The Magical Art of Stitches 7th-9th October 2016



Kenya Embroiderer’s Guild AGM 2016

Kenya Embroiderer’s Guild held its 9th Annual General Meeting today the 12th of May 2016. At the AGM Chairman’s Gail Langton annual report was read and the financial report was presented.

At guild we do lots of interesting projects, learning of embroidery techniques and master classes. This year we did master class with Mary Hickmott, a renowned embroider from UK and the publisher of magazine New Stitches. Do check Mary’s blog by clicking on the link Mary Hickmott

The yearly embroidery exhibition by KEG is coming up in October 2016. Once again we are looking forward to some exclusive pieces of work done by our members. We are looking for Sponsors, if interested do get in touch with us.  The money raised helps us to conduct yearly masterclasses in embroidery by some renowned embroiders .

Membership is due for renewal, at 1500/- for the year.

Challenge Kit 2015

Challenge kit

The Guild Challenge.  The idea is to sew an embroidery with the theme “The Sea” or “The seashore”.  This gives a lot of lee way in so far as you could stitch a landscape, fish, boats etc.  In the kit is a larger piece of material. This is to be used as the base for your embroidery.   Should you not like the colour fee free to use another fine material on top e.g. china silk.  Also supplied are a few smaller pieces which can be used as part of the design.  A small selection of threads and beads are also provided.

You may (and in fact are actively encouraged to!) add to the items supplied.

There are a few rules.  The finished piece must be no bigger than the material supplied and no smaller that 8 x 8 inches.  You must use part of at least half of the items supplied.  You must use a minimum of 5 different stitches (using the same stitch with different colours counts as one!)  You must attach a piece of lace or fabric in some way (appliqué, lace roses etc)..  You must use some form of embellishments (beads, buttons sequins etc)

The date to hand your piece in is now January 14th 2016 – so start stitching!!!

AGM on 14th May 2015

After the AGM, the workshop will be held on technique chicken scratching and the kit makes a kitchen appliance cover.

A few things to note:
  • Please renew membership if you haven’t already done so (1200/= again this year, a real bargain if you come regularly)

Why should you be a member of the Guild?  You get discounts on entry to the meetings, discounts on the price of the kits, discounts and priority booking for the masterclasses, discounts at certain Nairobi shops (now including The Woman Shop (make sure you have your membership card with you), Uniq framers, Freemans) and the wonderful KEG newsletter.

  • Please bring small change if you can, it helps with entrance, kits and raffle!
  • Please bring something to eat to share if you can
  • Bring a friend – new members always welcome, or they can attend as a guest (200/= entrance for non members)
  • Bring some stitching to work on, or any finished projects for show and tell

KEG Exhibition 2014

keg exhibition poster2014


Pulled thread embroidery

Pulled thread embroidery

Pulled thread embroidery

Pulled thread embroidery is a form of counted thread embroidery.  Also known as drawn fabric, is a form of whitework that does not involve cutting the fabric threads.

The lacy effect is created by applying tension to the stitching thread and pulling the thread tight. The more tension applied, the wider the open area becomes.  Earlier samplers in the 17th and 18th centuries contained pulled work. The technique was made popular by peasant women imitating the fine, and expensive, laces.

Drawn thread embroidery, however, is where fabric threads are cut and withdrawn, leaving a hole.

Unlike normal needlework, in pulled work the stitches themselves are not always meant to be seen. Instead the holes or perforations caused by the movement of the fabric threads create the pattern. For this reason the best results are obtained by using the same coloured threads and fabric.

Another benefit of using the same colour thread is that any traveling stitches, taken to keep the pull on a stitch when moving to a different row, are not visible.

Click here to read more

Beaded Long and Short Stitch

embroidery with beadsEmbroidery looks great all by itself, but sometimes you want a little extra something.  Using beads is a great way to add texture and sparkle.  The embroidery gets little more expressive.

