Master classes by Mary Hickmott (The creator and the editor of New Stitches Magazine)


Master Classes by Elizabeth Almond this Februray 2018

Happy New Year and welcome to 2018 !!!

As a treat for the start of new year Kenya Embroiderer’s Guild will be hosting Elizabeth Almond to conduct master classes in February.

Although they are called master classes we anticipate beginners too and the instructions are very comprehensive. 

The details are as follows:

Masterclasses to be held on 5th, 6th, 7th and 9th of February 2018.

Member pay Ksh 2500/- and non-members Ksh 3000/-.

Timings: 9.30am to 3.30pm (with an hours break for lunch).

Venue: The Simba Union, Forest Road, Nairobi, Kenya.

To register please contact:

Gail Langton – 0733 739585 ,,   

 Vicky cole – 0717 197214,


Blackwork Technique – 5th February 2018

Blackwork embroidery is a very old form of counted-thread embroidery. This embroidery involves geometric designs and is traditionally worked in black thread on white even-weave fabric.




Kogin technique – 6th February 2018

Kogin embroidery is traditional Japanese stitching technique that was born in the Northern area of Japan. It is known for its hand stitching technique, in which cotton thread is stitched through each hole of the indigo colored fabric. The designs are unique in their symmetry and resemble pattern darning in the way they are worked up.




Pulled Thread work Technique – 7th February 2018

Also known as Drawn thread work, Pulled thread work is a form of counted-thread embroidery.  Stitches are worked around groups of threads in the base fabric to form gaps, creating lacy, airy fillings, bands, border and hems.




Whitework technique – 9th February 2018

Whitework embroidery is an embroidery technique in which the embroidery is done with white thread on a white fabric. The embroidery looks very elegant and can be worked in a variety of techniques, hardanger embroidery, Mountmellic embroidery, pulled or drawn thread etc.



Enroll now and reserve your place.


Masterclass with Liz Almond in February 2018

Exciting news for our members and embroidery lovers.  Liz Almond from UK who is a designer and embroiderer known for her blackwork, whitework and counted thread techniques will be conducting masterclasses in February at our guild.

Liz, used to be a columnist for leading embroidery magazines like “The World of Cross Stitch”, “Just Cross Stitch”, “Cross Stitch and Embroidery” and “The Gift of Stitching”.  She also ran an “agony aunt” column for needleworkers for some time.

Liz has a website Blackwork journey on which she completed a series Saves the stitches designed to encourage people to share their love for embroidery.

More details will be available soon.

Mary Hickmott’s Master Classes in February 2015

Once again to teach beautiful embroidery techniques Mary Hickmott is visiting us in February 2016.  Techniques like canvas work, cut work, applique and crewel work, a counted beadwork sampler and a more ambitious stump work project will be some for the master classes . For a sneak preview of the applique and crewel work design, go to Mary’s blog (Mary Hickmott Designs).

Master Classes These will be taking place in February. The dates are 16th, 17th and 18th and 23rd, 24th and 25th February 2016.

1.Canvas work – worked with Perle 5 on canvas. There will be three choices of colour, blues, pinks and autumn colours.

2. Cut Work – worked on white fabric with white thread

3.Paisley Project – as shown above, using appliqué and embroidery.

4. Beadwork samplers-There are four different colours of these – the option to purchase the other colours to make a set will be available

5.Stumpwork-This will be a two day master class, one day in each week so that you have time to work on the project before doing the second part.



MARY HICKMOTT’S MASTER CLASSES 2014 – Details of the Projects



Details of the projects being taught in each session

Although they are called master classes we anticipate beginners too and the instructions are very comprehensive.  Those who have done embroidery before will probably make faster progress than newcomers, but all should have no problem finishing the projects given time.

Class will start at 9.30am and finish by 3.30pm.

candlewickingCANDLEWICKING  – 25th February 2014

This incorporates the use of colonial knots and stem stitch together.  Whilst doing this class you will also learn how to trace designs onto your fabric.  Using 28 count Annabelle fabric and Caron Watercolour threads that change colour along their length the effect is quite simple but stunning.

swedis embroiderySWEDISH EMBROIDERY – -26th February 2014

A free hand style of embroidery that utilises stem stitch, satin stitch, feather stitch and French knots to great effect. It is sewn on felt using 13 colours of Appletons Crewel wool and the finished size can be up to 8 x 12 inches.  This class gives you the chance to experiment and will be good fun.

