Sketching with Thread

Sketching with Thread

a portrait embroidery workshop with Susie Vickery

Susie Vickery is my hero. She's an extraordinary artist, craftswoman and human being
- delegate, 2015 Stitching Communities Together workshop

08/06/2019 - 08/06/2019
Course Type: 


Introductory, Intermediate, General Interest, Leisure Learning
The Society For The Protection Of Ancient Buildings
37 Spital Square,
United Kingdom
Required Equipment: 

Please see the course description for detailed information on what to bring to the workshop.


£95 pp

Event details

Sketching with Thread: a portrait embroidery workshop with Susie Vickery

8 June 2019, 10:00 - 16:30

The SPAB is delighted to present a NEW workshop led by embroidery and textile artist Susie Vickery. In this workshop, you will learn to embroider a portrait using free-form straight stitch. Participants will all begin with the same image of SPAB founder William Morris to learn the technique of ‘sketching with thread’. You will then move on to embroider an image of your choosing. You will learn how to transfer your image onto the fabric, and then use the techniques already practised on the sample to interpret your custom portrait. While participants are working on their sample portraits, a short talk about the SPAB and William Morris will be presented. This workshop will be held at the SPAB headquarters in London - an opportunity to view the inside of the only remaining Georgian house in Spital Square.

Participants are required to bring the following:
•    a clear picture/photograph of the person’s face that you would like to embroider;
•    a printout copy of the picture/photograph where the face is approximately 10cm high (the copy can be in black & white, but you will need to bring in a colour original to work from);
•    thread clippers or small scissors;
•    a thimble (if you use one).

This workshop is suitable for adults with an interest in embroidery - no previous embroidery experience is required, but participants should be comfortable with basic hand stitching and drawing. All fabric, threads, needles, embroidery rings, markers and tracing paper (to transfer your image to fabric) will be provided. Refreshments and a sandwich lunch will also be provided to participants. The workshop will be limited to a small group.

The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) was founded by William Morris in 1877 to counteract the highly destructive 'restoration' of medieval buildings being practised by many Victorian architects. The SPAB remains true to its founding principles and is now the oldest and most technically expert building conservation charity in the UK, fighting to save old buildings from decay, demolition and damage. The SPAB is a membership organisation and offers training, events and expert advice, as well as publishing a quarterly Magazine, technical pamphlets and advice notes. 

This workshop will be held at the SPAB headquarters in London. The building dates from around 1740 and originally belonged to a Huguenot silk merchant. It was rescued from dereliction by the Spitalfields Trust before being sold to the SPAB in the early 1980s. On the day of this embroidery workshop, the SPAB courtyard garden will also be open as part of NGS Spitalfields Gardens.

Places are limited so book now!

Booking Terms & Conditions

Accessibility: please contact the SPAB before booking to discuss any special access requirements.