About Us

History of the Hawaii Stitchery & Fibre Arts Guild

Interest to form a stitchery guild began in February 1974 when Bea Miller of California taught a stitchery design course at the Honolulu Academy of Arts. The name, Hawaii Stitchery and Fibre Arts Guild was selected by the members to include any artist/craftsman working in fiber/yarn/needle. The all-important by-laws were written and the Guild was registered as a non-profit organization in the State of Hawaii in 1976 and the IRS granted the Guild a non-profit tax exemption on March 25, 1981.

Educational monthly meetings in which members and other interested people from the community explore and appreciate many forms and techniques of stitchery and fiber art are an important fact of the Guild’s objectives. The members as well as other local artists have willingly shared their time and talents to present these motivating and inspiring programs. The number of guests attending each month show that the Guild is reaching out into the community to inform them about stitchery and fiber art. The membership growth from 11 members in March 1975 to the current high attendance at the meetings of 40-50 persons can be attributed to these outstanding programs.

Many of the Guild members would meet in small groups called huis. Each group met at a location and time convenient to its members. Members of these groups believe that the sharing of talent, materials and inspiration are important to their creative work as well as the makings for good and lasting friendships.

In 1975, the Guild’s honorary member, Juliette May Fraser, designed the banner, Ke Alii, with the help of many Guild members stitching on it late into the night for many nights. It was hung at the Honolulu Academy of Arts as part of a Craftsman Fair representing our Guild’s contribution. Later, Juliette May Fraser entered the Banner in a jurored show where the SFCA purchased it. In turn, May donated $500 to the Guild to be used for an educational purpose. An interesting sidelight about Juliette May Fraser is that she took up stitchery in 1974 when she was in her eighties during her participation in Bea Miller’s workshop at the Honolulu Academy of Arts.

The Guild has continued to grow and offer exciting lectures and workshops with artists such as Constance Howard, Wilke Smith, Jean Ray Laury, Helen Banes, Lois Ericson, Diane Ericson, John Marshall, Elinor Peace-Bailey, Judith Montano, Donna Kato, Pier Volkous, Emi Fukushima, Makiko Tada, Tara Arnold, Leslie Frumin, Ginny Eckley and many other fine instructors.

Drawing also from its own talented ranks, Guild members have demonstrated, lectured and conducted workshops. The talent and diversity of our membership encompasses not just the fiber arts, but those in beading, metal working, paper arts and polymer clay, to name a few.