to support the incoming coordinator. Thank you to Lynne Adamson who will be assisting Wilma as an Administrative Assistant, Exhibitions. The Travelling Suitcase Coordinator’s role will also be available so please consider this one as well. Sandra has developed a system to coordinate this role. It requires someone who is available Dec-Jan.

I’m looking to have a member take over as president as I’ve held several positions at NCEATA over a long time and would like a successor to shadow me this year.

Anyone visiting Sydney might be interested in The Sewing Basket (the shop that supports Achieve Australia, previously situated at Meadowbank). It is a treasure chest (actually warehouse) of all things textiles. New address is Unit 5, 2 Holker St Newington and now opened Mon-Fri 9-2, 1st Sun & 3rd Sat each month.

Carolyn Clausen, President


I was very pleased to see new members and visitors at the January meetings. Many of us were challenged by the activity of creating continuous bias, thanks Judi.

Who else is no the search for vintage or old linen, especially linen tea towels to repurpose into clothing to wear and/or sell at Living Smart Festival later this year. Many ideas were shared so I’m looking forward to seeing results later on.

I’m delighted to announce that we have a date locked in for a dinner to celebrate our 40th Anniversary. The date is Tuesday 21st May 2019 at Hamilton TAFE.

Hospitality students in training prepare and serve a delicious two course meal so keep this date aside to join past and present members. Anyone with special dietary requirements will be catered for. More information to come.

I’ll collect any Convict Bonnets at both February meetings so that I can pass them onto Newcastle Family History Society.

Carolyn Clausen, President


Becoming a member of NCEATA encourages and fosters our creativity in whatever textile medium we choose to employ. Some members go beyond the norm and give something back in return. Sandra Cooke is one such member. So it was with great pleasure that I was able to announce at our exhibition that she is now a life memeber of NCEATA. Sandra has held many roles during her 20 years of membership and her advocacy for NCEATA as Travelling Suitcase Coordinator ensures that we are well known throughout the wider community.

I'd like to share part of an email from one of our long standing memebers, Sue Shute that reminded me of why I'm so proud to be a member of NCEATA.

"I have loved being a member of NCEATA for many years. In that time I have really appreciated how much the members shared their knowledge and skills with everyone. It has always been a friendly group and I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the group at meetings, classes, wekends away, exhibitions, challenges etc.

Over the last 15 years my life has changed, and I am no longer able to do the creative sewing that I have loved. In recent years my life has taken a different direction, but I still love attending exhibitions, reading about what is happening in the club and seeing old friends from the group."

Congratulations to each of the members who exhibited their Black and White creation, yet another example of talent within our group. Dr Diane Volker, a past president, was most impressed with how far the group has come in the 40 years since it's inception.

Carolyn Clausen, President


Welcome to our new members, Victoria, Veronica, Lana and Elana who have joined us recently.

A fabulous day was had at Living Smart Festival at Speers Point Park. Lovely weather, beautiful view. We had lots of interest from visitors interested in rug making with Ruth who was kept so busy all day I’m not sure if she stopped for lunch. Wilma wrapped people in her twisted cords, Rhonda had her vintage 1942 Singer, Sue R hand stitched, Suzie B crotched, Shirley knitted and stitched, Wendy painted fabric and Roberta and I mingled. The three photos of tjhis event can be seen on our homepage.

Rhonda and I will be at The Grove’s High Tea showing what we do and donating one of the Black/White Orange quilts to their fundraising for orphans in Zimbabwe.

I have a few calico convict bonnets if anyone wants one.

Best wishes,
Carolyn Clausen, President


Thank you to all the members who assisted at Art Bazaar at The Levee on a very cold, extremely windy day and to Suzanne et al for transporting gear and being there all weekend. As this was a trial for HAN to have a popup attached to another event I have to say that the visits to HAN sites was poor (despite the excellent coffee and hot apple cider booth next door). Doris’s work has still not surfaced so when you come across it can you please contact me as it will be in with another members items.

