Embroidery benefits from lockdown time

During the Covid-19 lockdown, Dunedin and Otago embroiderers had a great time with UFOs and PhDs.

Otago Embroiderers’ Guild vice-president Sue Lucas said yesterday all that extra time at home had enabled embroiderers to tackle many "Unfinished Objects" (UFOs) and "Projects Half-Done" (PhDs).

And the fruits of those labours, and the chance to complete previously stalled projects could be seen among the 161 entries displayed yesterday at the Otago Embroiderers’ Guild Biennial Exhibition, at the city’s Community Gallery.

"It was a good time to get out PhDs and UFOs and finish some of them off," she said.

Overall entries were up somewhat on the previous show and there was more originality in the latest designs.

Pam Wilson, one of the organisers of the Otago Embroiderers’ Guild two-yearly exhibition, holds...
Pam Wilson, one of the organisers of the Otago Embroiderers’ Guild two-yearly exhibition, holds an embroidery work by guest exhibitor Barbara Smith. PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY
Dunedin and Otago embroiderers had gained "a double benefit for our mental health" by working more intensively while confined to home during the lockdown.

Their stitching work gave them a positive alternative to repeated house cleaning.

Embroiderers had also gained other benefits by expressing their creativity through original designs, and the associated planning and problem-solving were mentally stimulating.

"You’ve got something beautiful when you’re finished — it’s a sense of accomplishment as well."

Embroiderers had missed attending their usual monthly meetings together, but had further developed their skills, she said.

Among the embroiderer stars in the show at the Princes St gallery is guest exhibitor Barbara Smith, who began to stitch as a child in England. Coming to New Zealand in 1954, her interest initially waned, but she later joined the Otago guild, she said.


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