Free Motion Embroidery Workshop on Wednesday 10th April - specialising in wading birds

CODE: 10th APRIL > OUT OF STOCK IN STOCK
  • The Workshop
  • About the Day
  • What to Bring
  • Extra Info
  • Cancellation Policy

On this course you will spend the day in my home in the Staffordshire countryside creating your own textile piece featuring a wading bird.

This workshop is suitable for those who have already done a little bit of free-motion embroidery and would like to improve their free-motion embroidery skills. If you are a complete beginner to this exciting technique, I would recommend my Flowers and Grasses Workshop to begin with.

Free motion embroidery is an exciting technique where you are able to 'draw' with the sewing machine by lowering the feed dogs and moving the fabric around under the needle. It is also known as freehand sewing and thread painting. This is a technique that I have really refined over the years and I use it in all my textile pieces. I have a lot of experience in free-motion embroidery and you will learn how to use the sewing machine to its full potential - you'll be amazed at the results!


During this workshop you will make a textile piece featuring a wading bird which could include a curlew, dunlin, sandpiper, greenshank, knot, redshank or sanderling. You'll also learn the techniques for creating the effect of water, using fabric and thread.

You will spend the morning learning different techniques from my demonstrations, then putting them into practice. After lunch you will make your finished piece to take home at the end of the day. 

See the photos for examples of lovely work from previous workshop participants, plus examples of wading birds from my handmade collection.

What previous participants say:

"A really lovely day. Jo was so generous with her materials, ideas and expertise. The pace of the day was just right and I managed to produce 2 pieces which I'm really pleased with. Even though I've done free motion machine embroidery before, I learnt so much about different techniques, materials and processes - and Jo made it all look so easy! Jo's studio is inspirational and cosy. I was kept well hydrated throughout the day with lots of tea and coffee and Jo had also baked 2 delicious cakes. I would thoroughly recommend a day in Jo Hill's studio to anyone! "

"Friendly atmosphere, clear instruction and encouragement from Jo. I felt filled with confidence, and as a result produced something I was surprised I was so pleased with!"

What to bring - please read!

Please bring your sewing machine, packed lunch, general sewing kit, sharp scissors and an embroidery hoop measuring 7" or 8" in diameter and 1cm deep.  Embroidery hoops will be available to purchase at the workshop (subject to availability) at £3.50 each.

If you want to bring your own design ideas please do so. You will also need to have a sewing machine where the feed dogs can be lowered to enable free-motion stitching, as well as a darning/embroidery foot for your machine.

All fabrics will be supplied but feel free to bring your own thin fabrics if you have a particular colour scheme in mind. Thin fabrics include cottons such as patchwork and quilting fabrics or shirt material.

If you don't have a sewing machine, you are welcome to rent one for £5.00, please select 'Rent a Sewing Machine' below.

A general sewing kit comprises spare bobbins, spare needles (machine and hand sewing), threads, small scissors for cutting thread, pins and a tape measure.

All workshops take place in my studio or house, in the countryside in Whitgreave, just outside of Stafford (a five minute drive from Junction 14 of the M6) and run from 10.00am until 4.00pm. My postcode is ST18 9SP and house is 'Pine Ridge'.

Places on each workshop are limited to eight (with the exception of the Fabric Painting and Interpreting a Paper Image in Fabric workshop which are just four students) so that I am able to spend as much time with each workshop participant as possible. If we are a group of four or fewer we'll be in my lovely garden studio; any number between five and eight and we'll be in my newly-renovated house with lots of natural light and space.

You will benefit from tailored, small group tuition and a relaxed, friendly atmosphere.

Hot drinks and cake will be supplied throughout the day!

Workshop students are also entitled to 10% off any item of printed homewares (cushions, cards, lampshades, bags, coasters, placemats and chopping boards) purchased on the day of the workshop.

Places on the workshop are refundable in full less a 10% PayPal admin fee, if cancelled up to one month before the date of the workshop. You can also transfer onto a different workshop of your choice at this point.

If you need to cancel after that, you may do so up to 7 days before the date of the workshop at which point a full refund (less 10%) can be given in the event that I am able to sell the place. You can then re-book onto a different workshop but no exchanges will be offered this close to the workshop date.

No refunds or exchanges will be given if cancelled 7 days or fewer before the workshop (but you can send a friend in your place instead!).

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