Distance learning classes
This page is for students already signed up to our Distance Learning Courses.
If you would like to purchase one of the projects below, please visit our Video Embroidery kit page here.
This is a focused look at Jacobean crewelwork embroidery in this beautiful 'Spring' inspired design by Sarah. Lessons are in HD video format with Sarah, a Royal School of Needlework apprenticeship trained tutor (over 7 hours of HD video in total!). Included in the price is your materials pack with printed fabric, Madeira Lana threads, needles and accompanying instruction book (you will just need a ring frame, but you can get one with your pack if you don't have one!), 12 month video access available for you to watch at any time, as many times as you wish, feedback from Sarah any time you need it, constructive written feedback from Sarah and a certificate of completion.
Read below to see how our distance learning courses work and our frequently asked questions.
This class is aimed at those new to embroidery and the Jacobean crewework technique or those wishing to brush up on their skills. If you want a taster of this project and what it's like to learn with Sarah, check out the 'Displaying embroideries video' here for a sample from this class! If you are not sure if this course suits your abilities, why not try out some of the videos in Sarah's stitch library and see how you get on? You can access those here. If you can do these then you can do this course! Sarah estimates this course should take about 25 hours to stitch, but you have plenty of time with unilmited access to the lessons!
Students can access the 'Spring' videos and learning community here
'Love, Sin and Morality'
This distance learning project ‘Love, Sin and Morality’, is a traditional hand embroidery project inspired by the work of the great William Morris and his complex relationship with his wife Jane (more on this when you sign up!). Taught to you by Sarah Homfray, this project covers some of the fundamental stitches of hand embroidery as well as an introduction to crewelwork, silk shading and goldwork techniques. It is designed to guide beginners or stitchers with a little experience stitch by stitch through the creation of this William Morris inspired piece designed by Sarah. At the end of the course you will have a completed piece of embroidery and a comprehensive understanding of core hand embroidery techniques and stitches which will enable you to move onto other projects and techniques.
The course consists of nine lessons spread over 18 videos in HD video format (over 7 hours in total), accompanied by a written instruction book showing how to work the project exactly as it is shown above. The whole of the project is covered in the videos and most lessons are split into individual parts so you can easily find where you are and move between lessons. Pause, stop and restart at your convenience! The videos for this project are now available with lifetime access enabling you to work at your own pace and fit this project into your life in a timescale that suits you. As a guide line, Sarah estimates that a beginner will take approximately 25-30 hours to stitch this project.
Students can access the 'Love, Sin and Morality' learning community here
How the courses work:
Learning is by HD video which will be viewed on our special distance learning pages (you will need a customer account for secure login which you can set up when you purchase your class). The videos are accompanied by a written instruction book split into lessons to coincide with the videos. The book backs up the videos with information on materials needed for the lessons, stitch diagrams and hints and tips; you will need both the video instructions and the book to complete the courses. The whole of each project is covered in the videos and some lessons are split into individual parts so you can easily find where you are and move between lessons. Pause, stop and restart at your convenience! All of the videos for your chosen project will be online ready for you to watch as soon as you have enrolled and will be available to you for the length of time specified in each course from the time you enrol, enabling you to work at your own pace and fit this project into your life in a timescale that suits you.
You will receive a very high quality materials and equipment pack for your chosen project (see FAQ below, 'Do I need any specialist equipment?'); the only extra thing you need is a pair of embroidery scissors and if you wish to frame your piece the way Sarah has, a flexi hoop display frame. Check the individual classes for any optional extras (in some courses the embroidery hoops are optional as many stitchers already have one of these). Hoops, stretcher bars and display frames are are available from the online shop.
Ongoing dialogue with your tutor is a central part of any learning process and you can have feedback from Sarah whenever you need it via e-mail (Mon-Friday and please bear in mind time zone differences, Sarah is in the UK!) for the whole time you have access to your course. Sarah will aim to respond to your questions promptly so that you may continue with your stitching without delay. Send photographs or ask a question; Sarah is on hand to help you throughout the project. There is a community page for each course on the website for all students to access.
When you have finished the project, send back good quality photographs via e-mail and you will receive comprehensive written feedback from Sarah and a certificate of completion.
There is a one off fee to enrol on each course (see individual course details for these) and you can pay by bank transfer (UK and international options), cheque (in GBP only) or using your credit/debit card via the PayPal or Create payment gateway in our online shop. We offer free postage for those living in the UK and discounted postage for all other destinations with tracking options for many destinations. Upon receipt of payment your course materials will be sent out to you promptly and your access to the videos will be activated so you can start stitching right away. Please note, this fee is per person and it is not possible to purchase extra materials packs; the fee pays for Sarah's tuition, support and feedback throughout the course.
FEBRUARY 2022 update:
These courses have now been made converted into Video Embroidery Kits for future students. Anyone who signed up to a distance learning course before 2022 will continue to recive their feedback from Sarah whenever they need it and a certificate on completion. You now also get lifetime access to the course, so if life gets in the way, don't worry you have as much time as you need!
JUNE 2018 update:
Please note: if you joined a distance learning class before 20th June 2018 you can carry on viewing your videos on YouTube with your Google/YouTube login or now here on the website. For students who joined after 20th June 2018, videos are now available to view ONLY on your respective distance learning page on this website, not on YouTube.
For examples of Sarah's videos check the free ones out here!
