Members' Challenge

The annual brief for the Members' Challenge is written by the judges and aims to encourage original design and a variety of embroidery techniques. We always provide a wide variety of visual stimulus on the website and ideas to take the members off into a myriad of ways of answering the brief. In other words, we want members to take the brief as a starting point.

The briefs are broad and challenging and awards are given in the following categories : The President's Cup Constance Howard Award, The Julia Caprara Award for best use of colour, The Beryl Dean Award for best hand stitching, The Val Campbell Harding Award for best machine stitching, The Margaret Nicholson Award for best composition, The Jane Lemon Award for drama and creativity and The Artistic Director Award for innovation.



Applications to be received by 28th February 2020.

The title for the Members’ Challenge this year is ‘EXQUISITE CONTAINERS’.

Historically people have saved, collected and protected very important objects which mean everything to them, for all kinds of reasons. So much time, love and effort were invested in them that successive generations have revered them and many are still here for us to see and enjoy today.

Examples of some of the ways the theme could be interpreted include: bags, purses, reticules to keep money, jewellery or make up, boxes for thimbles, medals, letters or music, reliquaries for religious artefacts and mementos, embroidered book covers...

Once all entries are judged, the winning entries will be posted on our website and social media. Join our mailing list at the bottom of this page to be kept up to date when winning pieces are posted!



The Members’ Challenge theme for title for 2019/20 was ‘MY FAVOURITE THINGS’.

We had a wonderful response to the  previous year’s ‘LIFE’S RICH PATTERN’, and the judging panel felt that this subject had great potential for interpretation and style. Examples of things that members may love and use as inspiration included: collections dolls, ceramics, toys, plants, food, bottles, precious letters, jewellery, gardens, family, special places...
For inspiration members could look at the way Kaffe Fassett creates his colourful canvas work, look at the paintings of Christiane Kubrick, Impressionist artists and Dutch paintings.




The Members' Challenge theme for 2018/19 was 'LIFE'S RICH PATTERN'.

Examples of some of the ways in which the title could be interepreted included: tattoos/scarification, inside the body, journeys through life, special occasions that punctuate our lives and make us who we are, memois, patterns that are formed as part of a culture or religion, the changing seasons and repetition...




The Members' Challenge theme for 2017/18 was ‘UNDERFOOT’.

The judging panel felt that this subject had great potential for interpretation and style. It could be walking through flower meadows, standing in the sand on a beach, in a puddle, in the snow or a forest floor, walking over rocks and stones, on an old tiled floor, mosaics or a patterned rug. It could be the soles of your feet, Australia even! The theme was chosen as it would appeal to many members and suit a range of different approaches. The pieces received showed fantastic diversity in creativity and interpretation.


Join the Embroiderers' Guild today to enjoy all the benefits of becoming a Guild member plus the opportunity to take part in next year's Members' Challenge.

If you would like to know when the winning pieces for 'EXQUISITE CONTAINERS' are posted, you can subscribe to our mailing list. Click the button below and quote 'MC' in the subject line to receive updates