About Us Teaching Press Shop Embroidery Heritage Online University

Classes for 2015 - 2016
There are six offerings for the 2015 - 2016 season:
  • an encore of the very popular Cabinet of Curiosities, Part I
  • an encore of its Part II: Stumpwork. These can be taken sequentially or concurrently.
  • an encore of the Gentleman's Glittering Nightcap
  • a new course, Double Trouble, a beginners course in Elizabethan blackwork
  • a new course, Eve in the Garden of Eden, a stand-up box that mimics an embroidered binding
  • a new course, Stumpwork Lion
There will be another course during 2016 that will be a casket project course, this is currently in development.

Press the buttons above to take you to full descriptions of each course, time schedule, project costs and sign-up instructions.

How Will Online University Courses Work?
Step 1: If you want to reserve a space in a course hit the subscribe button on the course description page. This will bring you to a paypal subscription page where you can start the subscription payments for the course. After subscribing, email me at tricia@alum.mit.edu and send me your name, shipping address and preferred email address for the class correspondence (many paypal accounts are in husband's names or old addresses). If you prefer not to use PayPal, a check can be sent directly to me. Email me for instructions. We currently do not take credit card numbers directly. Please do not risk your credit card number by emailing it to me.

Step 2: After we receive confirmation of the correct payment processing, we will send you the course kit to the address you used in step 1. Postal fees are included in the course pricing for USA addresses. A shipping supplement is required for international addresses and a link for payment will be sent before the first kit ships. If you desire US priority or Global Priority, please email for a quote. All Cabinet of Curiosities Kits are sent via US Priority or US First Class International due to their weight/size.

Step 3: The first day of the course, we will send you an email with your uniquely assigned username and password as well as the link to the restricted-access course page. It is best to use a minimum number of computers to access the course materials as the database will flag accounts with logins coming from a large numbers of IP-addresses, resulting in a temporary suspension of password while a new password is assigned.

Step 4: The class content will be provided in two forms. The project instructions will be a PDF download per page to your hard-drive. For the history sections, they will be as PRINT-ONLY Flash content unless otherwise stated (The Cabinet of Curiosities is PDF only). While many people already have this installed on their computer, there are some who will need to install or upgrade their Flash reader. If you can see the moving animation on this page, you already have Flash installed. If you can't, the link to download and install the FREE Flash reader is here. If you register for the class, it is your responsibility to get the Flash reader installed. Refunds will not be given. As an additional warning, some users of satellite internet have trouble downloading the large files involved in the class as their provider will 'throttle' their use. Please check with your provider on their policy for large downloads.

Step 5: Each month, when the new class content is loaded, you will receive an email with the link to the new lesson. The links to content posted in previous months will still be active and able to be printed or viewed for the entire period of the course.

Step 6: A private NING social media site has been established for the Cabinet of Curiosities class to allow the students to have discussions with the teacher and each other as well as upload pictures of their projects in progress and designs for sharing and comment. An invitation to this private site will be sent with your class emails.

A Note on Course Practicalities:
There have been many concerns raised on ability to complete a lesson before the next is posted. These courses are at YOUR pace. Needlework shouldn't be stressful - it should be an enjoyable experience. In the extreme case, you can print the content and put it in the course kit and place it aside for a few years (I have done that myself with other online classes - set aside for when my kids are older). Maybe you just want to learn the stitches so you can apply them to some other project of yours. Go ahead and work the ones you are interested in on a doodle cloth and then onwards to a project of your choice. It is your choice to get what you want out of the content. I give you permission to never finish the project but enjoy the process and information for what it teaches.

There are no requirements to send the completed project back to me (please don't). If your only experience for distance learning in the past was EGA correspondence courses and you enjoy the feedback - send me a picture or scan and ask questions, I will be happy to give you some feedback.

The course material will be additive, meaning the new month will be added to the last. So you don't need to worry that you might miss getting the material off the site by a certain time each month. A few months after the course completion, we will send out an email letting you know when the course materials will be removed from the site, giving you time to print out anything you may have missed. For courses which include animations/movies, the complete set of animations will be sent to your address on CD Rom at the end of the course so you may have them for future reference.

A Note on Course Sharing:
In order to provide historic information and photography to enhance the course materials, Thistle Threads has needed to enter into licensing relationships with museums that require payment based on the number of views of the material. We are required to provide the institutions with print outs of the login files to establish use payments. If there is sharing of the login and passwords by students with non-students, then Thistle Threads will not be able to afford to work with the institutions for such access. Therefore, we have put a more sophisticated login system in place to enable us to track individual usage and to reassign login credentials if necessary to prevent unpaid use of the materials. It is for this reason that the materials are print-only from the website as well. We hope that you understand why these limitations have been put in place and appreciate that it is so we may bring a richer experience to the course by using extant materials to educate. This is new territory for most institutions and has taken significant negotiation to establish, we hope it will be a good experience for them and us so that we may expand such opportunities in the future.