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“It’s not easy to find embroidery classes near me but Gartmore House’s holidays are just what I was looking for.”

Gather your hoops, threads, and needles and come away for a different kind of holiday!

Mindful and a great avenue for creativity, it’s no wonder that embroidery is one of the world’s most popular crafts. Whether it’s some fancy stitches to embellish your clothes, a hoop to decorate your home, or a beaded broach, there are many ways to explore the world of embroidery.

Draw inspiration from Gartmore House’s quirky 18th century property and the stunning Scottish countryside as you delve into the world of creativity these embroidery classes provide. 

During this four day embroidery holiday, tutor Susie Findlayson will guide guests through everything they need to know to get started with embroidery. Susie offers two beginner’s holidays and one aimed at more experienced embroiders. Guests will learn all the basic stitches to start them on their embroidery journey from the running stitch to the split stitch and more.

To see pictures of the course please visit our gallery

Dates 2022

All of our holidays run for 5-nights from Sunday to Friday and start from £979 per person.
The above is based on single occupancy. A £100 per person discount is applied for art, craft and activity guests on a shared occupancy basis.

February 20th to 25th 2022 – Introduction to Hand Embroidery
March 20th to 25th 2022 – Introduction to Counted Embroidery
April 10th to 15th 2022 – Jacobean Embroidery
August 21st to 26th 2022 – Introduction to Hand Embroidery
October 2nd to 7th 2022 – Introduction to Counted Embroidery
November 27th to December 2nd 2022 – Jacobean Embroidery

If you’re coming on one of our holidays and would like to bring a friend, partner, or member of your family, then we have you (and them!) covered. Accompanying guests will enjoy full board catering and shared accommodation with you. We also have a full programme of day trips and activities on offer for them. Please add them and day trips at the checkout stage.

How to book
To book online, please click on your preferred date above.
For any questions or to book direct please call 01877 382 991 or email mail@gartmorehouse.com
If you have any questions, you may like to take a look at our FAQs but if you have any further queries, please contact our team directly.

To confirm your holiday:
A non-refundable 25% deposit is required to secure your booking.

Payment of your holiday:
The balance of your payment must be received no later than 3 months (90 days) prior to the commencement of your holiday. In the case of non-payment, we reserve the right to cancel your booking and any cancellation fees will apply.

If you cancel your booking:
All deposits are non-refundable. Should you need to cancel your booking up to 3 months (90 days) prior to the commencement date, we will refund any monies paid, less your deposit. If you cancel less than 3 months (90 days) prior to the commencement date, no refund will be given.
We do advise you to take out holiday insurance for this reason.

Introduction to Hand Embroidery

Suitable for absolute beginners and those who may not have picked up a needle since schooldays! Susie will take you through the stitches and techniques required to produce two pieces of hand embroidery – a heart sampler using stranded cotton and a crewelwork thistle worked in wool.

Stitches: running / double running, back stitch, satin stitch, french knots, stem stitch, seeding chain stitch, fishbone
Design Transfer: prick & pounce lightbox / window heat transfer
Introduce Heart Design: transfer using preferred method work through stitch plan

Review stitches from Monday.
Cover any remaining core stitches.
Introduce stitch variations.
Continue with Heart design (Paisley design available for quick stitchers)
Finishing: blocking mounting hoop display

Introduce Crewelwork – Thistle Design
Stitches: battlement couching, split stitch
Continue with Crewelwork

Review stitches from Wednesday Continue with Thistle Design
Stitches: fly / feather bullion knots


Introduction to Counted Embroidery

Suitable for absolute beginners and those who may not have picked up a needle since schooldays! Susie will take you through the stitches and techniques required to produce two pieces of counted thread embroidery – a blackwork Mackintosh rose using stranded cotton and a canvaswork sampler worked in wool. If you enjoy counted cross stitch this is an opportunity to expand your skills into other types of counted embroidery.

Stitches: running / double running back stitch
Patterns: fan octagon star / rounded eyelet lace / compressed lace open zigzag tulip
Design Transfer: prick & pounce lightbox / window heat transfer
Blackwork: transfer using preferred method work through stitch plan.

Review stitches / patterns from Monday
Cover any remaining core stitches
Introduce outline stitches – stem / chain
Continue with Blackwork design
Finishing: blocking mounting hoop display

Introduce Canvaswork – Sampler
Stitches: Rhodes Parisian Byzantine

Review stitches from Wednesday
Continue with Canvaswork
Stitches: Reversed Cushion, Milanese, Florentine


Jacobean Embroidery

Suitable for those who have some experience of embroidery and who are looking to expand their skills. Susie will take you through the stitches and techniques required to produce a piece of Jacobean style embroidery either in stranded cotton or in crewel wool. This design will be available in a variety of colourways and can be customised to include your own ideas.

