Exeter & District Embroiderers' Guild is a branch of the educational charity Embroiderers' Guild, whose remit is to build awareness of stitch and textile art, and to encourage, inspire and promote the achievement of excellence.

Monthly Meetings & Workshop Lists

May 2019 Interpreting design into stitch – Barbara Neale


  • 3 sheets of A4 paper (this gives one spare)
  • some old magazines with pictures (but I will have a bundle). Gardening and house ones work well but a range is good!
  • your favourite pen or pencil
  • a ruler
  • paper scissors
  • a glue stick
  • a piece of fabric without a very busy design of about A4 size
  • a piece of backing fabric
  • For hand stitchers: needles
  • threads that go with the fabric, both blending in colour and contrasting, and n a range of weights
  • embroidery scissors
  • an embroidery hoop (I used an 8″ hoop but it could be a bit smaller)
  • some way of drawing your design on the fabric (I used an HB pencil but it could be a Sharpie or pen that disappears with time
  • your favourite book of stitches
  • For machine stitchers: sewing machine
  • sewing machine manual if it helps with ‘fancy’ stitches
  • machine threads, both blending in colour and contrasting
  • a piece of stitch and tear
  • as large a hoop as you like working with
  • I believe this is complete! I will need to take some photos and will do this in the next few days.

April 2019 – Exploring hand stitch – Lynn Bennett


March 2019 – Decorated Trinket Basket – Judith Venning

I will show you how to make a simple container, but then go one step further and decorate the exterior. You can choose a plain material and embroider it or choose a pattern and add stitches, or create a small felted embroidery to attach to it.  (These samples are here  demonstrate the shape, but are a little highly patterned. You may wish to choose a less patterned background.). You will be sewing round the pieces of material by hand but if you prefer, there will be a sewing mamchine available to save time)


  • Piece of cardboard, 9″ x 9″ slightly thicker than a cereal box if possible. I will have afew pieces with me.
  • Two fabric squares 9 3/4″ x 10″. One will be the outer fabric, and one the inner.
  • Four small jewellers’ jump rings or any small hoops to thread ribbon through.
  • A length of approx 3/4″ ribbon, about  18″ long
  • Tracing wheel. Useful for scoring the cardboard
  • Small pieces of felt
  • Transfers, rubber stamps or any small pictures for decorating the felt. I will show you a method for transferring a design from paper.
  • Cutting mat and rotary cutter (optional)
  • Stitch & tear/dissolvable material (optional)
  • Embroidery threads & matching sewing cotton
  • Beads & sequins
  • Usual sewing kit


February 2019

Fabric Zine (a small book) – Soreen Persent









  • Calico or Cotton fabric (plus Scrap fabric for printing)
  • A ruler and pencil
  • A sheet of A4 paper
  • Small rubber stamps (10cm x 7.5cm)
  • Ink pad
  • Small buttons
  • Variety of embroidery threads
  • Variety of beads e.g. seed beads, bigle beads etc.
  • Ribbon
  • Needles and pairof scissors
  • Fabric pen
  • Invisiblethread
  • Any smal embellishments
  • Sewing machine (if you wish but can be hand sewn)


January 2019

Indian Style Drawstring Bag – Gill Cable


Calico or cotton 20 x 10 ins. (50cm x 25cm)

Perle threads, yellow – orange – blue – red and purple or colours of your choice

perle works best but you can use any thread, not too thick.

8 shiny silver or gold sequins and small beads to hold them down.

Thread in calico or background colour for kantha outling circles

Usual sewing kit

To make up (suggest finishing bag at home)

right sides together and stitch up both sides. Make a hem round top edges and thread through a cord.

December Workshop

This is our Christmas meeting.  Please bring a plate of food to share.

There will be a “Show and tell” opportunity where you can show what you have been working on or are still working on and sdhare ideas.

If you would like to take part in the raffle, please bring a wrapped gift costing no more than £5.00.  This can contain home crafted items and should generally be craft-related.

