Sunday, 9 December 2012

Sue Bakker, Miniaturist: Embroidery

Sue Bakker 
We were very fortunate at our miniatures club yesterday to have as our guest, Sue Bakker from Scotland. Sue's speciality is miniature embroidery and her work is of such a high standard that pieces are displayed in museums and galleries in the United Kingdom and United States.
  She is a member of GMNA (the Guild of Miniature Needle Arts) and a founder member of the Miniature Needlework Society International.
  Sue kindly agreed to answer my questions.
Wendy: Did you do 'full size' needlework before you started stitching in miniature?
Sue:  Yes, I did my training at the London City and Guilds specialising in creative embroidery.
W: How did you get involved with miniatures?
S:  My sister-in-law had a big dolls house and one day I offered to stitch a carpet for it. That was in the 1980s and I could find only one book, a Dover Publication, that had embroidery charts for a carpet. So I decided I would design my own pattern and since then I always have. That carpet for my sister-in-law started me doing embroidery in the dolls house 1:12 scale.
W: And how did your career in miniature embroidery grow from there?
S: I was invited to exhibit at the 1989 Kensington Dolls House Show and did so every second year until 2001. As well as carpets I had stitched I produced small items such as cushions, fire screens, and footstools for sale. I developed a range of embroidery kit sets and charts, with new patterns available for each fair. I also attended some of the dolls houses and miniature shows in the United States.

Examples of Sue Bakker's embroidery in 1:12 scale
(It was interesting to see Sue's blue and white oriental carpet (above) as that is the one I did in green for my Edwardian dolls house and another member of our club has stitched it in brown tones.)

S: As I became more well-known I began to get commissions from clients in the United Kingdom and America. I also collaborated with (miniature) furniture designers to incorporate embroidery into some of their pieces.
  For about 12 years I wrote for and designed charts for the International Dolls House News magazine.
W: Do you have a dolls house?
S:  No, but I do have a glass fronted display cabinet that I have made miniature room settings in. My favourite is the Georgian room - I love that era's embroidery and china so I have been able to display many miniature pieces in it.

Sue's favourite miniature room, as shown in the International Dolls House News magazine.
W: Many thanks, Sue, for an interesting chat, and for donating patterns to our club. 

We were all in awe of Sue's embroidery, some of it done on 60 count silk gauze (that's 60 stitches to the inch!) We were also so impressed that the back of Sue's needlework is as beautiful as the front!
In my next blog post, (How to ...Tips for Miniature Embroidery) I'll share the hints and techniques Sue gave us to improve our miniature stitching projects.


  1. Beautiful work! Sue must have very good eyesight! I adore her blue rug!

    1. Her work is exquisite, Lucille. It was inspiring to see it!

  2. Thank you for this interesting interview with Sue! She is a very talented artist!

    1. Yes, it was great talking to Sue & seeing her beautiful work.

  3. Hi Wendy, I wanted to ask you if you know Sue's e-mail address or the way I can contact her. I have a couple of questions for her and can't find the information. I will appreciate any help, Natalia

    1. Hi Natalia, I don't have Sue's email but I'm sure you could contact her through the Miniature Needlework Society International. You could google them to get their address.I'm travelling at the moment & don't have their details with me. Hope this helps.