The home of embroidery and stitched textiles in

Durham City

Stitching Ideas and Inspirations

stitching ideas | the gallery links | links to courses etc

Our Branch meetings and events continue to be on hold into 2021. We hope you are managing to keep safe during this extended period of social distancing and travel restrictions. We want to encourage you to keep stitching and sharing your work with other members.

At the bottom of this page there is a list of links to textile artists who are providing online ideas to inspire our stitchings and sketchbook development. If you have tried any of these resources do share your progress with us. We have included information about the textile artists that we had to cancel, some have on-line shops, please consider making a small purchase to help support our local artists during these difficult times.

The Branch Committee are suggesting small stitching ideas and inspirations that will help us all keep in contact with each other. These are of course optional, you can pick and choose which ones you do, and when you start and finish them! See below for the details of some ideas we have thought up for you. If you have suggestions of more to add, do let us know. We'll update this page with your photos every few days.

We also want to set a more personal special task. You've all heard of 'Secret Santa', we would like to introduce 'Secret Stitcher'. We thought it would be a nice idea to make a small gift (embroidery or stitching related) to give to someone else anonymously when we finally do get to meet up again. There are loads of ideas on the internet and in our magazines, but it might be a needle case, scissors keeper, embroidered pincushion, small book cover, a small bag, anything you choose but not something that would usually go in a travelling book. Sarah is coordinating the project and will let you know who you are stitching for. Please contact Sarah ( for further information.

Stitching Ideas and Inspirations:

Our gallery below includes pieces of work that we have completed during this period of social-distancing and self-isolation.

If you have completed work from any of the suggestions, please email Penny, our web page editor ( with a couple of photos of your work with a short description of what inspired you and the techniques you used. We won't publish your full name, just initials to ensure you are attributed to the work.

If your piece of work is the result of kit or a professional design or from a workshop/course please ensure you tell us the details to comply with current EG guidelines on copyright. For Example:

"the 'Owl & Pussycat' raised embroidery techniques, started at Durham Spring School 2019, from a kit designed and provided by the tutor Jenny Adin-Christie".

No 1: Finish a piece of work from your unfinished projects box.

No 2: Stitch an illuminated letter.

No 3: Stitch a small sampler to show 5 or more rows of different types of couching.

No 4: A mixed media card to send to a friend on the theme of Spring.

No 5: three choices to keep you going... stitch a small piece of work that incorporates a repeating pattern; or just three stitches; or is inspired by a memory.

No 6: A Bird. We missed our Celebration Day of Stitch in 2020, so our suggestion is to use your creativity in any form of stitched textiles to create a bird (real or mythical). If you need a bit of help with this one check the link for Chloe Redfern below.

No 7: Anything goes! Something you have been working on during the last few months. A selection of different works that members have been enjoying.

No 8: Texture! What's your favourite way of bringing texture into your stitched work? (you can have more than one!)

No 9: Colours of Autumn. Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness... (thank you Mr Keats for those lovely words). Lets celebrate those wonderful colours of autumn, be cheerful, and embrace nature's bounty.

No 10: A postcard to a Friend. Reach out to a friend with a stitched postcard, rebuild those connections. Share the image of your postcard with us.

No 11: St Cuthbert's Pectoral Cross. Tracy A Franklin's design for our anniversary gift. Enjoy working on the design in your own choice of stitches over the next few months. Mount as a 20cm square ready for our belated anniversary exhibition in 2021. Share the image of your finished work with us.

No 12: Something festive. As travel and meeting restrictions persist, we hope you can manage to find something to celebrate. Create something with materials/media you don't usually use. Maximum size 25cm square, or a 3D piece no bigger than a 25cm cube. Share an image of your finished piece with us.  

All images on our gallery are reproduced with permission of the owner/maker and are copyright. We have tried to include sources of named artists who inspire these works, if we have missed a citation, please let us know and help attribute work to artists correctly.

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Our Gallery for the Stitching Ideas and Inspirations

No 4 - A card for Spring

No 5 - A repeating pattern

No 6 - A bird

No 7 - Anything goes!

No 8 - Texture

No 9 - Colours of Autumn.

No 10 - Postcard to a friend

No 11 - the Pectoral Cross

No 12 - Something Festive.

Reasons to be thankful: Anthea Godfrey, Artistic Director of the Embroiderers' Guild co-ordinate the project to celebrate the work of the NHS during the current virus epidemic.

Three pieces of work created by members, we hope they encouraged you to stitch something to submit from this project.

by Sarah McG
by Norma G
by Joanna C

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On-line courses / workshops / tutorials / podcasts and much more:

Some of our members have used on-line tutorials and workshops for new ideas or inspiration to keep them busy this year. Some are free (such as YouTube), others require a sign-up and a fee to participate. The list below contains some suggestions for you to browse. Each link will open in a new page, don't forget to close it when you have finished browsing. Please consider supporting our local artists by purchasing a card or something from their etsy / folksy shops.

Click on the name in bold to follow the link.

Anne Brooke (Teacher & textile artist from Harrogate). YouTube channel with lots of inspirational videos, based on her #sewing4thesoul series. Lovely work for those who like Appliqué with textures, fabrics and threads. The latest project is #52tagshannemade. A hand stitched small tag for every week in 2021. Follow Anne on Instagram

Sarah Homfray (RSN Teacher & specialist embroiderer). YouTube channel with lots of inspirational videos for learning hand embroidery techniques.

Chloe Redfern website with details of her embroidery patterns for hand stitching.

Maggie Grey aka d4daisy follow the blog for details of the books of the fabulous series 'Workshop on the Web' - brilliant ideas for mixed media.

Izzy Moore website with details of her excellent online course 'Swirls of Colour' for Free Machine Stitching with mixed media.

Jessica Kinnersley, local textile artist. Instagram page with videos for slow stitch, sketchbook prompts and other interesting things.

Kate Slaughter (Kates Kloth), one of our local textile artists is now offering zoom workshops also has lovely cards and kits available. Follow Kate on Instagram

Trish Burr, subscribe to Trish's blog to receive weekly updates for her free stitch along of small free projects to make into a fabric embroidery journal...

Bobby Britnell, A variety of mixed media courses on offer. Sign up to newsletter for updates on courses etc.

Angie Hughes, A variety of mixed media courses on offer. Sign up to newsletter for updates on courses etc.

Gelli Arts, YouTube channel for the official site of Gelli Arts. A must go to place if you want to learn more about printing with mixed media using a gelli plate.

Colouricious, YouTube channel for Jamie Mason (previously Malden). Not just holidays, but all sorts of tutorials on block printing and other mixed media and stitching projects.

InStitches Creative Textiles, a blog from Hazel and Terry with activities and inspiration. Sign up to newsletter for up to date news.

Donna Cheshire is based in Newcastle, follow her blog for more information. She has a Folksy shop with beautiful little items for sale (

Deb Cooper One of our very talented local textile artists with lovely cards and kits available. follow Deb on Instagram

Laura Edgar on Facebook another of our local textile artists with cards and kits available.

Textile Artist . org Artist interviews, inspirations and much more. StitchClub online workshops new for 2020.

Susan Weeks Stitchery Stories, podcast interviews with textiles artists (check the archive list for more interviews), load one up and relax with a cup of tea....

Zara Day of Lemington Spa Emb Guild, See Zara's Instagram page for information on on-line embroidery courses. Click here to view Zara's courses March - May 2021

Arnold's Attic aka Katie Hill, member of the Emb Guild, has an excellent YouTube channel, interviews with UK based textile artists.

Embroiderers' Guild UK The Facebook page with ideas from other Branches and Regions.

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