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About Graceful Embroidery


David Austen rose, Claire Austen, growing in my garden

My name is Hazel Grace Tunbridge and am a UK digitiser of machine embroidery. My specialities are Celtic, Bridal and Heirloom designs which are carefully created and digitised, mostly grouped together in versatile collections.

Follow my machine embroidery blog by visiting me in my Studio to see what I am working on at Graceful Embroidery Threads of Inspiration.

I live on the outskirts of the New Forest in England. I am married with three grown up daughters, and I have now have four beautiful granddaughters and three handsome grandsons. As a child I loved to collect, identify and press wild flowers and I also learnt to sew on my Grandmothers' Singer machine at quite an early age. Many of my designs reflect my favourite flowers and I will continue to incorporate them into graceful designs that are suited for embellishing heirloom and bridal projects. My aim is to display my love of God's creation through my embroidery and to give Him the glory. Many of the plants  I grow in my garden are there because I want to digitise them. That is an enormous challenge as the intricate details of flowers can be hard to capture in stitches. Having them around me allows me to study their distinctive habits as I love to be as accurate as possible when I digitise flowers. Before becoming a digitiser I worked as a Bridal dressmaker, specialising in silk embroidered bodices and corsets. It was a great privilege to be involved in creating the perfect dress for a very important day. However, quite often I could not find the right embroidery designs for my work, especially if intricate Celtic designs were required. So I decided to learn to digitise so I could create my own designs. My aim continues to be producing quality collections of designs in several hoops sizes, so that the embroiderer has plenty of different designs to choose from when creating their unique project. How often do you find a wonderful set of designs only to discover that the shapes do not lend themselves to your particular project? The first set in each of my collections usually contains the elements on which the whole collection is based. Sometimes these may be quite small but are ideal for combining and joining with other designs. Passion Flower from my garden

Most of my design sets come with the option of Outline alignment stitches (OAS), unique to Graceful Embroidery. These allows you to stitch out the shape of your design on to your hooped stabiliser before attaching your fabric with temporary adhesive, pins or hand sewing, making it easy to position your designs accurately. My designs are created with Wilcom Embroidery Studio, which is a superb commercial software. Great care is taken to keep the stitch count as low as possible and to avoid unnecessary jump stitches. However my first priority is to create interesting designs with detail and depth, and multiple colour changes are inevitable for beautful elaborate designs. As I am passionate about colour, selecting the very best colours, tones and shades is crucial and can be quite time consuming. Each set comes with a very detailed PDF giving lots of vital information on the usage of my designs. I like to give ideas for individual designs sharing what I had in mind for some of the designs while I was digitising them.

My Embroidery group have been with me from the beginning, over ten years ago, and their involvement in the creation of my designs has been invaluable. I encourage them to name my collections and offer competitions to win my designs. The wonderful projects they have created over the years has been phenomenal and a great inspiration to me. I now have embroidery friends from all over the world! If you would like to keep up to date on my work then I invite you join my Embroidery group or register for my newsletter.

This site is dedicated to my Mum, Dorothy Margaret, who passed away in 1974. Along with my sister Ruth, they taught me to sew at an early age for which I am most grateful. My thanks must however first go to my Heavenly Father who has given me this wonderful gift of digitising embroidery designs and bringing His Creation alive in stitches. (Updated September, 2017)