Learn more about Gemma Winter &

It Started with a Stitch

Gemma Winter is It Started with a Stitch

Name: Gemma, Gem, Jeeves, Jif, Jiffy Johnson, G Dubz, Winters, the Pompom lady, GWP without the P, GemJohns. All of these titles kindly donated by many people and all have stuck – you know who you are and thanks…honestly! I’m actually Gemma Winter, the face behind It Started With a Stitch

I’m a life long crafter.

There’s something about seeing a full colour run of threads, or a giant tin of sequins that sparks something in my brain. My earliest memories of crafting are from school, here in Grimsby.

My first ‘make’ was a brown felt cat hand puppet. It had giant sequins as eyes and lanky black stitches for whiskers but I think I was probably quite impressed with myself.

At home I was surrounded by craft. Mum was a prolific knitter, seamstress and cross stitcher, she was the Mum that you sent things to for taking up, zips to be changed or curtains made.

Dad was also crafty, he had a spell of being known as The Waltham Woodworm. He made beautiful wooden toys and bookends, and games and mobiles. My sister and I were the kids in the street that could walk on wooden stilts and played croquet on the grass with our handmade toys.

I loved getting to secondary school where you could actually spend a whole lesson in Art or Textiles and continued to study throughout GCSE’s, A-levels, on to Art Foundation and then to an Embroidery degree at Manchester Met. University.

In 2002, trading as To Have and To Hold from my hot pink and purple studio I produced handmade, embellished handbags and textile pieces. I received an award for Best New Business and stocked work in outlets across the county and beyond. Then the real world happened, I spent the next 20 years or so working in retail management, with creativity being ‘welcomed’ yet sucked from me at the same time.

So now, here we are!https://www.facebook.com/events/346250239192887/

It Started With a Stitch is me, doing what I love. I sell my handmade items via my online shop and you can find my work (and sometimes me) in Emporium 53, Cleethorpes and Crafts and Makes in Didsbury. I love teaching new skills and developing the confidence of my crafty customers!

I’m Mum to Robbie,who’s recently taken to calling me ‘Mother’. If people talk to me about my work or workshops whilst we’re out in public (It must be my distinctive fringe) he says that it’s ‘Cringe’. I’m not allowed to give him a kiss goodbye in the playground and any mention of girls to him causes him to roll his eyes and walk off.

So patient and has a wealth of knowledge

"I’m new to crochet and am learning so much from Gemma she’s so patient and has a wealth of knowledge x"

- Ann Whitelaw -

2018-09-02T09:27:14+01:00

- Ann Whitelaw -

"I’m new to crochet and am learning so much from Gemma she’s so patient and has a wealth of knowledge x"

My go to place for treats and Birthday gifts

"Gemma's bits are truly beautiful it's my go to place for treats and Birthday gifts I highly recommend xx"

- Rhea McIntyre -

2018-09-02T09:21:45+01:00

- Rhea McIntyre -

"Gemma's bits are truly beautiful it's my go to place for treats and Birthday gifts I highly recommend xx"

You are the shit!

"Gemma is my go to person for all things haberdashery... what she doesn’t know about crafts isn’t worth knowing. She’s one of the hardest working people I know and and not only am I grateful to have her in my network of creatives, I am also blessed to call her my friend! #GoTeam!"

- Paul Jamie Kidd -

2018-06-07T08:44:56+01:00

- Paul Jamie Kidd -

"Gemma is my go to person for all things haberdashery... what she doesn’t know about crafts isn’t worth knowing. She’s one of the hardest working people I know and and not only am I grateful to have her in my network of creatives, I am also blessed to call her my friend! #GoTeam!"

The finished item was absolutely perfect

"I contacted Gem to see if she could make me a very special embroidery hoop for an incredibly poignant day. Nothing was too much trouble and she was quick to respond to all of my questions and requests. The finished item was absolutely perfect and due to the sentiment behind it, it brought tears to my eyes. I cannot post a photo as it’s far too personal for the recipients, but trust me it’s absolutely beautiful.
What a very talented and all round lovely lady to deal with.
Thank you It Started With A Stitch, I will be ordering again"

- Penny-Jane Cramphorn -

2018-09-02T09:17:36+01:00

- Penny-Jane Cramphorn -

"I contacted Gem to see if she could make me a very special embroidery hoop for an incredibly poignant day. Nothing was too much trouble and she was quick to respond to all of my questions and requests. The finished item was absolutely perfect and due to the sentiment behind it, it brought tears to my eyes. I cannot post a photo as it’s far too personal for the recipients, but trust me it’s absolutely beautiful. What a very talented and all round lovely lady to deal with. Thank you It Started With A Stitch, I will be ordering again"

So friendly

"Great workshops (attended 2).
So friendly.
So knowledgeable.
Really great value for money with all the equipment supplied."

