Meet Gemma

Life long hoarder of the most extensive range of sequins, yarns and beads this side of the North Sea

Life long hoarder - It Started With A Stitch - Gemma

From stomping around department stores in inappropriate heels and pushing the boundaries of the uniform policies to my own slice of creative heaven, it's definitely been a journey!

Having spent around 15 years working in High Street retail management I’m now living my best life being able to combine that knowledge with my true love of hand crafts. Being a life long hoarder of the most extensive range of sequins, beads, trims, buttons and much more, I’m super equipped to embellish the life into anything.

With the eye of a magpie and a desire to experiment with bringing other traditional crafts back up to date, you’ll also find my love of crochet and all things pompom shining through my collections.

What I love doing…

Hand Embroidered Hoop Art

Embroidery Hoop Art by It Started With A Stitch

A visit to the Saatchi gallery in London, back in the year 2000 kick started my love of text as art and you’ll find hand lettering and words featuring heavily in a lot of the hand embroidered hoop art that I stitch. It was during my Foundation year and then my time at university that I started to combine the art of hand embroidery with text. The first pieces that I made were handbags featuring poems and quotes that were sold at Affleck’s Palace in  Manchester.

Designs are all drawn by hand before being transferred over to fabric where they are then hand embroidered into hoop art. I like to think that if you can draw it, then I can stitch it. Whilst most of the ready made work you’ll find on here is hoop based I can embroider onto most things so if you have an idea, let’s chat.

Being a huge fan of a bit of sparkle, you’ll find sequins, beads and other embellishments such as crystals and semi-precious stones adorning lots of my hand embroidery hoop art. I also work to commission so if sparkly isn’t your thing, don’t panic. You can choose your words, your colours, your theme or you can give me an idea and let me do my thing.


Crochet by It Started With A Stitch

Self-taught, with the help of a little instruction sheet and a couple of balls of neon wool from a shop in Didsbury, crochet has become a much-loved weapon in my skill arsenal. I remember sitting in my sister’s lounge, refusing to go to bed until I’d mastered a granny square. The rest, as they say is history. From being that person who didn’t even dare look at a printed pattern to writing them to feature on the Hobbycraft blog, it just shows what you can do if you put your mind to it!

I love to create and make decorative pieces that can brighten the home. From the traditional granny squares to rainbow-hued mandalas and tasselled flag bunting you’ll find an eclectic mix of colour and style in my work. I love the retro style that you always find with crochet and being able to use modern patterns and yarns to produce home accessories that look perfect in any home.

Since learning the skill myself, I’ve now taught hundreds how to master the art through a range of workshops and classes. You can sign up to my mailing list to be kept up to date about upcoming events and why not pop over and join us in The Craft Hub on Facebook where you’ll find a range of free crochet tutorials to follow!


Pompoms and Parties by It Started With A Stitch

What’s not to love right? One of the most satisfying crafts there is, and something that really does appeal to all. Attention to detail and the willpower to keep on trimming is what makes pompoms great. I remember being taught how to make pompoms by my Grandma using 2 pieces of cardboard, usually cut out from the side of a Cornflakes box. They were always massive and felt like they took about 3 weeks to finish.

Whilst I’m usually an advocate for hand made over machine made, I’m not stupid and can appreciate the assistance of a great gadget. There’s loads of different types of pompom makers available and I think I’ve tried most of them. They turn 3 weeks of wrapping wool around cardboard into a task that instead takes minutes. A perfect craft for the whole family to enjoy and a way to create amazing products pretty quickly.

My kids pompom parties are a perfect way to celebrate a birthday with a change from the usual and you don’t have to do any of the cleaning up. I love to see the kids come up with amazing pompom crowns to take home and usually end up sticking left over poms to whatever else they can find laying around. It also is a great way to not have to make up party bags full of disposable rubbish – we’ve all been there right?

Pompoms aren’t just for children, I’ve spent some very lovely hours with hens making pompom crowns to go out and paint the town red in, so whatever the age or the reason, pompoms tend to be a great option. Parties can be held at a venue to suit you and I can travel so if you want to have a chat about your perfect party then please get in touch!

Craft Workshops

Workshops by It Started With A Stitch

Craft Workshops take place regularly in Grimsby at Welholme Works, which is also where my workshop is based so feel free to pop in for a look at where the magic happens and I’ll bob the kettle on! Based in the heart of Grimsby there’s plenty of space to come and work on your preferred craft.

Being as though I work across several different crafts, I also offer a variety of workshops. Pompoms, Crochet and Embroidery are the 3 versions that you’ll find on offer, although currently due to Coronavirus situation, all sessions are currently being held online!

In a usual week, you’ll find me on a Wednesday hosting my free craft session at Welholme Works in Grimsby. A place where you can come and craft to your heart’s content and we’ll keep you topped up with tea and cake.

Throughout the year you’ll find other craft workshops available both at the centre and at other locations across the town. If you want to arrange a private party for you and your mates then that’s something I can help you with too. We’ve hosted embroidery and pompom themed hen parties, kids pompom birthday parties and one to one crochet lessons.

Previous workshops have included pompom wreath making, crocheted pumpkins and star themed embroidery hoops.

I love Pompoms & embroidery!

ShopAppy Love Local Day - It Started With a Stitch

Gemma wrote:

Love Local Day

Love Local Day takes place on 14th February 2021 and is the first in a series of activities and events… Read More »

fEntrepreneur Ialso100 - It Started With a Stitch

Gemma wrote:

F:Entrepreneur #Ialso100

The F:Entrepreneur #Ialso100 list was announced today and I’m very excited to tell you that I made it! The f:Entrepreneur campaign… Read More »

Christmas Kisses - It Started With a Stitch

Gemma wrote:

Mistletoe Embroidery Hoops

Mistletoe embroidery hoops are now available to purchase! Getting the Christmas stock ready for 2020 has proved to be harder… Read More »

Partners In Crime
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It started With A Stitch, Finished With Love.


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