About the Designer - and the Designs!
name is Abi Gurden, though many friends know me as 'Bee'. I live in a
beautiful part of the English countryside, with my husband, two dogs - Esau ("Ee-saw", meaning 'Hairy'!) and Bonnie - and two
cats, Meeko and Ziggy (pics below!). Daily walks inspire me in my designs!
I have a condition known as Fibromyalgia Syndrome, which hit me when I was 29 years old, with 2 young children and a burgeoning career as a holistic aromatherapist! Suddenly finding myself forced to spend long hours sitting or even lying down, I turned back to my childhood love of stitching to keep myself busy.
(Find out more about Fibromyalgia Syndrome here).
When I'm not stitching, designing, or tossing a toy for Bonnie to chase (she is a rather demanding Little Miss ;-)), I do knitting, crochet, embroidery, and some quilting/patchwork. Hubby and I have a caravan (RV) and we love to visit places around the UK, indulging in our love of British countryside, wildlife and history. On top of this, I am an avid reader of novels and many TV shows!
Soon after picking up my stitching again, I visited a needlework show in London where I was astonished to discover that what I had considered to be the 'baby-stitches' I'd learned on Binca at the age of seven, were now considered 'speciality' stitches! I was further amazed to discover so few designers used them in their projects. It wasn't long before I aquired a basic design programme on my computer, and I started sharing my designs with friends. I discovered I had a talent for teaching new techniques to stitchers, and that I loved doing it, too.
In 2010, I began an online Yahoo Group called
The Stitch Specialists, set up to discuss and learn all kinds of counted-stitch
techniques. The group has proven to be very successful and I was
encouraged by members there to start selling my designs to the public.
Bee's Needleworks was born in April, 2012.
I create original counted-stitch designs using a variety of speciality stitches and counted-thread embroidery techniques. Included are clear, in-depth instructions so that all stitchers, even beginners, can have a go.
Please see The Gallery for examples of what other stitchers have done with my designs.
For me, stitching is
first-and-foremost an art-form. Creativity is what it's all about - and
I reflect this in my work. I positively encourage stitchers to choose
their own threads and fabrics, adapt stitches, and change elements of my
designs, etc, to produce a piece of work that is truly unique, not
merely a 'stitched photocopy' of someone else's work! Each design comes
with suggestions for ways in which a stitcher can personalize their
project, in the hope that stitchers will gain in confidence as they
A chart is a GUIDE, not a
COMMANDMENT - my designs are a base on which I hope stitchers will build
and find joy in discovering their own style.
Here's what stitchers say about Bee's Needleworks designs . .
"I really did enjoy stitching this design, and learning all the new special stitches. Your instructions were really clear and easy to follow. Thank you for designing such a fun and beautiful pattern!" - Kim O (Tree of Stitches)
"Bee's instructions are great!" - Patricia, TSS Member
"The stitches are beautiful and promise to be very challenging to do!! I can hardly wait!" - Karen, TSS Member (Confetti of Hardanger)
"It was great fun to stitch and I will miss working on it." - Elaine, TSS Member (Confetti of Hardanger)
"I have always found your instructions to be excellent and still find myself referring to your stitch diagrams when other designers' diagrams are not up to scratch!" - Amanda, TSS Member
"A lot of fun and a wonderful learning tool" - Bobbi, TSS Member
"I saw your magnificent Tree of Stitches being done in
various blog. I must admit that every time I saw it I drooled over it, I
dream about it, I thought about it, you name it, I am in love with it."-- Esther, TSS Member
"Abi's designs have helped me brush up on specialty stitches and learn some new ones in the process." -- Nancy, TSS Member
"I really like your chart "Tree of Stiches" - I have joined the "The Stitch Specialists Yahoo Group" and have seen all the faubolus finishes!" - Tea, TSS Member
"It is gorgeous and I can't wait to stitch it. I already have colors swimming around in my head" - Dusty, TSS Member (re 'Heart of My Heart').
"Adorable!!! Great Job!!!! I Love it!!!!" - Karen, TSS Member
"Thank you Abi for your wonderful instructions . .(and) for a wonderful, quick and beautiful design" - Tiffany, TSS Member (Heart of my Heart)
"Abi's designs and instructions are the best!" - Melissa, TSS Member