Guest Speakers

Emily Jo Gibbs Layering with Organza.

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.

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.


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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.

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Bev Caleno   “A Range Of Unusual Techniques”   February 2019

Here is a  snippet from Bev’s demonstration.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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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.