Edinburgh Local

Object of the month: Winsome Douglass Cushion

Winsome Douglass was an embroiderer from Hartlepool, well-known for her bold and bright designs, which often featured animals.


This Winsome Douglass cushion features in our current exhibition at the Main Library, Touching Stitches.

The cushion was commissioned by the Needlework Development Scheme to use as a teaching tool as part of their aim to improve embroidery design in the United Kingdom. When the Needlework Development Scheme was disbanded in 1961, part of its collection of over 3,500 embroideries was given to Edinburgh College of Art.

In 2017, a stitch analysis was carried out on this cushion and it was shown to contain 17 different types of stitches, making it the ideal choice to use in workshops at Corton Vale Prison, to teach the women embroidery techniques. You can view some of the handling samples stitched by the women alongside the original in the Touching Stitches exhibition, as well as some of Winsome Douglass’ fantastic other designs.

Touching Stitches is open from Monday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm until Saturday 29th of February.