Organisation is now on for the Living Smart Festival at Speers Point Park on Sat 22nd September 8am–3pm. Anyone with items that support sustainability can bring them to the September meetings. We’ll have several demonstrations, slow stitch kits for sale, examples of our work and items for sale. We see it as a great opportunity to show what we do.

We are looking for any director’s chairs that members (friends, relies, neighbours or council pick ups) may have lurking in the back of garages etc to create an amazing work of art.

The BWO (no, not a bottle shop - Black/White/Orange) working party of Judi, Treena, Merri, Ruth, Trish, Roberta and I had a very productive day trimming, arranging and edging the blocks. Thanks to Ruth and Judi we now have one single quilt and two small wall hangings – one floral and one geometric to be made from the blocks. We achieved a lot and with assistance of Monday members may have them completed soon.

As a member of NFHS (Newcastle Family History Society) I’m going to be involved in making Convict Bonnets for women convicts who came specifically to Newcastle. The next working bee is on Tuesday, 11th September beginning at 10am if you are free to attend that day, Mechanics Institute, Elder St Lambton, opposite the park.

“Would your NCEATA group be interested in becoming involved in this project, Carolyn?” The Stitched Up Books were wonderful - such a special tribute to the Industrial School Girls. I loved the entire exhibition. “ (Mel)

Mel Woodford had an email from Dr Christina Henri who is the Artist in Residence at the Cascades Female Factory (Hobart) and the lady behind the Roses From the Heart Convicts Bonnets Project asking if I could put her in touch with you. She was so delighted when I mentioned that you were going to come along to our next Working Bee.

Best wishes,
Carolyn Clausen, President


It was with great pleasure that three virgin members, Lee-Anne, Linda and Suzanne joined the committee this year as I believe that it is important to encourage members to take an active role in NCEATA.

Several members have had health issues during the year and to those I wish them good health and wellbeing.

One of our most active members, Wilma Simmons was awarded an AM in recognition of her extensive roles across a diverse number of groups within the community, NCEATA being one. Congratulations Wilma, your enthusiasm is much appreciated by all.

Our success as a group comes from a dedicated committee who perform their roles so that we run like a smoothly oiled machine and to all the members who contribute and attend our activities. Thank you to everyone who makes my role so much easier when the work is shared.

This year we changed the committee meeting from Saturday to Monday as the majority of committee attend on Mondays, but this is flexible to suit the group.

The well oiled machinists are: Secretary Lee-Anne Deegan, who brings her expertise to the role in her efficiency to take and record minutes Treasurer Sue Russell who manages our finances no matter which part of the world she’s in Webmaster and Editor Judi Nikoleski who does the challenging task of getting the newsletter out each month (the challenge being to urge the committee to get reports in on time!) as well as maintaining our impressive website. Media is covered by Daniela Glassop with Facebook, and her artistic talent in creating the relevant flyers. Exhibitions Coordinator Wilma Simmons who manages to fit in organising our exhibition in her continually busy schedule and liaising with Anne. Travelling Suitcase team of Sandra and Ross Cooke who ensure that our work is renowned across the country. The multi-tasking machinist Rhonda Porter who manages the library as well as the Stitches and Craft Show with her quiet efficiency and her creativity each year in achieving an interesting display that keeps the public at our site. Who will ever forget the twist of orange whenever we look at black and white. Art Bazaar coordinator Suzanne Boulton who keeps our name alive at HAN events across the region Saturday and Monday coordinators, Wilma and Linda Boardman who ensure the we are not only well oiled but provide such a diverse range of experiences each meeting.

Thank you to each of you for being valued committee members. Thank you to all those members who gave workshops throughout the year at meetings, at Textile Tasters and at Timeless Textiles during our exhibition. Also to Narelle Sheehan who resurrected the NCEATA retreat this year at Fosterton and to Sue for organising the trip to NSW Embroiderers Guild.

Best wishes,
Carolyn Clausen, President


Another successful year at NCEATA draws to a close with July being our AGM. Only with the drive of enthusiastic volunteers who support each of our activities are we able to function so well.

Whilst not everyone is able to be involved in all activities here are some ways that you can assist: have you finished your Black and White with a twist of Orange for the Stitches and Craft Show?

