The Embroiderers’ Guild ACT presents a range of classes each year. Most of these are open to members of the public, as per class descriptions below.  

For enrolment information click here.

Making my own embroidered lampshade with Kate Malfroy

Date: 27 July

Time: 10am – 3pm

Cost: $210 members, $260 non members

Payment due by: 6 July

Location: 70 Maclaurin Cres, Chifley (Embroiderer’s Guild rooms)

Have you ever wondered what to do with a finished embroidery?  Well, now you can create a unique decorative item for your home, by preparing your own embroidered piece, then having a fun day learning all the tips and tricks to create your own bespoke embroidered lampshade.  

Included in your course cost will be everything you will require (except fabric) to make a medium size drum shade (30cm diameter x 23cm high – base not included).

You will need to provide a piece of fabric 110cm x 35cm.  The embroidered area of the fabric should be 96cm x 22cm, which is what you will see on the finished shade, ie you do not need to work the entire piece.

The best base cloth is a lightweight natural fibre like shirt or quilting fabric.  Bear in mind that the back of your embroidery needs to be as neat as possible, ie no hanging threads etc that will show when the lamp is turned on.  Ideally your finished piece should be as flat as possible on the back to ensure the best adhesion between the fabric and the PVC wall. Kate has a a YouTube channel with a number of short videos explaining various shadey things, and she recommends that intending students watch at least the clips relating to fabric size, type, pattern direction – all will be helpful preparation.  Link to the channel is on the home page of her website  If you have any questions regarding your potential project, we can help you contact Kate directly.

Designing My Own Embroidery with Dr Sharon Peoples

Date: 6 April

Time: 10am – 4pm

Cost: $140 members, $190 non members

Payment due by: 16 March

Class materials cost: $10 paid direct to tutor

Location: 70 Maclaurin Cres, Chifley (Embroiderer’s Guild rooms)

This one-day class will set you on the path to designing your own original embroidery, be it canvas work, cross stitch, crewel work, free embroidery or machine embroidery. Sharon is a great one for physically cutting and pasting as an aid to her work. Her phone and printer are her greatest allies. However, other technologies today make designing a little easier. You will explore new ways to help making your ideas come to life through stitch. You will discuss colour, line, pattern and form in the context of embroidery designs. The path towards creativity may be a little unexpected, so come along with an open mind and heart down the path towards creativity.

Sharon Peoples has worked as an artist in Canberra for over 25 years, exhibiting nationally and internationally as well as taking on commissioned work. She has had eleven solo exhibitions since 2010, the most recent were From the Highest Tree, Avid Gallery Wellington NZ, Working the Garden (2023) at the Southern Highlands Art Collective and Messenger from the Garden (2020) at Timeless Textiles in Newcastle. Sharon has participated in over 20 group exhibitions – the highlights being the latest Seed Stitch Contemporary Textile Award (2022) at the Australian Design Centre, Sydney, Surface and Depth (at the Palazzo Velli Expo, Rome 2021) and Stitched Art is Art both with the SEW (Society for Embroidered Art), the Art Textiles Biennale (2021) at the East Gippsland Art Gallery and the Australian Fibre Art Award (2021) at Gallery 76 in Sydney.

Sharon’s first public commission was in 1988, when she worked with the ACT Embroiderer’s Guild to design an embroidery for the Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney. Sharon worked with the Guild again on the Crimson Thread of Kinship embroidery in 1999 for the National Museum of Australia. She designed and made the braids for academic gowns for the University of Canberra Chancellor’s, Vice Chancellor’s and Marshal’s Robes. In 2003 she worked closely with Aldo Giurgola (the architect of Parliament House, Canberra) on the construction of religious vestments for Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta.

Raised Embroidery (Stumpwork) – Beginner level (Sweet Honeysuckle) or Intermediate level (Persian Bounty) with Anna Scott

Persian Bounty
Sweet Honeysuckle

Dates: 2 – 3 March

Time: 10am – 4pm

Cost: $220 members, $270 non members

Payment Due by: 10 February

Materials Kit cost: $80 Sweet Honeysuckle or $100 Persian Bounty paid direct to tutor

Location: 70 Maclaurin Cres, Chifley (Embroiderer’s Guild rooms)

Sweet Honeysuckle is designed as an introduction to Raised Embroidery (or Stumpwork) and is ideal if you have no, or only little prior experience with the technique. It is recommended that you are familiar with general embroidery stitches and are comfortable stitching with fine threads.

The embroidery is stitched onto pale spring green silk using silk threads.

This project is embroidered using mostly common embroidery stitches. You will learn how to create raised elements using simple raised embroidery techniques such as felt padding, needle-woven picot petals and wired leaves and insect wings.

Persian Bounty was inspired by traditional Elizabethan embroidery designs. It features scrolling stems, weighed down by richly coloured, ripe pomegranates. Ruby-red seeds are spilling out of the split open fruit. A delicate dragonfly is dancing amongst branches, while a tiny caterpillar counts her way along the stem.

Persian Bounty is embroidered onto mushroom-coloured silk fabric using stranded silks, fine metallic threads and glass beads. The raised embroidery is created using a variety of common embroidery stitches and raised embroidery (Stumpwork) techniques.

