National Needlework Archive

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The Old Chapel Textile Centre in Newbury, home of the National Needlework Archive, offer courses, workshops and exhibitions in sewing, haberdashery,  needlecraft, textiles, embroidery, cross stitch, quilting and textile art. Our shop carries an extensive range of all needlework and sewing products including fabric, threads, wool, zips and patterns. We have an archive of historic textiles and patterns and are home to The Country Wife mural.



Please note safety restrictions will be operating.  Classes will generally take place when the Centre is otherwise closed to reduce numbers in the building.  Class numbers are being kept below six persons and tables will be distanced.  A tutor will be teaching but some close work demonstrations may be done via a camera and wall screen in the classroom to avoid crowding.  All students will have their temperature taken via a forehead thermometer on arrival.  Please do not attend the class if you have a temperature or any other symptoms of infectious ill health.  Face masks will be obligatory and frequent hand washing and sanitisation will be required.  Students must bring their own sewing kits etc as detailed on the Requirements Lists sent after enrolment, as no equipment can be shared.  These safety details may be updated at any time and are not exhaustive.  Our staff and student safety is paramount.  

Please telephone the Centre for further information but we will be updating this page to conform with government guidelines, show costs involved, photos, etc. for the classes we can run.   Many of the classes will have all materials supplied to reduce the necessity of extensive shopping.

Date,Time and Cost

Workshop Title


Wednesday 26th  May
1:30pm to 4:30pm.


Optional full kit
available £6

Reverse Appliqué

A technique of layering fabric, stitching and cutting to reveal a multi-coloured image.

Participants will look at the World Textiles exhibition and take design inspiration from the Molas and other textiles on display. They will then create their own layered and stitched sample.

Tuesday 1st June

10:30am to 12:30pm

£15 per child
Materials included

Children’s Workshop

Make a Dream  Catcher

Make a Dream Catcher using multi coloured yarns. Decorate with pom-poms, beads, feathers and felt.

Children under 8yrs should be accompanied by an adult.

Saturday 5th  June

2pm to 4pm.

£30 including base fabric and sample threads

Free Machine Embroidery

Use the machine to embellish printed fabrics. Learn the techniques of free machine stitching to create a beautiful and useful butterfly motif

Wednesday 16th  June

 2pm to 4pm.

£30 including kit

Swiss Darning

Swiss Darning is a great way of embellishing and personalising your plain knitted garments.  Learn easy ways of creating your own patterns and the ‘darning’ technique.

Wednesday 23rd June

2pm to 4pm.

£30 including materials

Mini Hexagons

Paper piecing patchwork. Use pre-cut papers in mini-hexagon shapes to create a small sample that can be completed at home and used for a variety of projects.

Saturday 3rd July

1pm to 3pm

£30 including materials

Lavender Bags

Lavender is great for helping you sleep or for freshening storage drawers and deter moths.  Make a pretty heart bag to keep for yourself or as a gift for a loved one.

Wednesdays x 2

14th July & 21st July

1:30pm to 4:30pm.

£70 to include both days. Self purchase pattern and fabric etc



Make an easy to wear style for your holidays; chose between New Look Separates Pattern 6517 or Simplicity Wrap Skirt Pattern 8133. Understand pattern symbols and instructions; learn best practice for achieving great results when making clothes using commercial patterns.

Saturdays x 2

17th July & 24th July

1:30pm to 4:30pm.

£70 to include both days. Self purchase pattern and fabric etc



Make an easy to wear style for your holidays; chose between New Look Separates Pattern 6517 or Simplicity Wrap Skirt Pattern 8133. Understand pattern symbols and instructions; learn best practice for achieving great results when making clothes using commercial patterns.

Wednesday 11th August

1.30pm to 4pm

£30 including kit



Smocking is a really useful technique for embellishment, stretch, or texture.  It can be used on adult or children’s clothing and is great on household items. And it’s easy!  Come and learn basic techniques and take home a pretty drawstring bag.

Wednesday 18th August

1:30pm to 4:30pm

£45 includes materials

An introduction to the art of

Block Printing

Try out this age old technique to create stunning, individual designs. Test different layout techniques on paper using a variety of wooden printing blocks and fabric paints. Print your chosen design on to natural calico fabric.

