Images, Videos, Materials and more...

About Us


What are we?

Stitch Arena is for all textile enthusiasts who want to learn techniques for the simple pleasure and enjoyment of it. We have stitched samples and projects to nurture your individuality and creativity through various stages from inspiration, design development and sampling of techniques to the final production of a unique, personal piece of textile art. Go to the Stitch Arena to unlock your potential.

The projects and samples are simply there to inspire and encourage you, just like in a workshop in your own home, so you can find your own pace and level. We positively encourage you to sample and try out new ideas of your own or interpret our ideas in your own, unique style. 

To help you along the way, each project or sample idea has been broken down to give you further information, materials you may require, ideas for experimentation and how you might like to complete it.

Our Resources section houses a Photo Album with more photographic inspiration; a Sketchbook of ideas for design development; a video Stitch Library (with step-by-step images too), showing you how to work the techniques along with a How to… section for everything else, including Design Development tutorials, Preparation tips right through to Completion of your project, taking in Tools and Equipment and Health and Safety along the way. We guide you through each stage from starting with a simple waste knot through to mounting and displaying your work. Learn how to use various tools and equipment safely. It's all here!

In the Shop, we only supply top quality branded materials, equipment purchased from reputable suppliers in order to safeguard from disappointing results - Anchor, DMC, James Hare and Prym, to name a few…

By creating Stitch Arena for you, we hope that those of you who enjoy learning will be inspired to share your enthusiasm with us.

Who are we?

The co-founders of Stitch Arena are Sally and Martin McCollin.

Sally has always been creative and very crafts-orientated, having been taught to stitch at a very young age. These skills developed further with printing, dyeing and colouring techniques whilst at sixth-form school and Art College.

Sally has worked in the handicrafts industry since leaving College back in the 80's. Having worked for Knitmaster and also taught machine-knitting, Sally then moved to Coats Crafts UK (then called Patons and Baldwins Ltd) where she worked on the Patons and Jaeger hand-knitting ranges.

In the 90's, she transferred to their "Design and PR" section to promote their range of products through editorials and promotional materials, which is where she broadened her crafts skills.
During this time, she was given the position of Senior Editor of which is how she discovered a new interest in digital technology. This led her to study Multimedia, Web Authoring and Digital Image Manipulation at Teesside University’s School of Computing and Mathematics.

After leaving Coats Crafts UK in 2001 to concentrate more on her teaching at Middlesbrough College and to do more residential workshops, she still continues with freelance designing, producing work for various publishers, spinners and suppliers.

Whilst Sally works on the more visual side of Stitch Arena alongside her teaching, project work and editorial features, Martin, who has a background in finance and is a keen photographer, is controlling the business side of things ensuring the smooth running of the web site with his usual methodical precision.

Where are we?

At present, we do not have a public shop or workshop area, so if you need to get in touch with us, please see our details at the end of this page.

We are currently based in a very small cottage deep in the heart of Teesdale surrounded by breath-taking scenery and inspiring landcapes - many of the images in the Photo Album were taken whilst out and about in the dale.

Working from home, we are slowly but surely getting overwhelmed by the Shop! We keep looking to move to larger premises but they're just a bit hard to find around here…

You can find more of Sally's work in many magazines and web sites such as Classic Stitches, My Weekly, Peoples Friend, Colinette Yarns and Stitch with the Embroiderers’ Guild.   

Contact details

Mail: Sally McCollin, Stitch Arena, Bligh Cottage, Romaldkirk, County Durham, DL12 9EE United Kingdom:

Telephone: +44 (0)1833 650833