The pomegranates are embroidered separately as slips, before being stitched in place over layers of felt padding and filled to the brim with glass beads. Detached, wired leaves and needle-woven picot petals add dimension to the flowers & foliage. The dragonfly’s delicate wings are stitched onto shimmery organza with fine gold thread, and fine gilt wire is used to form the glittering body.

During the workshop you will learn:

  • two types of wired, detached shapes to create leaves and wings
  • how to embroider simple, slim raised stems
  • use felt and thread padding to create raised shapes
  • how to use metallic pearl-purl
  • how to create needle-woven picot petals

We will cover all stitches and techniques during the 2-day workshop so that you are able to complete the embroidery comfortably in your own time.

Skill Level: Intermediate

2024 Classes being planned

Details are still being finalised, but here are the tentative dates for other classes this year:

  • 11 – 12 May – Barbara Mullan – Explore North Africa
  • 15, 22 June – Annette Meldrum – Borris Lace
  • 24 – 25 August – Sue Senewiratne – Indian Folded Bag
  • 12 – 13 October – Leanne O’Sullivan – “Maru” Japanese Stitching
  • 8 – 10 November – Di Kirchner – Creative Canvaswork

Previous Classes

Conserving Heritage Textiles with Victoria Pearce, Director and Senior Conservator Endangered Heritage

Date: 17 February

Victoria will begin with an introductory talk on conservation theory, followed by access to the Endangered Heritage laboratory, where she will cover basic triage, cleaning and storage of items. The class will also cover quarantine, acidity pH and maintenance and archival storage material identification.

Snowflake Mandalas with Di Kirchner

25 & 26 November

The Snowflake Mandalas are embroidered in the style of Aemilia Ars, an Italian needlelace embroidery technique. Often called ‘Punto in Aria’ or ‘Stitches in the Air’ this type of embroidery uses foundation threads couched on to card as a base for the embroidery stitches such as needlelace, wrapping and Venetian Picots.

Limerick Lace with Annette Meldrum

Sat 11 & Sat 18 November

The class will explore light and heavy darn stitches traditionally used in Limerick Lace, and a variety of other filling stitches as time allows and eyelets. The project as shown is 11 cms wide, and can be framed or edged or appliqued onto a dark fabric for effect.

Canvaswork Happy Hussif with Ann-Marie Anderson-Mayes

Sat-Sun 21 & 22 October 2023

The Happy Hussif is worked in stranded silks on 24-count Congress Cloth, but it will work just as well if it is worked in stranded cottons, therefore you may choose to provide your own stranded cottons, or purchase the Optional Thread Pack containing hand-dyed silks, and Ann-Marie will be happy to customise your thread set should you wish.

Embroidery framing tips and techniques With Fine Framing by Antoinette

Sunday 6 August 2023

Antoinette has over 20 years’ experience in all kinds of framing, and will be delighted to share her tips and techniques for framing your embroidery items.  During the morning she will cover all aspects of framing different types of embroidery, including preparation, cleaning, blocking and lacing, through to the final framed result.

Sculptural Embroidery + Shadow Mounting Workshop With Meredith Woolnough

24th – 25th June 2023

This technique-based workshop explores the unique embroidery processes that Meredith uses to create her artworks. By (machine) stitching onto a combination of woven and water-soluble fabrics we will create a range of experimental embroidered artworks. Students can expect to create a range of experimental stitched surfaces and sculptural forms in this workshop. We will also explore Meredith’s signature shadow mounting technique so your embroidered creations can be presented in a professional manner, ready for framing.

Temari Balls with Leanne O’Sullivan

Saturday – Sunday 22nd – 23rd April 2023

An enjoyable workshop with Leanne O’Sullivan from Kimono House Japanese Textiles & Craft making temari – the traditional Japanese surface embroidered decorative ball.

Geometric needle run embroidery on net with Annette Meldrum

18th and 25th March 2023

This class will explore the geometric needle run, a counted thread tradition that was widely worked in Colonial Australia when materials were scarce, but mosquito netting was readily available. Women sought to decorate their homes using the meagre supplies available.

Patterns are mostly running stitch, over/under each bar of the net or sometimes both bars either side of a single hole of the net. We will follow patterns by counting the bars or meshes.

This technique is simple and relaxing and will be a favourite!

The net is a little coarser than usual with slightly larger holes than traditional tulle making it easier on the eyes to stitch.  It is imported from the Czech Republic and is very robust making it easy to wash and suitable for a scarf.


To enrol in a class, download & print out the enrolment form:

Guild classes enrolment form (pdf, 44KB)

Guild classes enrolment form (docx, 22KB)

Complete and return as per instructions on the form.

A deposit of 50% is payable on enrolment and the balance is due three weeks before the class commences. For any given class, enrolment closes either when the class is full or three weeks before commencement, whichever is earlier.

If you have enrolled in a class, but are unable to attend, please notify the guild immediately. There may be a waiting list and the guild may find someone to fill your place. Refunds are not generally available for cancellation within three weeks of class commencement.

Fees cover the cost of tuition.  Where kits are available from tutors, the cost of kit is to be paid direct to the tutor at the class, not to the guild.  Please be aware that you will have to have your own basic sewing supplies and that most classes have a requirements list. 

This page contains information on classes for adults and the policy for classes can be found here.  For information on the Young Stitchers’ program and School Holiday classes see the Young Stitchers page

Comments are closed.