Machine embroidery – places and journeys with Wendy Dolan

Art textiles

Ref: S4D12423

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About this course

Combine mixed media techniques to create a unique textile image. Use maps with transfer printing techniques and combine with freehand machine embroidery, layering fabrics and three-dimensional textural effects to express your ideas.

Course Description

Inspired by places and journeys personal to you, combine mixed media techniques to create a unique textile image. Use maps with transfer printing techniques and combine with freehand machine embroidery, layering fabrics and three-dimensional textural effects to express your ideas.

Inspired by places and journeys, this course will offer the chance to explore and develop a combination of machine embroidery skills in a creative way. We all have special places and journeys, which we would like to remember. Develop a piece of work based on one of these, as you work from the reference material, maps and drawings you bring to the course.

The first evening session will consist of an illustrated slide talk, showing how maps, places and journeys can be combined in textiles. You will then begin to prepare a sample piece of work.

The use of maps and transfer printing techniques, combined with freehand machine embroidery, layering fabrics, three-dimensional textural effects and other skills, are explored and developed as you create a unique design or piece of art textiles.


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 until 9pm, 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


  • The cost of providing transfer printing materials, fabric paints and three-dimensional fabric mediums.

What students need to bring

  • Maps and images to base your work on – original photographs and maps, photocopies or drawings of your source materials (Please bring the originals to copy from, if you can.)
  • A map (e.g. Ordnance Survey) of a memorable place or journey, e.g. childhood home, place where you were married, a favourite holiday location, your home or a local feature, etc.
  • You also have the option of incorporating architectural elements in the design. Think about a colour scheme you might like to use when selecting thread colours.
  • Sewing machine and darning foot, with your machine manual and an extension table, if you have one
  • (If you wish to use a College sewing machine, please email us to reserve one:
  • A selection of plain, un-dyed fabrics, e.g. cotton, calico, muslin, scrim, linen, slub silk – pre-shrunk and ideally varying in texture and tone
  • Machine threads, according to your chosen colour scheme
  • Working overall/shirt
  • Pencil/paper/tracing paper
  • Scissors for paper and fabric
  • Pins/needles

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Sewing machine needles (90/100)
  • Tracing paper/A4 paper for design work
  • Pritt stick glue
  • Available from tutor:
  • Additional items for purchase, if needed:
  • Fabrics, including calico (pre-shrunk) and textured fabrics in cream/white (cotton, silk, linen, scrim etc) Madeira Classic 40 machine embroidery threads (medium weight)
  • Stitch 'n tear backing fabric
  • Additional transfer papers.
Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio. This includes stout covered footwear, i.e. no open-toes or sandals, and safety boots, if specified.


Wendy Dolan

Wendy Dolan is an experienced textile artist, tutor and lecturer, specialising in freehand machine embroidery. She is a Fellow of the Society of Designer Craftsmen and author of Layer, Paint and Stitch.


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

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Further study options

Take the next step in your creative practice, with foundation level to Masters in Fine Art study. 

Depending on your experience, start with an Online Foundation Certificate in Art and Design (one year, part-time), a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design made up of 10 short courses taken over two years (part-time) or a Diploma in Art and Contemporary Crafts (10 three-day study blocks, over two years). All will help you develop core skills, find direction in your practice and build an impressive portfolio in preparation for artist opportunities or higher-level study. See all degree and diploma courses.

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