Lynne took to knitting and sewing from an early age. When she was 8, one of her proudest possessions was a Singer treadle sewing machine used to turn fabric offcuts into the latest in dolls' fashion. Her love for fabric and thread continued and in the early 1990's, several years after moving to Surrey, she discovered she lived 5 miles from the Royal School of Needlework at Hampton Court Palace. Her passion for embroidery was born. In 1996-97, she spent a wonderful year studying for their Certificate in Embroidery which she passed with merit, and has since kept her skills updated with shorter classes.
Since moving back to Cheshire, she has taught her own embroidery workshops and masterclasses in a variety of techniques, as well as for an independent textile school, local embroidery and quilting shops, and branches of the Embroiderers' Guild. She was Secretary of the Chester Branch of the Embroiderers' Guild for several years, and was part of the committee which designed and co-ordinated the making of 13 banners commissioned by Chester City Council to commemorate the 500 year anniversary of Chester's City Charter.
Karen took longer to take up stitching, preferring to turn her talents to watercolour painting instead. She had a brief foray into knitting in her teens and is a dab hand at cushions and curtains, but showed no real interest in embroidery until she visited an exhibition at Ramster Hall in Surrey and was smitten with a small embroidered purse decorated with a stumpwork mermaid. Within weeks, she started a 2-year City & Guilds Embroidery and Design course. This was followed by another 2 years taking Part II of the qualification, which she passed with flying colours. The tiny mermaid stayed with her throughout and influenced one of her final Part II pieces - this time appearing as a 1 metre long, 38DD beauty which adorned a large ottoman!
During this time, she also took advantage of Lynne's proximity to Hampton Court and attended several Royal School of Needlework classes. She joined the committee for the Chester Branch of the Embroiderers' Guild and served 2 terms as Programme Secretary. She was heavily involved in the banner project both as an organiser and as a stitcher, and has joined Lynne in developing and teaching workshops for the Guild and other organisations.