Classes 2023

Classes will be held Friday 24th – Sunday 26th March 2023 at Orewa College, Riverside Road, Orewa. And after-classes at Onehunga Community House 2-28-29th March 2023 You can download the print brochure

1. Margaret Lee: Yuki – Traditional Japanese Embroidery

Design Size: Framed visible area 21.5 cm square

Class Level: Intermediate-Advanced

Workshop Cost: $220.00

Kit Cost: AUS$115.00 (NZ price will be with your needs list)

This project introduces participants to the goldwork techniques and concepts used in traditional Japanese embroidery. By the end of the workshop, participants will have gained an understanding of the metallic threads used, how to handle different metallic threads and techniques to achieve different visual outcomes. Also, how to achieve good tension and fine points/corners using metallic threads. Participants will be requested to attend an online preparation session of about an hour prior to the workshop, at a time to be nominated.

Margaret Lee

Margaret Lee is a specialist Asian embroidery tutor of international repute. She has authored 3 books and has contributed the chapter on embroidery in Traditional Chinese Culture to Routledge Encyclopaedia. Her works have been exhibited in Australia and overseas and her passion lies in passing on embroidery in its best tradition.

2. Margaret Burgess: A Bag Stitched in Punto Antico

Design Size: 18cm height, 14 cm diameter of the base.

Class Level: Suits all levels

Workshop Cost: $200.00

This little bag is stitched in Punto Antico using satin stitch, hem stitch, and buttonhole stitch. There will also be instruction in making toggles and a twisted cord. This project will not be completed in class but you will go home with full notes and the construction of the bag will be discussed in class.

Margaret Burgess

Margaret Burgess was a quilter for many years but on retiring found that stitching was her passion. She is a traditional stitcher and enjoys learning different skills. She likes to give her work a modern look and finds it very gratifying to see students complete work she has taught in class.

3. Maree Burnnand: Little by Little

Design Size: 5cm square

Class Level: Suits all levels

Workshop Cost: $200.00

Kit Cost : $45.00

Learn the basics of Or Nue on a small abstract design. This design allows students to experiment with the various shadings that can be achieved with Or Nue as they choose how the finished piece will look. Students can choose couching over a single or double thread and also look at incorporating Burden stitch if desired to really individualise their piece. The abstract design is very forgiving as it allows more freedom when learning the technique and exploring the possibilities of what can be achieved.

While the piece will not be completed in class all students will leave with a plan and the skills to complete the project. Note this is a slow technique.

Maree Burnnard

Maree Burnnard says all her life she has been interested in textiles and embroidery. She graduated with a Diploma of Fashion and Textile Design from Wanganui Regional Community Polytechnic in 1995. She has spent fifteen years developing and refining her style of Or Nue, exploring goldwork and looking at 17th century stumpwork and through this research, she feels she can confidently share her knowledge and passion for these techniques.

4. Julie Clemett: The Essence of Colbert Embroidery

Class Level: Suits all levels

Workshop Cost: $200.00

Photocopying and colour wheel: $10

Named after Louis XIV’s Finance Minister, Jean-Baptiste Colbert, in reference to his efforts to boost the French lace industry, Colbert embroidery was originally developed as a less elaborate version of Dresden lace. The original Colbert Embroidery had an emphasis on textured stitches in the ground designs, and outlines that were emphasised with stem stitch or heavily corded.

This class is not about a specific project but intended as a ‘doodle’ class where you can learn the basic stitches used in Colbert Embroidery. Outline and braid stitches will be taught along with methods for developing the multi-coloured ground patterns and how the weighting of colours affects the visual uptake of a pattern.

Participants can choose to work on an informal sampler (doodle-cloth) for future reference or a project of their choice. They will provide their own fabric and threads, a good way to use some stash, and play with colours that may be lurking in the bottom of their thread box.

Julie Clemett

Julie Clemett began embroidery at an early age taught by her mother and grandmother and inspired by household items made by her grand- and great-grandmothers. She has a wide range of embroidery interests, mostly counted thread embroidery styles, and loves to learn more about traditional embroidery. Julie enjoys passing on this learning and helping students develop their own talents.

5. Heather Hamm: Canvaswork Notebook Hussif

Design Size: 13 x 14.5 cm closed

Class Level: Suits all levels

Workshop Cost: $200.00

This class will cover a variety of canvas work stitches including pinwheels, sprat’s head, clam, and diagonal broad cross, to create an interesting design that is different on each side. The interior has 2 pockets, a scissor holder, Doctor’s flannel for pins and needles, and if desired, 2 or 3 thread rings. The hussif will not be completed in class but full instruction will be given to finish the project.