If you have a question, check out the FAQs below. For anything not covered in the FAQs, you can contact sarahhomfray.com here and we will be happy to help.
What is distance learning?
Distance learning is a fabulous way to learn if you are unable to get to, or don’t have, any classes near to you but would still like the opportunity to learn a new skill or brush up on your current skills. You receive tuition in your own home and interaction with your tutor and other students via e-mail and the internet.
What courses are available?
See above for courses currently on offer. All pieces are designed, stitched and taught by Sarah.
Who teaches the courses?
Your course is led by professional embroiderer Sarah Homfray. Sarah trained on the three year Royal School of Needlework apprenticeship gaining a diploma in Hand embroidery with distinction. She went on to gain a teaching certificate with North Kent College and Greenwich University and has a wealth of experience teaching embroidery at home and abroad since graduating in 2006. To read more about Sarah, click here.
Who are the courses aimed at?
Anyone wishing to learn the art of hand embroidery or brush up on their hand embroidery skills under the guidance of a professional hand embroiderer wherever you are in the world!
What ability level are the courses aimed at?
Check the detailed course information above for the level of the course.
Do I need any computer skills?
We have tried to keep computer interaction as minimal as possible (this is an embroidery course after all!), but to be able to offer this to students wherever they are in the world, it’s inevitable that some computer knowledge will be needed. You will need only basic computer skills which you already have as you are reading this page! You will need an e-mail address in order to purchase the project online and for Sarah to interact with you on a one to one basis. The videos are available to watch on the website for which you will need a customer account. You can set up one of these when you purchase your class (if you have bought from us before you may already have one) or we can provide a login for you. You can view the videos on a computer, tablet or phone but a large screen is recommended for the optimum viewing experience. Only those who have paid for the class will be given access to view the videos. Any problems with the technical aspects of this course, please contact sarahhomfray.com here. If you joined a distance learning class before 20th June 2018 you can continue to view your videos on YouTube with your Google/YouTube login or view them on the website.
What format are the courses taught in?
The courses are taught by Sarah in a set of detailed HD videos, available to watch right here on the website. There is an accompanying written instruction booklet with colour stitch diagrams, notes and information. You will need both of these to work the project.
Do I need any special equipment to do the course?
A high quality materials pack is provided containing everything you need for the projects other than a sharp pair of embroidery scissors which are available from sarahhomfray.com if you don't have any. There is an option to buy an inexpensive frame to frame your piece at the end if you want to and occaisionally you may need to purchase a ring frame if you haven't got one (check individual course details for this).
What do I get in my course?
Tutoring from a Royal School of Needlework trained embroiderer (apprenticeship graduate) and fully qualified teacher with 15+ years of teaching experience.
A high quality materials pack containing everything you need, including screen printed original design by Sarah, all your threads cut to length and threaded onto a project thread card or bagged and labelled, needles, other materials specific to each project and a high quality photograph of the finished project for your reference. All in a presentation box.
A beautiful original design to work designed by Sarah.
Hours of HD video tuition of the whole project and accompanying printed instructions.
Questions answered whenever you need to (an important part of learning is completing a project so Sarah is on hand to help you throughout!).
Written feedback at the end of the course and a certificate of completion on the receipt of good quality photographs.
How many places are there on the courses and when do they run?
There are no more places on our distance learning courses, if you wish to join one of the above courses, please click here for our new page 'Video Embroidery Kits'.
Can I try before I buy?
There are lots of free videos on Sarah’s YouTube channel for you to have a go at before you commit to the course! Try some single stitches, or buy one of Sarah’s goldwork material packs and have a go at the 'Daisy' project or the 'Copper Petals' project. The latter is a good sample of the kind of video tuition you will receive on the projects. Don’t forget to watch full screen for the best HD picture!
How long will it take me to do the course?
You are given plenty of time to work your chosen course and Sarah will be on hand to help you if you get stuck; Sarah believes strongly in the importance of finishing a project in order to learn and feel that wonderful sense of achievement so she will encourage you to finish in a reasonable time. Try to allow yourself regular set times to work on the project whether it's half an hour here or there or one day every few weeks, whatever you are able to do that fits into your life.
What do I do if I get stuck?
The best way to learn is to have interaction with your teacher, so even though this course is a distance learning course, Sarah will be on hand to help you every step of the way! You will be able to ask questions as often as you need to in the form of e-mail correspondence. Sarah will aim to respond to your questions promptly so that you may continue with your stitching without delay.
Is my work marked?
Sarah will give everyone personal formative feedback on completion of their piece in written format which will be sent to you along with your completion certificate (on receipt of good quality photographs of your piece so that feedback can be given). Please note this is optional, if you don’t want this then no problem! Be assured, however, that Sarah understands the learning process well and will always, without exception, be constructive, encouraging and supportive to you. Feedback is a great way to help you look at your work objectively and help you to improve on your skills, so don’t miss out on this opportunity for the full learning experience.
Do I get a qualification?
This course is not currently accredited to an official education body, but you will get a certificate of achievement on submission of good quality photographs.
Can I work this project with a friend?
The more the merrier and working with a friend will inspire you both to stitch! Please note though, that the videos can’t be shared; each student wishing to work this design will need to sign up through the website and pay the total fee to get their materials pack and access to the videos, support and feedback. Please respect Sarah’s copyright and the many hours of work that goes into creating each course by not sharing the courses around. Again there are lots of free videos on YouTube for everyone to have a go at.