The Judges’ Accreditation course was well worth doing. Apart from now being able to judge embroideries, I have enjoyed researching embroidery techniques, reviewing books on many different approaches to embroidery and, the role of an embroidery judge.
I joined the Guild and the Wollongong Group in 1998 after contact and encouragement from Jean Hinder, my neighbour at the time. I began to embroider, starting with needle turned appliqué. I attended the beginner's course at the Guild in Sydney. I had a lot to learn. I didn't know one hand from another, and that first needle case was very amateur. My early works were primarily botanical as I have always had a great interest in Australian flora.My journey was interrupted as I began a demanding job in 1999. I returned to Wollongong in 2007 and re-joined the Guild.
Over the years, I have learned as many techniques as possible through workshops and Group meetings. These have covered a vast range of embroidery and creative fibre work. A highlight was doing the three years "Creative Embroidery Course" through the NSW Embroiderers’ Guild with Pat Bonser as my tutor. I soon discoveredthat I liked to create my works and incorporate many stitches and techniques. I’m always looking for inspiration for that allusive design. I completed many online courses with Tanja Berlin, an English graduate of the Royal Needlework School who has a very successful online business in Canada. I met Tanja in Brisbane at the Koala Convention and quickly became a devotee. I credit a lot of my progress to her guidance and help.
Recently I have completed four modules of the Contemporary Stitch and Design under the guidance of Guild Tutors and Mary Brown. This was challenging but immensely enjoyable. My approach to my work has changed as a result. Now I spend some time planning each project.
My favourite technique varies according to what inspires me. I have enjoyed mastering blackwork and needle painting, but I'm equally at home using variousstyles in one project. I like my work to be individual and colourful. Embroidery has helped me to make wonderful friends and to relax.