Art textiles

Hand sewn narrative textiles with Janet Bolton

Ref: S3D09529

Suitable for all

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2 places available

About this course

Create fabric pictures by combining ideas, materials and techniques intuitively. Work directly with fabrics and found objects to piece together your composition using simple hand sewing and shape cutting methods.

Course Description

A spontaneous approach allows for a wonderful freedom and excitement. You can arrive with an idea in mind, or with a completely open mind as to subject matter.

During the introduction the tutor will discuss many different sources of inspiration, using her own work as examples. She will demonstrate various practical ways of starting a composition, and demonstrate the simple cutting, placing and hand sewing techniques needed.

You will discover the importance of the choice of suitable materials for different purposes, the use of stitch as a drawn line and the excitement that can be added by the introduction of a carefully selected found object. Sometimes the fabrics themselves will hold a personal memory and significance, this will enhance the discovery of the joy of having no set rules and a playful approach. You will also find that you spend more time thinking about and accessing the composition than you spend actually sewing the different elements into place. Throughout this process there are many opportunities to develop the original germ of an idea, to let the piece take on its own identity. Personal help will be given at all stages.

You will complete one piece of work and hopefully have ideas and beginnings for others, while gaining confidence and enjoyment in making your own work.

Advice will also be given with final presentation and framing. The course will finish with a group review.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • A selection of different coloured fabric squares to experiment with on the first night.

What students need to bring

  • Any pictures with simple imagery as personal sources of inspiration (the tutor will also bring books, fabrics etc.).
  • General sewing kit (i.e. pins, needles, scissors)
  • Approximately ½ metre of curtain lining, calico or similar material for overall backing
  • Coloured threads, sewing machine reels, cotton or polyester, bring a selection of what you have
  • Fabrics - as wide a variety as possible of small pieces of cottons, silks, polycottons, fine wools - the important factor being that they should not be too heavy in weight and thin enough to turn under without too much bulk
  • Any buttons, beads, broken necklaces, you may wish to incorporate

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Some coloured hand-stitching and machine sewing threads
  • Calico
  • Hand sewing needles and pins
  • Available from tutor:
  • The tutor will bring some bags of bits and pieces of fabric to extend your palette.

"The Tutor was excellent, patient and experienced."

Lynne, 2019


Janet Bolton

Janet Bolton exhibits and teaches worldwide. She has work in both public and private collections, and has published books for both adults and children, the latest being Fabric Pictures: a Workshop with Janet Bolton. She is a member of Contemporary Applied Arts.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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