There will be a small workshop, to make a tree decoration:-

November Workshop


  • Fabric, plain and printed
  • Printing blocks
  • Bond- a – web
  • Paint – fabric or acrylics
  • Tray for paint.
  • Sponge for putting paint on the blocks/ paintbrushes
  • Apron & rubber gloves
  • Old paint covered wet wipes for printing on.
  • Wet wipes for cleaning the blocks.
  • Scissors , paper & fabric and some sheets of paper.
  • Old tablecloth to cover table
  • Piece of sponge to put under fabric for printing or pile of newspapers

I will bring plain Calico bags for sale.  I will also bring paints for use for a donation, as well as printing blocks.


October Workshop

Free Machining

What you will need:

  • Machine+lead+embroidery foot+instructions
  • Spare bobbins, thread and needles ** see below
  • Hoop if you like
  • Notebook and pen
  • Usual sewing kit
  • Fabric

A top fabric and a backing fabric. Possibly a middle layer like thin wadding, felt or blanket. The type of fabric depends on your experience and the effect you want. If you are a complete beginner a thinnish furnishing fabric with a bold pattern to follow would be perfect with calico or thin cotton for the backing. You could just use plain calico but that’s a bit scary!

If you are using your gelliplate, block printing or screen printing samples you could prepare a piece by bonding in a mock patchwork fashion onto a thin background (like the fish or cushion samples from July). You could then add a wadding and backing layer as above.

If you are an experienced free machiner perhaps you could use dissolvable fabric like Solufleece or two layers of organza. You will need a hoop for either of these.

  • ** Thread and needles

Needles: at least a size 90 with a big eye if you can

  • Thread: cotton is best to start with. Slippery thread will make you cry and mutter at your poor machine!

Liz, Lynn and Dee will demonstrate free machining so you can go to each of them and ask questions. There are some basic rules and each of us will have a different take on these so do ask each one. We all learn differently,

It’s going to be a great day!

July Workshop

Gelli & Mono Printing by Dee











  • I will have some gelliplates to play with but if you have your own, please bring it.
  • What you need:
  • Newspaper
  • Paper A4 max: copy paper, book pages, tissue etc.
  • Fabric: anything really, except thick or too textured but not too thin or open if you want a definite print. A4 size.
  • A roller. I will have a few
  • A piece of A4 card laminated for monoprinting. A shiny magazine cover will do.
  • A biro or ball point pen
  • Baby wipes if you have them.  We can share.
  • A few stencils if you have them.
  • I will bring some acrylic and fabric paints but bring your own if you like.  I will also have a selection of bubble wrap, lacy stuff, cotton buds and leafy things, but if you have anything that will make a texture, please bring it.

We will have two tables in the morning of messy stuff.  I’ll clear up by lunch time.  In the afternoon I will show you how you could put some of your masterpeices together to make a small panel.  For this you will need: Some wadding, Possibly Bondaweb, Pins, thread and sewing kit.


June 2018 Workshop

Zenbroidery by Judith Venning











In this workshop, I will show you how to develop designs from easy doodling and then turn it into intricate embroidery.  I will show you lots of ideas of what to do with the finished creations.


  • Paper or card to draw on – you will practise drawing your design in a 3.5” square(s)
  • White cotton/calico to embroider – wider than 3.5” square so you can attach it to an embroidery hoop
  • Embroidery hoop
  • Backing for the cotton/Calico to give it strength whilst embroidering. I use thin iron on interface
  • Embroidery threads
  • Coloured felt tip pens/ fabric paints/crayons etc. – anything you want to try out on fabric
  • Usual sewing kit

I will bring all these items so don’t worry if you don’t have them


May 2018 Workshop

Requirements for 12th May – Stumpwork Sunflower

  • Small piece of plain green cotton fabric (about 8″ square)
  • Variegated yellow embroidery thread (or two different shadesof yellow/orange
  • Green and brown embroidery threads
  • Coated wires (obtainable from cok shops or TheRange) – the type used for sugar craft
  • Scissors, needle, pins and 4″ x 5″ embroidery hoop






April 2018 Workshop

Medieval Tiles


  • 6″ fabric square
  • Backing Fabric
  • Threads – stranded cotton, perle, similar
  • Usual sewing equipment

I will bring printing blocks and fabric paints

The aim of the workshop will be to print and stitch one tile.

