How Does Your Garden Grow – Workshop Series

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Create a unique hand embroidered needle case to your own design.  If you love gardening – or just visiting gardens and admiring the flowers – then this Workshop series will capture your imagination and inspire you to have a go at creating an embroidered garden of your own.  Join us and enjoy relaxing with friends and learning new skills.  

Workshop Dates – 4 Workshops to be arranged with participants – April/May/June 2024

Venue:  Birmingham Hospice Shop, Harborne High Street, Birmingham 17

How Does Your Garden Grow Needle Case Workshop
How Does Your Garden Grow ? - Needle Case Workshop

Kits to create a garden needle case like this retail commercially at £94.95.  For £50, you will have not only your complete kit, but also access to 4 Workshops to help you complete your needle case.

In addition, this is a charity fundraising event – all funds raised support the great work of Birmingham St. Mary’s Hospice.

Cost £50 – Only 5 places available 

How Does Your Garden Grow? Finished Needlecase
How Does Your Garden Grow? Finished Needlecase
How Does Your Garden Grow? Finished Needlecase - Inside
How Does Your Garden Grow? Finished Needlecase - Inside

All you need to know about the Workshop Series:

Everything you need to know about the How Does Your Garden Grow Workshop Series is set out below, but if you have any other questions, please just contact me.

What will be included in my kit?

Your kit contains all the materials you will need to complete your needle case:

  • One 25 cm x 45 cm piece fine embroidery linen, with pre overcast edges
  • One 23 cm square piece of fine embroidery muslin with pre overcast edges – for backing
  • One 25 cm x 45 cm piece of lining fabric, with pre overcast edges – make your choice from a selection of garden/sewing themed fabric in the first workshop
  • One 13 cm square of fine embroidery linen and muslin, with pre overcast edges, and a 1 inch metal button for covering – or choose a vintage button at the first Workshop, if you prefer?
  • One 23 cm x 45 cm piece of wadding
  • one 20 cm x 30 cm pieces cream felt – for your needle case “pages”
  • Three 3mm metal washers – for your garden tub
  • One magnetic snap fastener
  • Russian soutache cord – for edge trim
  • Embroidery Threads.  A wide selection of threads will be made available to choose from during the Workshops.  You can also really help by bringing along your own threads to share to expand our colour palette.
  • A cotton bag – to keep you work clean and tidy.
  • A basic garden design – ready for you to enhance with your own flowers before transferring
  • Full instructions on how to make up your needle case.
  • Lots of Tips and Tricks to help you create something special you can be proud of.

What Tools Do I Need to Bring With Me?

You will need to bring along a few standard embroidery tools:

  • 7 inch embroidery hoop, preferably with a screw that can be tightened with a screwdriver (rather than just by hand).
  • 4 inch embroidery hoop – for your button.  If you choose a vintage button, you won’t need this – although you may find it very useful as a small practice hoop to try out any new stitches?
  • A pack of embroidery needles – Numbers 4, 7, 8, 9 and 10
  • A pack of Milliner’s needles – Numbers 6, 8 and 9
  • A magnifying glass – either one that fits around your neck or on a stand.
  • A pair of sharp fine embroidery scissors
  • A pack of bias binding – for binding your hoop(s)
Use small, sharp scissors to clip curves
Vintage Needlecase - Sharps/Wide Eyed Needles

If you are new to hand embroidery and don’t already have any of these tools, I am happy to place a bulk order (to save on postage) ready for the first Workshop. 

Please contact me as soon as possible if you want to be included in the bulk order.

Is there anything else I need to bring?

To transfer your design, you will need a light box.  I will have one available to borrow, but if you have one you can bring along – and are happy to share with the group – that would be really helpful.

Did You Know?  You can also use an iPad as a Lightbox?  I use the Artist Lightpad App on Apple – or search online for lots of other free alternatives.

To make up your needle case, you will need access to a sewing machine.  I have one you can borrow if required.

