Sewing, embroidery and accessories

Stitching pattern – hand and machine embroidery and appliqué with Sarah King

Ref: S3D08918

Suitable for all

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About this course

Create a modern, personal sampler for use as a wall piece or cushion, as you learn a range of traditional and contemporary embroidery techniques, hand and machine embroidery and appliqué. Working from imagery inspiration of a commemorative event or theme of your choice.

Course Description

Early needlework samplers were created to learn and record embroidery stitches before print was widely available. Later samplers were often made to commemorate an event. Using these two reference points as loose inspiration individuals will create a modern, personal sampler which could be for wall display or use, for example, as a cushion. Your inspiration can be varied, e.g. recording a general event or a personal celebration, using a favourite image or quotation or special fabrics and threads attached to memories. The sampler can be as simple or complicated as you wish to fit your experience and preference.

While working on your sampler, you will learn and practise traditional and contemporary embroidery techniques including hand and machine embroidery and appliqué. Consideration will be given to uses and experiment with individual and combinations of stitch, thread and fabric. You will learn the logical order of techniques from start to completion of your piece - from looking at initial ideas, references and rough sketches, then preparing a quick real-scale paper layout to transfer to fabric. You will learn how to choice of colour, fabric and thread can enhance and add texture to your composition and the best of method of finishing your piece


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • A wide range of materials from the tutor's studio, including dyed fabric swatches, cotton and wool hand embroidery threads, machine threads, bondaweb and a pale linen base fabric.

What students need to bring

  • A collection of reference material for inspiration - ideas, sketches, photos, layouts
  • Embroidery hoop, if you have one
  • A pair of fabric and needlework scissors
  • Your sewing kit, with pins and needles
  • Any plain or patterned fabric swatches and threads that you think you'd like to use to fit with ideas and colour scheme
  • Your own sewing machine (if you wish to use a College sewing machine, please email us to reserve one - email:

Available to buy

  • Sewing machine needles, some machine threads
  • Layout paper


Sarah King

Sarah King is a textile designer and maker. She trained at Goldsmiths College in Fine Art Textiles and Embroidery and then in textile design at Manchester Metropolitan University. Her career has covered fashion, design for the furnishing fabric industry, costumes for film and commissions with interior designers for projects all over the world.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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