Seduced by Stitch – Lecture

Available for hire to Groups and Guilds 

Looking for Inspiration?  Join us for “Seduced by Stitch” – a Lecture and Slideshow of incredible stitched artwork given by Gail Harker.

What is it that compels you to pick up a needle and thread? Today and yesteryear?  The reasons differ for every person in every culture. Whether the answer lies in a 16th century gown weighed down with jewels or a need for self-expression embroidered into a pillow case, each embroidered quest is very personal.  Come with me on a visual journey to see and hear about historical and contemporary lures of embroidery and how this could be of interest to a Maker in the 21st Century.  Who are the Artist Makers of these incredible items that are jam packed with universal stitches?   

This talk is aimed at the importance of incorporating unique lifetime events in fabric designs and the stitches themselves.  Some of  these textiles could be an elegant wedding dress, and don’t overlook items that were embroidered for the kitchen and the bedroom. A few of the art pieces could manifest in embroidered book bindings and Crazy Quilts from European and North American countries.  The talk focuses on a variety of intriguing embroidered art pieces and the need to tell stories in stitch.   

Come with me on a visual journey to see and hear about historical and contemporary lures of embroidery.

  • To arrange for this talk for your group or guild, Contact Gail at 360-466-0110

Made for the “20 Million Stitches Project” by Penny Peters

Japanese Silk Thread Painting c 19th C detail, Museum Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon

The Fishmongers’ Pall, 1512 – about 1538, England. The Worshipful Company of Fishmongers, London

Gail Harker, L.C.G.I.

A Canadian who moved to Britain in 1976 with her American husband and family, Gail studied art in Canada, England and Scotland.  She completed both Parts 1 and 2 (Diploma) of the City and Guilds Design and Embroidery course with Distinction in both parts.  She was awarded the Senior Qualification of Licentiateship (LCGI) by the City and Guilds Institute and continued on teaching City and Guilds and becoming an External Verifier for student work.

Returning to the US with her family in 1995, she pioneered the establishment of the first City & Guilds Creative Studies Centers in North America. Gail founded and operates the Gail Harker Creative Studies Center in La Conner, Washington and has been running the center for 25 years. Over her career, she has taught thousands of students, sharing her passion for embroidery, textiles, and design.

She has authored five books on embroidery published in both Britain and the US:

  • Embroidery Skills: Machine Embroidery (published internationally in five languages) by Merehurst
  • Fairy Tale Quilts and Embroidery by Merehurst
  • Christmas Stitches by Cassell
  • Tassel Making – self published
  • Creative Machine Embroidery by Batsford.

She has also self-published an Online Color and Circles Design Course with videos and presentations available on the center’s website: