Workshops

If you'd like to learn Hardanger or another embroidery technique in a group or a one-on-one tutorial, or brush up your skills concentrating on fillings or speciality stitches, why not try a workshop, taster session or private class?

Knitting & Stitching Show 2018, Alexandra Palace

1-hour workshop "Hardanger embroidery for beginners – needle book"
Thursday 11th October, 1-2pm, room 6 Panorama Room
Sold out

Hardanger workshop at Alexandra Palace Hardanger is a Norwegian needlework technique characterised by satin stitch and cutwork. It is a very elegant form of embroidery which depends as much on careful counting as on needle skills! Once you've learnt the basics, the possible variations are endless.

True, you will be asked to cut holes in your stitching – but don't worry, it's not nearly so scary as it sounds! Using perle cottons, we will start with the basic satin stitches called Kloster blocks, then add some backstitch decoration before cutting part of the fabric. The cut parts will be embellished with filling stitches, giving a lacy finish. The finished stitching will then be used to decorate a simple needle book.

All the materials you will need to make your own Hardanger bookmark are included in your workshop kit, together with detailed instructions and diagrams. 4" hoops and squissors (a cross between scissors and tweezers used for accurate cutting) will be available to use during the workshop; the squissors can be bought to take home afterwards if you find them useful.

This workshop is suitable for people who have never done any Hardanger embroidery before, but some previous stitching experience in other techniques (for example cross stitch) is recommended. Children from the age of 12 welcome.

No places left

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90-minute workshop "Shisha embroidery for beginners – flower card"
Thursday 11th October, 2.15-3.45pm, room 6 Panorama Room

Shisha workshop at Alexandra Palace Shisha embroidery is an Indian needlework technique characterised by the use of mirrors – originally mica, now often glass or acrylic. It sometimes even included iridescent beetle wings, but I'm afraid we won't get quite that exotic this time.

First you'll learn how to attach a mirror or sequin using variegated perle cotton, then we'll use some traditional stitches like chain stitch and fly stitch to turn your shisha motif into a pretty floral design by adding a scrolled stem and leaf. Some sparkly sequins and beads add a bit of extra bling! The finished project will be made into a card.

All the materials you will need to make your own shisha flower card are included in your workshop kit, together with detailed instructions and diagrams. 4" hoops and embroidery scissors will be available to use during the workshop; the scissors can be bought to take home afterwards if you find them useful.

This workshop is suitable for people who have never done any shisha embroidery before, but some previous stitching experience in other techniques (for example cross stitch) is recommended. Children from the age of 12 welcome.

Tickets are now available from the Knitting & Stitching Show website; the class code is 037

3 places left

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90-minute workshop "Freestyle embroidery for beginners – a Little Wildflower Garden card (with bee)"
Friday 12th October, 1.30-3pm, room 7 Panorama Room
Sold out

Freestyle embroidery workshop at Alexandra Palace Freestyle embroidery is a non-counted technique that uses a wealth of different stitches to embellish a fabric background on which the design has been pre-drawn; sometimes (as in this workshop) the drawing shows all the details, but depending on the formality of the design and her level of experience a stitcher may choose to indicate only the major outlines and work the details free hand. Whichever method you choose, no two pieces will ever be exactly the same, even if you start from the same design.

Using a variety of embroidery stitches including straight stitch, detached chain stitch, French knot and fly stitch you'll create a little wildflower garden with grass, poppies, daisies, lavender, wheat and a cornflower. Oh, and a bee! This is worked as a two-coloured bullion knot which we will practice first, but if you decide that's a bit too daunting after all then an alternative version will also be shown. The finished project will be made into a card.

All the materials you will need to make your own wildflower card are included in your workshop kit, together with detailed instructions and diagrams. 4" hoops and embroidery scissors will be available to use during the workshop; the scissors can be bought to take home afterwards if you find them useful.

This workshop is aimed at beginners in embroidery; some previous experience in using a needle (e.g. cross stitch, or sewing on buttons!) would come in handy but is not essential. Children from the age of 12 welcome.

No places left

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Taster Sessions

Ideal if you're a beginner or if you want to have a go at Hardanger, shisha, freestyle, goldwork or appliqué embroidery to see whether you like it, this is a 2-hour workshop in which you are taken through one project step by step: a bookmark or needle book in Hardanger, or a card with a shisha flower, a freestyle Wildflower Garden, an embellished Butterfly Wreath, a tactile Christmas Wreath, sparkling goldwork Flowers & Bee, or a Steaming Mug in embroidered appliqué. You can choose which of them you'd like to tackle (if Hardanger needle book, please also specify dove's eye, square filet or spider's web), but please note that if you come as a group, all participants will be doing the same one.

A full kit is included in the price; a 4" or 6" hoop and squissors or embroidery scissors are available to borrow for the workshop, and may be purchased to take home if you wish to continue with embroidery.

Taster Sessions for up to 6 people will take place at Mabel's home, larger groups will meet at Dunchurch Baptist Church

Hardanger, Shisha and Freestyle taster sessions at Mabel Figworthy's Fancies

Price per person for a 2-hour session, including materials; please add £4 per person for the goldwork taster session
1-2 people £25.00
3-4 people £20.00
5-8 people £17.50
9-12 people £15.00

Private workshops

Treat yourself (or encourage others to treat you) to an individual or group workshop in a relaxing, encouraging environment – Mabel's home. Sustained by coffee or tea and the occasional biscuit, you spend several hours learning new skills or brushing up on existing ones.

All workshops provide:

We offer workshops at three levels – Beginner, Improver and Experienced – which are flexible in length according to your preference. You can choose to have a lot of intensive tuition and practice in 2 hours, after which you work most of the projects at home; or to have 6 hours (morning and afternoon with a break for lunch) at a more leisurely pace, finishing most of the projects on the day with Mabel at hand to help when you need it; or anything in between. The three standard workshops cover Hardanger embroidery in general, but you can also request a personalised workshop which concentrates on a particular area such as filling stitches, worked bars or decorative surface stitches, or which looks at other embroidery techniques such as Shisha or freestyle embroidery. It is also possible to design a chart or pattern from scratch.

So how does it work?

Contact us by or telephone to decide on the level that is suitable for you, the length of the workshop, and available dates. If you are interested in a personalised workshop, please give us as much information as possible about the skills or activities you would like to include. We will then email you an outline of the workshop and a price; when you are happy with both, we'll send you a PayPal invoice. After that, all you need to do is turn up on the day, and enjoy your stitching treat!

Below are the prices per hour for one-on-one tuition and for groups, and for the material packs for each of the three standard Hardanger workshops. Prices for material packs for personalised workshops on request. Please note that tea, coffee and biscuits are included in the price, but lunch is not. You are welcome to bring a picnic and have it at the house (or in the garden if the weather is good), or there are several places to have lunch in the village. If you would like to book a workshop for more than 6 people, please contact us to discuss the options.

Tuition (per person per hour)
1 person £15.00
2 people £10.00
3-6 people £7.50
 
Material packs (not including hoops and scissors/squissors)
Beginner £8.00
Improver £9.00
Experienced £13.50

Mabel's house is a non-smoking environment. It does, however, contain a pet: Lexi, our friendly Bengal cross. If for whatever reason you are uncomfortable having a cat around, do tell us – she is quite happy to spend a morning or afternoon out of doors!