Traditionally the tiles were quite muted; reds, greens and blues, but if you prefer brighter colours that will work equally well.












Decorative Panel  –  Panel front for book or A5 frame.

Bring an image to work from.

Requirements –

2 pieces of fabric,

small amount of bondaweb,

threads including different textures

usual sewing kit.

Bring piece of spare fabric to practice stitches on.



Stitched Postcards by Sandra Tatum

Hand or machine stitching


For each postcard you will need:-

Pelmet vilene 6″ x 4″ – or stiffening fabric

Backing Fabric 6″ x 4″ – calico or plain fabric wich you can write on

Top Fabric 8″ x 6″ or larger if you like to use a hoop.

Treasures for decorating your top fabric – hand stitching, machine stitching, pretty bits of fabric, scrim, sari silks, interesting threads, vintage morsels, beads, sequins, felt shapes, ribbons, buttons. Items from little UFOs! Stitch of the month samples.

Sewing machine – not essential.  Useful for zigzag round finished edges, but this could be done at home; or you can blanket stitch around by hand.

Bondaweb or similar

Usual sewing kit, ruler, pen

I find each card takes over an hour depending on my hand stitching so you may make more than one!


Bushkiri Bag


Lightweight bright cotton fabric 16cm square x 2 pieces. This makes a bag approximately 12.5 square.  If you wish, scale up the fabric to make a bigger bag.

Threads to go with chosen fabric colour (space-dyed perle works well)

Shisha mirrors (readymade is allowed!)

Sequins, beads, button for closure.

Usual sewing kit

It would be helpful if you could machine stitch the two pieces of fabric beforehand – right sides together 1/2 cm from edge.  Leave a gap on one side approx 4cm to turn through to right side – finger press edges, stitch gap and you are ready to go.


Christmas Meeting – bring a plate of food to share.

Two items will be demonstrated:-



White, skin-coloured, and colour of your choice wool tops***

Pipe cleaner 15cm (6in) long or chenille wire**

Household sponge for felting pad*

Various sizes of sewing & embroidery needles

Sewing threads

Felting needles*

* I will have some you can use

** I will bring some for use/donation

*** I will bring some for sale.- bring loose felting type wool & usual sewing items

Robin ornament


Yarn – 3-4 different colours




Craft glue

Craft wire **

Craft pliers

Beads – 2 black medium size **

Needle & black thread








* I will have some you can use

** I will bring some for use/donation

*** I will bring some for sale.



Exotic Bird – Liz Moon

Requirements List:-

Approx. 17 x 17 cm piece of felt for background

Approx 17 x 17 cm piece of felt for back

Bird Shape – your own or I will bring a selection of colours

Odd pieces of felt for edging and decoration

Threads, sequins, beads

Usual sewing kit & beading thread and needle

To make it into a hanging, you will ned a piece of dowel, driftwood etc and cord to hang it.



We will be mono-printing some fabric, then embellishing it with stitch and sequins and/or beads, then quilting it, so you will need to bring the following…(If you cannot cope with bringing a whole lot of stuff, just  bring your fabric threads and sewing kit,  and I can print a piece of fabric for you on the day, for a small donation to cover paints). Otherwise, please bring:-A waterproof table coveringSome newspaper to make a print padAn A4 file protective sleeve or some plastic sheeting that suze for the printing plateRag to wipe hands on, plus baby wipes, apron or wear old clothesLarge head paint brush, or sponge head brushFabric paints in your preferred colours, or acrylic paints and fabric medium (I will bring some to share for a small contribution)Loo roll or kitchen roll to clean the printing plate8” squares of fabric, plain colours or neutralsWater pot, scissors and ruler if you have not pre-cut your fabricHairdryers to dry fabric – one between 2 or 3 should doHand sewing kit and threads in your preferred colours, /metallic9” square of wadding (yes, bigger than the fabric squares)And lining fabric to matchYou may not get to the quilting stage in the workshop so don’t worry about the last two items if you don’t have any.Please ring me if you have any questions – 01409 221173  See you soon !  Rowena

September 2017

This month is our AGM followed by a talk by Nina Fenner at 1pm. Nina will bring a selection of her wonderful books including new material. Nina is an entertaining speaker and a lovely person. Look at her work on her website ninafenner.co.uk to see the work she does.

