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: