“Stitches are a means to an end in needlework, not an end in themselves. They are the words of our needle language; without them we cannot speak.” – Gladys Windsor Fry, Embroidery & Needlework

The Comprehensive Studies Program in Hand Embroidery offers students a chance to advance their needlework skills with a series of six in-depth courses in individual embroidery techniques or module. Each module is designed to encompass a broad yet deep dive into the technique being studied; while comprehensive in nature, they are not exhaustive of any method, technique, style, or history, leaving room for continued study. Students will have opportunities to engage in independent study as they work through the program to develop their knowledge; those looking to obtain a Master Skills Certificate will have further opportunity to explore and research as they work towards their capstone project.


Student Profile
The Comprehensive Studies Program is geared towards individuals desiring to advance their knowledge and skills in hand embroidery for either personal pleasure or professional pursuits. We welcome complete beginners with no previous embroidery experience as well as well-seasoned stitchers to these courses. Level 1 courses are kit based. Level 2 courses allow for more creative and design flexibility.

Program Outline
The program is divided into six modules of study. Each module consists of three levels:

  •       Level 1: Foundation
  •       Level 2: Technical Application
  •       Level 3: Creative

A Letter of Completion will be provided to students at the end of both Level 1 and Level 2. Upon finishing all three levels, students will earn a Certificate for their module of study; students will be allowed up to three years to enroll in and complete all three levels toward a Certificate; however, each level, once begun, must be completed within the time frame indicated (see below).

Each level within a module must be taken in order (Level 1, Level 2, Level 3), however, students can take more than one module at a time. The modules may be taken in any order. Students can opt to take only Level 1, or only Levels 1 and 2, if they do not wish to work on a creative piece and earn a Certificate.

A Master Skills Certificate can be earned after completing six modules and engaging in independent study research and a capstone creative project.

Course Details:

Modules will be offered in two-week blocks (one week per Level) repeated in three terms throughout the year: Fall Term, Winter Term, and Spring Term. Students can choose to take the levels together intensively, or spread them out over time, as best suits each student’s schedule. Online CSP courses will be offered each Summer Term.


Level 1: Foundation

Level 1 focuses on the basics of the technique:

  •       History
  •       Fundamental methods
  •       Materials and tools

Lectures will cover regions and cultures, historical applications and new trends, as well as design and color theory related to the technique. Students will have ample, focused time sampling stitches in both traditional and experimental styles with ongoing support, guidance, and critique from their instructor. Students will meet with their instructor for a one-on-one review to ensure that questions are addressed and to discuss preparations for their Level Two “technical piece”.

Level 1 Schedule:

  •       5 instructional class days (Monday–Friday, 9:30am–5:00pm)
  •       2 optional independent study days at SNAD (Saturday & Sunday)
  •       3 months to complete homework and turn in finished work


All materials for Level 1 are included in the tuition price,* with the exception of a slate frame (required for all 3 Levels)

*You will need a slate frame for these courses. If you do not own a slate frame, please purchase the “Level 1 class + slate frame” option on the registration page (link).


Level 1 requires homework to complete the project for the course. Students will have three months after completing the Level 1 course to turn in their sampler for review. Some concentrations will require pre-work which will be assigned prior to the start date.


Level 2: Technical (Prerequisite: Level 1)

Level 2 focuses on achieving technical excellence in stitch execution:

  •       Stitching a pre-designed technical piece
  •       Problem solving
  •       Experimentation with material and design
  •       Attaining confidence and technical excellence

Students will meet individually for a critique of their technical piece and will consult with their instructor on their plan for their Level 3 “creative piece”.

Level 2 Schedule:

  •       5 class days (Monday–Friday, 9:30am–5:00pm)
  •       2 optional independent study days at SNAD (Saturday & Sunday)
  •       3 months to complete homework and turn in finished work

No materials for Level 2 are included in the tuition price. Students may use their own materials or purchase what they need at SNAD or elsewhere.

Level 2 requires homework to complete the project for the course. Students have three months after completing the Level 2 course to turn in their technical piece for review.


Level 3: Creative (Prerequisite: Level 2)

Level 3 students will use the foundations and techniques they have learned in Levels 1 & 2 to design, stitch, and create an embroidery drawn from personal inspirations and design research.

Students will have six months to complete their embroidery and may choose to either work independently from home or opt to enroll in Studio Sessions offered at SNAD (additional tuition).

All students in Level 3 will partake in three reviews/checkins while in the process of working their final piece. The reviews are included in the tuition price and provide an opportunity both for students to ask questions and for instructors to ensure that students are on track to complete their projects. These reviews may be undertaken either in person or via video call.

To receive a Certificate at the end of Level 3, students must present their completed embroidery from Levels 1-3 for a final review and critique.The physical work must be mailed or brought into SNAD; students may participate in their review and critique either in person or via video call. Work may be framed or unframed.

Level 3 Schedule options:

  •       Work entirely independently from home
  •       Sign up for a week of Studio Sessions (the week immediately following Level 2)
  •       Sign up for any number of needed Studio Sessions (half day or full day) (Studio Sessions are offered on a regular basis at SNAD. Please check the calendar for scheduling)

No materials are included in Level 3 tuition price. Students will procure and use materials of their own choice to suit their creative piece. Instructors will provide guidance towards the selection of materials appropriate for student projects.

Students have six months from the start of this level to turn in their creative artwork for critique.


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