Heather Hamm

Heather Hamm has been a member of the Tauranga Guild for thirty years and during that time has tried varying types of embroidery. Canvaswork, pulled thread and surface stitchery are her favourite techniques. She trained as a Home Economics teacher and her career was spent in schools in Wellington and the Bay of Plenty.

6. Kim Hayes: Beaded Mandala Box

Size: hexagonal box 10 x 10 x 7.5 cm

Class Level: Suits all levels

Workshop Cost: $200.00

Kit Cost: $25.00

If you like beads – this class is for you!

This is an introduction to bead embroidery especially designed for beginners. Kim will take you through each step and show you how to take a simple button, some seed beads and glorious Superduo beads and stitch them onto satin fabric to create this beautiful Mandala lid for your box. Even though the beading looks complex, you will be surprised at how easy it is to work with these gorgeous beads.

The box construction is a basic design for all levels – the stitches used are whip stitch and ladder stitch – and completion is achievable over the weekend. However, if you prefer less construction, the mandala can be made into a Christmas decoration, a little bag, or framed for your wall.

Once you discover the delights of bead embroidery, you won’t be able to stop!

Kim Hayes

Kim Hayes Since joining her local embroidery guild in 2000, Kim has loved learning numerous techniques both traditional and contemporary, and very quickly discovered a passion for beads. She describes her journey of learning as an absolute joy, from books, magazines and online videos, experimenting with each technique, discovering her own voice and increasing her stash ten-fold!

Kim believes in stress-free classes, passing on all the tips she has picked up over the years, teaching the basics and encouraging students to experiment with their own designs.

7. Natalie Iogha: Cityscape

Size: 20 cm square

Class Level: Suits all levels

Workshop Cost: $200.00

Kit Cost: $50.00 (optional) photocopying charge, if not purchasing a kit, a charge of $5

Cityscape is a montage of some of the best known landmarks across New Zealand. In this class we will transfer the design onto fabric, choose your own colourway and level of detail you wish to stitch. We will cover a variety of simple, linear and filling stitches. You will probably get 3-4 landmarks finished.

You might like to purchase a kit to complete the design exactly like the sample – or you may choose to use supplies from your existing stash (and let’s face it, we all have one that’s bigger than we like to admit).

Natalie Iogha

Natalie Iogha In the early 2000’s Natalie packed a suitcase and left home for the first time. She was 19 and had been accepted to study embroidery at the Royal School of Needlework at Hampton Court Palace in London. After studying blackwork, canvas stitches, crewel work, goldwork and silk shading, Natalie moved to Sydney where she managed Australia’s largest needlecraft store, Morris and Sons, and continued learning new techniques, as well as teaching stitching and knitting. Since returning to New Zealand, Natalie has married and started a family, bought a house, earned a degree in visual art from AUT, taught and exhibited embroidery pieces across Auckland, started a ‘side-hustle’ business called KidSet which helps people learn to knit for premature babies and holds down a 9 – 5 job in advertising. In between all of that she still finds time for her first love, embroidery, and often has many projects on the go at once!! Website: www.natalieiogha.wordpress.com Instagram: @nataliezoestudio

8. Cate Longley: Stranger

Size: 6 x 7.5cm

Class Level: Suits all levels

Workshop Cost: $200.00

Kit Cost: $30.00 It is strongly recommended that you purchase a kit which will contain the threads, as the thread colour choices are critical to the success of the project. If you prefer not to there will be a $5.00 photocopying charge for notes which will list the threads required.

The Silvereye or Tauhou (meaning stranger) is a welcome sight in our gardens. This little guy is stitched in long and short stitch. It would be helpful for you to have a little bit of experience with this stitch before, however it’s not needed if you’re keen. The project will be substantially started over the weekend.

Cate Longley

Cate Longley was taught by her mother to embroider from a young age. She has a keen interest in natural history and the environment and translates the beauty of the natural world into her embroidery. Thread painting, goldwork and stumpwork are her chosen styles which she adapts to suit a modern take on old ideas.

9. Fiona Mendel: Recycled and stitched wool doorstop

Size: 20cm cube

Class Level: Suits all levels

Workshop Cost: $200.00

We will use a recycled woollen jumper, or blanket to make a beautiful doorstop. Your local op shop will be happy to save you a felted jumper, or you can felt one of your own before class. We will decorate it: you can copy mine, or stitch your own design. We will use scraps of wool, cornpads, ribbons, rick rack and any other embellishments you like, to create a one of a kind piece. This class is one where you can use your imagination, there is no pattern, but I will have ideas, and don’t worry if you feel you can’t draw, I’ll have some templates too. This will be a fun, no stress class where you can work at your own pace and enjoy the process.

