Guest Speakers

Bev Folkard “Stitching, Chapter and Books”. March 2020

Unfortunately due to the onset of Coronavirus we were not able to handle Bev’s exciting books but she patiently demonstrated them to us. You can see her creative and diverse projects in these photos. Bev is a member of Material Girls.


Becky Sworn from Changs  February 2020

Thank you to Becky Sworn for sharing the story of her family company Changs and for bringing along so many beautiful fabrics and buttons that we could purchase.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Stacey Chapman  “ArtseaCraftsea”  January 2020

Stacey inspired us with her talk about how her career evolved after watching Kirstie Allsop’s Handmade Britain show. She is passionate about combining her portrait drawing with free motion machine embroidery to produce life like thread paintings.  Here is just a small sample of her stunning work. A few photos are of clips from her work as we had a lot of reflection in the glass mounts.

Anna Holzer-Mountifield “Layered Landscapes” Nov 2019

We had an exciting workshop creating lampshades and scenes with creative embroidery on lutradur.  Thank you to Anna and Keith.


Nigel Cheney “Unravelling the Archive”  Nov 2019

Thank you to Nigel for sharing his amazing work. He designs his own prints then brings them to life with incredible machine and hand embroidery.  The photos can not do justice to his work!

Anne Griffiths- “Illuminated Letters” Workshop October 2019

Anne uses the back of a tomato puree tube, a spoon, traced letters and a biro to produce stunning letters to applique onto fabric. Thank you Anne for an enjoyable workshop.  Here are our results.

Sally Roberson  “May Morris, her life and work” October 2019

Sally gave us an in depth history of May Morris’ life and how at an early age her parents and the Industrial Revolution influenced her craft. May set up the Women’s Guild of Arts in 1907.  Sally’s presentation included family photos and samples of May’s embroidery.

Bev Caleno  Hands-on block printing September 2019

Thank you to Bev for returning to us for this meeting. Due to numbers, she demonstrated the process THREE times. Everyone enjoyed the afternoon and their projects are stunning.

Anne Kelly “Textile Nature”  July 2019

Anne shared her experience with machine and hand embroidery through her stunning examples of textile collage.  We are looking forward to working with Anne in a workshop next March.

Janetta Sosin June 2019

Following a presentation last autumn, Janetta returned to lead our workshop.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Hanny Newton  May 2019

“Couching is one of my absolute favourite techniques. I love the simplicity of using one thread to hold another down onto the canvas. This simplicity frees up a whole universe of possibilities – materials, patterns, shading, colours and effects can be varied and explored to create some amazing effects.”

Hand and Lock  April 2019

Thank you to Alastair Macleod, Chairman of Hand and Lock, and embroiderer Juliet Ferry for their very interesting presentations.  We learnt about the fascinating history of the company and saw examples of their exquisite commissions for famous people, including our royalty.  There were small samples of embroidery and a book for sale.

Nodeen Salmon Machine Embroidery Workshop March 2019

We were so pleased that Nodeen was able to come back and share her techniques for producing her beautiful free motion embroidery landscapes. We focused on planning the layout for our project, painting the background and the strategies for stitching grasses. Thank you Nodeen as we all thoroughly enjoyed your workshop.

Pippa Moss “My Quits” March 2019

Thank you to Pippa for bringing along her large collection of antique whole cloth, Welsh, Durham, Amish and Hawaiian inspired quilts.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Bev Caleno   “A Range Of Unusual Techniques”   February 2019

Here is a  snippet from Bev’s demonstration.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Michele Turner aka Crafty Heffalump  – Natural Dyeing    January 2019


Anna Holzer-Mountifield:  Weaving workshop.  November 2018

Nodeen Salmon: My Life In Stitches         November 2018

Nodeen shared how the techniques that she learnt in painting influenced her very creative embroidery. Her work is stunning.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Kay Dennis: Stumpwork Workshop October 2018

Thank you to both Kay and Michael for a relaxing day doing what we enjoy the most, embroidery. We had a choice of projects and this kept our duo on their toes. Kay gave us very detailed instruction booklets and plenty of practical demonstrations with valuable advice and guidance. Our pieces of work are only part way through and though they look small, they contain a lot of tiny detailed stitches. We look forward to working with Kay again at our residential weekend next Spring.

