Embroidery · Workshops & Courses

Hen’s Teeth

Last Saturday was a day I’d been looking forward to since last September when I booked the Hen’s Teeth workshop. I can’t think of a better way to relax at the weekend than spending a day in lovely surroundings, getting inspired whilst sewing and chatting with friends.


The workshop was at textile artist Anne Brooke’s studio. I have been to Anne’s own workshops before but this was my first and overdue visit to her recently built studio, Shed 76 1/2. Packed with displays of her own distinctive work, what an exciting, organised, welcoming and creative space it is!


I especially love the new range of printed double-sided wrapping paper. (Only for gifts for appreciative friends who I know would peel it off very carefully and repurpose it though!). You can see more in Anne’s online shop.

Viv Sliwka from was the visiting tutor coming to help us make original stitched needlebooks from scraps of vintage textiles. Below are some of Viv’s own delightful cases. You can see more of her work on the Hen’s Teeth Art website and buy from her Etsy shop.


To begin with (I was SO excited!), we had a short introduction over a cuppa and looked at some examples of vintage needlecases to help us think about the construction, size and shape of our own. We were delighted when Viv gave us all a name badge that she had kindly stitched for us.


I chose my background and began layering fabric and trims, adding the piece of hairpin lace that I bought at the rag market (mentioned last week in my Grand Day Out post).


I wanted my piece to develop quite organically, enjoying the process without worrying too much about raw edges, straight shapes or the end result.


After we enjoyed lunch together in the outdoor area, I decided it was far too nice to be inside and stayed put in a comfy garden chair, stitching while soaking up the rare spring sunshine with my trusty Left-Handed Embroiderer’s Companion to hand.

We rounded up a perfectly relaxing day by bringing everyone’s work together to admire.


Here’s a few close-ups…

Kate’s Beach Hut Design
Davina’s work in fresh Spring colours
My flowery piece in progress

Back at home I’ve added a little more stitching and some beads and am working on the lining and pages.


More pics about the day can be found on Lynn’s blog One I Made Earlier Today and on Anne’s post.

Thanks so much to Viv and Anne for a truly wonderful day! I’ll be back at the shed in July for another workshop and hopefully seeing Viv again in August when she visits our Embroiderer’s Guild. Next month at the guild we’ve got an exhibition of member’s needle cases so that’s given me a deadline to get it finished.


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