There is a possibility you can complete the doorstop in the weekend, if you are a quick stitcher, or start a second one and sew them up at home.

Fiona Mendel
Fiona Mendel

Fiona Mendel has been stitching all her life. Her grandmother stitched beautiful counted thread work, her mother stitches gorgeous three-dimensional work and Fiona loves surface stitchery. She stitches almost every day – it keeps her sane. And both her daughters also stitch! Win! Win!

10. Alysn Midgelow-Marsden: Starting from Seeds

Class Level: Suits all levels

Workshop Cost: $200.00

Kit: $20.00

Be inspired by the fabulous patterns and forms seen in seeds and seedpods. This workshop will take you through processes for using metal shim and metal cloth as fabrics to stitch into and discover their unique structural properties. Learn to create many textures and patterns, surfaces and forms using textile techniques with metal, wire and metal cloth, velvet and sheers fabrics with simple hand stitched textures and perhaps a few beads and sequins.

Develop these into a small textured panel or free-standing structure. You will be guided through a simple design process and then develop your own piece with the materials and techniques introduced. All of these skills will also enable you to use the materials and ideas in future projects. A basic materials pack is supplied along with a range of supplies which are easier for me to bring than to ask you to provide. If you wish to use more materials than provided, they will be available to buy during your course.

Alysn Midgelow-Marsden

Alysn Midgelow-Marsden is an Auckland based artist with a northern European heritage. Her wall based and sculptural forms are based on metals, fibres, textiles and stitch. She is driven by curiosity about the human psyche, science and the natural environment. Her works are rarely representational but aim for an emotive response from the viewer. Alysn says “I have an experimental and curious nature leading to continuously evolving and changing works and media, investigating new dimensions as they develop. It is a pleasure to adapt my ideas into formats which can be used by other fibre artists, and embroiderers for their own practice”.

Recent awards for selected exhibitions include: Mandurah Wearable Art (Australia) for ‘What Lies Beneath’; ‘Wall Brooches II’, (Australia) for ‘Taniwha’; ‘Changing Threads’ Nelson Arts ‘Bernina Award’ for ‘The Space Between VII’.

11. Helen Pearce: Let’s Construct a Box and Accessories

Design Size: 17 x 13 x 7.5 cm

Class Level: Suits all levels

Workshop Cost: $200.00

Kit Cost: $20.00

This workshop teaches how to construct a beautiful fabric covered box which can be used for embroidery accessories and threads. Prior to the class students will embroider the box lid and one or all of the accessories, which include a needlebook, a Biscornue pin cushion, scissor keep and fob. They will then be ready to focus in the class on the construction of the box, which can be completed in the weekend. Construction of the accessories will also be discussed.

Participants will provide their own fabrics and threads. There is a kit for purchase with card, box feet, magnets, pellon, needlebook inserts and Doctor’s flannel.

Helen Pearce

Helen Pearce lives in Coromandel Town and joined the guild when she shifted there seventeen years ago. She is a dressmaker and has enjoyed making wedding and ball dresses, but since learning to embroider, this is now her passion. She loves designing and constructing her own embroidered pieces, and sharing her knowledge with others.

12. Billy Portch: Painting with Thread

Design Size: approx 7 x 8.5cm

Class Level: Intermediate

Workshop Cost: $200.00

Kit Cost: $20.00

Students will create a miniature using DMC embroidery threads to ‘paint’ a picture of a typical view of the New Zealand coast. There are two colour options to choose from; one of a sunset and one of a bright sunny day, and also the option of having the tree on the left or right of your picture. Some of the picture is worked over padding to give it a 3-dimensional look.

I will teach you all the stitches and methods necessary to complete the work but you will find it of benefit if you are already familiar with stem stitch, satin stitch, couching, blanket stitch and split stitch. You are unlikely to finish the work in class and will need to complete it in your own time.

When ordering your kit, please state which colour option you would like (sunset or daytime) and if you want the tree on the left or right.

Billy Portch

Billy Portch has been an embroiderer from the age of 5 and over the years has tried many different types but has found that there’s always a new one to learn just around the corner! She has a passion for designing embroidery, both traditional and contemporary. Painting with thread is something she goes back to regularly as every picture presents new challenges, whether it’s seeing the work of an Old Master in a new way, giving an ordinary photo a new depth or bringing to life what is simply in her head.