Fine HardangerFINE HARDANGER – 27th February 2014

This project uses 28 count even weave and anchor perle in sizes 8 and 12.  The thicker thread is variegated and it is lovely to see the colour running through from blues to pinks as you sew.  It is finer than ‘standard’ hardanger which gives it a lacier effect.  Careful counting is required to start off, but the project soon grows quickly

Cherries in frame_1


This design incorporates several stitches whilst using only four colours of anchor tapestry wool.  It is sewn on 12 count canvas so still has a delicate look to it despite being sewn in wool.  The cherries in the centre are ‘tufted and give a lovely 3D effect, whilst the border uses several counted canvas stitches to complete the design.’

2014 3 work togetherWESSEX EMBROIDERY – 5th March 2014

A counted technique with a difference. Each square is filled in with a pattern using chain stitch, fly stitch, straight stitch and French knots using 14 different colours in a variety of combinations.  This is sewn on 28 count even weave using anchor stranded cottons.

2014 gold threadGOLDEN ILLUSION – 6th March2014

This is a spectacular project sewn on Red 14 count Aida using 3 of the Krenik range of gold metallic threads namely Cord, fine braid and 1/16th ribbon.  Each section in the completed sampler is a different pattern and stitch.  Whilst this project has the most variety of stitches it is also a joy to stitch due to the ease of using aida and the very clear concise instructions.

Mary’s Master Classes in February 2014

Kenya embroiderer’s guild is once again having Mary Hicmott to teach our members some amazing embroidery.

Swedish embroidery kreinik threads  

There will be six Master classes to be held from 25th February 2014 to 6th March 2014. The classes are divided over 2 weeks.

Tuesday 25th February              Candlewicking – Mary is currently experimenting with Carons Threads

Wednesday 26th February        Swedish embroidery – worked using Appletons Crewel wools on felt

Thursday 27th February           Fine hardanger

Then three on the following week

Tuesday 4 th March                     Tufted needlework – using Anchor tapestry wool and worked on a 12 count canvas

Wednesday 5 th March               Wessex embroidery – making a cushion front in a variety of colours

Thursday 6 th March                   Metallics – using a variety of kreinik threads and worked on red aida

The bookings for the master class are open now. You can book at the guild meeting or through email . Bookings will require a payment/deposit in order to secure them.  Cost of a class 1000/= to members.(1500/= non members ).  Cost of the kits 1500/= to a member.  


2013 September and October at KEG

photo (10) compressed EAWL Homecraft Exhibition  : KEG participated in EAWL homecraft exhibition which was held from 18th to 20th photo (8)compressedSeptember.  This exhibition gives members an opportunity to see a huge variety of exquisite and inspiring craftwork.  The KEG displayed all its kits and pieces from Mary’s classes, and publicity information.

September and October  2-part kit!  It makes this amazing tissue box cover, featuring woven picots, and is really beautiful.  It is a tissue box cover with four different sides and a top featuring a dragonfly!

october 13 picott stitch tissue box compressed 2partprojectsep-oct13 october 13 picott stitch top of tissue box compressed2

The first part conducted in September covered the ‘foundation stitches’ ie the stem, chain, satin, blanket etc stitches, and in the October meeting Gail tought the woven picots.  This kit ended up much more elaborate than originally imagined, as Gail was having such fun designing the flowers and insects, and incorporating as many stitches as possible.

As always Gail’s instructions are very clear and comprehensive.  Here are a few more tips:

  • To thread a needle, fold the end of the thread over, pinch it tight and squeeze through the eye of the needle.  DO NOT LICK (or if you must, make sure that the licked end ends up as the waste knot or end threaded under threads)
  • Use a waste knot, ie tie a knot in the end, go down into fabric a little way from where you need to be and start stitching – when you finish, cut knot off and thread tail under the back of your stitches
  • Tracing the design on to the fabric – can be done with water-soluble pen (NB not air-soluble), tailor’s chalk, slivers of soap, or dressmaker’s carbon and a tracing pen.  You can put the fabric on a light box (will be available at the October meeting) or up against a window to make it easier
  • If you have dangling edges of fabric round the hoop, keep them out of the way with a few stitches, pegs or clips
  • Stem stitch – often found difficult but Gail says she’s cracked it – always stitch on your line (not from one side to the other as on the diagram) and the thread will push the stitch neatly to the side.  Use the same size stitches and hold the thread towards you against the fabric.  In this kit, some of the stems need two rows of stem stitch for a thicker stem
  • French knots – the size of the final knot will depend on the number of turns and the tightness, so the instructions are just a guide
  • Feather stitch – if it is helpful, draw a line either side of the centre line of the leaf to go back into each time
  • Satin stitch – the critical thing here is to keep stitching in the same direction – although it is tempting to go backwards and forwards to save thread, DON’T DO IT, it won’t look right.  If you don’t mind what the back looks like, it is really helpful to do a few stitches spaced across the area to be filled, then to go back and fill them in.  In this kit, for the fuchsia leaves, do some spaced stitches from the edge of the leaf to the centre on each side, then draw the scalloped edges between these stitches, then fill in the spaces.