There are three basic methods that can be used to embroider with beads: individual beads may be sewn directly onto fabric, or several beads may be run through a needle before running through the backing, or else a line of threaded beads may be laid upon a fabric and secured with couching stitches.

Danita Fausek in her article on use of beads in long and short stitch has shown how these simple stitches in combination create a beautiful, shaded sparkling embroidery.  Read more

Few things to remember while doing embroidery with beads

-Always insert your needle straight, inserting a needle at an angle makes beads spaced too far apart or will bunch in together making little bulges in your rows.

-When you string next set of beads, then push them down to where your earlier thread exists.

– If row of bead embroidery looks a little wobbly, try running your thread through the beads once or twice after you finish each row of bead embroidery. The extra thread will help fill up those bead holes and make them line up straight.

Glimpse of KEG and KQG Exhibition 12th April 2013


Mary Hicmott is conducting series of courses at Kenya Embroiderer’s Guild


It is wonderful to have Mary Hicmott, the creator and the editor of The New stitches magazine at our Kenya Embroiderer’s Guild. Last week, Mary conducted master classes on Bargello, Dorset feather and Lagartera embroidery.  She has specially designed lovely embroidery kits for these classes. The Dorset feather stitchery bag looks amazing, Lagartera kit comes along with the copy of Mary’s book, the Bargello kit is quite magnificent too. This week Mary is conducting classes on Needle weaving, shadow work and stump work.

Mary is an amazing person with vast knowledge of embroidery and its history. During the guild meeting on Thursday she took us on tour of embroidery covering England and Europe. It was fantastic to know how different techniques were discovered and the history behind them.  Mary has done few samples on hardanger embroidery which she got along to show us.



She told us that the IPAD and computer version of her magazine New Stitches is available on the website named The magazine is very user-friendly and allows you to print embroidery charts. It actually opens up like magazine having left and right page and you can print a required page or a selection.  Ladies, an interesting thing about this magazine is that its computer version is cheaper than the hard copy available in UK. So go for it.

Come and join us at the guild to learn these wonderful techniques from Mary Hicmott.

How is Thread Count Important In An Embroidery

How to calculate the size of design and the dimensions of fabric required? For instance, if the pattern model is stitched on 18-count Aida, but we want to stitch it on 16- 14- or 11-count Aida, how big will our finished piece be? You can easily work out this, simply by dividing the stich count in the design by the thread count.

What is a thread count?

Thread count means the number of threads woven together in a square inch. You count both lengthwise (warp) and widthwise (weft) threads. So 100 lengthwise threads woven with 100 widthwise threads produce a thread count of 200.

What is a stitch Count?

The stitch count is the number of stitches in a design, which is width by height of the design.

Design stitch count / Fabric thread count = Design size

For Example:

To stitch the bookmark having 30×70 stitches on 14 count aida. First let’s find the design size,it is also printed on most charts.  This gives the size of the design from the very top stitch to the very bottom stitch. (in this case 70 stitches), and from the extreme left hand stitch to the extreme right hand stitch.(in this case 30 stitches). If the design size is not given, it is quite easy to count the stitches on the chart, which is normally divided up into blocks of 10 squares.

  • Design height: 70 / thread count:14;   70/14=5”
  • Design width: 30 / thread count:14;    30/14=2.14”

So this design will measure 5” by 2.1” when completed on 14-count aida.

We’re advised to allow at least three inches of fabric all around for finishing, so 3 inches added to both the left and right sides means adding 6 to our width. Adding 3 inches to the top and bottom means adding 6 to our height.

So you would need 11″ (5″ + 6″) by 8.1″ (2.1″ + 6″) in this example, that is 10″ by 7.1″ of fabric.

Anyways we women don’t like to waste things so squeezing in and squeaking of fabric can be your way since you are doing the finishing yourself.

Don’t want to do the calculations yourself? Use this free handy cross stitch calculator to do it for you!

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