13. Lynn Smart: Recycled Floral Embroidery

Design Size: 21 x 30 cm

Class Level: Suits all levels

Workshop Costs: $200.00

Photocoying and some materials $15.00

In this workshop you will create an A4 sized floral picture. You will use a selection of floral, plain and fancy fabrics, lace, recycled embroideries, embroidery and machine threads from your stash to make your picture. I like the way fabrics can evoke emotions and feelings and I encourage you to use fabrics that have historical or emotional significance to give meaning to your work.

You will work onto a base of cotton duck, or similar. Before we start, we will discuss flower representations in embroidery to inspire your ideas. These could be representational or abstract. You will then cut out your lower shapes, vase, stems etc and pin these to your base. Once you are happy with your composition the entire design will be machine embroidered. You will then be able to add surface decoration with hand or machine embroidery. Your picture can be framed or used for a bag front or similar.

NB Students will need to bring their own sewing machines to the class.

Lynn Smart

Lynn Smart has been stitching since she was very young. Her mother showed her how and said ‘go for it’, praising creativity and originality. She has a Certificate in Technical Hand Embroidery (Merit) from th e Royal School of Needlework (London). She belongs to the North Shore Embroiderers Guild and has a studio in her garden where she teaches small classes. ww.runningstitchstudio.com.

She has won a number of awards for her embroidery and received a Study Assistance Grant from ANZEG in 2018. In 2021 she completed the ANZEG Certificate of Teaching Embroidery.

Lynn belongs to a stitching group that she has attended since 2005, and believes in the restorative power of stitching to heal and nurture.

14. Karen Williamson: Botanical Eco Printing on Textiles

Class Level: Beginners – Intermediate

Workshop Cost: $200.00

Kit Cost: $35.00

Eco printing offers participants the freedom to embrace serendipitous results while creating a stash of fabrics to use in their own future textile art projects.

Karen Williamson

Karen Williamson is a natural dyer and eco printer living in rural Kaiwaka. Eco printing combines her love of fabrics and a passion for sustainability, with the freedom to create pieces that embrace the unexpected alchemy of working with natural resources. She says the best thing about workshops for her is the dynamic energy that happens when people come together to create.


After Classes 28th – 29March

Held at Onehunga Community House, 83 Selwyn Street, Onehunga, Auckland

21. Margaret Lee: Florentine Purse

Design Size: 18.5 cm across, 15.5 cm height. Width of metal frame 16 cm across

Class Level: Suits all levels

Workshop Cost: $170.00

Kit Cost: AUS$125.00. (NZ price will be provided with your needs list). A slate frame with an opening of 35cm x 43 cm is used. If you wish to purchase a frame with your kit, the cost of the frame is AUS$75.00 and your project will come ready framed up for class.

This beaded Florentine purse will be created using a kit which provides fabric with the design printed, lining fabric, the metal bag frame and chain and the beads used in the design, including specialist 3 cut beads.

The workshop focuses on raised work techniques in Japanese bead embroidery and on creating good lines in bead embroidery. In addition, the following will be introduced, discussed and practised:

  • Technique and practice used in the design
  • Technique and colour combinations for the best visual outcome
  • Making adjustments to a pre-printed design to maintain suitability for bead embroidery

There will be an online prep session before the actual class where participants will be briefed on framing up and some other key information in preparation for the workshop. There is no extra charge for this session.

Margaret Lee

Margaret Lee is a specialist Asian embroidery tutor of international repute. She has authored 3 books and has contributed the chapter on embroidery to the Routledge Encyclopaedia on Traditional Chinese Culture. Her works have been exhibited in Australia and overseas and her passion lies in passing on embroidery in its best tradition.

22. Heather Hamm: Pulled Thread Bag


Design Size:
18 x 31cm on 25 count linen
17 x 27.5 cm on 28 count linen

Class Level: Suits all levels

Workshop Cost: $150.00 & $5 Photocopying Charge

This beautiful pulled thread bag is different on each side and is lined from the eyelets down, creating a lacy effect on the frill. The project is an excellent learning exercise in pulled thread work as it incorporates a range of pulled thread stitches and techniques. The bag will not be completed in class but full instruction for completion will be given. Some preparation is required beforehand.


Heather Hamm

Heather Hamm has been a member of the Tauranga Guild for thirty years and during that time has tried varying types of embroidery. Canvaswork, pulled thread and surface stitchery are her favourite techniques. She trained as a Home Economics teacher and her career was spent in schools in Wellington and the Bay of Plenty.

To register for classes please go to the registration page for the instructions.