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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Thanks again to everyone for your advice, confidence and encouragement. After a very optimistic restart this year here we are staying at home once more so this time around it will be just as important to stay in touch, keep well, be calm and create. This lockdown gave me the chance to get stuck into my found UFO ready for our exhibition later this year. If you missed the expression deadline but feel you have a piece to enter, contact Judi Nikoleski. The final deadline for delivery of work is November. My inspiration was lacking until I "found" a 5 year old screen print sample done as a demo at work which sent me on a fun creative spin,

With more time at home (ski trip off) I have also been busy quilting and binding my floral quilt. And after seeing some slow stitching by the talented Wednesday Group girls and I decided to have a go at a new fabric book. Now realise with 16 pages not counting the cover that it may take some time.

Thanks to our July workshop providers. We really appreciated the advanced embellisher session with Ann-Marie who gave a very comprehensive presentation with lots of great ideas. Also Tara who was ready to go just before everything got shut down. Hopefully her wet felting will be on again soon.

At the moment it is looking very likely that we may also be on hold during September and we are waiting to see when meetings will resume. Until we see each other again in person I would love to se waht everyone is up to, so feel free to share all your good stuff on our Facebook page..

Wendy Scott, President


Firstly I give my apologies for not being able to attend the AGM due to delayed travel plans. In my absence to be elected president of this amazingly talented group of creative people was a very pleasant surprise.

For many years I have benefited from being a member, gaining knowledge, inspiration and many friendships. Therefore the decision was made (with some encouragement) it had come time to give back, especially as I have settled into a slightly less busy retired life.

In future I am looking forward to working together with our new and experienced committee members to continue making NCEATA a vibrant and supportive group.

Thank you all for your confidence and enthusiasm. See you at the next meeting.

Wendy Scott, President


Firstly I give my apologies for not being able to attend the AGM due to delayed travel plans. In my absence to be elected president of this amazingly talented group of creative people was a very pleasant surprise.

For many years I have benefited from being a member, gaining knowledge, inspiration and many friendships. Therefore the decision was made (with some encouragement) it had come time to give back, especially as I have settled into a slightly less busy retired life.

In future I am looking forward to working together with our new and experienced committee members to continue making NCEATA a vibrant and supportive group.

Thank you all for your confidence and enthusiasm. See you at the next meeting.

Wendy Scott, President


Thanks to all NCEATA members for a really enjoyable last six months. As my term as a caretaker president comes to an end, I reflect on the changes we have managed this year, some enforced and some we generated ourselves and I appreciate members’ patience, understanding and enthusiasm in unsettled times.

I particularly want to thank the committee members for their commitment to making NCEATA a vibrant, creative and supportive group. A lot of work goes on behind the scenes to organise events and workshop activities for meetings as well as the governance of this group. I am very grateful for the energy, selfless spirit and skills of our committee members, most of whom have been doing committee jobs for many years.

Thanks to Merrie How and her “Constitution” group for reviewing the constitution and by-laws and to Lynne Britten for proofreading and suggesting amendments. Thanks also to Ruth Spence who conducted a “review and future planning” exercise at the beginning of the year. Both of these activities, I think, leave the group in a very good state for the new president and committee.

Thanks to volunteers who have hosted and/or facilitated activities to make the meeting days really interesting, stimulating, educational and a lot of fun. This is what makes NCEATA so enjoyable for everyone.

Special General Meeting and Annual General Meeting:

On 17 July (Saturday meeting), a special general meeting has been called to consider proposed changes to the constitution and the by-laws. This meeting will precede the Annual General Meeting and will be chaired by Merrie Howe. Then, the annual reporting from the committee and the election of the executive and committee members will take place at the AGM and a review of venue/time changes made in 2021, and of course any other business matters. A notice of this meeting will be distributed to financial members in a separate email.

Financial members may nominate for committee positions and only financial members will be entitled to vote at these meetings. With the notice of the meeting, a proxy vote form will be included for financial members who are unable to attend the Saturday meeting. If you wish to nominate for a position, and will be absent on 17 July, your nomination with proposer and seconder and your agreement to fulfil the position, will also need to be returned to the secretary prior to the meeting.