Have you put your name down on the S&C roster in August? If you haven’t done this before, ask to be put with a mentor. What can you demonstrate at the show?

Are you able to women our stall at the Art Bazaar at The Levee in Maitland (August) and / or the Living Smart Festival at Speers Point in September.

Will you be entering work at our Black and White exhibition in Dec/Jan? And the Travelling Suitcase in Jan (Black and White plus One).

Do you have skills that you’d like to share at our meetings? Or a desire to learn a new skill – ask us to investigate your requests.

Maybe you’d like to become involved in the committee – we meet for one hour before meetings (currently on Mondays as most of the committee are from this group).

Speaking of volunteers, a huge congratulation to Wilma Simmons for her award in the Queens Birthday Awards. Very well deserved for each of her many roles that she has in the community.

The Newcastle Herald featured Ann Kempton this week, you can read about her on their website plus look up “40 Novocastrians with stories that will blow you away” where Scott Beavan interviewed Judy Hooworth, a well known local quilt maker..

If you’re looking for a day out why not visit the Macarthur Textile Network’s exhibition “Movement through Colour” at Campbelltown Art Gallery as its open until 29 July. Maria Rofe is a valued member of this group and it would be great to support their exhibition.

Best wishes,
Carolyn Clausen, President


Playing around with the internet I came across this saying:

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” – Mark Twain.

I followed this advice and have booked for a quilting cruise to Northern QLD in Feb 2019 that has a Thread Painting Course as I’d hate to think that I was disappointed in 2038.

Some fabulous blocks have been returned by members for the Black/White with a Twist of Orange for the Stitches and Craft Show. Have you finished yours yet?

Following on from the last meeting we are applying to have a site at Living Smart, a festival at Speers Point Park with an emphasis on sustainability. As yet no actual date but I expect it to be on our meeting Saturday in September. We will be holding it in conjunction with Textile Tasters with a focus on recycling and sustainability – much of which we currently do.

Speaking of recycling, Newcastle Fabric Destash is being held at Mayfield Saturday 12th May, not that any of us need any more???

As the Public Officer I have to maintain a list of financial members and their contacts. If you have any changes, past or future, please remember to pass them on to me for our records. There are currently a few members who are not yet financial for 2017-18. This may be an oversight on your or our side. I’ll be following up on this so please do not feel offended if I contact you to ensure that I have kept up to date. I am able to quickly check anyone who has paid EFT using your name & membership and would encourage members to use this method of payment in the future, if possible.

Best wishes,
Carolyn Clausen, President


After a year of highs and lows we enter 2018 with a warm welcome to new members.

Our highs included our recent exhibition “The Nature of Things”, our display at Stitches & Craft, the travelling suitcase, our Textile Tasters, Art Bazaars and our regular workshops and meetings. Many members made contributions to the memorable Stitched Up exhibition as well.

Fortunately our lows were few but significant with several members experiencing health concerns and spouse’s funerals. It has been heartening to see that members support each other under adverse circumstances.

I’m leaving the Rooster behind as we are now in the Year of the Dog. Thinking black and white dogs may work for an exhibition piece. What do you have in mind? Whatever it is, I’m sure that it will be amazing!

Best wishes,
Carolyn Clausen, President


I’ve been approached in my capacity as president to assist Newcastle City Library with training their staff in using a computerised sewing machine and software that will be available for residents to use in their Makerspace program. Does anyone use or have a Brother Innovis 950 machine?

I was heartened to have members Narelle Sheahan and Jo Green propose that we have a NCEATA retreat next year. It’s great that members show initiative in creating such opportunities. I’m sure that others miss our time together at Kurri retreats. For newer members it will be a great time to get to know each other as well as dedicate lots of time to creating, sharing, learning and socialising. Or just taking time out from our ever busy lives.

Looking forward to seeing members works for both the exhibition and travelling suitcase at our next meeting.

Best wishes,
Carolyn Clausen, President


I recently saw this on a local board…. “Aspire to Inspire, before you Expire”.Who/what inspires you?

The Textile Tasters this year was an exhibition of members work. Held over three days, it was an enormous effort from all those involved. The workshops and demonstrators were constantly busy each of the days.

