Community stitch challenge 2021: Sue Stone


Back in March 2020, when we were all facing the realities of lockdown for the first time, in-person stitch workshops were cancelled and embroidery groups were forced to shut up shop.

During this challenging time, here at we felt compelled to do our part to help you stay connected and keep creative.

The free Community Stitch Challenge was born!

We teamed up with some amazing textile artists working in landscape, illustrative stitch and portraiture to bring you a series of free taster-workshops.

Your positivity in the face of adversity was inspiring!

“This whole experience has been an unbelievably positive focus and the community of stitchers involved have been generous, supportive and enriching!” 

“I want to express my full appreciation for all you have done for me and thousands of stitchers around the world. It has been an amazing journey expanding my knowledge, skill and appreciation of the many ways to express oneself in textile art! ”

“After a long period of drifting I have my stitching mojo back. The work you all are doing is keeping stitchers from all over the world together and inspired.”

Check out inspirational stories from more of last year’s participants and take a look at some of the breathtaking textile art they made

The Community stitch challenge is a 100% free way for you to connect with other passionate embroiderers within the community and take part in a shared stitch experience.

We’re super excited to announce that every Monday (for three weeks only from March 15th 2021), a different textile artist will deliver a burst of inspiration especially for you in the form of brand new online workshops for you to take part in from the comfort of your own home.

But stitching at home doesn’t mean stitching alone. Because every day you can check in and chat with your fellow stitchers in the special Community Stitch Challenge Facebook group.

Not on Facebook? No worries. We’ll be posting the challenge every week here on the website too.

And this week’s challenge is led by someone very close to our hearts…our mum, Sue Stone.

Who is Sue Stone?

Sue is a celebrated textile artist who has taught stitch workshops all over the world, including in the UK, US, Canada and France. She is former Chair of the world renowned 62 Group of Textile Artists and has exhibited her figurative embroidery globally.

On top of all that, she’s the inspiration behind, the reason we started the site in the first place – so who better to kick off the community stitch challenge?

What is Sue’s workshop all about?

In this workshop you’ll explore the basic principles of design and composition to make a small work inspired by your own personal interests.

Using either a photographic image or your imagination, you’ll begin by making a quick two minute sketch. If you’re screaming at the screen, “But I can’t draw!”, no worries! Sue will share with you a simple no-fear sketching exercise (that absolutely anyone can do) to get you started.

The subject of your sketch could be an animal, a plant or a face, or perhaps an object like a vase or a mask, or maybe even a simple building like a shed or a beach hut. Anything goes!

From there you’ll use straightforward materials and techniques such as appliqué and simple hand stitch to explore how line, shape, colour, texture and negative space can all play their part in the design process and how your focal point can be reinforced by using the rule of thirds.

Along the way you’ll develop your understanding of balance, contrast, movement, unity and variety.

What to do next

Sue Q&A replay

Watch all of Sue’s answers to questions during her workshop week in the replay below

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