How a group of women have preserved the art of embroidery in Queensland

It’s an unprepossessing building on Brunswick Street. A yellow-and-red facade set north of the busy mall, with buses and cars rushing past at all hours of the day and night.

There’s nothing to tell the passer-by that a group of determined women once scraped together the funds to buy the building, or that it is a haven of community and needlework.

Brazilian and Elizabethan, goldwork and shadow work, Hardanger and Mountmellick, pulled thread and threadpainting, Casalguidi and Reticello – deerfield, crewel, stumpwork.

The words sound like artistic terms, and in a way they are – the art, however, is embroidery, and they are taught and stitched within the small yellow building.

“The Embroiderers Guild Queensland Inc”, the old-fashioned sign says outside, below the original logo matter-of-factly stating “Valley Masonic Temple”. A small red door recessed into the front wall welcomes visitors inside.

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