Modern Crewel Embroidery Class Plan


Embroidered Leaf Brooch

From Modern Crewel Embroidery by Jo Avery


Class Description

Create this pretty brooch using felt and a wide range of crewel embroidery stitches such as chain, satin, seed, buttonhole wheel and both colonial and bullion knots. Working with just one strand of Aurifil wool thread creates a fine delicate texture, with blanket stitch edging adding extra detail to finish, however any embroidery thread can be used for this class if you prefer. The easy handling of the felt makes for a very enjoyable, quick project that is perfect for beginners and a great introduction to stitching with wool (crewel). These make beautiful handmade gifts or could easily be adapted to become holiday ornaments. Embroidery is time consuming so students may not finish the whole project during the class, but you will have time to demonstrate, and for the students to practice, all the stitches during the session.


Class Length
Half day


Class Supply List


Modern Crewel Embroidery Book


Green wool (or wool mix) felt:1 rectangle 4˝ × 6˝ (10 × 15cm) 


Purple wool (or wool mix felt:1 rectangle 4˝ × 6˝ (10 × 15cm)


Tracing wheel


Transfer pen/pencil


Safety pin or brooch clip


1 each of Aurifil 12wt wool 50mt spools in the following colors:


Outline dark green (8897)


A pale pink (8426)


B mauve (8553)


C apricot (8205)


D variegated orange (8002)


E orange (8215)


F dusky pink (8401


G dull red (8442)


H berry (8450)


Optional Supplies

  • Needles – I recommend Sharps number 4 or 5

  • Embroidery scissors

  • Needle threaders


TIPS: Rather than supplying the exact colour thread used in this project you could let students choose their own favourite colours from your stock. Once customers start using the Aurifil wool for embroidery they will almost certainly want to buy more to build a collection of colours.  


You could also stock the Aurifil ‘Stitching With Wool’ collection which I designed to accompany this book or my original wool collection ‘Modern Crewel Work’. Customers love a pretty box of threads!


They may also want to purchase more felt to make more of the brooches at home so you could make up some packs of felt pieces in different colours in the size needed for this class.


Students will not use the whole of each spool for this project but will have plenty left for using on other projects.


Classroom Preparation


Hand stitching requires much less space than machine sewing so you can sit students closer together and book a larger class. You might want to supply a free needle so that students could try your needle offering before buying a whole pack. Dependent on time and resources you may wish to mark up the embroidery design for each student ahead of the class, in which case they will not need the tracing wheel and pen, but you could demonstrate how to use these and hopefully sell the wheels and pens too.


Class Outline

1. Use the pattern on page 104 and the felt marking methods on page 14 to show the students how to mark their felt piece with the leaf design.


2. Follow the stitch library instructions on page 17 to demonstrate the back stitch outlines.


3. Follow the stitch library instructions on pages 17-22 to demonstrate the basic filling stitches: chain, satin, seed, running, bullion and colonial knot. Students can choose which leaf section to fill with these or follow the stitch guide on page 70.


4. Follow the bonus stitch instructions on page 40 to demonstrate the lazy daisies.


5. Follow the bonus stitch instructions on page 61 to demonstrate the buttonhole wheels and blanket stitch.


6. Follow the instructions on page 71 to demonstrate how to finish the brooch with blanket stitch edging and brooch clip.