Guest Speakers

Shibori Dyeing workshop with Anne Griffiths    June 2022

Eagerly anticipating the indigo dyeing workshop with Anne Griffiths, we prepared by ticking off the suggestions on the requirements list provided.

The day arrived and we gathered at the workshop, beginning with an introduction by Anne into indigo, what it is, how it is used and the myriad opportunities offered by using various resist methods.  We learned that indigo, similar to woad, comes from a plant, that it is in fact a pigment rather than a dye.  These days synthetic indigo is used to give more consistently successful outcomes.  An indigo vat will keep for years; importantly oxygen must be excluded from the vat for which Spectralite is added and a lid applied.  The fabric to be used should be natural, for example cotton, linen, wool, silk and this should be damp before submerging carefully into the vat.  Left in the indigo vat for 5-10 minutes, it is lifted out and, as it does so, the yellow-green coloured cloth turns blue as it oxidises.  Subsequent dipping will build up the density of colour; the cloth should then be rinsed until the water runs clear – the colour can still be loose, however, so care should be taken when in contact with other light colours.

Anne also introduced us to dyeing with potassium permanganate. This dye vat appears purple and is kept hot, but not boiling, in a pan.  The resulting cloth has a brownish hue which may be discharged with lemon juice … lemon juice mixed with wallpaper paste can be used to stamp or paint designs onto the fabric.  Applying indigo dyed fabric to the potassium permanganate gives other wonderful effects as seen in some of the examples here.

It was an excellent day and seeing other people’s samples emerge from the vats, rinsed and hung out to dry has made us all hungry for exploring these wonderful dyeing processes further.  As always, it is great to see the variety of outcomes and the sharing of techniques tried.  We left the workshop spurred on by the results and with the prospect of making our own indigo vats in the future.



Hand Sewing May 2022

We held a relaxful hand sewing session last week. It was a lovely opportunity to catch up with each other whilst embroidering crown brooches. Thank you to Helen for providing the refreshments. Just a few photos….

Wendy Dolan “Klimt InspiredApril 2022

A few finished items from the Klimt Inspired Zoom workshop with Wendy Dolan. A fabulous day spent creating with organza, free motion machine embroidery and a soldering iron.

Lucy-Marie Martin “Award Winning Hand-embroiderer”

Wow, what a wonderful presentation of Lucy’s work in slide show format… and also some of her gorgeous work up close too.   Lucy won the Worshipful Company of Borderers’ Associate Award and the RSN Associate Award for Innovation and Technical Excellence in Hand Embroidery for ‘The Preciousness of Life’ at the November 2021 competition organised by Hand & Lock, London.

Our ladies were particularly appreciative to see her wonderful detailed hand embroidery up close and in such fine detail.

Alex Waylett  “Indian Tiles” Workshop March 2022

Thank you to Alex for supplying all the sumptuous  velvets and organza for this exciting workshop. We are only half way through!  More pictures to come.

Michele Carragher Costume in TV and Film February 2022

Michele Carragher amazed us with her presentation on embroidery in TV and film. These photos show just a snippet of her magical work that she shared with us. We are so fortunate to be welcoming Michele back to our residential in summer.

Elizabeth Tarr  “Memories and Mythology”  January 2022

Thank you to Elizabeth Tarr for her amazing talk on her work entitled ‘Memories and Mythology’. These photos are just small sections of her work, you need to see and feel the pieces to appreciate their true quality!

Wendy Mansfield  Festive Make December 2021

Thank you to Wendy for her lovely kits and leading us through her  Christmas decoration. Also thanks to all our members for supplying the delicious treats that added to a very enjoyable afternoon.


Nigel Cheney ‘Hares’  Workshop November 2021

It’s so nice to have Nigel Cheney back with us for our workshop today. He has printed a selection of Hares especially for us. They are wonderful.
Here is Annie’s finished piece and some more in progress. A very enjoyable day catching up with everyone.
Here is our work in progress.  Nigel’s samples follow.

Nigel’s samples:

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Sally Roberson ‘Medieval to Morris’ November 2021

It was lovely to welcome Sally back with her beautiful work and kits.  Carol also organised a folio to support her talk from the EG.

Nik Ravenscroft Briar Rose Goldwork Workshop

October 2021

A fantastic day with Nik.
It was so nice to be back together again for a workshop!
For many of us this was our first venture into goldwork and we are very pleased with our pieces. Thank you Nik for your patience and excellent guidance.


Emily Jo Gibbs Layering with Organza. October 2021

Emily Jo Gibbs joined us last week with a presentation on working with organza and shared samples of her amazing work that demonstrate her style of layering and use of shadow. We were very fortunate to have Emily lead us in a workshop on Zoom earlier in the year and some of our pieces are shown here too.

Georgina Bellamy  3D Goldwork

September 2021

A huge thank you to Georgina Bellamy, “That Embroidery Girl” for speaking to us at our inaugural meeting as an independent stitch group. It was a pleasure to hear Georgina’s story and to see her stunning work. Here is just a small sample. We look forward to welcoming Georgina back again soon.

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Emily Jo Gibbs   Hand Embroidery

Zoom workshop March 2021

We had a very relaxing day hand embroidering on layers of organza with a focus on achieving delicate colours and shadows in our samplers. Thank you to Emily for a most enjoyable time and we look forward to seeing her again in the near future.

These are print screens from my laptop so some are a little fuzzy, sorry.

Nikki Parmenter Mixed Media

Zoom Workshop February 2021

Thank you to Nikki for her amazing workshop creating stunning elephants, fish, frogs, tulips and butterflies between layers of plastic and then enhanced with free motion embroidery.

Anne Kelly  “House and Home

Zoom workshop November 2020

Thank you to Anne for a most relaxing and enjoyable day. Anne demonstrated how to bring the memories of our favourite house/home to life with layering and embroidery techniques.

Nikki Parmenter “From Paper to Mixed Media and Textiles” November meeting on Zoom

Here are just a few photos from Nikki Parmenter’s amazing Zoom presentation.  Nikki shared the cultural influences and embroidery techniques that inspired her to create such stunning work. We are looking forward to meeting her again for a workshop next year.

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Wendy Dolan  “Architecture”- machine embroidery October 2020 Workshop on Zoom

This was our first online workshop. Thank you to Wendy for a most enjoyable day.  Here are just a few of our finished pieces of architecture. Find out more about Wendy here.

Emily Jo Gibbs  “The Value of Making” October Meeting on Zoom

Emily presented her stunning portraits and shared how she developed them through stitched applique. See more here

Anna Ray  Textile Installations  September 2020 Meeting on Zoom

We were delighted to meet Anna with her creative three dimensional textile art. You can follow her work and exhibitions here

Sarah Impey  “Writing with a Needle” machine embroidered script July 2020 Meeting on Zoom

Thank you to Sarah for being our first Zoom guest. We thoroughly enjoyed her presentation of her beautiful quilts and very neat embroidered text. We are sorry not to have photos to share but you can see a selection of Sarah’s work here.

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.

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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.