Please note a change in the creative activity for this day - Wet felting with Tara has been postponed to August and the July activity will involve preparation/show and tell for the “Found” exhibition, facilitated by Judi.

Markets: NCEATA will not be participating in the Hunter Art Network Art Bazaar in August. We will be at Living Smart Festival, Lake Macquarie on 18 September 2021. If you are preparing for this “market”, please keep in mind that this a sustainability event, and consideration of the environment is recommended in the making and presentation of items for sale. Here is a link to this event

And here’s to a new year of NCEATA! Best wishes and thanks to all who have already indicated that they will be nominating for positions. So great to finish on a positive note! Be creative!

Wilma Simmons, Caretaker President


I am finding it hard to believe that we are almost half way through the year … and what a great six months NCEATA has enjoyed after emerging from the Covid lockdown months! It has been great to welcome new members every month this year and to feel the positive vibe of the meetings is very reassuring and pleasing. Many thanks to all the meeting presenters and hosts who have volunteered. Thanks to Wendy Scott and Judi Nikoleski who were the workshop facilitators in May. Unfortunately, I was not able to attend these, but I know how much preparation had gone into these workshops, and I am absolutely sure Wendy and Judi were very generous in sharing their skills and ensured that a great time was enjoyed by all participants.

Annual General Meeting: Next month (July), as I have been reminding you ad nauseum is the Annual General Meeting. While NCEATA is flourishing, this would be a good time to step into one of the executive or committee positions. Please chat with a current committee member about any of the positions. Self-nominations are welcome.

At the AGM, we will also be asking for ratification of constitutional changes - thanks to Merrie How and her team for this. We will also be seeking feedback on the operational changes we have put in place so far this year - the separation of the Monday and Saturday meetings by a fortnight, and the Saturday afternoon meeting. Currently, there is no word about returning to our previous venue, and we have booked The Hive until August. I would also like some feedback about this venue too.

Weekend Workshop: Sadly, Gaye Nieuwenhof will not be able to meet her commitment to offer us the scheduled workshop - her health and other family issues prevent her from travelling. I am very disappointed about this and my apologies to all the members who had prepaid and were looking forward to this as much as I was. Over the next week or so, our treasurer will endeavour to refund your payment for this workshop. Please make sure Sue has your bank details for an eft refund - thank you Sue. At our last committee meeting, it was decided not to commit NCEATA to another workshop for later in the year until the new committee is elected in July.

Exhibition “Found” - Exhibition coordinator, Judi Nikoleski, will soon be seeking expressions of interest in participating in our annual exhibition. The criteria for this exhibition has already been published, and I encourage all members to consider submitting an artwork for the exhibition.

Markets: NCEATA will not be participating in the Hunter Art Network Art Bazaar in August. We are hoping to participate however, in the Living Smart Festival, Lake Macquarie - the date is yet to be confirmed - September 2021. And we will be at the Hunter Art Network Art Bazaar in Lambton Park on 28 November 2021. If you like to make items suitable for sale at these markets, please keep these dates in mind.

Congratulations to all participants in the “Circles of Strength” exhibition at Wallsend Library until 31 May 2021. I hope you were able to find a moment to have a look if you hadn’t seen it on International Women’s Day. Many NCEATA members featured in this exhibition both as interviewees and artists. Thank you - I consider this exhibition a significant reflection of unprecedented times and an important record of social history.

Thanks to Judi and Carolyn who were a fantastic support squad at Campbelltown Arts Centre on 1 May at the Macarthur Textile Network’s exhibition. I would also like to thank the many NCEATA members who have supported my exhibition “Enveloping” currently at Timeless Textiles. There were many at the opening night, and I really appreciated your encouragement. So many others have visited the exhibition in the following weeks too - thank you. (It is open until 19 June).

I regret that I will not be able to attend the June Monday meeting, but hope to be back in Newcastle from Queensland for the Saturday meeting. I am finally taking a trip to north Queensland to visit my mother - my first trip in 18 months. Hopefully, there will be no sudden Covid outbreaks and the borders remain open between states.

See you on 19 June, Be creative!