July 2017

Playing with sari, pieces, silks and precious scraps The idea is to play with little pieces of loveliness and make them into another gorgeous fabric.There are three different ways to try.Kantha stitching to feltNeedlefeltingMachining with cold water dissolveRequirements:Small ( at least one inch, don’t be silly!) pieces of precious fabric or perhaps sari strips ( I’ll have some to steal ) and a piece of ordinary felt. Pins, usual sewing kit, embroidery thread.If you want to try the needlefelting we will have two embellishes and Lynn has kindly offered to lend us her needlefelting equipment.For machine embroidery you will need your machine ( or we will be able to set up the guild machines) machine threads. I just used black as you can see. Any cold water dissolve stuff you have, two layers. A hoop. Dee will have some pieces of Solufix for you to try. So, you choose or do all three if you like!

June 2017

There will be an informal meeting with no workshop.  Please bring some stitching to do if you wish or just chat!There will be a “SWAP SHOP TABLE”, so bring along any of your pieces of work that are not required – finished or unfinished – and take home someone else’s!If you finished a sample from last year, please bring it.

May 2017 Workshop

Fabric Flowers or Name Badge by Judith Venning

instruction here FABRIC FLOWERS by JV

Requirements for May Workshop

Thin cotton or poplin type fabric – you will need six 4″ squares to make the name badge or six 31/2″ squares for the others.

Sewing needle and matching threads

Co-ordinating button, size between 1/4″ to 1″

Button to cover in fabric for the back, size 1/4″ approx

Medium size safety pin or brooch pin.

I will bring extra material, buttons and pins. I will also bring a cutting board and cutter if you have not prepared your squares in advance.

April 2017 Workshop

Requirements for April Workshop

Felt – any colour of your choice

Double ended knitting needle **

Fancy threads – metalic or to match colour of felt **

Beads to match or contrast – seed beads and beagle beads for decorating

and larger spacer beads to add between your felt beads *

Beading thread and mat, plus thread heaven or beeswax

Thong/cotton cord on which to put your felt beads *

Small amount of Bonda Web or bonding powder


Usual sewing equipment to include scissors, beading needles

*I will bring a supply of beads for sale as well as cotton cord/thong

**I will also bring threads and knitting needles and beading mats

Bonding powder and transfoil will also be available to use for a small donation.

I will also bring earring posts and hooks if anyone would like to make them for a small charge


March 2017 Couching Workshop

– Plain, patterned or block printed fabrics ranging from cotton to more open weave linen types can be used

A variety of fine threads for stitching down and thicker, decorative, textured thread or ribbons for couching down

Cotton, calico or felt for backing

Beads or other small embellishments are useful but not essential

An embroidery hoop – optional

Usual sewing equipment

We will be learning three different types of couching and exploring the effects you can achieve with them. I would suggest bring a small amount of whatever you have in your stash and create samples of each techniques to use in future work.



Poppies for Devon County Show Appeal

Pattern for knitted poppy, provided by Gill Cable

Requirements: Red dk yarn and a small length of black.
Size 9 or 3 3/4 needles

With red yarn cast on 120 sttches

Rows 1 – 4 knit

Rows 5 knit 3 together to end of row 40 sts

Rows 6-9 knit

Row 10 knit 2 together to end of row 20 sts

Row 11-14 knit

Row 15 knit 2 together to end of row 10 sts.

Cut yarn, leaving 20 cms yarn. Thread that through all the stitches. Pull into a circle and sew seam using matress stitch,

With Black wool, cast on 16 sts. Cast off

Sew to centre or use black or green button with 4 holes.


February 2017 workshop

by Soreen Persent

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Requirements List for Mandalas

Various colours of felt

Variety of embroidery threads

Variety of beads e.g. seed beads, bugles etc.

Needles and a pair of scissors

Paper or card for templates

Fabric pen


Requirements List for Baubles

Fabric – 13cm x 20cm (with enough room to fit in a hoop

Lining – same size

Threads – in any colour

Beads – any type

Fine ribbon


Hoop or Frame



Card or paper to make a template

January 2017 workshop

Gill Cable will show us how to make Antiqued Lace – for use as Book Covers etc.




