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In partnership with the Embroiderers’ Guild
Saturday 4 October 2014, 11am–4pm

The Big Stitch

The Big Stitch returns for another year! Following the success of our 2012 event we would like to invite you to join us for a celebration of all things embroidered.

Study the history of embroidery in the special exhibition The Eye of the Needle which will display, for the first time in public, a selection of eye-catching, virtuoso 17th-century embroideries from the internationally renowned Feller Collection, together with outstanding examples from the Ashmolean’s own holdings.

See both cutting-edge and traditional embroidery demonstrations; take a guided tour or learn more in a lecture; and enjoy stitching activities for all ages. Bring your own project, or start something new. Experts will be on hand to help you improve your stitching or to get you started if you’re a complete needle-novice.

To pre-book The Eye of the Needle exhibition tickets online today following this link.

To see a full programme of events and book tickets online following this link.

The Big Stitch Event Programme


Tours are free but advanced booking is essential. Book online by following this link.
Please meet at The Big Stitch Welcome Desk in the Randolph Sculpture Gallery on the Ground Floor.

Highlights of the Ashmolean Textiles
11.30am and 2pm

Textiles Through the Ages
12.30pm and 3pm.


Lectures are free but places are limited. No advanced booking is available; these are first-come, first-served events.

Knitting with Both Hands Tied: Knitwear Design
With Sally McCollin
11-11.45am, Taylorian Lecture Theatre

Curious and Strange Inventions: English Embroidery from 17th century
With Chris Berry
12-12.45pm, Taylorian Lecture Theatre

Inspired to Stitch: Looking at Ways to Find Inspiration for Textiles
With Maggie Grey
1-1.45pm, Taylorian Lecture Theatre

24/7 Stitch
With Karen Nicol,
2-2.45pm, Taylorian Lecture Theatre

The Art of Embroidered Butterflies
With Jane E. Hall
3-3.45pm, Taylorian Lecture Theatre


Adult Embroidery Workshop
With Sheila Knight
11am-1pm and 2-4pm, Headley Lecture Theatre
Create beautiful embroidered brooches. £3 for materials to be paid directly to Sheila on the day.
Book online by following this link.

Adult Embroidery Workshop
With Margaret Rowan
11am-1pm and 2-4pm, Education Studio
Margaret Rowan will help you make an embroidered vintage lavender sachet. £3 for materials to be paid directly to Margaret on the day.
Book online by following this link.

Young Embroiderers’ Workshop – Drop In!
With Jan Gillmer
11am-4pm, Taylorian Building, Room 2
Jan Gillmer will be on hand to help you create your very own needle felt wild flowers, embroidered butterflies and bugs. Adults are asked not to accompany the children, and must leave a contact phone number with the organisers. No tickets are available online because this is a drop in event.


Object Viewing
With Dr Mary Brooks, Lecturer in the Department of Archaeology, University of Durham
11-11.45am and 12-12.45pm, Jameel Centre Eastern Art Study Room
Dr Mary Brooks, curator of Eye of the Needle, provides a rare opportunity to see up close some of the equally wonderful embroideries that did not make it into the exhibition and explore magnified details of pieces you can see in the exhibition. Booking is essential as places are limited. Book online by following this link.


No booking is required for these demonstrations.

Pop Up Studio
With Sue Rangeley
11am-4pm, Gallery 14

Gallery Demonstrations
With The Embroiderers’ Guild
11am-4pm, Galleries throughout the museum
Members of the Oxford Branch of the Embroiderers’ Guild will be located around the museum to demonstrate their embroidery. You will have the opportunity to ask them about their work and watch embroidery masterpieces being created before your eyes.

To pre-book The Eye of the Needle exhibition tickets online today following this link.

To find out more about The Embroiderers’ Guild follow this link.

What you said about The Big Stitch 2012

“I had an absolutely brilliant day at the Ashmolean, sewing in wonderful surroundings”
“I knew the world’s longest embroidery would be long, but it still surprised me”
“Big Stitch = Big Success! We at the office thoroughly enjoyed ourselves... we even sewed a strawberry!“
“A heavenly day with Meiji textiles, hand stitching demos galore and Pre-Raphaelites”

The Eye of the Needle

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