Folk art narratives – stitched and mixed media textiles with Anne Kelly

Art textiles

Ref: S3D11242

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About this course

Create a personal response to the folk art theme using a variety of printing and mixed media collage techniques. Learn how to assemble and stitch a piece of hanging art work.

Course Description

“Rooted deep in our history and culture, folk art evokes memories of home and childhood no matter where we are.” Anne Kelly ‘Textile Folk Art’, Bastford Books, 2018

Explore the popular and timeless theme of folk art and narratives to create a unique and personal hanging piece of textile art. Using resources from the tutor’s collection and your own, you will create a unique piece which will be translated into an art textile based work. Develop your own personal response through practical printing and stitching teachniques as you progress through the course.

From samplers to quilts in Europe and the USA, to tribal and nomadic cloth in Mongolia and China, folk and traditional designs have played a crucial part in the development of textile art and craft. Using fragments of recycled, upcycled and newly printed cloth, you will create a language for expressing your own interpretation of the theme. The textiles that you choose through these development processes will inform your collaged hanging piece. Your inspiration will be enhanced by some patternmaking based on the tutor’s collections of objects and reference materials and any that you have brought to the course.

Anne favours the use of simple printing and stencilling techniques using low impact materials that mirror the naïve and expressive quality of folk art textiles. These also combine well with vintage or upcycled textiles.

The piece that emerges from your exploration will take the form of an art textile hanging work in progress, advanced enough to finish with minor embellishing after the course.

• Block printing and stencilling techniques for textile

• Collage and applique textile techniques with stitch

• Creating an art textile hanging piece with hand and/or machine stitching (optional)

Using a mixture of demonstrations and individual tuition, you will be able to visualise and develop your ideas and narratives in textiles. Your tutor will bring samples of her works and books as well as examples of the genre to help you to be supported and grow in confidence through the course.


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


  • Some basic materials, including paper, acrylic paints, printing blocks, and glue sticks for use on the course.

What students need to bring

  • Bring images, books and vintage textiles for inspiration that connect with the theme.
  • Indian printing blocks or rubber stamps on the theme if you have them, an artificial sponge (car washing or washing up, not natural), palette or plastic mixing tray, acrylic and/or fabric paints in your preferred colours. Basic primary colours will be available.
  • Scalpel and cutting board
  • Basic sewing equipment for hand stitching and/or sewing machine work (optional). The kit should include needles for handstitching, pins, scissors, hand and machine threads in your preferred colours
  • Vintage textiles (charity shop finds or from your stash) old embroidered hankies, tray cloths, tablecloths, napkins. The more ‘distressed’ the better! They don’t have to be in pristine condition - fragments and scraps are most welcome.
  • Any scraps or remnants from your collections that are natural fabrics (cotton, linen or canvas) that suit the theme.
  • Lace, ribbon and button for embellishing - again in your preferred colours
  • Some plain calico or old sheeting in smaller pieces for printing, and one large background piece no bigger than a metre square
  • Apron and plastic gloves if you are sensitive to acrylic paint
  • Sketchbook or scrapbook to help with your design, if desired

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Scalpel or craft knife, masking tape, basic sewing equipment and threads, paints, crayons and calico.


Anne Kelly

Anne is a textile artist, author and tutor based in Kent. She is the author of three books for Batsford Press and exhibits and tutors throughout the UK and internationally. 


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

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