Piece of felt (dark colour of your choice) Approximately A4

Selection of lace scraps, doilies etc., preferably cotton

Paints – acrylic or fabric


Sewing Machine (or you can hand stitch)

Treasure Gold or other form of gold paint

      Gill will bring lace and paints for you to use.

November 2016 workshop

Patricia Hewitson will show us how to make a Smocked scissor keep / Lavender Bag.

Scissor Keep


Usual sewing equipment, scissors, needles etc.

Stranded embroidery thread

Crewel needle (7)

Ribbon or cord for the loop

Some batting or lavender for filling.

I have prepared some fabric and backing material


Crewelwork Workshop 8 October 2016

The aim is to make a crewelwork sample using a variety of stitches.

Crewelwork is traditionally carried out using woolen thread on linen twill. Linen twill is very expensive, so try and find an open weave furnishing type fabric. Plain fabrics are traditionally used.


A square of an open weave fabric approximately 20 x 20cm.

Crewel and or chenille (size22) needles with an eye large enough to accommodate the wool.

Appleton fine tapestry wools or equivalent.

Frame or hoop to hold your fabric

Fine embroidery scissors

Hard pencil or an air fade marker pen

An idea for a design if you wish. I will bring some along.

Design ideas, examples of work, some fabric and many Appleton wools will be available for your use on the day, so bring whatever you have available. Pat Boaden 2016

July 2016 WORKSHOP

  Soreen will be showing us how to make Embroidered Butterfliesbutterflies by soreen

Small quantities of medium weight fabrics e.g. chintz curtains, home-made fabrics and felted fabric

Backing fabric e..g. felt

Embroidery threads to compliment fabrics

Tiny beads

Stuffing materials

Needles for sewing by hand

Good pair of scissors

Pair of scissors for cutting out template


Please bring your Capability Brown pieces in a labelled bag: name and branch. We will be mounting the work that needs it on canvases.  If you can’t come yourself please make arrangements for someone else to bring it in.

 Liz Moon is starting a stitch a month initiative. (Fantastic!). This will run alongside whatever workshop we are doing. Bring along a hoop (any size) some fabric, needles and thread and you should be able to build up a wonderful set of samples. Liz will take a stitch and show you different ways of interpreting it.

At the next meeting we will also have the printing blocks just for fun so you can print your plain or patterned fabric without Dee nagging and asking if it is for Capability Brown!

APRIL WORKSHOP – Requirements for Calico Gardens   (Press ‘Enable Editing’)
MARCH 2016 WORKSHOP – : Maps
This was a lively session with lots of ideas. It was brilliant to see what people developed from the idea. I’m really looking forward to seeing the finished results. Thank you everyone!
maps 1 maps 2 maps 3 maps 4 maps 5

Requirements for January 2016 workshop

The aim of the day is to create a stash of printed and stencilled fabrics on the theme of ‘Gardens and Landscapes’ to use for our Capability Brown exhibits. If you are not interested in exhibiting don’t worry just enjoy the techniques.
We will provide wooden printing blocks, some home made blocks, some stencils, some dyed cotton and some acrylic paints.
You need to bring an apron, something squidgy as a printing surface like a towel or a wodge of newspaper and some lunch.
It would be good if you could bring any of the following if you have them:
Fabric paints or acrylics and fabric medium
Fabric in soft colours (including white or cream), plain or patterned. Could be cotton, satin, synthetic, organza, muslin.
Printing blocks
Stubby brushes
Hair dryer or heatgun to speed up the drying process.
If you came to one of the Colouricious days and have something that didn’t quite work bring it along.
If you have lost the ability to search for any of these things just bring yourself and enjoy the day!

Day School Boxes

November 2015 Workshop

Nov 15 - Gill

We will be making the dragonfly in the photo, it can then be attached to any background.
Requirements as follows:-

Cotton covered cake wire. This can be painted, if you like, to match your thread.

Metallic thread, gold, variegated or colour of choice

Dark or bright thread for couching the wire.

2 small beads for eyes

Wooden cocktail stick

Glue stick

Blunt ended needle

Usual sewing equipment.