Thank you to the following members who were involved: Wilma Simmons and Margaret Adams challenged people with Paper and Fabric collage to see beyond the square, Judi Nikoleski shared her method of strip applique, Dolores Prete had Fun with Felt, Shirley Bjornsson and Merrie How focused on teaching the intricate Art of Tatting, Sandra Cooke soldered fabrics and Wendy Scott kept a frantic pace with her Colour and Stitched Dairy covers. Sue Russell put Solvy to good use, demonstrating Machine Lace with her machine that was the envy of many. Thanks to Thorpe’s for donating the Solvy.

Narelle Sheehan and her Gorakan High School students provided sumptuous catering throughout the event. She was ably supported by Colleen Cox who also greeted visitors and Jo Green who must be the best scone maker ever! After a slow start, I got the hang of it and it felt like 3 days at Kurri. A thought for the future. What could be better than 3 days doing your own thing in pleasant company.

This time last year we were to have a Lois Parish-Evans workshop. If you want to see her incredible machine skills pop into Timeless Textiles Gallery.

Looking forward to seeing the entries in our exhibition “The Nature of Things”. Thank you to Daniela for the invitation design which accompanies this newsletter as a separate PDF attachment for you to email to your friends, colleagues and many more.

Welcome to the new members who were inspired to join after Textile Tasters: Ann Dean Pijpens, Michelle Kincade, Julie Newman, Sandra Smith and Lyn Adamson.

My apology for omitting a hidden treasure from the Presidents photo in the September newsletter. How could I miss Shirley Bjornsson?

Best wishes,
Carolyn Clausen, President


An auspicious occasion to have 5 past presidents at our last meeting. Each of these ladies have done a wonderful job of keeping NCEATA ongoing. Only Jenny Crain is missing from this batch of recent presidents. They are myself, Carolyn Clausen, Gail Stahmer, Bronwyn Greive, Annette Tubnor, Wilma Simmons.

We have so many activities for members to be involved in for the remainder of this year. I urge you to be a part of the Textile Tasters in September, members can participate even if they aren’t giving a workshop or exhibiting, just come along and meet the visitors.

Carolyn Clausen, President


It has been a very busy time for me, and I was so surprised when I realised a month has gone by since we last met…As I write this, I am reminded by my computer that there are 176 days until Christmas. You didn’t need to know that, did you?

A couple of weeks ago, NCEATA’s submission to The Map Project was just an idea. Many thanks to all who donated pieces of beautiful work for this, and to members who put this together. Special mention and big thanks to Ruth Spence, Ann-Maree Kelly and Margaret Adams who did the bulk of the stitching. I think it is a remarkable art work, and having a received a photo, the coordinator of the project said this is stunning…. So it may also tour with some of the other selected ‘maps”. This just proves what amazing things can be achieved in a short time by creative people.

Thanks to Gay Grillmeier who showed us the magic of polysol dyes at last month’s Saturday meeting. The following Monday, there was a full class who enjoyed eco dyeing with Gina Mastio. Thanks to Gina and to Carolyn Clausen who organised this workshop.

I expect that these workshops may have provided new inspiration for work for the annual exhibition, “The Nature of Things” … please remember that submissions for inclusion in this exhibition are due this month at both meetings.

The Annual General Meeting is 15 July. Positions vacant - president, secretary, Saturday and Monday coordinators, exhibition coordinator. One nomination for treasurer has been received. Please consider taking on one of these positions. It is really important for the future of our group that it is continually being challenged with new ideas and new approaches and therefore the need to be led by different people with different styles of creative leadership. I have enjoyed being NCEATA president for the last two years and working alongside really committed and hard working committee members, who, if we were in business, would be receiving huge bonuses and promotions for their amazing work beyond any job description. Thank you NCEATA committee - what a great job you have done leading this group each year to bigger and better creative achievements.

I hope you will find some time to visit “The Map Project” exhibition at Timeless Textiles 5-16 July - opening 6pm 6 July. And if you haven’t yet seen “Stitched Up”, please make some time to do so, even if as a co- curator I say so, it is a truly remarkable fibre art exhibition in which textile artists worldwide have responded creatively to a little known part of Newcastle’s history.