Wilma Simmons, Caretaker President


What are your plans for May? Creative projects? Mother’s Day celebrations? Autumn gardening? Preparing artwork for the NCEATA exhibition “Found”?

We had a really interesting lively and helpful ‘book discussion’, facilitated by host, Ann Dean-Pijpers at the April meeting. I felt I got to know members a lot more as they enthusiastically talked about favourite art books which inspire their work. I really enjoyed the session. Thank you, Ann - this was far more than a book review, but an exercise in sharing and connecting with members. … And thanks to Ann, the NCEATA program is now set for the rest of 2021 , with just a few “meeting host” spots still to be filled. Please contact Ann or one of the committee members if you would like to volunteer.

Congratulations and thanks to all NCEATA members who submitted beautiful work to make the stand at the Hunter Art Bazaar on 11 April such a success. It was a very windy day, and while we battled to keep artworks from flying away, we made many good sales. Thanks especially to Coordinator, Susanne Boulton and Treasurer Sue Russell for their additional work to make these markets a positive feature of the NCEATA year.

May Meetings (Monday 4/5/21 and Saturday 15/5/21) sound like lots of fun. They will both be workshop based - Wendy Scott with 3D silk flowers, and Judi Nikoleski with dry/needle felting. Information about these is elsewhere in this newsletter. Hope you’re able to participate in one or both of these meetings.

A reminder that the Annual General Meeting will be held in July. Please start considering which position you would like to take, to assist NCEATA remain the wonderful group it is. All committee positions will be declared vacant. If you are interested in taking a position and are unsure, please chat with me or any of the current committee members. At the AGM, we will also be reviewing the constitution and bylaws. Thanks to Merrie How and Carolyn Clausen, this task will be worked on over the next month.

The very long awaited workshop with Gaye Nieuwenhof has again been postponed to a date in August. As soon as I have confirmation, I will inform all participants who have already registered for this.

If you happen to be in the Campbelltown area, I hope you will have time to drop into the Macarthur Textile Network exhibition “Looking Back, Looking Forward” at Campbelltown Art Centre. NCEATA has an association with MTN - we are similar groups and I am sure they would appreciate any support we can offer for their exhibition. I have included information in this newsletter.

Be creative, regards,

Wilma Simmons, Caretaker President


I hope no one has been too badly affected by the heavy rains and flooding in the area … just when we were becoming a bit complacent with Covid controlled for the moment, Nature reminds us that we are not in control. If any member needs assistance, please do not hesitate to ask. NCEATA is not just about creative embroidery and textile art, we are also here for one another.

Thanks to everyone who braved the weather for the Saturday meeting in March and especially to Sue Russell for her challenging and stimulating exercise on blanket stitch. Many thanks too to Ruth Spence who facilitated another slow stitching session at the March Monday meeting. Both meetings were very enjoyable and were extremely helpful in developing new stitching skills.

The meeting dates and times until August 2021 are published at the end of this newsletter. After hearing that our previous venue is not yet hiring their spaces to groups other than those conducting church activities, the Hamilton Community Hive has been booked for the next five months, including our Annual general Meeting in July.

The mention of the AGM was just my attempt to segue into the future of NCEATA. The meeting changes trialled this year will be reviewed at the AGM, so please jot down the things you like and dislike at meetings, so we have thoughtful feedback in July. At the AGM, we also hope to have recommendations prepared to amend the constitution., Thanks to Merrie How who will lead the group, reviewing the constitution AND … All committee positions will be declared vacant, and while some members may stand again for committee positions, please give serious consideration to the three executive positions - president, secretary and treasurer as the incumbents in these positions will not be renominating. These positions must be filled for NCEATA to continue into 2021-2022. Over the next few months, there are opportunities to “shadow” in these positions to learn a little more about what each position entails - please contact me if you are interested.

Hope you are all working on an artwork for the exhibition “Found” at the end of the year.

Be creative, regards
Wilma Simmons, Caretaker President


Thank you, NCEATA members - the year has started so well for NCEATA with an enthusiastic record number attendance both January and February. A big thank you to Ruth Spence who conducted the last three meetings and initiating the review of NCEATA. We all appreciated the slow stitching exercises - a contrast in meetings with a much smaller group at the Monday meeting, but both were most enjoyable. These meetings were also a trial of the new look “show and tell” - please let me know what you think of this and how it fits in with the meeting plan.

The next meeting will be the March Saturday meeting, and this short newsletter will be to cover that meeting, and from now on, the newsletter will be published straight after the Saturday meeting so that it will be a reminder for both meetings in the month. Many thanks to Judi for the new format newsletter and to Ann Dean-Pijpers who is preparing a full year’s program as this newsletter is being written.

The committee will meet on 12 March, so if there is an issue that you would like considered, please contact one of the committee to put that item on the agenda.

A reminder that NCEATA has made a commitment to participate in the Newcastle Fringe Festival Market on 21 March at the Newcastle Station precinct 4pm -8pm. Susanne Boulton is coordinating our stall. If you have goods for sale, please complete the form provided and deliver your goods to Susanne at the meeting on 20 March, or make an arrangement to deliver them on the day.

Please also remember that the theme for our next exhibition is “Found”. Judi Nikoleski is the coordinator of this exhibition, so please direct any inquiries to Judi … it’s already March and before we know it, the art works will be due.

“Brooching the Subject “is a textile brooch competition and exhibition sponsored by Timeless Textiles. If you are interested in making brooches using a textile /fibre art related technique, please go to the gallery website for an entry form - entry date has been extended to 22 March.

For all updates, please join and visit the NCEAA members’ Facebook page: Looking forward to seeing you at the NCEATA meeting,

Wilma Simmons, Caretaker President


Times are a ‘changing . . . it may be a surprise to you that I am writing the “president’s” note for this newsletter. In the absence of an election of a vice-president at the last AGM, and because Carolyn is on leave of absence from these duties at the moment, I have stepped into her shoes as a caretaker president, from the committee meeting on 29 January until the July AGM. I would like to recognise Carolyn’s amazing contribution as NCEATA president, especially in such difficult times and the support of the current committee - thank you sincerely.

Like many groups, the Covid year has presented NCEATA with the opportunity to reassess its direction and operation. Thanks to Ruth Spence who has led this discussion, and to all who contributed individually or at the January meeting. There have been quite a few strongly supported recommendations, some of which can be acted on immediately, and others which because of venue uncertainty may take a little longer to implement. Considering the ‘voting’ patterns, the committee has endorsed a trial of the recommendations regarding meetings - timing, style/agenda, show and tell display, and coordination. Some other suggestions such as the development and support of social media presence, the abolition of exhibition entry fees and a strengthening of community connections in the style of ‘textile tasters ‘will also be actioned. For at least the next two meetings, NCEATA will meet at “The Hive”, Beaumont Street, Hamilton with a Saturday afternoon meeting and a Monday morning meeting. All of the recommendations and any further discussion will be led by Ruth at the next two meetings and all minutes of meetings and summaries of the “change” discussion will be available to members at these meetings.

Congratulations to members who participated in the “Fusion” exhibition, to the admin team and the gallery volunteers. I am happy to report that one of the aspects of NCEATA that appeared to be worth “saving” was the annual exhibition. I hope you are all now looking forward to the next, “Found”. (Please see separate Exhibition report).

This is such an exciting time for NCEATA - I hope that proposed changes will revitalise our meetings and make them more accessible and relevant to everyone, members and visitors alike. Thanks to Wendy Scott who introduced many of us to some fun products in January. I look forward to seeing what members did with these various fabrics and threads. I hope you will enjoy ‘having a go’ at the meeting mini workshops and activities planned for 2021 … “Just try new things. Don’t be afraid. Step out of your comfort zones and soar, all right?” –Michelle Obama Hope to see many of you at the February meeting - stay creative!

Wilma Simmons, Caretaker President


Welcome members, old and new to NCEATA 2021. Who knows how this year will develop. The good news is that we have a temporary venue until clearance is given to meet back at The Grove. Latest information is that it will be after vaccinations for Covid have been done which is an unknown time at this stage.

