Embroidery Kits

Six Reasons to Say Yes! to Needlepoint

Tapestry, aka needlepoint, is a wonderful craft to explore. It’s an old skill with a heritage of being passed on through generations of women, but its grid-based structure can lend itself to modern designs just as well as traditional ones. My own interest in needlework and textiles was sparked by inheriting a huge stash of beautiful threads from my grandmother, which led me to discover that tapestry’s potential for creativity is only as limited the hands pulling the thread.

Craft Social Event

Here are a few of the best things you’ll learn about this slow and mindful skill in my upcoming tapestry workshop:

1 -What materials to buy and use use

I’ll introduce the fibers we use, and the different kinds of backing fabric available. It can be overwhelming to go into a haberdashery and see the huge range of materials available so this should have you all clued up and ready.

embroidery materials

2 How to read a basic needlepoint pattern

Needlework patterns of any kind can look bewildering, but actually they are quite logical. Whats looks at first like a bewildering arrange of symbols, dots and dashes is usually quite easy to decode. We’ll be using a basic pattern that will introduce you to the principals.

Cleopatra's Needle Needlepoint Tapestsry Kits

3 The important stitches

I’ll show you to the staple stitches of tapestry. Once you’ve got that under your belt,  you can start bigger straight away. With a bit of practice, you can start on more complex stitches.

Needlepoint Stitching

4 – Using colour

Once you’ve got the stitches mastered, you’ll need to change colours or you’ll be a bit limited in what you can create! But don’t worry, I’ll show you the most efficient way to use different colours, so you can follow patterns or even invent your own designs.

Needlepoint Thread Colours

5  – The back of your work

In an ideal work the back of your work is as neat as the front! Remember though, when you start that it’s more important to get started and have fun! Nevertheless, I’ll teach the techniques to keep the back neat and tidy too.

Zuzana Lalikova…. Zuzana Lalikova is a textiles designer and craft teacher – find out more at or follow her on Instagram at @zuzana_lalikova_textiles 

Book a ticket to our upcoming Bloomsbury Mother’s Day Workshop here. We look forward to seeing you there!

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Sonia London Craft Club

A Message from Sonia Bownes

The Courtauld Shop is thrilled to share this fabulous blog post from our friends at The London Craft Club. On Saturday March 25, we’ll join forces to bring you a day of DIY, artistic enrichment in celebration of Mother’s Day. Check out what LCC founder, Sonia Bownes has to say:

What must it be like to live a totally creative life? One where all your waking moments are devoted to creativity? I’ve been thinking about this a lot because of Bloomsbury Special Display – that remarkable group who made no compromises in their search for an artistic life, and produced a distinctive and glorious body of work in so many mediums. It’s the epitome of the artists’ life – wild and free and unfettered by laundry, tax returns and underwear.

Bloomsbury Bay Merchandised with Needlepoint

However most of us can’t really get away with all that – and anyway I like an evening ironing in front of the telly from time to time.  The ideal is to find the right balance of creative activity, so that it brings us joy, relief, inspiration and satisfaction – not chaos!

The reality of life is that we are often short of time and space for our creative endeavours, so it really helps to have a little supply of hand creative projects up your sleeve for when the moment is right. My personal favourite is anything to do with hand stitching.


Stitching is just you and a needle, and not much more, but you’re quickly on your way to making something lovely. Small hand-sewing project can fit in a purse, come on the Tube with you, go into the garden or even keep you company in front of the TV. Many can be done in one sitting, helping you avoid the guilt of the lurking Unfinished Object. Even novices can produce beautiful results, and yet there is infinite room to develop your skills. And of course, how remarkable is it to be able to say you made it yourself.

So, in celebration of the The Courtauld Gallery’s Special Display, London Craft Club’s needlework expert Zuzana Lalikova has teamed up with The Courtauld Shop to develop an introduction to tapestry (needlepoint) workshop. Zuzi has designed a set of four bright brooches, inspired by the bold colours and shapes of the Bloomsbury Special Display but on a very small scale. The badges make wonderful Mother’s Day gifts – what Mum wouldn’t be touched by a handmade gift?!


In Zuzi’s workshops, she’ll teach you the basics of needlepoint, then you’ll stitch a design and turn it into a brooch. It’s the sort of workshop I adore – a classic skill put to use creating something modern and very wearable. Once you’ve mastered the technique, you’ll be ready to move on to something more ambitious, like the Cleopatra’ Needle Bloomsbury inspired tapestry kits.

Not to forget, on the day of the event, you take home a Bloomsbury Tapestry Kit, so you can immediately put your newly-acquired skills to use. Once mastered, you could even create your own project, inspired by the special display visited earlier on the day.

So, if you want to sneak a bit of the creative life into your day without having to go the whole hog –  tapestry could be craft for you.

“London Craft Club helps expert crafters and makers share their skills with you. Anyone can attend our workshops and discover the joy of making gorgeous things by hand. So let us bring more creativity into your life”

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