Many NCEATA members have contributed so I hope you won’t miss seeing this outstanding work. This exhibition is open until 6 August, Wed-Sat 10am -4pm and Sun 11am - 3pm at The Lock Up, co - located with Timeless Textiles. Thanks to the many NCEATA members, friends and families who attended the opening and/or the discussion forum. Your presence was really appreciated and was very reassuring.

PS Hope these dates are also in your diary : 13 August Hunter Art Bazaar at Wallsend Winter Fair & 17-20 August Craft Show, Newcastle

STOP PRESS: I will be having my head shaved on 23 July to raise funds to support the Zero Childhood Cancer Campaign, led by Bec Cooper, a 17 year old from Wallsend. Zero Childhood Cancer is the most ambitious childhood cancer initiative ever undertaken in Australia. Bec Cooper is waging her own war on the disease but she won’t let that stop her from helping other children with late stage or recurrent cancer. Her cancer is currently incurable but the brave 17-year-old is fundraising so she and other youngsters can be part of a revolutionary new drug treatment program.The Newcastle teen is leading the Children’s Cancer Institute crowd-funding campaign for a new clinical life saving trial to start in September. It costs about $20,000 for one child to be part of it.. ( From The Daily Telegraph 23 June 2017) .

If you would like to donate to my head shave, I will very happily receive a donation on both the Saturday and Monday July NCEATA meetings or come to The Lemon Grove Hotel Wallsend on 23 July for a fun afternoon from 12 pm , and witness the revelation of my bare head. Donations can also be electronically transferred to the Rotary Club of Wallsend-Maryland BSB 637-000 Account Number 781174297 Reference : SHAVEWILMA

Best wishes,
Wilma Simmons, President


Hope you are all enjoying the feel of early winter- I am writing this in the early hours of the morning with my slippers on and warmed by a hot cup of tea!

What great meeting last month - thank you to Ann Maree Kelly and Wendy Scott who led such colourful and interesting workshops. The Monday workshop participants looked very pleased with their fabulous funky fibre beads, and I know there will be so many new accessories created to suit special outfits. On Saturday, you couldn’t help but be drawn into Wendy’ colourful world of ‘3D Fabric Forms’ - thanks for bringing so many samples to inspire the participants. And best of all last month was to see Judi, not only recovered from her surgery, but positively glowing with good health and happy. We know you still need to take it easier, but so lovely to see you at the meeting, Judi.

This month, our secretary Carolyn has organised a special workshop with Gina Mastio on 19 June, and from what I heard yesterday, there is only one space left...? Please contact Carolyn if you are wanting to attend this workshop, as kits need to be ordered. Looking forward to also working with polysol dyes with Gay Grillmeier on 17 June.

Last month, I talked about The Map Project and it was decided that we would try to create a piece for this exhibition, starting on 2nd July.

With such a short time frame, anyone who has a small piece which somehow depicts, “Where I Live”, please bring it (to be considered for inclusion) to the June Saturday meeting at the latest or preferably give it to me or Carolyn before then. ( I live at 11 Kilpanie Road Lambton or alternatively, I am at Timeless Textiles Gallery on Wednesdays). A group of us will then “artistically collage” the selected pieces. Here are a few reminders about the activities of this energetic group:

1. Our display of work by members (including some demonstrations and a trading table) will be held instead of the September meetings - we have the room for the whole weekend! Thanks to those who volunteered to coordinate this weekend - Narelle, Colleen, Dolores, and Gail, with PR by Daniela. More volunteers needed, please. We will need your work for the display and for the trading table and volunteers to supervise the display as well as a few demonstrators for Textile Tasters. 2. Submissions for the exhibition “ The Nature of Things” are due at July meetings.

3. The Annual General Meeting is 15 July. Positions vacant - president, secretary, Saturday and Monday coordinators, exhibition coordinator. One nomination for treasurer has been received.

4. Into Craft Display 17-20 August will feature work or samples from any of the NCEATA workshops over the last 12 months or so.