- Kelly French -

2018-09-02T09:39:31+01:00

- Kelly French -

"Great workshops (attended 2). So friendly. So knowledgeable. Really great value for money with all the equipment supplied."

Absolutely beautiful!

"My baubles were absolutely beautiful! Thanks so much! They were pride of place on our tree!"

- Faith Rogers-Draycott -

2018-09-02T09:44:31+01:00

- Faith Rogers-Draycott -

"My baubles were absolutely beautiful! Thanks so much! They were pride of place on our tree!"

Thank you so much for my custom order

"Love these unique items. Thank you so much for my custom order. The Christmas tree baubles are fab!"

- Lisa Marie -

2018-09-02T09:42:58+01:00

- Lisa Marie -

"Love these unique items. Thank you so much for my custom order. The Christmas tree baubles are fab!"

Great evening

"Great evening and excellent and patient teacher xxx"

- Mags Guest -

2018-09-02T09:30:17+01:00

- Mags Guest -

"Great evening and excellent and patient teacher xxx"

Made a lovely keepsake

"Loved the Easter bunny you made for Zach's first Easter. It was lovely to be able to get him something as he was too little to eat chocolate. Made a lovely keepsake x"

- Beverley Whiting -

2018-09-02T09:41:22+01:00

- Beverley Whiting -

"Loved the Easter bunny you made for Zach's first Easter. It was lovely to be able to get him something as he was too little to eat chocolate. Made a lovely keepsake x"

It was absolutely perfect

"I cannot thank you enough for stitching a poem onto a handkerchief for my Dad on my wedding day. It was absolutely perfect, he loved it! Beautiful stitching for a very special item that I was unable to do myself, but it was very obvious you put as much effort and love into it as I would have done. Thank you so much xx"

- Becky Hirst -

2018-09-02T09:28:40+01:00

- Becky Hirst -

"I cannot thank you enough for stitching a poem onto a handkerchief for my Dad on my wedding day. It was absolutely perfect, he loved it! Beautiful stitching for a very special item that I was unable to do myself, but it was very obvious you put as much effort and love into it as I would have done. Thank you so much xx"

Gemma is lovely, patient, creative and fun with the kids

"Went to a pom pom making party with daughter and friends. Highly recommend Gemma is lovely , patient, creative and fun with the kids. A great few hours, thanks so much x"

- Helen Kingsford Jacques -

2018-06-07T09:55:34+01:00

- Helen Kingsford Jacques -

"Went to a pom pom making party with daughter and friends. Highly recommend Gemma is lovely , patient, creative and fun with the kids. A great few hours, thanks so much x"

One of the best things I’ve done in a long time

"I'm currently taking part in the Pom Pom and prosecco class and I've got to say it's one of the best things I've done in a long time."

- Kathryn Broadburn -

2018-09-02T09:24:22+01:00

- Kathryn Broadburn -

"I'm currently taking part in the Pom Pom and prosecco class and I've got to say it's one of the best things I've done in a long time."

We had an amazing time

"We had an amazing time at Gemma's pom pom headband making session. Great fun!"

- Ellie Jones -

2018-09-02T09:25:51+01:00

- Ellie Jones -

"We had an amazing time at Gemma's pom pom headband making session. Great fun!"

I can finally crochet!

"I liked the idea of crochet but just couldn't see how to go about it on my own then Gemma showed up on my Facebook with her classes and I thought I'd give it a go. The class is so helpful, small group and lots of advice and support from Gemma, oh and tea and cake too! I can finally crochet!"

- Samantha Wright -

2018-06-07T09:50:23+01:00

- Samantha Wright -

"I liked the idea of crochet but just couldn't see how to go about it on my own then Gemma showed up on my Facebook with her classes and I thought I'd give it a go. The class is so helpful, small group and lots of advice and support from Gemma, oh and tea and cake too! I can finally crochet!"

I would definitely recommend this business



"I recently purchased a 12” embroidery hoop as a special, memorable gift (the recipients loved it !) Gemma took onboard all of my ideas to create it & had fabulous customer service, I would definitely recommend this business to anyone & I shall be returning for more."

- Abbie Censi -

2018-08-23T09:58:47+01:00

- Abbie Censi -

"I recently purchased a 12” embroidery hoop as a special, memorable gift (the recipients loved it !) Gemma took onboard all of my ideas to create it & had fabulous customer service, I would definitely recommend this business to anyone & I shall be returning for more."

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