Useful Info


We are starting to build up a list of books and blogs which might be of interest to our members – Please feel free to add to this by giving your suggestions to any of our Committee Members.


The Embroidery Stitch Bible by Betty Barnden, Search Press

Essential Stitch Guides, Royal School of Needlework  There are books on many different techniques including canvas work, silk shading, blackwork, goldwork.


Mary Corbett’s ‘Needle n Thread’ blog

Kathy Andrews’ “Unbroken Thread” blog


Reproduced below is the information sheet we have started to give out to our new members, it contains lots of useful information to enable everyone to get the most out of their membership. If you have any queries please contact a member of the Committee.

Things to know about being a member

Welcome to:

  • people who have an interest in embroidery and textiles and want to come to the talks
  • novice and aspiring stitchers who want to practice and improve their skills
  • more experienced stitchers willing to share their knowledge

Coming to meetings

To help get to know one another, please wear a name badge, a paper sticky label (available at the welcome desk), a red “Embroiderers Guild” badge (see Membership Secretary if you would like to order one) or a hand stitched one.

Please sign in at the welcome desk each time you come to a meeting this enables us to keep a record for fire regulations and also for our own statistics.

Meetings are held on the second Monday of the month. There is a speaker in the afternoon at 2.00 and an informal stitching session in the morning at 11.00. Usually there is a theme which is announced in the newsletter but you are always welcome to bring your own work. These morning sessions are a good way of getting to know other members, as are the workshops.

Exceptions to this are August when there is a summer garden party with a shared lunch and December when there is a Christmas party, again with a shared lunch. At each of these social events members are asked to bring a plate of food to share.

Tea/coffee and biscuits are served from the hatch between 11.00am -11.15am, 12.00 -12.45pm and at the end of each meeting.

At the end of each meeting please help to put the furniture back.

The programme also includes workshops held on the Tuesday following the meeting, usually related to the speaker. These are booked in advance, there is usually a limited number of places depending on the topic or tutor. Barbara Shepherd, who has a desk in the Green Room, takes bookings no more than two months in advance. The cost of workshops is £25, payment is due at time of booking. A requirements list of things to bring with you will be issued at that time. Often there is opportunity to purchase items at the workshop.

The new programme is available from October each year and issued when membership is renewed.

A raffle competition is held each month. Tickets are on sale at the start of the meeting and the prizes are drawn after the talk. Donations for the raffle are welcome.

Visitors are welcome at a charge of £5 per meeting, paid to membership secretary at the welcome desk, but we do ask that they officially join our branch if they have attended more than 3 meetings.

Outings are occasionally organised. These include visit to the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace every year and are announced in the Newsletter.

The Committee – All members wear a gold ribbon!

Susan Fletcher – Chairman

Jan Brooks Kibble – Secretary & Membership Secretary

Chris Tebbitt – Treasurer

Kay Ashby – Programme Secretary

Hilary Frame – Morning sessions

Rona Doyle – Tea and coffee coordinator

Chris Grant – Young Embroiderers & Front of House Co-ordinator

Sandra Ruddock – Committee member

Other people you might like to know

Amelia Walters – Organises outings

Jayne Aldridge – Sales Table

Barbara Shepherd – Workshop bookings

Helen Brindle and Alison Edwards – Organise Raffle

Denise Watson – Branch hire scheme & website

Membership Subscriptions

These are paid annually and are due in September/October of each year. Currently this is £48 made up of £30 which goes to the HQ of the Embroiderers Guild and £18 which is retained by this branch and contributes to the cost of

speakers, hall rent and the general running of our branch. The annual subscriptions can be Gift aided. Payment by cheque or cash only please.

The membership secretary informs HQ of all our members’ names and details when they pay their annual subscription. Once they have paid each member receives a letter from HQ with a membership card attached. They also receive a programme card with details of speakers and workshops for the coming year.

Exhibitions and Competitions

An exhibition is held every two years; entries from members of all abilities are welcome. Currently these are held in the Oxmarket, the next will be in November 2016.

Each year a competition is held in memory of our late Honorary President – Muriel Morsley. The winning entry goes forward to the Regional competition held at the Regional Day. Details can be found in SEE the News and on the Regional website (details below).

Joining in

Do make the most of being a member, sew in the morning sessions, come to workshops, take part in the competitions and exhibitions, join the committee or take on a job.

Getting value from your membership

Discounts: On production of a current membership card, before starting the transaction, members of the Chichester branch of the Embroiderers Guild can get discounts from the following stores in Chichester:

  • C and H – 10%
  • The Eternal Maker – 10%
  • Clothkits – 10%
  • Bondaframe (bespoke frames only) – 5%

Reduced rate subscription for Stitch magazine published by the Embroiderers Guild

Equipment hire – The following equipment is available from the branch for hire:

  • Smocking Machine – £5 per month plus 50p per needle broken/mislaid
  • Embellisher – £5 per month plus £2.50 per needle broken/mislaid
  • Cord Winder – £3 per month
  • Soldering Iron – £1 per month
  • DVD: In Stitches (Jan Beaney & Jean Littlejohn) – £2 per month
  • DVD: In Motion (Jan Beaney & Jean Littlejohn) – £2 per month

Pick up at one meeting, return the following month. Can be booked in advance. Please see Denise Watson at a meeting or contact her by email

Finding out what is going on

A Newsletter is sent out each month by e-mail. Other arrangements can be made for those who are not on line.

