WORKSHOPS

BACK TO BASICS FOR BEGINNERS AND BEYOND 

A chance for lovers of pure stitchery to get back to traditional techniques.  There are many wonderful courses to enable the modern embroiderer to use up-to-date materials in a very modern way, but this series of courses aims to concentrate on techniques using well loved stitches to create either a purely traditional piece of embroidery, or a modern design using traditional stitches.

Suitable for all levels of ability.  Everyone is most welcome.

Students will be able to explore a technique by working samples to gain a knowledge of its characteristics and take home enough experience to start a family heirloom.

mountmellick

MOUNTMELLICK 

Developed in Ireland during the 19th century, Mountmellick embroidery is a white-on-white technique used in the past for household and bed linen.  Worked on cotton sateen fabric in thick matte threads.  The designs are usually floral, using raised, padded and knotted stitches.  Very “scrunchy” with a knitted fringe.

FABRIC COVERED BOXES

By making a simple trinket box from everyday materials, students will gain the knowledge of construction to enable them to make a fabric box of their own choice of shape and size.

D.I.Y.  DES. RES. (A variation of a fabric covered box) 

Build your own fantasy dwelling, where housework never has to be done and the garden never needs weeding!  Sounds too good to be true? – well, it can easily be achieved if you build your house from card and embroidered fabric.  You will design, embroider and construct a house of your choice to create your very own “Cardboard Cottage”.

SHISHA – INDIAN MIRROR EMBROIDERY 

India is well known for the richness of its embroidered textiles.  In Shisha work small pieces of mirror are held in place by threads and embellished with chain stitch, which will give your work sparkle and shine as it moves and catches the light.

HARDANGER 

Originated in Norway and used for household linen and on clothes.  Worked on “Hardanger” fabric or any evenly woven fabric with a twisted thread, usually self-coloured, in blocks of satin stitch called Kloster Blocks.  Areas are cut away and filled with needleweaving.

BLACKWORK 

A counted thread method worked on an evenly woven fabric.  If you can count, you can do blackwork.  Very simple stitches to form may lovely patterns.

PULLED FABRIC WORK

Worked on an evenly woven fabric, of rather an open weave, stitches will be used to pull the fabric into patterns.  The working thread should match the fabric in colour, thickness and texture.

DRAWN THREAD WORK

A method where certain threads are actually withdrawn from the fabric and the remaining threads are then embroidered or tied together in decorative patterns.  Worked on a firm, good quality evenly woven fabric.

CREWEL WORK  (Sometimes called Jacobean Work) 

Traditionally worked on a natural twill fabric, can now be worked on a fine woollen, or a closely woven fabric, with fine wool thread called crewel wool.  Shaded effects and graduation of colour or tone are achieved in varying ways with a variety of stitches to include long and short, stem, chain, laid work, among many others.

AN ENGLISH COUNTRY GARDEN using RAISED 3 DIMENSIONAL STITCHERY 

A chance to give your embroidery a textured look.  To include stitches such as raised cup stitch, banksia rose, woven picots, raised stem band, raised chain band, tufting, and many more.  These stitches are used to represent flowers such as lupins, sunflowers, pansies and hollyhocks.

JAPANESE TEMARI BALLS 

Decorative baubles made with either polystyrene balls or a soft wadding core, wrapped with sewing thread to form a ball, which is then divided into sections and sewn with contrasting threads to form many simple and complex patterns.

CHINESE RICE DUMPLINGS (3-D silk wrapped earrings)

A basic shape is made from card and then wrapped with silk threads in colour schemes to match your favourite outfits, to give you that total, complete, colour co-ordinated, fashionable look.  The shape can also be made larger to use as Christmas decorations or mobiles.

armenian

ARMENIAN NEEDLELACE 

An ancient and traditional form of needlelace which is unlike any other needlelace in that it is knotted.  Many lovely patterns can be made.  Can be used as an edging on handkerchiefs or household linen or made into mats, collars, etc.  Very little equipment is needed – just a needle, some thread and a pair of scissors.

SILK RIBBON EMBROIDERY 

Give your embroidery that raised, textured look.  You will be delighted and surprised how beautiful and different traditional favourite stitches look when executed in ribbon.  A very suitable technique for knitwear, christening and wedding gowns.

FINISHING TOUCHES (Cords, fringes and tassels) 

Give that finishing touch to your cushions, bags, hangings, etc. etc.  Cords and tassels are easy and fun to make and really do finish an item and give it individuality. 

MILLEFIORE BEADS 

If you love beads, you will love making your own.  Using easily obtainable modelling compound, you will be shown how to make rods, which can then be cut up and re-assembled to make many lovely patterns. 

SPACE DYEING 

A very easy, quick, method of dyeing fabric and threads using cold water dyes.  Not to be confused with tie dyeing, which produces fabric of one colour, space dyeing produces a myriad of colours in one piece at one time. 

EMBROIDERED MINIATURE GARDENS 

Create a stitched, miniature, garden using a coloured background, just a few threads, and a few favourite, traditional stitches to create the illusion of flowers.  Can be used as a picture or to put into cards. 

SUMPTUOUS STITCHES -EXPLORE A STITCH 

We will take a well known stitch, learn how to execute it in the traditional way, and then, through a series of exercises, stretch it to its full potential, by changing the threads we use and the scale of the stitch.  A good excuse to “play” and have fun while exploring and learning. 

NEEDLE BEAD WEAVING FOR JEWELLERY

Using just a needle and thread, beautiful beadwork jewellery can be made to co-ordinate with a particular favourite outfit.  Students will learn how to create delicate necklaces and earrings.  Very therapeutic and addictive.  Once the technique is mastered, small purses can be made. 

BEADED AMULET PURSES 

Beaded purses first appeared in Europe during the 17th century where they were an essential craft of the well-bred woman.  The designs were taken from embroidery patterns and often incorporated legends or symbols.  By the 19th century beaded purses became widespread and were mass produced.  These delightful objects are now enjoying a revival, due, in part, to a recent surge of interest in beading.  These bags could hold our treasures, or could themselves become our amulet. 

KNITTED BEADED AMULET PURSES 

Knitting with perle thread, onto which beads have been threaded prior to starting to knit, can produce a beautiful shell shaped beaded purse.  Different sized purses can be achieved by varying the thread and size of beads.

BEADED CROCHET SPIRAL ROPE 

Crocheting with perle, or silk thread, onto which beads have been threaded prior to beginning, can produce a lovely spiral rope, which can be used as a strap for a bag, a bracelet, or a necklace.  Many different patterns can be achieved by varying the sequence of the threaded beads. 

BEAD NEEDLEWEAVING – FREEFORM PEYOTE BRACELET 

The chance for those of you who know how to do peyote stitch, to “free up” and use beads of different sizes to make a totally free, organic-looking bracelet.  Nothing is wrong, just let it grow.  If you do not know how to do peyote stitch, I can show you, it is not difficult, so do not let that stop you attending. 

A BEADED CHATELAINE IN BRICK STITCH 

Most embroiderers and beadworkers with whom I come into contact would love to own a chatelaine, so how about starting to make one for yourself using beaded items.

Needlework tools made from silver and hung from a chain were very popular during the 17th century.  At that time they were called “equipage” and were not called chatelaines until 1828.  Needlework tools were very precious at that time and it was thought that to suspend these items from a chain attached around the waist was the safest way to keep them.

Can include a scissors case, thimble case, and needlecase. 

A SUMPTUOUS CHATELAINE  (embroidery) 

Most embroiderers with whom I come into contact would love to own a chatelaine, so how about making an embroidered one for yourself.  You could make it as simple or elaborate as you pleased.  You could attach Shisha mirrors, gold thread, beads, the only limit is your imagination.

CASALGUIDI (Italian Embroidery)

Learn this little known 19th century Italian technique by making a pin cushion or small bag.  Traditionally a white on white embroidery, it has areas of raised stem band and needlelace flowers on a pulled fabric background.

NOT JUST TENT STITCH (Canvaswork)

An opportunity to explore the great variety of canvas work stitches available by starting a colourful and exciting stitch sampler.

TALKS

Armenian Needlelace – My mother’s Heritage 

I start with a short explanation of the history and technique of this lace, a little bit about my mother and her life and how I came to learn the lace.  I then show a few slides so that the members can see how this lace is constructed, and see a few samples and then I close by showing many examples of my mother’s wonderful embroidery. 

Mountmellick – the Making of a Book 

I begin with a short description of this type of embroidery to include a little of the history, and then go on to tell you how I came to write a book and exactly what writing and publishing a book entails. 

A Retrospective look at my career in Embroidery 

A short journey through my life and how I came to love embroidery.  All the trials and tribulations of how I came to be an embroidery teacher and author and showing samples of my work through the years.