Stitchtopia

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Stitchtopia Experts

Our Stitchtopia holidays include knitting, crochet, patchwork, quilting, textile and stitching experts who help you get the most out of your holiday. Each holiday is different, but the focus will always be on perfecting your craft. Our experts' guidance will give you the opportunity to pick up lots of new tips and techniques in their inspirational workshops, making your holiday truly unforgettable.

Knitting & Crochet Experts

Katrina í Geil

Katrina í Geil is a textile and knitting designer of international standing who has given lectures and workshops in Iceland, Denmark, Finland and the USA and exhibitions of her work have travelled all over Europe.

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Her work focuses on innovation of the traditional Faroese craft and culture. Her two and a half days of knitting workshops will focus on a project working with local patterns yet using your senses and local inspiration to create a personal design under her guidance.

Kathleen Anderson

Kathleen Anderson was born in Shetland, and has lived there all her life. Coming from a family whose women are talented knitters, she began knitting at a young age, beginning to knit lace while still at school. Kathleen's speciality lies in knitting fine lace shawls, the first of which she knitted some forty years ago.

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She has won many prizes exhibiting at the Annual Royal Highland Show,including the prestigious Championship Award for the best craft item in show, this she has won five times. Her shawls have sold all over the world, including a commissioned shawl for the arrival of Prince William and Kate's first born Prince George, and a commissioned stole for the widow of pop artist Roy Lichtenstein.

As a tutor Kathleen leads workshops during Shetland Wool Week and for several other knitting workshops, all of which bring in knitters from all over the world. Most recently, with her sister, she was invited to make a return visit to Ireland to teach lace knitting to Irish lace makers.

Kathleen instigated an evening Craft Group at her local village hall, where she enjoys helping others with their lace knitting projects. She also commits time to the " Peerie Makkers" which has experienced knitters going voluntary into schools to teach and encourage young pupils to become proficient knitters.

With several grandchildren of her own, some of whom are benefiting from the "Peerie Makkers Scheme" Kathleen believes in investing in the future of Shetland's world famous knitting tradition.

Hélène Magnússon

Hélène Magnússon, 'The Icelandic Knitter', is a leading knit designer in Iceland. Born in 1969, she has both the Icelandic and French nationality but was brought up in France.

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Hélène’s passion for textiles led her to extensively research Icelandic knitting traditions. She is the author of two important patterns books about Icelandic knitting: Icelandic Color Knitting: using rose-patterns brought back to life the unique Icelandic intarsia as seen in old shoe-inserts and Icelandic Handknits: 25 Heirloom projects and techniques gives an overview of the various knitting traditions in the 19th century and beginning of 20th century. Her expertise has earned her the respect of textile historians and museum curators in Iceland and worldwide. Hélène believes the best way to preserve traditions is to continue using them.

For more information on Hélène please visit her website.

Carol Meldrum

Carol Meldrum is a textile designer, workshop tutor and author of many popular knitting and crochet titles. She is also the creative force behind the fashion accessories label Beatknit.

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Carol Meldrum is a textile designer, workshop tutor and author of many popular knitting and crochet titles. She is also the creative force behind the fashion accessories label Beatknit. She has worked within the textile industry as a designer for many High Street fashion outlets as well as internationally renowned hand knit label Rowan.

Carol is a successful workshop tutor teaching all aspects of knit and crochet on an informal basis to both groups and individuals.

For more information on Carol please visit her website.

Jane Crowfoot

Jane has worked as a freelance designer and design consultant for the past 20 years and has worked closely with both Debbie Bliss, Rowan Yarns, Jamieson’s Of Shetland and Stylecraft.

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Jane Crowfoot has always had a love for yarn and all things crafty and attributes her ‘crochet gene’ to her Great Grandmother, Alice, who was seldom seen without a crochet hook in her hand and a few granny squares upon her lap.

Jane has worked as a freelance designer and design consultant for the past 20 years and has worked closely with both Debbie Bliss, Rowan Yarns, Jamieson’s Of Shetland and Stylecraft. Although an accomplished knitter, Jane has a passion for crochet, which is currently seeing a huge upsurge in popularity across the world. “I think it is far more organic and requires less planning when designing. I often start a project without any clear idea of what the finished product will be. Crochet pieces can start small, perhaps with just a flower motif which will fit the palm of your hand, yet they can end up being large enough to act as a cushion cover or a throw.”