5. Hunter Art Network Pop Up market at Wallsend Winter Fair - 13 August.

Earlier today, I had the honour of opening a beautiful exhibition by NCEATA member, Helen Tolhurst. The textile art works are inspired by lines from Dorothea Mackellar’s poem, My Country” and they are richly embroidered and beaded layered wool and silk felted and stitched visual delights. Helen has captured colour and texture to inspire a new appreciation of our contrasting landscape.

I really recommend a lovely morning tea or lunch at the Reader’s Café, East Maitland which is showing Helen’s work until 1 July.NCEATA days this month.

Best wishes,
Wilma Simmons, President


Members who have attended the January and February meetings have had so much fun printing from the wood blocks and learning so many different screen printing techniques to try. Many thanks to Judi for facilitating the workshops last month. I had such a good time trying our all the tips Judi shared and who would have thought that ordinary talcum powder could have produced such wonderful effects!

Thanks to members who participated in “show and tell” - this is such a special part of the meetings. NCEATA members are renowned for sharing their skills and talents and I, like most of our members, really appreciate this and find it inspiring. It is also so good to be able to congratulate other members when they have created something wonderful.

Thanks to all who nominated favourite exhibition themes and for voting last month… the results have been announced. Guess which one got the most votes? See the results in this newsletter. I hope many of you have been visiting the NCEATA Facebook page … thanks to Daniela who has been sharing regularly some really interesting and useful articles and videos. Please consider this to be another valuable resource NCEATA is offering to help you maximise your creative potential. Link -

Please think about a workshop you would like to attend in the next twelve months. NCEATA will be offering another scholarship to a current member (financial or life member) to extend his/her skills or to develop skills in new area. The scholarship is up to the value of $350…. for example, if you nominated to do a workshop offered by Timeless Textiles and the cost was $400, NCEATA would pay $350 and you would be expected to pay the additional $50 yourself. Written submissions will be received up until 15 April. Please check the criteria for the scholarship. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask me or one of the committee members. The application form is being emailed with this newsletter as a docx form to type into. Save it as a pdf file to email (read below).

I am still looking forward to more volunteers nominating to lead and assist with the Member’s Display of Work.

Please remember that NCEATA will have a stall at the Hunter Art Bazaar, Warners Bay on 2 April. I have my fingers crossed that it will be a great day - beautiful Autumn weather, appreciative crowds and the wonderful company of other artists. Please let Coordinator Robin or Secretary Carolyn know if you are intending to participate and please organise your work for sale to be delivered to the stall in person, or left before the day with a member who is attending. Apologies - it is not possible to leave saleable items at our meeting venue for collection. I am happy to store goods at my place for a short while if you want to drop them off to me. I know you will all have productive and enjoyable NCEATA days this month. Apologies but I will not be at either the Saturday or Monday meetings this month. I will be at a family function in Brisbane but I look forward to catching up with many of you at the Art Bazaar and at the April meetings.

Best wishes,
Wilma Simmons, President


January Meetings: Great to see so many people at both the Monday and Saturday meetings in January! I am sure it was because you were all so keen to get started on your art works for the next exhibition, “The Nature of Things”. Thanks to Sandra Cooke who conducted workshops on both days, using the wood blocks created for us by Bob Seal. I enjoyed the process and the outcomes. I made some good prints on my roll of lunch paper and secretly love the paper bowls I made from the printed paper - yes, a bit weird, I know! They aren’t for the exhibition, but it was such fun.

Committee thanks: Thanks to the committee members who came in earlier than usual last month to discuss some important issues for the group - insurance, venue, storage etc. All necessary, but hardly creative, so I thank them all for their commitment and patience going through some of the more tedious matters. Please appreciate the committee’s efforts to keep the group working smoothly and devising new and creative things to do each month.

Storage: NCEATA has limited storage at our venue and now, it has become even more limited as we must ensure that all of our stuff is inside our cupboard, according to our rental agreement. Rhonda Porter has offered to “mind” the suitcase taken to various events and outings - this suitcase holds such items as NCEATA brochures, membership forms and display items to promote NCEATA. In the past, members often bring in unwanted items from their stash to share with others, and I encourage you to continue with this generous practice. However, we are not able to store any goods left for another meeting, so please make sure that anything remaining is taken home and it may be brought back to another month’s meeting.

