Would you like to have a go at creating your own unique textile piece inspired by British wildlife? Now is your chance to reap what you sew!
You'll learn the exciting technique of free-motion embroidery on a day's creative workshop with me in the Staffordshire countryside. I run a programme of workshops throughout the year which includes an introduction to free-motion embroidery, lampshade making and fabric painting plus many others.
Scroll down to the bottom of the page to view the latest workshops. Or continue reading to learn more about them.
All workshops take place in my home, 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.
Places on each workshop are limited to eight (with the exception of the Transforming a Photo into a Textile Design workshop and the Fabric Painting workshop which is just four students) so that I am able to spend as much time with each workshop participant as possible. You will benefit from tailored, small group tuition and a relaxed, friendly atmosphere.
I have worked in the textile design industry all my life, since graduating from a Textile Design degree at university 30 years ago and have several years' experience of teaching textiles to a wide range of ages. My qualifications include City and Guilds in Interior Design, Textile Design and Soft Furnishings (plus many others), as well as a professional C&G teaching qualification.
I taught Soft Furnishings at Stafford College for many years, and my professional making practice gives me the opportunity to practise and refine a huge range of textile techniques which I am then able to pass on to my workshop participants.
I spend most of the week stitching away in my cosy studio, but I also love to meet like-minded creative people to share my passion for sewing with. I find that teaching provides a way for me to be creative in a different way, and it is so rewarding to help students produce a beautiful range of hand-crafted textile pieces to take home.
The creative programme of workshops includes free motion embroidery, cushion making, lampshade making, bag or purse making and fabric painting. I love coming up with ideas for new workshops so that there's always something for everyone! Additionally, if you have a great idea for a workshop that you'd like to have a go at, then please share your ideas with me and they may well become a reality!
Beginners and more experienced stitchers alike are welcome. You will learn tips and tricks to improve your sewing as I demonstrate the techniques that you will need. And the best part is you'll have a finished product to take home at the end of the day!
If you are completely new to free motion embroidery, the best workshop to start with is the Flowers and Grasses Workshop where you will learn a complete introduction to this rewarding technique. After that, I'd recommend moving on to any of the birds or landscapes workshops.
The lampshade workshop is an intermediate workshop and it would be best if you've completed one of the free motion workshops first, or you've got quite a bit of experience already with the technique as we will focus more on design and composition and not beginner free motion techniques.
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Here are some lovely comments from previous workshop participants:
"I enjoyed the friendly atmosphere, clear instruction and the encouragement from Jo. I felt filled with confidence, and as a result produced something I was surprised I was so pleased with."
"A friendly supportive workshop with an end product to be proud of."
"The free motion embroidery side I had tried before, with some success, but not a lot of confidence. Watching Jo's demonstration was worth more than all the books I have read about the technique!"
"I enjoyed learning different sewing skills that I have never tried before, and which I want to practise again, in particular the 'free sewing' on the lampshades."
"I liked the fact that it was very informal, and it didn't matter that I was a complete beginner. It was a really fun day."
If you are travelling and need somewhere to stay, here's a handy list of B and Bs/hotels in the area.
Workshop Gift Vouchers are also available if you'd like to give a gift.
I am often asked if I can put on workshops for groups such as sewing groups and Embroiderers' Guilds, to which the answer is yes, definitely. If you are interested, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information and to book.