Our first meeting will be at the Hamilton Community Hive on Saturday 16th January 10am to 1pm. This is the hall next to the Uniting Church (known as Wesley) in Beaumont St. It has a ramp access and good kitchen facilities. Being a Saturday there should be parking nearby.

I encourage as many members as possible to attend as the review will help determine the future of NCEATA. If you’re unable to attend your input is still important so you could contact us via email with your ideas. It was pleasing to see 14 members at NCEATA’s Picnic in the Park in Lambton Park on Sat 21st November 2020. There was plenty of opportunity to mingle informally and catch up with others under the shade of an enormous fig tree.

The essential positions were filled at this meeting: president, secretary, treasurer, exhibition, webmaster and public officer although it’s yet again just moving the deck chairs between the same old faces. Thanks to Ann Dean-Pijpens for taking on librarian from Rhonda who moved to secretary and Judi who took on exhibitions from Wilma. It is disappointing that other members aren’t prepared to take on a role as some of the committee are ready to move on. There will definitely be positions that need to be filled in July 2021 as both the treasurer, Sue Russell and the president are stepping down.

Our exhibition “ Fusion” continues throughout January until the 31st. Thank you to Wilma and Lyn for their organisation, Wilma, Ruth and Ann-Maree the installation and all who have volunteered to sit the gallery.

Thanks to Daniela Glassop for establishing the NCEATA members site on fb as a way to help disseminate information. Great initiative Daniela. Need inspiration for your exhibition pieces in 2021? Try joining the Facebook group Printing with Found Objects.

Carolyn Clausen


NCEATA’s Picnic in the Park will happen in Lambton Park on Sat 21st November 2020. Bring your chair and a small share plate or your own food. We’ll supply the tables and gazebo. Coffee shops are nearby.

We’ll have the AGM at 10am then time to mingle and catch up. Maybe you can show your latest creativity during lockdown.

It is essential that the following positions at least are filled at this meeting: president, secretary, treasurer, exhibition, webmaster and public officer.

A reminder that only financial members can vote or stand at elections.

If inclement weather we can adjourn to the hotel opposite the park. Thank you to those who have renewed their membership for 2020-21. A reduced rate of $30 this year as meetings were suspended. We still had to pay insurance, HAN membership, Art Bazaar sites, website and sundries.

Three of our hard working committee members, Judi Nikoleski – webmaster and editor, Wilma Simmons – exhibitions, and Daniela Glassop – media, have been very active.

Judi’s Un-Tamed exhibition remains at Timeless Textiles until 6 Dec and Wilma will be pushing the Envelope in May 2021.

Daniela has a range of her original designs printed onto fabrics that are now available online at: Our usual meeting venue is still unavailable but I’m anticipating being able to hold our general meeting in January.

Carolyn Clausen


Strange times are the new norm. I’ve lost count of the number of masks that I’ve made. At least it’s got my mojo back and I’m enjoying being in my workroom again. You may have seen one of our Life Members, Shirley in recent TV ads for a pharmacy, my that girl gets around. I also received an email from Gay Grillmeier that I’d like to share with members as it touched my heart when I read it.

Dear Caroline, I have decided not to renew my NCEATA membership this year. My son is not happy with me driving from Gosford to Newcastle anymore. I need to listen to my son. I have been a member for about 25 years or more. Can’t remember exactly how many. I have loved every minute of being a member of NCEATA I have learned so much, had fun doing creative sewing, sharing my skills with others, enjoying the friendship of like minded people. I wish you all the best for the future. Thanks you so much Cheers, Gay Grillmeier

PS: Thanks for your reply. Yes, It would be good to publish my letter in the newsletter, letting all my NCEATA friends know how much I appreciated their friendship.

We’ll miss Gay at our meetings but I hope that our paths cross over sometime.Unfortunately meetings remain cancelled until further notification. There has been no response to continued requests to fill the vacancies on the committee. I’d like to have held a committee meeting by now to determine how we proceed from here and will do so with the remnants of the 2019-2020 committee.