There is a Branch website:   http:/ (Congratulations if you are reading this on-line you’ve found it!!)

In the Green Room there is a notice board and information folders.

The main Embroiderers’ Guild HQ website has a members section, your number is on your membership card, the branch password is lavanthall.

SEE the News, the Regional newsletter is available on the branch website and on the notice board.

Regional days

Chichester is part of the South East Region, regional days are hosted by local branches and a Summer School is held at West Dean College.

Regional website:

Sales Table

The sales table is non profit making. It stocks a variety of threads and materials and also sells donated books and materials. You can buy small quantities of materials to experiment with.

They will sell books, materials and equipment for you with 10% of proceeds going to the sales table funds.

Muriel Morsley 1927 – 2013

Muriel Morsley was a member of the Embroiderers Guild for many years and is fondly remembered. The following is an extract from an article written for Contact magazine:

Born in Maidstone, a Maid of Kent, she attended Maidstone College of Art and Craft where her creativity was developed.

Married to Bob in 1950, they moved with their family of three children to Stockport in 1966, where she joined the Stockport Branch of the Guild and, with her family growing up, her love of embroidery really gained momentum. On their move to Sussex, Muriel joined the Portsmouth Branch and became a founder member of the Chichester Branch. She served on the committee for many years becoming Chairman and later our Honorary President.

Muriel obtained many City and Guilds certificates along the way including, twice in embroidery – enjoying the second time with the availability of her beloved chiffons and beads which were unavailable after the war, patchwork and quilting, dressmaking and pattern cutting, design and also textile decoration including an adult education teaching certificate. She was also an excellent knitter, never without either fabric or wool in her hands.

Her love of her garden was a great source of inspiration. She exhibited at the Royal Academy – her sketchbooks were beautiful – and she also worked at Warehams on ecclesiastical pieces, including a stole for Geoffrey Fischer, the then Archbishop of Canterbury.

Muriel was an active, loyal member of the Guild, a very modest, generous and talented lady who will be greatly missed.


Marjorie Norrell (10th July 1924 – 17th October 2016) was the second honorary  President of the Branch. She was one of the founder members and continued as a staunch supporter of the Chichester Branch of the Embroiderers’ Guild. Here is the tribute to her, which was read at her funeral in October 2016.

“Marjorie was one of the founder members of the Chichester branch of the Embroiderers’ Guild. She was introduced to it by Mrs Bonsey who was looking for involvement from members of local WI branches. It was she who started the tradition of the Summer Parties, which Marjorie continued.

After her long and loyal membership, it was my honour and pleasure to invite Marjorie to be our president. Her response was “Why are you asking me, I haven’t done anything?”

Maybe we could just spend a moment and look back at what “I haven’t done anything” meant.

She organised making a set of kneelers for this Church, she felt it needed colour and set about getting the whole village involved either sewing the kneelers or helping to fund the materials so now these kneelers are made by…. or in memory of…. so many people in the village.

She told me that when the branch first formed, they couldn’t afford speakers so they learnt from one another. Nevertheless she helped fundraise by organising a sales table.

“I’ve learnt such a lot”, she told me “…. and I have taken from that and gone my own way”. And what she did can be seen in the exquisite examples of her work, all finely executed and beautifully presented.

She loved making lace and some of the more traditional techniques of needlework but was always keen to learn and experiment.

Miniature embroidery for her dolls house was a special love. She was also eager to take part in the group projects, for example the Four Seasons embroideries which can be seen hanging in St Richard’s Hospital

This lovely work is very different from some of her early experiences of needlework when during the war she worked in the New Forest making leather seat cushions for bombers using huge industrial sewing machines!

These were things that Marjorie told me, but what other people told me was about her enthusiasm, how willing she was to share and help others with their needlework, how welcoming and helpful she was to new members, all the sort of things that are so important in a core member of any organisation.

Just as learning from others was important for her, so was passing on her knowledge, whether that was kneelers for the church, helping and advising through the Guild or teaching lace making to the girls and boys at the local school.

Then there were the summer parties when Marjorie would invite us to spend time in her garden which she loved so much, to sew or sketch and then join in a shared lunch, so we could appreciate colour, inspiration, companionship – so much of what the Guild is about.

Health problems kept her away from recent meetings but she was able to join us for the party in August when the branch celebrated its 30th birthday.

A lovely occasion, leaving all of us who were there with very very happy memories.”




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