Display of Members’ Work: As you are all aware, I have been very concerned that NCEATA is a group with access to all levels and interests in creative embroidery and textile art. With that I mind, I have been promoting the idea of a “members’ display of work”, so I am calling for volunteers to be on a sub committee to organise such an event. I have made some early inquiries about using our meeting space as a venue, and this is looking positive. The time will be September 2017 - the day we usually run the “Textile Tasters” day, so the event (still to be named) will be a display of work, with some people opting to have a trading table and/or demonstrate a technique. This can be one day or over the whole weekend. So, the hard decisions have been made - when, where, what? Now the how? This is an event catering for all members, so I am hoping there might be a few volunteers to step forward. Unfortunately, I am very busy myself with many other groups and projects this year, and I do not have time myself to devote to this. If we can’t get a member or a small group to assist with this, perhaps this idea might have to be euthanized or at least frozen and resurrected at another time?

Exhibition themes: Please consider the suggestions. Add some of your own. Voting will take place at the February meetings or send me an email with your choice.

Keep cool and be creative!

Wilma Simmons, President


Happy New Year! What a fantastic way to start the NCEATA year - our exhibition “Elements” is a great success. Congratulations and BIG thanks to all the contributors and to Maria Rofe, Exhibitions Coordinator. The exhibition was opened on 29 December by Marie-Therese Wisniowski, print and textile artist, Art Quill Studio and previously co-editor of Textile Fibre Forum. Marie-Therese’s generous and insightful summary of each exhibiting artist’s work was brilliant. For all those who attended the opening, I think you will agree that Marie-Therese’s response to the exhibition was a delightful education in itself. If you haven’t yet seen the exhibition, I hope you will pop in to the Timeless Textiles Gallery before 15 January - the work individually is beautiful and together in the display they look spectacular. Thanks also to Anne Kempton from Timeless Textiles for her curatorial and installation advice and expertise.

The accompanying Textile Taster workshops held by various NCEATA members during the exhibition have also been very successful and have been enjoyed by many. Thank you to all the tutors who prepared the workshops and the kits, and have shared so generously their knowledge and skills. Special thanks to Carolyn Clausen who coordinated these workshops and no doubt has been receiving so many calls and emails during the holiday season. Sandra and Ross Cooke are busily preparing the travelling suitcase exhibition and I thank them both for their tireless efforts in getting that together. Sandra is still accepting items for the suitcase and will collect them during the collection of work from the gallery exhibition on 15th January. The entry form for the travelling suitcase is in this newsletter.

As you are all aware, the next big exhibition will be “The Nature of Things”, based on the wood block prints specially created for NCEATA by artist Bob Seale. This exhibition will be held in January 2018. At the January meetings, we will be taking suggestions for exhibition themes for 2019 - please bring your suggestions along, or tell a friend to nominate them. If necessary, a vote will be taken. Both “Elements” and “The Nature of Things” were chosen this way, so please start thinking of themes which will lend themselves to many interpretations in textile art.

Perhaps you were unable to exhibit this month? NCEATA will be holding a display of members’ work later in the year. Still looking for a suitable venue and a sub-committee - if you have any interest in helping this event to happen, please let a committee member know, as this event will allow everyone in NCEATA to have their work seen and admired by the general public. There will be no theme, so all your favourite pieces will be most welcome for the display.

If you are interested in selling work, the next Hunter Art Bazaar will be on 2 April at Warners Bay Park. This is a new venue, but I think it should attract a large crowd. It has not been decided yet whether NCEATA will have a stall - this will depend on how many members who would like to participate. Please indicate your interest at one of the January meetings.

It’s a new year, so if anyone has new ideas for NCEATA please let me know - our committee is always wanting to improve to make this group meaningful, educational, fun and social for everyone. Please remember we all love “show and tell” so please don’t be shy about bringing your current work in to meetings to share with others. All the best for a creative 2017.

Wilma Simmons, President


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