Pink bag ribbon garland

The Common Thread offers embroidery for all experience levels

Tanya Haines of The Common Thread grew up in South Africa and has been stitching and knitting since childhood, but it wasn’t until she moved to England in 1993 that a whole new world of needlework, and all that it had to offer, opened up to her.

She is a hand embroiderer and has been designing and teaching traditional hand embroidery for over 23 years. Tanya started teaching at the Woburn School of Needlework in 1994. When the owner retired, she started the Bedfordshire School of Needlework, which has now become The Common Thread’s School of Needlework.

Over the years, Tanya has designed pieces in order to teach students the traditional forms of drawn and pulled threadwork, Hardanger, Casalguidi and Reticello, as well as silk ribbon embroidery and stumpwork.

The Common Thread continues to go from strength to strength with the company now stocking hand-dyed silk ribbons, the full range of the hand-dyed Chameleon Threads, as well as mother of pearl accessories and other haberdashery items.

Through the commercial side of the business, Tanya creates and sells her own range of beautiful designer embroidery kits. These include designs for the beginner in the "Sample of Stitches" Collection, as well as designs for the more experienced embroiderer who is looking for a more challenging project.

You can buy full kits as well as pattern- and print-only packs and pattern-only PDF files.

Tanya continues to teach at Guilds and full-day embroidery workshops throughout the country.


Collection of ribbons on bundles
Display of embroidery kits

Make & Take gives a taste of silk ribbon embroidery

Tanya will be running a Make & Take area at the LQ&N Fair entitled, ‘A Taste of Silk Ribbon Embroidery’.

For just £7, you will be able to buy a small silk ribbon embroidery starter kit containing a simple design, together with instructions and all the materials you need to complete it. Tanya will be on hand to help you get started and give you help and advice as you work on the piece. You will then be able to finish the project at home.

Tanya would love to see you at the Make & Take and says, “Come and try this gentle style of embroidery to see whether it’s something you might enjoy.”

You can find out more about The Common Thread at:



Peter Rabbit, Stumpwork

Create your own stunning stumpwork piece with Kay Dennis Stumpwork

Kay Dennis has always been passionate about needle lace and this passion led her into stumpwork. When Kay took redundancy about 20 years ago, stumpwork embroidery became her full-time occupation. She was in growing demand as a stumpwork teacher and also established her business, Kay Dennis Stumpwork.

Her husband Michael took early retirement at the same time and became a professional wood turner. However, the constant exposure to dust eventually made it impossible to continue. Fortunately, he was able to use his skills to specialise in building the deep frames needed for stumpwork, adding a new product range to the business.

For the past seven or so years, Kay and Michael – AKA ‘Team Dennis’ – have travelled throughout the UK teaching stumpwork classes to embroidery guild groups and at craft centres or residential colleges such as Knuston Hall.

They have also written and published four popular books on stumpwork and two needle lace booklets.

At the Makit LQ&N Fair, Kay will be demonstrating stumpwork techniques and her new development of three-dimensional embroidery.  She and Michael will also have a small exhibition of Kay’s latest work, specialist materials, books, cards, some kits and project books for sale.

Ask them anything you like about traditional stumpwork and they’re sure to inspire you.

Take part in a Stumpwork Make & Take

Blackberries & Mushrooms StumpworkThe ‘Team Dennis’ Make & Take will be slightly different to some of the other Make & Takes you’ll find at the LQ&N Fair.

Kay will be running two hour-and-a-half sessions during the fair (price to be confirmed). The first will take place at 11am and the second will start at 2pm. There are six spaces available for each session so, if you’re interested, we recommend that you pop by the Kay Dennis Stumpwork stand when you arrive at the fair to put your name down.

During your Make & Take session, you’ll begin work on a stunning stumpwork kit – either a flat acorn with leaf or a blackberry with leaf. Each kit contains full instructions and all the materials you’ll need to complete it at home. General equipment such as needles and scissors will be available to use during the session.

Kay will be on hand at all times to offer tips and advice about creating your stumpwork piece.

You can find out more about Kay Dennis Stumpwork at:

four squares with glitter film

Tudor Rose Patchwork is a quilter’s dream

Sandra Crow and her husband took over existing business Tudor Rose Patchwork back in 2008. Their ambition was to build the business as a craft brand that people know and love, both locally and further afield.

Their busy craft shop, online shop, popular products and two workshop rooms, which see a constant flow of workshops and classes throughout the year, are testament to an ambition realised.

Tudor Rose Patchwork is Bedfordshire’s answer to a quilter’s dream. They stock Pfaff and Janome sewing machines along with many of the accessories for these machines.

Their stall at the Makit LQ&N Fair and shop itself offers a huge range of patchwork fabrics, accessories, kits, patterns, a good selection of ‘how-to’ books for patchworkers and quilters to get their next big project from.

They also sell an extensive range of beads and beadworking accessories as well as books on beading and jewellery-making.

If you’re looking for haberdashery then Tudor Rose Patchwork is also the place to come. They stock needles, tapestry and embroidery cottons, yarns, kits and more.

Work with glitter film at the Tudor Rose Patchwork Make & Take

House glitter film samplerChristmas Candle glitter film samplerTudor Rose Patchwork is particularly well-known for its range of heat applied glitter film products, which are perfect if you like to add a bit of bling to your applique, patchworking or quilting projects.

In addition to creating their own designs, the company has just commissioned Kathleen Laurel-Sage to develop a glitter film design for Tudor Rose Patchwork. Kathleen is a popular machine embroider who will be familiar to those of you who’ve attended previous Makit fairs.

At this year’s Make & Take from Tudor Rose Patchwork, you can pick one of four ‘Mug Rug’ (coffee coaster) designs for just £3.50 – Easter Basket, Christmas Candle, Sunflower or House – and learn how to cut glitter film from a template and apply it to fabric.

A member of the Tudor Rose team will be on hand to guide you through using glitter film. Each kit contains everything you need to finish your coaster at home.

You can find Tudor Rose Patchwork online at:






Cross stitch on perforated paper with The Nutmeg Company

When circumstances meant that Meg Evershed was unable to return to her old career after having children, she began to look for a way to work around her family. Having come from a long line of needlewomen and talented crafters, it seemed natural to turn her passion for cross stitching into a business.

 The Nutmeg Company was officially founded in 1994 when Meg started designing and producing her own cross stitch kits. Meg’s husband Mike joined the business after he retired in 2007 and part-timers Anne, Chris and Tom complete the current workforce.

These days, Meg designs and the team manufactures a stunning range of cross stitch kits for 3D pieces, such as ornaments, decorative boxes and Christmas decorations. They also stitch on perforated paper to produce greeting cards for pretty much every occasion.



The Nutmeg Company is based at the Reeth Dales craft centre in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales. Meg describes it as ‘the ideal area for a holiday with wonderful scenery and plenty of B&Bs nearby’, which means that there is always a steady flow of visitors.

Meg and Mike visit a select number of craft fairs throughout the year. At these times, The Nutmeg Company’s premises will be closed for the day so it’s always best to ring before visiting if you’re travelling from further afield.

Make & Take with The Nutmeg Company

We’re delighted that The Nutmeg Company will be running a Make & Take area at the Makit LQ&N Fair on Sunday 13th May.

Meg says that she is in the process of designing a choice of two small projects for the fair – a bookmark or a greetings card (the picture here is for illustrative purposes only).

The Make & Take will give you the opportunity to experience cross stitching on perforated paper. Your kit will include all the materials you need. You can start the project with Meg on hand to help and complete it at home.

Find The Nutmeg Company at: