About the Maitland Embroiderers Group ...
In 1987 six Maitland ladies decided to start an embroidery group in Maitland, rather than travel to Newcastle for embroidery lessons.
A meeting was convened at Maitland City Art Gallery with approximately fifteen ladies attending. A decision to meet twice monthly to teach and learn the art of embroidery to interested persons was agreed upon with meetings to be held in the then Cultural Centre, High Street, Maitland. In 1988 the fledgling group held their first exhibition of member's embroidery in the Cultural Centre and were absolutely overwhelmed by the interest shown by members of the community who came to view the two hundred and fifty pieces of embroidery displayed.
The group became an incorporated body and grew by offering a choice of lessons to members. The group holds Class Selection Days twice a year so the members have the opportunity to choose a style of embroidery they wish to learn.
In 1990 a second exhibition was held in the Senior Citizens Hall for a day and evening's duration. It was an outstanding success again, greatly patronised by the public, the quality of the members embroidery was high and attractively displayed. This success gave the group financial stability.
The amount of expertise and work involved in holding exhibitions is so immense that the group decided to hold their exhibition every three years to allow them time to further their embroidery skills, study different embroidery styles and and to create items for the exhibition (members only show items which have not previously been exhibited!). All members are encouraged to display their embroidery whether they consider themselves a beginner, acquiring skills or as experienced embroiderers.
There were many requests to learn the art of embroidery even from the group's early days. A waiting list to gain membership, coupled with the ever present need for more room for meetings led to an evening session being formed in 2000 to cater for those who worked during the day.
In July 2002 Maitland City Council advised the group that it would have to find other premises for the group's meetings. The Council had decided to sell the Cultural Centre.
After a few weeks of searching unsuccessfully for suitable premises our Committee decided to approach the Anglican Parish of Morpeth to see whether St James' Parish Hall was available for hire on a long term basis. At this period in time we had about 50 ladies waiting to join our group and we definitely needed to find premises where we could extend membership to them and also settle a location that was close to the city and had available transport facilities. The Parish council were very happy to help us and with rental charges that were reasonable.
In October 2002 we made the move to Morpeth with the help of our members and Maitland City Council. We found that we would need to establish better lighting conditions for our members and after consultation with the Parish Council we came to an agreement to add extra lighting, which was beneficial to both parties.
In August 2004 we decided to add an extra day meeting for our group and this gave us the opportunity to accommodate those ladies still on the waiting list. This proved very successful and our membership grew to nearly two hundred members who travel from Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Cessnock, Kurri Kurri, Vacy, Dungog, Tea Gardens, Nelson Bay and of course the Maitland area and surrounding suburbs.
Our members were very happy at Morpeth and loved working in the wonderful atmosphere that the Historic Village offered. However, due to exam rescheduling, relocation was considered necessary. Since 2008 we convened at the Seventh day Adventist Church Hall in East Maitland where we continued to meet over two days and one evening and embroider until December 2018.
From the start of February 2019 the group decided to change venue to Telerah Bowling Club. With space less of an issue, the 3 groups recombined into one again, to better engage together in their shared interest and enjoyment of embroidery.
Since 1993 our Exhibitions have been held at the Therry Centre in East Maitland for several days duration and are well attended because of the high standard of the member's embroidery, demonstrations of four different styles of embroidery and our exhibition theme being portrayed in over 25 different embroidery styles. These aspects of embroidery are unified and displayed in a pleasing and professional manner by our members. Members embroider items for sale on a stall specialising in useful gifts and baby wear. The availability of morning/afternoon teas or lunch contribute to a relaxing and absorbing visit. Our exhibition consists of over nearly a thousand pieces of embroidery.
Recently in 2015 and 2018 our exhibitions were conducted in the A&E Hunt Hall at Tocal Agricultural College where the group rose to the challenge of filling the hall with equisite embroidery alongside scrumptous refreshments. If you wish to know more about the group , refer to the Membership Information Form.