About the Guild and Wanaka School

The Otago Embroiderers Guild Incorporated is an organisation formed with the objectives of teaching, fostering and maintaining a high standard of embroidery techniques and design. The guild aims to promote embroidery and related crafts. The Guild manages its own funds to meet and promote embroidery hold exhibitions and promote the education of its members.

The Wanaka embroidery school is a sub committee of the Otago Embroiderers Guild initiated to encourage and foster the skills of embroidery. This committee is responsible for running the school and its finances. The school is self funding and all monies accrued are applied for the benefit of the Wanaka Embroidery School.

The first meeting of the Otago Embroiderers’ Guild was held on 26th January 1961, in the Lecture Room of the Dunedin Public Library. Miss Helen Moran chaired the meeting and spoke of setting up an embroiderers’ guild affiliated to the London Embroiderer’s Guild. The subscription was one pound. Records show that the number of members in 1961 was 78.

A constitution was drawn up in 1965, and in 1973 OEG became affiliated to the Association of New Zealand Embroiderers’ Guilds Inc (ANZEG), and one of 59 such groups around New Zealand. Currently OEG has 111 members.

Over the past 57 years the Otago Guild has been meeting at various venues around Dunedin and since 2005 has resided at the Leith Bowling Club in Duke Street. Monthly meetings allow members to attend classes, borrow from our extensive library, meet up with friends and of course to stitch and share ideas.

The Otago Embroiderers’ Guild celebrated its 50th anniversary in November 2011 with an exhibition aptly titled ‘Golden Stitches’ hosted at the Toitu Museum. The exhibition displayed examples of past work completed by Miss Moran ranging up to items completed by current members.


Guild meetings are held at Leith Bowling Club, 2 Duke Street, Woodhaugh, Dunedin.

Evening meetings are held on the fourth Thursday in the following months: Jan, Feb, March, April, Sept, Oct, Nov.
Day meetings are held each fourth Saturday in the following months: May, June, July, August.
Workshop is an informal stitch group open to all Guild members, held each Thursday morning 9.30 – 11.45am at the Senior Citizens Rooms Lower Octagon. Cost $1 for tea/coffee.


The Guild has an extensive library of over 500 books that is available to Guild members during each Guild meeting (except May Day). Loan period is for one month. Books and magazines cover all forms of stitching both traditional and contemporary, construction and history.


The first embroidery school was held in 1985 and has been held on the 3rd weekend in March since that time. In 2019 the 35th school will be held at Mt Aspiring College. The first school had 6 classes in a range of techniques and has increased to up to 18 classes covering many techniques including traditional and contemporary embroidery as well as design. Local tutors as well as national and international tutors are included as well regular masterclasses to support local tutors to build on their skills and experience.