an independent group of creative textile artists and stitchers

from Durham and the surrounding area


Young Stitchers' Group

Take a Stitch 2 Durham encourages and supports young people between the ages of 8 - 18 who want to enjoy being creative with fabric, threads and stitches. We offer weekly workshops during the local school holidays, these usually last about two hours with materials provided free of charge. During 2022, the workshops were held at Ushaw Historic House & Gardens, and we plan to do so again for 2023.

In class, young stitchers are guided by qualified leaders. However, a responsible adult must accompany young children under the age of 13. Youngsters of all levels of ability are welcome and the group caters for those making their first stitches right up to students wanting to base their careers on this area of art and design.

It is esssential to pre-book a place with Ushaw Historic House before attending a Young Stitchers' session.

If you would like to go on our holiday programme notification list, please contact Penny Widdison, the TAS-2 secretary for further information:

If you would like to stitch at home with a responsible adult, we have some ideas noted below:

Recent works by youngsters at the workshops at Ushaw Historic House 2022

Find us on....

Other Recent Projects:

If any of the suggested projects are carried out at home, parents or guardians may need to supervise younger children using equipment and materials.

Practising Stitches:

If you are new to stitching, creating a small practise piece, called a sampler is a perfect starter project. You will need some embroidery thread, a needle and a piece of fabric. Ask a grown up if there is a piece from an old shirt or a pillow case you can use - don't cut up one that is in regular use!

We love Sharon Boggon's website Pintangle. Sharon takes a stitch every Tuesday to work on. Ask a grown up to show you this link, which will take you to the Pintangle website, starting with 'Back Stitch'. There are lots more stitches to try out, and add them to your sampler.

Here is a photograph from the start of Sarah's sampler with Running Stitch and Back Stitch.

Running Stitch and Back Stitch sampler

Textile Postcard Swaps: Creating a postcard sized piece of work is a fun way for youngsters who have already done a bit of stitching to be creative. You can you use small scraps of fabric and add bits of plastic from recycling. Start with a piece of backing fabric, then add more bits to it securing them with stitch. Try different stitches to keep the different pieces in place.

The theme for this postcard swap is Geometric Shapes. You can use the theme however you wish, but we suggest your stitched piece of work is maximum size 15cm x 10cm. We have chosen parallelograms simply because we like the word! We have also continued the challenge of using waste materials so this card used some old denim from a pair of jeans and some sequin waste.

We would love to see your postcard so please ask an adult to post a photograph in the comments box of our Facebook page.

We also set themes of Complementary Colours, and Just One Stitch.

You can see some of the amazing postcards created by the ‘not-quite-so-young’ stitchers on the TAS 2 Gallery page. Can you think of other ideas for a creating a postcard? You might want to start swapping with another friend who likes to stitch.

A wrapped Stick or weaving on a branch:

If you can't collect some sticks/small branches you can still do this activity using straws, lollipop sticks or wooden dowling instead.

All you need to do is wrap some things around your stick to decorate it. Here are some of the things you could use:

  • Fabric
  • Thread
  • Ribbon
  • Foil covering from Easter eggs or chocolate bars
  • Coloured tape
  • Paper
  • Coloured plastic
  • Leaves
  • Cable ties
  • Wire


You may want to paint all or part of your stick before decorating it. we used a mixture of thread, ribbon, cable ties, wire and paint. There are also attached some fir cones and metal washes as extra decoration. We decorated 4 sticks/small branches and attached them together using wire and it’s now hanging on the side of the shed. For the weaving we used some thread, Easter egg foil and leaves from a chive plant.

Easter Egg or Christmas tree decorations: This decoration can be as big or small as you like. Use coloured felt for the shape outline, then decorate with ribbon, beads, buttons, pieces of fabric. I used a mixture of hand and machine stitching. You can make different shapes for a chick or rabbit, or a Christmas tree or snowman. I got carried away with mine and ended up making some bunting!

I decorated a front and a back for each egg and stitched them both together afterwards.

Don’t forget to ask an adult to put a photo of your finished eggs in a comment on our facebook site so we can enjoy your creations.

Recycling used tea bags to make a smiling face: This week do you feel like stitching a smiling face on a tea bag? Mine is called Mrs Potato Head as she reminds me of those kits you can buy in the shops where you grow cress out of a potato (or something that looks like a potato).

To stitch on a tea bag you need to use it then leave it to dry. Once it’s dry put a small slit in it so all the dry tea leaves can come out. I found it easier to stitch on mine by attaching it to a piece of fabric first.

You don’t have to use a tea bag you can use whatever you can find in your house (please remember to check with an adult before cutting anything up first (a random hole in your clothes or bedding isn’t good!).

If you don’t have any stitching equipment/items paint, draw or collage a smiling face.

My tea bag ended up with green hair as it was the only wool that I had. I stitched a person but you can do a face of an animal if you prefer.


Rainbows: During Covid-19 they appeared in windows to brighten people’s days. If you fancy doing something creative, how about stitching a rainbow to go in your window?

You could: -

  • use a mixture of different stitches
  • paint the rainbow and add beads/sequins/stitches to it
  • use coloured ribbon or strips of fabric
  • use things you can find in the house (please check with an adult first) e.g. washing up sponges, coloured wire, straws, netting from fruit, plastic
  • If you don’t have any stitching equipment/items paint, draw or collage a rainbow.


Previous Projects:

The group took part in the National '100 Hearts War Stories' project in 2018 to commemorate the ending of WWI.

Here are some of the postcards the group designed and stitched for the exhibition.




Making Dorset Posies: Sarah H says: "We loved the Dorset Posies and dream catchers and how the group translated the stitches and ideas into their own designs.



Meetings & Stitch Sessions

For further information on planned activities at meetings, please see the Take a Stitch 2 Durham & Young Stitchers Facebook page for updated information. Parents of interested new members are welcome to contact the TAS-2 Young Stitchers at

All images reproduced with permissison of the owner/maker and are copyright. Please do not copy without permission.