Here are Kay’s examples of the finished projects. I will add ours when they are completed.

Here is our work in progress.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A couple of finished pieces!


Connie Flynn “My Shetland Experience”  October 2018

Connie shared the invaluable experiences that she gained whilst studying for her BA at Shetland College.  Her presentation illustrated how the beautiful location inspired the colour, textile and pattern in her projects. The culture and history of the islands and her visit to Norway influenced her photography, weaving and knitting.  Connie runs classes at Parndon Mill in Harlow.

Janetta Sosin “Silk Painting”  September 2018

Janetta gave us an enthralling talk on the history of silk printing supported by her collection of stunning examples. She described the various techniques used and referred to the Braintree Archives for further preserved silk articles.

Janetta also recommended courses with the Essex Guild of Silk Painters

Thank you Janetta.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

“Metallics For Textiles” July 2018

Workshop with Jo Mabbutt

We had a very busy and productive day with Jo demonstrating how to apply various metallics to a range of surfaces. Thank goodness that she supplied us with detailed notes of the huge variety of adhesives, size, metal leaf and gilding applied to different textures including paper, fabric, Lutradur and Tyvek.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

July 2018 with Joan Kendall

“The Four Season Tapestries”

Joan Kendall is the textile consultant at Hatfield House. She delivered a very interesting presentation of the conservation of the four season tapestries Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter that have taken 38 years to repair. She talked through the intricate design of each tapestry and picked out a selection of the meticulous repairs that have been made in such a procedure that they could be unpicked at a later date.


May 2018 with Christine Chester

“Creative use of photography in textiles”

Christine gave us a brief history of the development of photography entwining her own story growing up with her mother’s photos of her father, a fisherman. It was at the age of 11 years when Christine was given her first camera to enter a competition that her enthusiasm for photography began. From there she created her own style by incorporating various techniques, textiles and processes into her quilts. Her work is a powerful reflection of her family memories. You need to see and touch the quilts to appreciate their true quality and expertise.

Thank you Christine for sharing your story with us.


April 2018 with Valerie Nesbitt from Just Hands on TV

Valerie shared her beautiful quilts with us to talk through her story “From Hexagons to TV”. At each stage she introduced her new techniques, skills and textiles from her very first hand made quilt to the most recent top that she produced with her class in 40 minutes!.  Here are just a few of her quilts.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Meeting Feb 2018

What a joy it was to have Kay and Michael with us to show their stunning stumpwork. Their craft is jaw dropping. So exciting and intricate.

Meeting Jan 2018

Today we welcomed back Linda McCann, who talked us through her treasure trove of antique sewing items including threads, fastenings and tools. We were amazed at their current value!

Anna from Spinspired Kantha hand embroidery   

Nov 2017 Workshop

Here is a selection of our Kantha projects in process. More photos when they are finished!  We look forward to meeting Anna again next year.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Linda McCann- ‘Dressed to Impress the Audience’ For the broad minded!!

Meeting Nov 2017

Linda has impressive experience as a Wardrobe Mistress for several theatres. She brought a sample of garments to demonstrate the complexities with colour, fabric, sizing and accuracy of design for various productions. Linda entertained us with some backstage secrets too!

We look forward to meeting with Linda again in the New Year.


Sonia Tuttiett- East London Textiles Art   October 2017

Sonia displayed samples of work from this group that meet in Newham.  Not only do they create beautiful embroidery but some are photographed to produce fabric and books!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Lynne Pretty – “My Quilting Journey” September 2017

Lynne, a member of “Out of the Fold” group, shared her beautiful quilts with us.

Indian Inspiration – Jennifer Hughes  May 2017

Jennifer brought along breathtaking samples from her collection of Indian textiles and embroidery to highlight her talk. Here are just a few pieces!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Art,Architecture and Stitch – Wendy Dolan April 2017

Wendy took our breath away with her samples and presentation of her work. Her massive drapes are something to behold. She shares her techniques in her book too.

Click here for further information.

Gilding The Lace – Jo Mabbutt March 2017

A very enjoyable and inspirational talk by Jo. We look forward to her workshop later in the year!

See more of Jo’s work here.