Jane gets much of her inspiration from interior magazines, and she loves looking at greetings cards and wrapping paper.

Jane loves playing with colour and has a love of exotic textiles such as Indian saris, Mexican embroidery and Japanese screens. Persian Architecture, Art Deco design and the work of 20th Century artists are often the catalyst for her design inspiration. Jane designs her crochet motifs from scratch and rarely uses traditional blocks, stitches or existing motifs for the basis of her design work.

Jane is the author of 5 titles of which Kaleidoscope is the most recent, past titles are: Finishing Techniques for Handknitters, Two Stitch Knits, The Ultimate Crochet Bible and Homespun Vintage. Jane has a range of designs and accessories on her her web site and on Ravelry. You can also ‘like’ her company page on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

Hazel Tindall

Hazel Tindall was born and brought up in Shetland, surrounded by production knitters so learned to produce high quality knitwear as quickly as possible. She has made two instructional knitting download/DVDs and leads workshops, usually in fair isle knitting.

For more information on Hazel, please visit her website >>

Emma Leith

Emma Leith is a crochet designer, author and regular contributor to Simply Crochet Magazine (Immediate Media). Her work is a celebration of colour and an expression of her desire to create meaning and joy in all that she does.

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Inspired by Einsteins quote “Creativity is contagious pass it on” participants in her workshops feel treasured and valued by her happy demeanour and upbeat approach. Emma’s focus on the mindfulness aspect of working with yarn and colour gives an added dimension to her classes where participants enjoy a warm welcome, a space to breathe and a boost in confidence.

Internationally renowned for her yarn-bombing exploits Emma has worked on numerous large scale commissioned yarn installations and gives regular talks and presentations on this popular movement. She works closely with Rico Design Yarns, Deramores and Simply Crochet producing projects that keep crochet fresh and exciting as it continues to enjoy its resurgence in popularity.

Sarah Hazell

Sarah is a designer in knit and crochet and author of several books. She has a passion for beautiful yarn and textiles and is endlessly fascinated by colour, pattern and texture.

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In 2015, I launched my website www.sarah-hazell.com >>. Here you will find small, stand-alone collections with an emphasis on creating sustainable clothes and accessories. I work with a range of yarn suppliers in order to bring depth and variety to my work and more choice to the knitter or crocheter. My designs are available in a downloadable format and I talk about my inspiration as well as yarn and stitch choices on my blog and via my Instagram account, (@sarahhazell6).

I am an experienced workshop tutor and love to teach new techniques and inspire confidence in others. In 2017 I led a two week knitting holiday in India raising funds for the Knit for Peace charity. I also worked with women in one of the projects that the charity supports. Since then I have been teaching knitting and crochet in the UK and in Italy and most recently on stitching retreat in Scotland. I write two columns every month for Knitting magazine – Yarn Review and Ask Sarah I am aim to inspire as well as instruct and have some fun along the way!

For more information on Sarah, please visit her website >>

Karie Westermann

Karie Westermann does things with wool & words. She is a designer, teacher, author, and general wool enthuasist. Her work combines her love of storytelling, art, and woolly yarns as Karie is a big believer in knitting never being 'just knitting'.

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Karie is originally from Scandinavia but now lives in Scotland which inspires her knitting adventures. Her knitting book This Thing of Paper was published in 2017 and was nominated as Knitting Book of The Year in the UK Knitting & Crochet Awards 2018.

Lucy of Attic24

Based on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales, Lucy shares her passion for crochet, colour and yarn on her blog, Attic24.

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Winner of Favourite Crochet blog and Favourite Crochet Designer in the British Knitting Awards 2016 and 2017, Lucy celebrated 10 years of her blog in March 2018. Lucy loves to inspire creativity in others and is best known for her blankets, in nature-inspired colour palettes, which she designs, makes and shares the patterns for on her blog.

Sophia Reed

Sophia Reed is an award-winning textile artist and qualified tutor with ten years experience in designing and delivering workshops throughout the UK at Black Sheep Wools, John Lewis Partnership, Libertys London and independent shops such as Bibelot in Leek. During this time she has worked as a Design Consultant for Rowan Yarns and taught over a thousand people how to crochet.

