Young Embroiderers

Young Embroiderers - have fun with textiles


Meetings of the Edinburgh Young Embroiderers are open to young people over the age of 7.

At monthly meetings they explore a variety of textile media including embroidery.

They currently meet at James Gillespie's High School,

usually on first Saturday of the month, - September to April or May.

9.30 till 12.00

The group was started in 1981 and has been running continuously since then.

March 2019 meeting

We had our annual "bring along a visitor" day - so Mum, Dad, Granma, Grandad, Auntie and Uncles.

We had 7 mums and one Dad and it was a busy meeting - s you'll see

from the photo below - we made some great Dorset Buttons.

Welcome to the Edinburgh Branch of the Embroiderers Guild.

What we stitched in January 2019

What we stitched in October, November and December 2018

Our very chic Christmas Stockings 2017!

Felted Jewellery

Wet felting is always a popular activity with our young embroiderers. For the last meeting before the summer break we invited the parents to join us which was a big success. It was lovely to have everyone working together, most of youngsters have done some felting with us before so they were able to offer their parents some tips.

Everyone learned to make felt beads and cords on which to string them and most went away with a completed necklace.


We decided to revisit a popular project from a couple of years ago. We took large images of faces from magazines and cut them in half - this project can be done in 2 parts, starting on paper by drawing the matching half of the face to complete the image then by using stitching to complete the image.

Displaying the finished piece by matching photograph and stitching is very successful:

'Imprisoned Splendour'

One of our Mums is a talented costume designer, we invited her to lead a workshop with our group making masks. The imagination of the children never ceases to amaze and with the addition of some hand stitching the elaborate masks beautifully fit the theme of this year's De Denne competition - 'imprisoned splendour'.

Christine's wonderful examples

Christmas 2016

This year we decided to revisit a previous project that was very popular, Christmas wreaths.

This simple project is a great stash buster and our branch members generously donated fabric for our use. Encouraging the children to focus on colour combinations as they work helps to reinforce the theory taught in other projects and adding a hanging element introduces some stitching.

The end results are very impressive and very popular with children and parents alike.

March 2016

Spring is in the air and there was a real buzz at our March meeting where we made 3-dimensional sweets and cupcakes.

We began with the sweets with everyone making 2 or 3 each before we encouraged as many as possible to try making a cupcake that could be shown at the 'Wandering Threads' Exhibition whilst it is in Peebles - it was a delight to see the childrens' enthusiasm at the thought of having their work viewed by members of the public.

Several members also brought along work made during previous sessions to be shown at this exhibition; this is very encouraging for other members and particularly for the potential new members who came along and who really seemed to enjoy the very productive morning.

A Gallery of Embroidered Sweets & Cupcakes - Can You Spot Yours?

Completed work from YE members for 'Wandering Threads' Exhibition

February 2016

Felting was the technique for this month's session; the intention was to produce pieces inspired by butterflies or the Northern Lights but our imaginative young people had some other ideas!

The opportunity to spend the morning wet felting is always very popular. We are lucky to have a very talented felt artist as the leader of our YE group so as well as having fun we learn good techniques, this can be seen in the lovely samples produced.

January 2016

For our first session of the year we went back to basics and had a morning exploring different stitches. Our helpers each selected a favourite stitch and the young people worked their way around each practising new stitches or exploring new ways with familiar stitches.

Everyone, including the helpers, went away having learned something new making it a very successful morning.

De Denne Competition 2016

There was also time during our January meeting for completing our group entry to this year's De Denne competition.

The theme is 'Looking Through' and all the young people had worked on individual components over Christmas and brought them together to complete the over all submission.

December 2015

Our last session of the year and we chose 'snow' as our theme and gave it a festive spin by making rice filled sock snowmen and paper snowflakes.

As usual our very creative members came up with snowmen, (and other creatures!), that reflected their own individual styles and had a lot of fun finding as many different ways as possible to cut out unique snowflakes.

We had a very impressive display at the end of the morning including a completed lavender bag from our November meeting, well done for remembering to bring it back to show us all how beautifully it has been made up.

November 2015

It was lovely to welcome 2 visitors and we hope they enjoyed their time with us and will return.

Continuing with our 'weather' theme today we focused on rain, appropriate given the grey, wet day!

To try out some new techniques and materials we started by using fabric transfer crayons to draw a small 'rainy' design on paper. We had to colour in our pictures quite heavily then the pictures were put face down onto a piece of fabric and we had help to iron them so that the picture transferred to the fabric.

We added some stitching to our pictures and were shown how to turn them into lavender bags but we didn't all manage to finish them as we learnt some other techniques...........

Our 'rainy' pictures

We were also shown fabric crayons and pens that could be used straight onto the fabric and we all had a go at trying these.

It then got very noisy as we were shown 'flower pounding'! With a layer of newspaper on the table a piece of fabric was laid on top, a real flower head was put on top and another piece of fabric over that, another bundle of newspapers were put on top then we got hammering and magically the colour of the flower left an impression on the fabric.

We learned lots of new techniques and tried new materials that could be used in other projects, we were kept very busy and had a table full of samples at the end of the morning.

October 2015

Numbers were depleted for our October meeting but those present had the opportunity to spend the whole morning on sewing machines gaining confidence and skills.

Firstly we were given a demonstration on how to create the decorative layered panels - a small piece of silk had a selection of decorative yarns and threads laid on top (with a small amount of temporary fabric adhesive spray to hold everything in place), then a piece of chiffon fabric was placed on top. This whole 'sandwich' was then taken to the sewing machine and a straight stitch used to stitch a grid pattern to secure all the layers together.

We had a selection of these panels already prepared so after choosing one we then cut them into smaller pieces to stitch onto a larger piece of fabric using decorative machine stitches and machine embroidery threads. We also had enough time to machine some left over pieces onto cards.

Our theme for this year is 'Weather'

September 2015

The 2015/2016 session  has started well and, appropriately on a beautiful sunny day, we began with sunflowers. To start with we looked at images, artificial flowers and stitched samples to get some inspiration. Everyone then thought about and planned how they would represent sunflowers and the techniques they would use before getting stuck in.

As you will see from the image below everyone worked very hard and produced some beautiful samples.

The 2015 Group Entry in the De Denne competition has won third prize.

The theme - 'All That Glistens'

Well done Young Embroiderers, yet again you beat a lot of competition from all over the UK.

The 2014 Group Entry won second prize in the national De Denne competition.

The work is being added to the The Embroiderers' Guild Collection for conservation and study purposes.

Individual members have also won prizes.

De Denne prize winning   'A tree for all seasons' (2014)

Faces made in felt at a recent meeting in 2015.




Interested in joining?

You can join the national Young Embroiderers via this web-site:

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