I will have lots of all the above available

We produced these from the October Workshop:

IMG_0220 (1)IMG_0221 (2)IMG_0222 (1)IMG_0223IMG_0226


October Workshop – Requirements

Requirements for Saturday 10th October:

Dee 4 Oct 15   Dee 3 Oct 15   Dee Oct 15  Dee 2 Oct 15
Two pieces of cheap felt A5 would be fine but bigger if you like
A variety of ribbons: thin, wide, patterned, plain, organza-y. (nasty shiny glitzy....this could be their moment!) Don't be too fussy just grab a handful or get a 
really cheap pack at Westpoint. If you haven't got any ribbons just tear fabric 
strips or use sari ribbon.
A selection of fancy woolly bits you've picked up and can't find a use for. I have 
lots so don't worry.
Two or three machine threads
Your machine, the foot pedal and the bit you plug in. Ordinary foot. 
Instruction book.
Rotary cutter, cutting board and ruler. Failing that, bring a ruler scissors 
and pencil.
We will be exploring your machine's fancy stitches just for fun and variety but you can do this perfectly well with zigzag. 
See you there, Dee

There is no formal ‘taught’ session in August but the meeting is an opportunity to find the UFOs that have been lurking in drawers and cupboards waiting to be completed. Bring them along to the next workshop to work on. If you have any pieces that were started and you are now stuck and don’t know how to finish them, then bring those along too. I’m sure someone will have just the right idea to help you finish the piece. Thanks, Sally
Our Guild Banner
Thank you to everyone who has made a square or two  – they  are beautiful and will look wonderful when we make them into the banner. We’ve collected over 50 so far and will be pleased to have any left at home at the next meeting, in August, when we will decide how to put it all together. Mary

             July squares 3       July squares 1 July squares 2


Water Soluble 1 Water Soluble 2

July workshop – see the list here: Requirements for Water Soluble Workshop in July

Water Soluable


Fabric Books WS 1 Fabric Books WS 2 Fabric Books WS 3 Fabric Books WS 4 Fabric Books WS 5 Fabric Books WS 6


Fabric Books 2  Fabric Books 3 Fabric Books 4

list of requirements: June Workshop 2015 (1)


We have started work on the panels for the banner:

banner panel 1 banner panel 2 banner panel 3 banner panel 4

REQUIREMENTS  – For the May workshop

The banner design we will be working on, was inspired by Sandra’s wonderful work with sari silk ribbons:

Sandra 3  Sandra 4     Sandra 2  Sandra's banner inspiration

…. which in turn was inspired by the work of Effie Mitrofanis and her book ‘Threadwork’.



Ribbon Embroidery with Lynn Bennett:

Ribbon Embroidery

REQUIREMENTS LIST FOR MARCH 2015 WORKSHOP, here: Just One Stitch Requirements List

March 15 workshop     Just One Stitch

 DSC00006 DSC00014 DSC00005


some of our bracelets made at the February workshop

Requirements List for February 2015 workshop

Bracelet made from a plastic bottle

 One small empty plastic bottle

 Felt – enough to cover the inside and outside of your bracelet

 Fabric which can be wrapped around your bracelet that is not too thick

 Needle and threads to match fabric

 Embroidery threads

 Tailors chalk

 Hair band

 Scissors

 Double sided tape

 Various embellishments e.g. lace, buttons, beads and sequins

 Thimble

Pieces produced at the Tissue Paper Fabric workshop

      DSCN0679         DSCN0678      DSCN0674 (1)   DSCN0670

Tissue Paper Fabric – Gill Cable

January 2015

We will be bonding tissue paper to make fabric with either Bondaweb or PVA glue, which is cheaper, but takes longer to dry.

Materials required:

Sheets of tissue paper, preferably white, not too thin

Bondaweb same size and/or PVA glue

Wide brushes (for paint and glue)

Webbing spray**

Acrylic wax**

For decorating:

Pieces of fibre, light sequins, bits of fabric

Threads to decorate in colours and thickness of your choice


Apron, plastic gloves if required

Small notebook to cover if you wish

**optional, as I will bring some of these to share.

Tissue Fabric



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