Additional Information On Classes

Hello everyone

Thank you to all of you who signed up for the distance learning classes Level 1 and 2, the response has been overwhelming! Here is some additional information that some of you have requested and as I cannot answer each person individually am going to share it with you here:


Once you have received the link to download your file by email – you should upload it to your tablet/PC and save it somewhere for future use. You can either save it to Adobe reader or some other PDF reader and from there you can print it out or view it on your device. If you don’t have Adobe you can download it for free here. Here is some more information on PDF downloads that may be helpful.


Open your file and read through your notes. You will find your password on page 4 and again on page 22.


This password allows you access to your Members area where you will find additional hints and tips for every stage of the project, posted by the Tutor. You can access the Members area on this site here or by going to the main page – menu – classes – members area.


I am very aware that many of you may not have a stash of embroidery materials, fabric, threads etc at home and are unable to order online during the lockdown. Unfortunately, I am unable to provide a list of the materials you will need on the description page as we have to avoid copyright issues, but I can tell you that you will need fabric, DMC stranded cotton and sharps needles.

However, rest assured if you don’t have all the materials needed you could still stitch the project. I have provided some material substitutes that you may have on hand at home. In your Members area on page 1 you will find a paragraph that suggests substitutes. I have decided to expand on these ideas for the benefit of all:

These are extraordinary times, so we have to use extraordinary measures!!

Fabric Substitutes

You may have exactly what you need in your linen cupboard or fabric stash. Look for a fabric that is either pure linen or cotton and that has a very close weave and little or no stretch in it. A good quality 100% cotton sheet, pillowcase, old linen table cloth or napkin with a high count preferably 200 count or more will do. Quilting cotton is good.

Pull the fabric at right angles to make sure that it is not too stretchy – if it has too much stretch your stitching will be distorted in the hoop.

Stretchy fabric NOT GOOD

Thread Substitutes

You can find the DMC colour chart and others here. You can either use the closest cotton threads that you have at home by matching up the nearest colours, or you can try substituting with other brands such as Anchor, Madeira, Presencia by matching up the nearest colours, for example if you need purples, try substituting with lavender shades or even blues. Wherever possible make sure that you include shades that blend from light to dark. Please don’t ask me to match up your colours for you it will take forever and I dont have the time!

substituting purples with lavenders or blues.

You could also use silk threads, crewel wool and in some cases crochet cotton can be split down as seen in the photo. If you are really desperate you could try polyester sewing threads – yes they will work!

When I very first started embroidery in about 1990 I lived in Zimbabwe and we could not get any kind of embroidery thread – I used sewing cotton or whatever I could lay my hands on.

strands of crochet cotton
crewel wool, silk, polyester sewing thread.

Of course if you are using substitutes you embroidery will not look the same as the original – it will be unique, but that’s ok as long as you are able to learn the technique and have something lovely at the end its all good! You may like to use the class project as a practice run and re-stitch it once normal services resume and you are able to obtain the correct shades of thread.


Use whatever embroidery hoop you have at home – if you don’t have a hoop you can try using an old picture/photo frame or artists stretcher frame. Stretch the fabric across the frame and use tacks or drawing pins to secure. You can find more information here. Please ensure that you keep your fabric drum tight at all times.

supergrip plastic hoop
wooden hoop
photo frame
fabric stretched on to frame


I recommend a Sharps No 10 – but you could also use a No 11 or a No 9. If you don’t have Sharps you could use an embroidery/crewel needle in a size 10 or 11. If you are desperate and don’t have a Sharps or embroidery needle you could use a sewing needle or a quilters between needle – make sure it is the smallest one possible as this will be easier to stitch with.

Courtesy John James Needles


Some of you are experiencing problems with Paypal at checkout. This is possibly due to the systems being overloaded at present but here are some solutions that may help. Remember you don’t need to have an account with Paypal to checkout, you can checkout as a guest and use your card or other payment options. If you are still having a battle use the contact form to send me an email and I will send you a manual invoice, this seems to work.


You can find a description of each class and register in the Shop or by using the link on this site. The classes have no expiry date so you can work at your own pace.


I am still working on these instructions and it will be available in about a week to 10 days. Some of you have asked if you are experienced should you go straight to level 3? It is entirely up to you where you start – each class follows on from the other, so Level 1 starts with the basics of shading, level 2 introduces more aspects and level 3 again introduces new aspects.

If you are confident in your shading then yes you can skip to level 3, but you may like to do a refresher course by including level 2.

I hope this answers all your questions? Must get on with the instructions for Level 3! So till next time happy stitching.


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