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An enthusiastic designer and maker, Sophia has been knitting, crocheting, sewing, spinning and weaving for over 40 years. ‘As a child, I was fortunate to have been guided by my talented mother and grandmothers and also a lovely Irish lady, Bridget McArdle, who taught me how to crochet every Sunday after church. If people are struggling when learning to crochet, I recall Bridget’s patience in dealing with my triangular samples because I wasn’t doing my turning chains correctly!’

Sophia’s passion is for teaching knitting and crochet, however she has also worked with leading interior and fashion textile designers, making commissions for Marie Wallin, Sian Brown and Milena Silvano. This motivated her to fulfil a lifelong ambition in attaining a BA (Hons) degree in Textile Design in 2016, where she won four Bradford Textile Society awards for her knitting and weave designs.

She was also awarded the prestigious Hill Osborne Bursary, from The Worshipful Company of Framework Knitters, for work that was inspired by local history and knitting heritage. Living close to the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage sites of Cromford & Arkwright mills and the world-renowned knitwear company, John Smedley, has fuelled Sophia’s interest in British textile manufacturing and the use of British wool for sustainability. As a consequence, she has recently been working with ‘Snelston Tweed’, a family-run business who produce an exclusive range of fabrics, yarns and knitted Gansy-style sweaters using wool sourced entirely from their own flocks of Shetland and Bluefaced Leicester sheep reared on the Snelston Estate in Derbyshire.

Patchwork, Quilting, Textiles & Stitching Experts

Pat Archibald

Pat is a UK textile artist and tutor and is based in Edinburgh, her work is now widely exhibited both in the UK, Europe and in the USA and has brought her some wonderful awards.

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Pat loves to travel both around her home country as well as further afield. As her own horizons grow literally, then so too do the experiences that she can then express in her quilt making. She feels that each collection of quilts has its own unique identity and captures the essence of her view of the country or city.

For more information on Pat please visit her website.

Janice Gunner

Janice Gunner is an award winning textile artist, quilter, teacher and author. Her work is shown widely in solo and group exhibitions at home and overseas. Since 1999, she has travelled far and wide with invitations to teach in Australia, Japan, USA & more.

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Janice has been teaching patchwork and quilting for 20 years, turning freelance as a Textile artist in 1999, allowing her the opportunity to indulge in her passion to make quilted textile art and to teach both nationally and internationally. Janice's work is continually evolving, current themes involve using her own hand dyed Shibori fabrics, Japanese and/or African Fabrics to produce work in a variety of styles and techniques.

For more information on Janice please visit her website.

Karin Hellaby

Karin Hellaby is an internationally known quilt teacher and author of 10 quilting books and numerous patterns. She is a regular teacher at the Houston International Quilt Show and has also been invited to teach at quilting symposiums in New Zealand, Dubai and the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show in Oregon.

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Her teaching travels have taken her all over North America and to many European countries. Her style is to very much multi technique always finding ways to make patchwork simple, quick and fun to learn. Karin also owns one of the biggest quilt shops in the UK, Quilters Haven, which has been thriving for 21 years.

For more information on Karin please visit her website.

Mandy Shaw

Mandy Shaw is a well-known personality within the craft community. She is the owner of Dandelion Designs, a well established internet based family run company.

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Mandy currently appears regularly on Create and Craft TV showing her gorgeous patterns and kits for her handmade and machine craft projects.

For more information on Mandy please visit her website.

Janet Clare

Janet Clare is an artist, textile designer, teacher, author, quilter and all round creative thinker who is inspired by words, sayings and lovely phrases that she comes across and also by children and the joy they find in the mundane.

Janet has created a range of quilt and stitchery patterns, written five books and designed eight fabric collections in collaboration with Moda.

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Janet’s products retail in quilt shops across the UK and in her online ETSY store, as well as featuring on Create and Craft TV, where Janet presents a live show once a month. Her work features frequently in patchwork and quilting publications and as an experienced speaker and teacher, she regularly hosts talks and workshops at quilt shops, guilds and in her own studio focusing on the design process and the creative techniques she uses.

Jane Greenoff

Jane Greenoff is a well-known cross stitch designer, a prolific author and founder of the Cross Stitch Guild. She lives in the Cotswolds where the beautiful local buildings provided inspiration for her earliest designs, which Jane stitched for her own pleasure.

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Seeing there was a gap in the market for authentic English designs, Jane started marketing her first commercial kits and an internationally successful business was born. In addition to designing counted patterns, Jane has also collaborated with Ian Lawson-Smith to produce the highly acclaimed ’iStitch2’ cross stitch software. She is the author of twenty three books including ‘The Cross Stitcher’s Bible’, which was translated into ten languages including Chinese and Russian. In January 2017 Jane stepped down as Managing Director for the Cross Stitch Guild but continues as the guild’s Design Director.

Lynette Anderson

One of Australia’s leading patchwork, quilting and fabric designers, Lynette Anderson has a sophisticated naïve design style sought after around the world. Since 1995, Lynette has created countless patterns including quilts, pillows, bags, sewing accessories and buttons. She has published nine books, with two more on the way and designed more than 25 fabric collections.

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Inspired by childhood memories and other moments in time, Lynette’s designs are unique in that they always start with her original pencil line drawings. Lynette now splits her time, between designing at her home, studio and shop –Little Quilt Store -on the beautiful Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. One of her greatest passions is teaching and Lynette enjoys travelling the world teaching.

Angela Madden

Angela is internationally known for her innovative and fun design and stitching methods. She has taught in 18 different countries, writing 10 needlework books, producing DVD’s, tools and patterns along the way. Famed for her simplified approach to many different techniques from Celtic design and geometric patchwork to photo realistic appliqué she has won many awards and judged shows in U.K., New Zealand and U.S.

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Angela loves nothing more than sharing her passion for design and stitching. Probably due to her Irish heritage her first love has always been Celtic Design and her firm belief is that everyone can be successful at creating brilliant original designs if shown a simple enough method.

For more information on Angela please visit her website.

Kate Barlow

Kate grew up in North Wales and originally studied costume at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff and graduated in 2001 with a BA Hons in Theatre Design. Following this she worked as a freelance costume maker at Glyndebourne Festival Opera and then as part of the Touring Wardrobe department at the Welsh National Opera.

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Kate has always loved hand embroidery and got the stitching bug from her Nan at an early age, so in 2013 she decided to take the plunge and re-train as an embroidery tutor at the Royal School of Needlework at Hampton Court Palace. Kate graduated from the Future Tutors Programme at the RSN with distinction in 2016. During the course she studied many traditional hand embroidery techniques including goldwork, Jacobean crewel work, blackwork, stumpwork and silk shading. In 2015 Kates Advanced Silk Shaded budgie “Smuggler” was accepted by the Royal Academy of Arts for their annual Summer Exhibition. The piece was also made into a greetings card. Last year Kate filmed the RSNs first online course in silk shading. Kate loves to design her own embroidery kits, using traditional techniques in a contemporary way. She also likes to combine her embroidery with her love of historical dress, creating kits based on original pieces. Her classes cover all levels of ability, from absolute beginners to more advanced stitchers.

Carolyn Forster

Carolyn Forster is a quilt designer, teacher and author from Tunbridge Wells in Kent. Since self-publishing her first book ”Quilting On the Go” in 2007 Carolyn has gone on to write ten more patchwork and quilting books with Search Press in the UK and Landauer Publishing in the USA. She has been a regular project contributor for magazines in the UK, including Todays Quilter, as well as abroad.

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Carolyn's quilts are an eclectic mix of fabrics, a posh way to say she makes scrappy quilts, and they always have their roots from some point in the past, being inspired by quilt makers who have gone before us. Accessibility is Carolyn’s key philosophy with her teaching, demystifying techniques to allow every quilter to discover their own voice.

Houston, as well as for The American Quilters Society. Teaching for Arena travel is a great opportunity to combine her love of travel and stitching and the projects for these trips will reflect and explore techniques from Quilting on the Go.

Deborah Wilding

Based at the RSN Bristol Satellite, Deborah has been studying with the Royal School of Needlework since 2010. She began with the RSN Certificate course, for which she was awarded a distinction in 2012, before graduating from the Future Tutor Programme with a distinction in June 2015. Whilst a student Deborah was awarded both the Teaching Award in 2013 and the Elizabeth Elvin Goldwork Award in 2015.

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Over the last three years work produced by Deborah has featured in both The Times and Guardian newspapers.

As well as the Certificate and Diploma course in Bristol, Deborah also teaches classes across the UK, including Hampton Court Palace and internationally and also works as a studio stitcher in the commercial workroom of the RSN at Hampton Court. She is also a tutor on RSNonlinecourses.com.