Summary of 2013 KEG Workshops from January 2013 to July 2013


January at KEG we had workshop on Catherine de Medici Embroidery. This is a counted thread technique and is usually worked on an Italian fabric known as Bratton which today is a 100% loosely woven evenweave linen about 6 threads per centimetre (15 threads per inch), either cream coloured or unbleached.  A thick cream-coloured or white twisted 100% cotton thread called “Cotone Povero” [poor cotton] is used for the stitching (done inDouble Running Stitch executed in a particular way), edging and tassels.

DSC00580  February , Workshop on Cross Stitch Biscornu .  A biscornu is an interesting little eight-sided pincushion and many stitcher’s use them as ornaments, door hangers, or other decorations. Biscornu is made from two embroidered squares sewn together on point; the corner of one square meets the middle of the other as the two pieces are whip-stitched together and stuffed, creating the a quirky, skewed pillow and are finished off with a button in the center of the design top and bottom.


March, workshop on Lamu Caps Embroidery. Donna Pido demonstrated the embroidery technique used to embroider Lamu caps (Lamu is the Kenya’s oldest living town). Donna’s tips were to use a bodkin (or porcupine quill) to make a hole, then do buttonhole stitch into the hole to make an eyelet.  Every eyelet should have at least 20 stitches, but we could aim for 24 by following a clock face and doing 2 stitches for every ‘hour’ to keep it even.


April, KEG along with KEG hosted an exhibition, “The Magical art of Stitches” which displayed the beautiful needlework by our members. During the exhibition workshops on quilting and embroidery techniques like Assisi card, plastic canvas fridge magnet notebook and pen holder and a Dorset feather stitch tissue packet cover were held. Read more on KEG exhibition….

jwellery roll1May, KEG had its AGM this month followed by a workshop Herringbone Stitch.  The variety of herringbone stitches are done on a Kikoy fabric that made a beautiful jewellery roll.

zalakdozi1c-june2013 zalakdozi1a-june2013 zalakdozi1b-june2013

June, workshop,on Zalakdoki  stitch technique. This is an embroidery from the Kashmir province.  This is basically a chain stitch and carries an international market.  At KEG we made some lovely yellow, blue, pink colored embroidered flowers on small bags to carry our kits.

dorset_feather_tissueholderJuly, KEG workshop on Dorset feather stitchery, the tissue packet holder we displayed at the exhibition.  This uses chain stitch, button hole stitch and fly stitch.

In coming months KEG is going to have lots more creative workshops where we will learn variety of stitches which will be made into lovely projects.


Mary Hicmott’s

Mary Hickmott, a renowned embroider from UK and the publisher of magazine New Stitches has a brand new website named, making ordering your stitches, designs and products even easier. Products are added all the time, but if there is something you would like to have and cannnot find it, just email.

Mary is visiting Kenya embroiderer’s Guild this October and is going to conduct the workshop for 6 days on Bargello, Lagartera, Dorset feather stitchery, Needle weaving, Shadow work and Stump work.

Dont miss this opportunity and register yourself to learn fabulous embroidery techniques from her.

Monday 8th October – Bargello

Tuesday 9th October – Dorset feather stitchery

Wednesday 10th October – Lagatera

Tuesday 16th October – Needle weaving

Wednesday 17th October – Shadow work

Thursday 18th October – Stumpwork

Should you wish to sign up for any or all of the above mentioned classes please fill in the form below or email us on

Mary Hickmott Classes in October 2012

Mary Hickmott, a renowned embroider from UK and the publisher of magazine New Stitches, is going to conduct the workshop with Kenya embroiderer’s guild for 6 days  in  October 2012.


Classes will run from 9.30 prompt start to 3.30 (end of teaching – you will then have time to finish up, pack up etc). We have not yet firmed up on a venue. We have booked the EAWL HQ but the committee is also looking at alternative venues in the Westlands area as many members are having problems with the traffic.


The list of classes is as follows

Monday 8th October – Bargello

Tuesday 9th October – Dorset feather stitchery

Wednesday 10th October – Lagatera

Thursday 11 th October – Regular guild monthly meeting (smocking)

Tuesday 16th October – Needle weaving

Wednesday 17th October – Shadow work

Thursday 18th October – Stumpwork

The cost of each session will be Guild members 1,000/= and non guild members 1,500/=. The kits will cost 500/= per session which will go towards the cost of materials, printing etc.

LargarettaShould you wish to sign up for any or all of the above mentioned classes please fill in the form below or email us on

Note:  A non refundable deposit of 500/= per session is required to keep your place.

Mary requests that participants use a hands free frame to assist with the sewing. Many of you have one –please indicate if you do or not.  If not there will be ones available to use during the sessions.

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