Some activities are taking place that might interest members: > 2020 Waste to Art registrations will appeal to those who work sustainably. It’s supported by Lake Macquarie sustainable neigbourhoods. > Untethered fibre artists inc. exhibition at Muswellbrook Art Centre is currently on and worth a visit. Some of us went last year to their exhibition at Hornsby – maybe a day out? >A late notice for the Hunter Valley Art Fair @ Pokolbin over the long weekend has gained lots of interest. Unfortunately only outside stalls remain but if any members are interested please contact me ASAP. I’m unable to attend so it would require enough members interested to participate as NCEATA.

I’m following the adage “Stay safe, keep well, be happy” by wearing my mask and using the sanitiser, maintaining good health with my daily Aquafitness at Charlestown Swim Centre (highly recommend), Tai Chi at Mereweather and keeping in touch with family and friends as much as possible.

Carolyn Clausen, President


Strange times we live in… There’s a new normal in our daily routine. At least as textile artists you shouldn’t be too bored but loneliness is another byproduct of our social isolation. Have you been able to log onto some interesting websites or blogs? Perhaps you would you like to share these with fellow members?

Unfortunately meetings are cancelled until further notification. The Grove board will determine when the hall is ready to accept us back. COVID rules will be made by them for us to adhere to. We’ll have to improvise the AGM that is usually held in July. Usually have vacancies are filled voluntarily by self nomination. Ironically there are more than the normal amount of vacancies as several committee members have notified that they would not fill their position in 2020-21 pre Covid.

Vacancies that require filling are: secretary, assistant secretary, exhibition coordinator, newsletter editor, travelling suitcase coordinator. I will again fill the role of president unless someone else would like to fill this position as I have held either secretary or president for many years. Judi needs to be replaced as newsletter editor after 9 years in the role and Wilma has requested that she be replaced as Exhibition Coordinator after several years. Emailed nominations are to be forwarded to me, ASAP.

These positions have been advertised several times in our newsletter without any response. Please consider taking on one of these vacancies as the group depends on these being filled. Some committee members have more than one role which is unfair when there are so many members. A description of each role is published in this newsletter and support from previous officers has been offered. In regard to the secretary, the role could be split between a Saturday and Monday nomination.Please nominate for any of these positions.

We’ve been advised that the Living Smart festival at Speers Point is cancelled - new date is 17-21 Sept 2021. The Stitches and Craft at Newcastle Entertainment Centre .9-11 Oct is cancelled so the pieces for “Gold Fusion” will be the basis for 2021 travelling suitcase. The Sydney Craft & Quilt Fair has been rescheduled to 29 Oct -1 Nov.

Anyone who had been to the Sewing Basket shop or saw them at last years S & C show will be pleased to know that they are currently outfitting a shopfront at Kincumber. Achieve Australia is a disability support organisation that runs the Sewing Basket. They accept donations of textile items, fabrics, haby, patterns etc and sell at very reasonable prices,

Finally have you been following our facebook page that Daniela manages? Please be mindful when making comments that it represents our association and it is not the place to write adverse notes about local businesses as these are not representative of NCEATA’s ethics.

Carolyn Clausen, President


Happy Mother’s Day to all those mothers, daughters, carers and women. A time to reflect on the value of mothers and women rather than celebrate in the commercial sense.

It’s been an interesting time that we’ll all remember being without our loved ones physically but keeping them close in many other ways. It may be that we can resume meetings in a few month’s time. Hopefully none of you have been too adversely affected by the isolation. Indeed some such as Wilma, Sue, Connie, Wendy and Daniela have not missed a beat via their facebook photos.

I had a lovely time making felt poppies that I shared with the neighbourhood. Maybe this can be my Anzac Day tradition. It most certainly got a lot of comments from locals.

I thought that I’d share some past workshops with you in case you need inspiration for Fusion and Gold Fusion. I really enjoyed a workshop with Robin Ihnen years ago on making silk paper. She was also one of the tutors recently. The notes that I made years ago are in this newsletter.

A lesson learned

I was at a friend’s house on Friday and she showed me her dining room chair that she thought had a tear in the upholstery. I thought that it was a burn mark although no smokers in her house. She rang today to say that her son was sitting in the chair on his Mother’s Day visit and noticed a burn mark on her dining table.