Tuesday 3rd August 10.30am-12.30,

Summer Holiday

Children’s Workshop

A chance for younger stitchers to get used to the sewing machine while making small, useful, and fun, items.

Wednesday 1st  September

2pm to 4pm

£30 including kit



You have seen them on ‘Sewing Bee’ so come and make your own. Make three triangle pattern weights using templates, fabric and filling supplied.

Saturday 11th  September

Family class (1 Adult plus 1/2 children)

1:30pm to 4:30pm.
£45 for 1 adult, 1 child, additional 1 child + £6

Cyanotype ‘Sun’ Printing


Cyanotype prints are created using treated fabric. Objects (foliage & other found items) are placed on the material and then exposed to sunlight. When rinsed an image of the object appears on a blue ground.

Wednesday 15th  September

1:30pm to 4:30pm

£30 including practice kit


Pram Cover

This is a really easy pattern and the class will get you well on your way to creating a lovely pram or lap cover.  

Wednesday 22nd September

2pm to 4pm

£30 including materials

Ribbon weaving

Create a variety of pretty woven patterns using coloured ribbons. We’ll look at transforming your sample into a useful notebook cover with the kit provided, or you can use your sample for many other decorative purposes.

Thursday 30th September
10:30am to 3:30pm

£15 per hour of tuition

Project Finishing Class

Do you have unfinished bits of patchwork, quilts, wall hangings, embroideries or cushions that need making up or completing? Use this day as the prefect time to get that bit of expert advice needed to assist you in creating a lovely, completed item.

Saturday 2nd October

10.30- 3.30pm

£75 including pattern

Gingerbread House picture

Using the painted houses of Oak’s Bluff, Martha’s Vineyard, as inspiration we’ll create pretty, Individual wall hangings or cushion fronts.

Wednesday 6th October

2pm to 4pm.


Upcycling Doilies

Investigate using old crochet/needlelace doilies for pretty pin cushions, table runners, pillows, and bags.  We are going to make a really pretty cushion cover to teach you all the techniques you need. Don’t waste these lacey inspirations!

Hand or sewing machine required

Saturday 16th  October

2pm to 4pm

£30 including kit

Rag Rug Pictures

Using a proddy rug technique students will design and create small pictures suitable for bags, cushions or wall hangings – or just keep going with this addictive hobby and make them as big as you like.

Wednesday 20th  October

2pm to 4pm


Optional kit available £5

Felting workshop

An introduction to felting. Use the wet felting technique to make a finished picture.

Tuesday 26th October

10:30am to 12:30pm

£15 per child

Children’s workshop



Make spooky hand spiders or playful pumpkins. Have some Halloween fun using fur fabric & felt.

Wednesday 27th  October

2pm to 4pm

£30 including kit

Textile Jewellery

Explore different techniques for making mixed media brooches and fabric necklaces.

Hand or sewing machine required

Saturday 6th  November

2pm to 4pm

£30 including kit

Christmas Table  Centre

Using ready cut pieces run up this pretty foundation pieced Christmas log cabin table centre in an afternoon.

Sewing machine required

Wednesday 17th  November

2pm to 4pm

£30 to include fabric

Infinity Scarf

Make an Infinity scarf from cosy, mixed fabrics..

Saturday 20th November

1.30pm to 4pm

£30 including it

Rag Rug

Christmas wreath

Using proddy rug techniques, make a cheerful and unique door wreath. Great fun and relaxing.

Wednesday 24th  November

2pm to 4pm.

£30 including materials

Christmas Decorations

Get in the festive spirit by creating fabric Christmas decorations. A variety of Christmas themed decorations including trees, stars & angels will be available.

Thursday 2nd December

10am to 4pm

Student materials requirement list available.

'Extreme Stitching' Workshop by Cas Holmes

This workshop explores the character and qualities of cloth, paper and found materials for hand stitching. Be inspired by a memorable place, landscape or garden as a base for your design. Learn the processes of creating mixed media pictures and create working samples.