Design Transfer: prick & pounce lightbox / window heat transfer
Stitches: trellis work fishbone, long & short shading
Design: customisation

Review stitches from Monday
Stitches: burden stitch, stem stitch, french knots, whipped wheels, feather stitch, fly stitch

Review stitches from Tuesday
Continue with stitching

Review stitches from Wednesday
Continue with stitching 11.00am
Finishing: blocking mounting hoop display

Check in is from 4pm where you will receive a warm welcome from our team.
Once you are unpacked and settled, we invite you to enjoy some tea or coffee and home baking in the lounge where you can relax after your journey.
If you have never been on a holiday like this before, we understand how anxious you may be. That’s why, come 6pm, everyone will gather in the lounge for the Welcome Talk and Meet & Greet, giving you the chance to meet both your fellow guests and your tutor before the start of the course on Monday. Your tutor will talk you through what to expect from the week, discuss what you would like to achieve during your stay, and answer any questions you may have. 
From there, dinner is served at 6:30pm in the downstairs dining room.

Monday to Thursday
Throughout the week, tuition runs from 10am to 4pm with regular breaks for tea and coffee so you can relax and have a natter with your fellow guests about everything you’ve been up to so far.
All your meals are served in the dining room.
Evening tea and coffee is available in the lounge at 9pm.

Check out by 10am

What’s Included

  • 4 days of specialist tuition from Susie Findlayson
  • All materials required for the course
  • Full board catering
  • 5-nights accommodation
  • Complimentary transfers from Stirling train station are available on the arrival and departure days (pick-up from the station at 15:30, departs Gartmore House at 10:00). Transfers from Glasgow or Edinburgh Airports are available at an additional cost.

Your tutor Susie will provide all guests on the embroidery course with everything they need, this will include:

  • Embroidery Hoops
  • Evenweave and Canvas
  • DMC Stranded Cottons
  • Appletons Crewel Wool
  • Needles

There will also be a selection or materials and notions available for you to use while on the course.

  • Lightboxes
  • Transfer Pens
  • Iron & Ironing Board
  • Scissors & Unpickers
  • Needle Minders
  • Beanbags & Clamps 

If you have your own hoops and materials that you wish to bring, then you are most welcome to do so. If you are in the habit if you using glasses and/or a magnifying glass, then please do bring them along as this will assist with your work.

    Tutor Susie Finlayson

    Susie is a professional hand embroiderer based in the Scottish Borders who specialises in delivering workshops in various techniques to encourage people to take up embroidery or improve their existing skills.

    Following an introduction to needlepoint and knitting at her granny’s knee Susie developed a keen interest in counted cross stitch to relax after studying and work.

    In 2012 Susie became involved with the Great Tapestry of Scotland project, initially tracing the designs onto panels and sending out wool orders to stitchers across Scotland. Previews of partially stitched panels encouraged Susie to have a go at this new style of embroidery and she ended up stitching on two panels and it has lead to a dramatic change in career.

    Susie now designs her own pieces and delivers a variety of workshops suitable for both beginners and improvers. The focus is very much on relaxing and enjoying the process of learning a new skill.

    In 2019 Susie was chosen as one of the SWI (Scottish Women’s Institutes) Evelyn Baxter scholars and delivered a series of 2-day Basic Embroidery classes to members across Scotland.

    Susie is still involved with the Great Tapestry of Scotland and is currently coordinating the stitching of five new ‘Welcome’ panels which will be displayed at the entrance of the new tapestry visitor centre, due to open in Galashiels in 2021.

    Susie is also currently working towards a Certificate in Technical Hand Embroidery with the Royal School of Needlework, studying with Helen McCook in Glasgow.


    • ”Prior to attending the classes, embroidered for a few years, all self-taught. Susie helped me to grow in confidence; every class resulting in new skills being learnt and others being developed and improved on.”
    • ”Susie has a lovely way of teaching which leaves you feeling like you’ve had a fun day out with a group of friends. She ensures all pupils, no matter what level they are stitching at, are part of the group and able to complete the project. Can’t recommend her classes enough, her fun and positive outlook on life makes every class is a real joy.” – Kirsty Robb
    • Susie demonstrated a thorough knowledge of her subject. The atmosphere was excellent and she circulated in the class but also knew when to withdraw when students were happy and getting on. Enough instruction was given at each stage to allow students to make choices regarding which colour and stitch to use. Each stitch was demonstrated then students who wished more instruction were invited in groups to see stitches again. Students left the class happy with what they had achieved.” – Ann McGuchan

    Please note: The above reviews come from past workshops and courses run by the tutor out with Gartmore House.

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