You can also really help by bringing along your own embroidery threads to share to expand our colour palette.  If you have any friends who have embroidery threads lying about they don’t have a use for, then we can make very good use of them.  All thread donations will be very gratefully accepted.


How will the Workshop Series be Structured?

We will get together for a series of 4 Workshops over the Summer.  They are arranged over 4 months to allow plenty of time in between Workshops for you to bring your garden to life.

Workshop 1 - 4th May 2023 - “Design Your Dream Garden”

  • Collect your kit
  • Choose your lining and button
  • Sketch out your Garden Design, enhancing the basic design provided as you choose to create your unique piece
  • Transfer your design to the embroidery linen
  • Instructions on how to prepare your fabric for embroidery

Workshop 2 - 2nd June 2023 - “Make Your Garden Grow”

  • Adding Structures – Birdhouse, Tub
  • Stems
  • Leaves

Workshop 3 - 21st July 2023 - “Your Garden - In Full Bloom”

  • Flowers
  • Ground Cover
  • Button

Workshop 4 - 11th August 2023 - “The Finish Line”

  • The Birds and the Bees
  • Tub Washers
  • Making Up Instructions

What if I can’t attend all the Workshop Sessions?

Don’t worry if you can’t make all the Workshops.  Ideally, you will need to be at the first one to receive your kit and instructions, but we will set up a What’s App Group so you can keep in touch and catch up on anything you missed if you can’t make all the Workshops.

Will Refreshments be Provided?

I will provide tea/coffee/water for you to make your own drinks as required in the kitchen – well away from our sewing area!  If you wang to bring along cakes/biscuits to share, please feel free – as long as we keep them all in the kitchen.

How Long Will it Take to Make My Needle Case?

This is a real “How long is a piece of string” question.  It depends how detailed you make your design, how fast you are at hand embroidery etc.  etc.   My best estimate is that it will take you around 5 days in total (maybe 10 afternoons/mornings).  The Workshops are hopefully a great opportunity for some dedicated embroidery time – the rest is really up to you.  

I find hand embroidery is a really good way of passing the time when travelling.  It is light, and easily portable.  So if you are out and about over the holiday season, maybe take your embroidery with you?

I’m a Complete Beginner - Is this Workshop Series really suitable for me?

YES!  The embroidery may look complicated, but actually only uses relatively few easy stitches.  Once you have learned these, it is just a question of a little time and patience. 

Learning a new skill is so much easier when you have a group of friends to share the experience with and support you along the way?  You may well find that hand embroidery is your new found passion.  Be warned – it can be addictive!

What Inspired the How Does Your Garden Grow Workshop Series?

Lorna Bateman Embroidered Country Gardens Book

The inspiration behind this Workshop Series was Lorna Bateman’s beautiful book: Embroidered Country Gardens.

I will have my copy available at the Workshops, but you may like to purchase your own?  The book includes a wealth of information on hand embroidery and a number of other projects that might interest you.  If you are interested in embroidery as a charity fundraising activity, as I am, then you will be pleased to know that the projects in Lorna’s book can be made and sold for charitable purposes, without breaching copyright.

Heart UpCycling

Everything I create makes good use of up cycled materials.  For this project, the up cycled materials include:

  • Donated embroidery threads – thanks Nicky (& others)
  • Donated sewing/garden themed lining fabrics
  • Donated vintage buttons – thanks Marion!
  • Recycled wadding from a deconstructed quilt 

I was particularly pleased to be able to make good use of my own stash of embroidery threads saved over many years and several generous donations from family and friends for this project.  Sharing threads gave us a huge colour palette to choose from. 

It was well worth the effort one Christmas to wind all the threads onto plastic bobbins so that they can be arranged in colour order and easily seen when choosing threads for creating our dream gardens.  Heart Up Cycling!

How Does Your Garden Grow Needlecase - Threads
From this ...
How Does Your Garden Grow Needlecase - Threads
To this
How Does Your Garden Grow Needlecase - Threads
Using plastic bobbins

Come and Join Us - Only 5 Places Available!

How Does Your Garden Grow? Finished Needlecase

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