He realised that the bright flickers were coming through the magnifying glass attached to her craft lamp that she uses for jigzaws. Fortunately only a chair and table damaged and not a house fire, Needless to say the magnifying glass in no longer on the lamp by the window.

All the best wishes from your president.

Carolyn Clausen


WOW! Interesting times we live in. In cancelling our March meetings by being cautious we now find ourselves not only cancelling future meetings but all other activities until given the green light. So many people affected, many now in dire circumstances.

Fusion and Gold Fusion to give us something to work on. I’ve many UFOs as well. I’m sure that you have too.

Keep safe in isolation. Be creative in your time out from social activities,

All the best wishes from your president.

Carolyn Clausen, President


Our thoughts have been with Helen Tolhurst, a long time member who recently lost her life partner Paul after a long illness. Take care Helen.

Thanks to Sandra Cooke and Judi Nikoleski for coordinating the exhibition and workshops at Charlestown Library during January and February. Following on from the Creative Textiles held for the public, Fusion Techniques at both Saturday and Monday meetings for members was enormously successful with a very large attendance on the Monday. Thanks to the members who demonstrated and gave mini workshops. Maija with fusing techniques, Dry Felting with Anne-Marie using embellishers, Robin on making silk paper and Margaret and Wilma on collage and stitch. The feedback on each of these sessions was very positive.

International Women’s Day on Sunday March 8th will be celebrated at Timeless Textiles with the auction of Fearless Flowers. Anne and Wilma invite all members and their friends to join them. Many members have been involved in attending the weekly workshops or by making flowers for this event.

The committee will be meeting on Monday 9th March at South Leagues Club at 10am. Committee and members can provide items for the agenda by emailing Lee-Anne Deegan

One of the items will be the future of the activities that we held at Charlestown library for children and adults during our recent exhibition there. Again, this was very well attended by adults who previously had not been aware of NCEATA. Should we decide to continue with these workshops a subcommittee will be needed to manage this. Are you interested?

Anyone who may be interested in taking a position at the AGM in July is welcome to attend. Several major positions will need to be filled this year including president, secretary and exhibition so please consider taking on one of these roles.

Are there any member/s who would be prepared to take over the Living Smart Festival that is held each year at Speers Point Park from Trish Thompson?

From the Public Officer
There were 51 financial members as of 28 Feb 2020. New members include Sue McIntire and Angela Roberts. Welcome ladies.

All the best wishes from your president.

Carolyn Clausen, President


The opening of our exhibition Cosmic Dreaming was well attended by members and visitors who appreciated the diversity of the works on show.

How long ago it seems that the topic was received with intrepidation! Jen Florey who is a member of the well-respected textile group Untethered alluded to the need to challenge ourselves as artists and commented that we had achieved that aim. Thanks to our Exhibition Convenor Wilma her team of Lyn and Ruth, and to the barmen Jim and Vlase as well as each of the members who contributed their work to achieve such success.

The exhibition at Charlestown library, Creative Threads continues to be on show with much interest by the community. As works are sold, they are replaced so that new work is displayed. Thank you to Sandra and Judi for organising the exhibition and to Lake Macquarie city Council for providing such opportunities to reach a different audience.

With planning well underway for 2020 I hope that you take the opportunities offered. The committee have done a marvellous job of trying to provide myriad opportunities for you to either learn new techniques or polish your skills using textiles. By publishing the yearly calendar you can better plan for future workshops and exhibitions.

I wish you all a creative 2020. Some of our members have recently been inflicted with poorer health and mishaps so to them I hope for a speedy recovery, especially to our superb secretary Lee-Anne who has broken her hand.

On a personal note, I’m currently making my granddaughter’s wedding dress. Definitely a labour of love having already beaded over 650 beads with more to go! I remember as a 10 year old being allowed to bead wedding dresses that my mum had made.

I’ve promised myself to be proactive and complete work for Fusion. This might necessitate me learning to say “no” and sticking to it.

All the best wishes from your president.

Carolyn Clausen, President


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


Website for Newcastle Creative Embroiderers & Textile Artists Inc
Contact our president via the contacts webpage for the NCEATA postal address.

Page last updated 28th August 2021.   page views since 4th April 2011.