Exeter & District Embroiderers' Guild is a branch of the educational charity Embroiderers' Guild, whose remit is to build awareness of stitch and textile art, and to encourage, inspire and promote the achievement of excellence.

News & Info

Members Enjoy a Wonderful Spread of Food at the AGM




Textiles – Painting with the Needle at Durham Cathedral

Durham Cathedral’s latest display in the Open Treasure Collections Gallery is Textiles – Painting with the Needle. This is a unique opportunity to see exquisite textiles from the Cathedral’s collections, representing some of the finest church needlework from the last 1,100 years. Marvel at historic textiles, including the Charles I Cope commissioned for the visit of King Charles I in 1633 and the Bishop of Durham’s Coronation Cope, worn at the coronation of the last four British monarchs, and last worn by Bishop Michael Ramsay at Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953. Contemporary pieces add to this exciting exhibition from the Cathedral Broderers and a tapestry by Grayson Perry ‘Death of a Working Hero’ created for his recent Channel 4 documentary series Grayson Perry: All Man. For further information please visit www.durhamcathedral.co.uk or to arrange a group visit to Durham Cathedral and the special textile exhibition please contact visits@durhamcathedral.co.uk

Pictorial Machine Embroidery Workshop in South Devon

Sheron King is  hosting a Pictorial machine embroidery workshop by well known Linda Miller. This workshop is on 8th & 9th April at the Mad Hatter’s Studio. Cost £150 for the two days.  Sheron’s email is sheron@madhattersstudio.com  or see      https://www.facebook.com/events/1773611472857510/ .

Message from Dee January 2017

Welcome back to a new year of escapism, learning and friendship. Aren’t we lucky to have such an interest?

The year ahead looks very exciting with lots of lovely new skills to learn or develop. There will be something for everyone and lots of support too. We are such a vibrant friendly group it’s a pleasure to come each month.

The website seems to be working really well but do remember if you know someone who is not on the internet to be a good techie buddy and let them know what is going on.


The show is on from 16th to 18th February at Westpoint. That’s Thursday to Saturday not Sunday. We will be working with South Somerset and South Devon branches and will be showing our Capability Brown work from Ugbrooke House. I appreciate many of you will have given your work away for Christmas or done something else with them but it would be great to have as many as possible up. If, like me, you made several pieces please bring a maximum of two named, labelled with Exeter EG branch and in a bag labelled exactly the same. Bring them to the next meeting please so that we can list and insure them for the show. We could also do with a couple more volunteers to steward on Thursday and Friday please.

Letter from Terry Murphy (collection-appeal-2017)

Attached is a letter and form from Terry Murphy asking for support for the cost of the museum and storage. Many of you make think that it seems a large amount of money and it is but we have been through an enormous amount of money saving changes with a massive amount of decluttering for this move. Previously we were paying an unimaginable amount for storing work and donations that were uncatalogued, in poor condition and with duplicated samples, sometimes quadrupled or more. We had expensive premises and a large staff. Now everything is stored in museum conditions, the staff is small, mostly part time and often working from home. HQ has done its part to make the Guild viable and now they need some help. Read what he has to say before you squawk and then let the committee know what you think. We have a committee meeting at the next meeting to discuss our position on this so we will have a discussion then.

Church Project

I know you’ve only just come down from Capability brown but we have another opportunity to show off our skills this time close to home. St Thomas Church is having a much needed refurb and would like to showcase our work with panels to do with the history of St Thomas. I mentioned it before Christmas  but do take a look at the suggested list of subjects. If you are keen please see me at the next meeting or email me. If you don’t want to commit until you know what’s required still have a look as we will need suggestions. See here for list


As you know because I am always banging on about it, In September I am stepping down as chair so I’d like you to give this a bit of consideration. We have an excellent committee who will still be in place and a lot of support. Before, you were required to take on the role for three years but now it is much more flexible. You can do it for a year, you can job share with a friend, whatever works for you. Now that things have settled down at HQ it should be a lot easier. It has been hard because of the changes, the CB exhibition but mostly because I was Regional rep at the same time so don’t do that and it should be fine! Talk to me anytime and I will be honest about it I promise!

That’s it, see you in February, Dee



We are aware of speculation on the future financial viability of the Central Guild or Head Office. We wish to make the position clear although much of the information on sources of income was included in the report by the Chair of Finance to the Guild AGM in May and subsequently published on the members’ side of the website.

It is correct that all the Guild’s sources of income are declining and some, books, have all but ceased. Only few years ago we were earning £30,000 from book sales but much of this has been lost to purchasing direct from Amazon and other on-line sources.

Our magazines are doing well, although sales have declined, albeit much less than other similar magazines. This is against a background of people spending considerably less on magazines than was the case 8 years ago. It is, therefore, costing much more to achieve the sales we have. At the same time the production  costs remain stubbornly high. They do not go down proportionately to the reduction in sales.

It is also the case that our administration systems have to cope with many different ways of paying with very limited support among members for payment by direct debit only. Processing and reconciling members preferred mainly manual payment options takes a large percentage of staff time.  In addition, we still have to use printed communications and, without members’ permission, cannot make the best use of on-line options.

Our membership is declining albeit much more slowly than was the case 5 years ago and we are doing better than many similar membership organisations. Smaller branches are finding it harder to continue and there is little appetite in many branches for attracting new members.

At the same time we need to invest in our future and, in particular, in attracting new generations of members and supporters.

This has led to us making significant changes.

  1.  Changing the way the head office works and how it provides services to members and branches. This will entail having a much smaller head office, more part time or contractor roles, and members of staff working remotely via on-line connections. Please see a separate announcement on the future location of the Guild’s Head Office.
  2.  Finding different ways to manage the annual projects such as the AGM, Members’ Challenge, Graduate selection and associated administration etc.
  3.  To further reduce our staff numbers. In addition,  staff had the option to declare their role redundant by virtue of the fact that the travelling distance to the new office at Bucks County Museum in Aylesbury would be too far.
  4.  To reduce the costs of our contracted staff and suppliers.

As a result of either 1, 2, or 3 we are sorry to be losing Jan Jardine, Annie Franz, and Olina Preston. They will be leaving us at the end of August. All have given many years service to the Guild and we wish them very well in the future.

 For further, more detailed, information on the changes that will come into effect in September please keep the 4-page centre supplement included in the next issue of Contact due to be with members by end July.