This hand-stitch course will explore a variety of slow textile techniques using traditional skills as inspiration. Old quilt samples, Japanese Boro pieces, and hand-mended scraps are among the textile treasures from the tutor’s collection, and you will be exploring these and learning to read the textiles.
You will use simple stitching, plain-sewing and patchwork techniques and simple and repurposed materials. You will explore the possibilities of developing a daily textile practise through the use of a stitch journal. There will be opportunities to explore the pleasure and wellbeing benefits that can be found from slow textile processes.
This course will encourage a reflective way of working and will lead to the beginnings of a resonant, personal piece of work. There is an emphasis on sampling and testing ideas rather than one outcome.
You can expect to explore the process in a small group and a relaxed supportive online environment. The tutor will encourage you to develop your work through observation and experimentation.
09.00 – 09.15 All students to join via Zoom
09.15 – 10.45 Introductions, health and safety, teaching and demonstrations, Q+A followed by independent study with tutor support
10.45 – 11.00 Break
11.00 – 12.45 Teaching, Q+A followed by independent study, with tutor support
12.45 – 14.00 Lunch
14.00 – 15.45 Teaching, Q+A, independent study with tutor support
15.45 – 16.00 Break
16.00 – 17.00 Plenary and next steps
Please read and familiarise yourself with the the Zoom joining instructions emailed to you with your course confirmation before the course starts. Be ready to start at 9am on the day with your computer set up and ready as detailed in the guidance notes emailed to you with your booking confirmation.
To enable you to share your work effectively during the course, we recommend that you either
1. Use your smartphone, ipad/tablet or a digital camera to take images of your work during the course, to download these to your computer’s desktop, so that you can easily use the Share screen option in Zoom, to show your work when necessary.
2. Alternatively, join the course via the Zoom link from a secondary device to assist sharing your work in progress during the day (e.g. a smartphone with in-built camera or ipad/tablet, though please ensure the sound is turned off on this device to avoid sound interference).
Please have with you a textile that you are happy to share a story about with the group. This could be something that you have made or a family textile (it will not be included in the work you make during the course).
You will also need to have:
A piece of neutral or light coloured medium weight fabric of your choice to work on minimum size 30cm x 20cm. The tutor uses linen but cotton or wool would also be suitable. This could be repurposed from e.g. an old linen shirt
A smaller piece of the same fabric cut into a 12cm x 12cm square
Batting/wadding or a piece of old woollen blanket (optional)
Embroidery/hand sewing needles. The tutor uses sharps but choose one that is easy to work through your fabric.
A variety of threads. Stranded embroidery thread, good quality cotton sewing thread and spun silk are all suitable.
Small scraps of fabric that hold meaning to you – light weight cottons, linens, silks would work well.
A pencil, tailor's chalk, a water-soluble or friction pen to mark your fabric
Scissors and embroidery scissors or snips
An embroidery hoop if you use one
What skill level do I need to take a course?
Our online courses are each given a level of study to ensure you pick the right course for you;
Beginners - Suitable for those with little or no experience of the subject
Intermediate – If you have taken a related course or have existing skills
Suitable for all - With content that can be engaged with on different levels.
What format does the course take?
Our online live-streamed courses run each day from 9am-5pm.
After admitting all students to Zoom between 9am-9.15am, the tutor will introduce the course at 9.15am promptly and give a demonstration or warm-up exercise with a chance to ask questions before independent study with tutor support. This pattern is followed throughout the day as additional tasks are introduced, concluding in the final session with a round up and discussion on next steps.
Is the course taught live?
Yes, the course is taught live via Zoom.
Will the course be recorded?
No, the course will not be recorded.
How many people will be on the course?
There are a maximum of 10-12 places for most courses, depending on the subject. Some lecture courses may take more students.
How do I sign up for a course?
Follow the online booking process to sign up for a course.
Can I use a College gift voucher for online courses?
Yes, simply enter the gift voucher code at the online checkout.
How do I access my course?
You will receive a link and password to access the course email, typically within two working days.
What do I need to set up or prepare before the course starts:
Find yourself a quiet place to work, away from background noise and distractions during the core teaching times. Prepare a workstation, ideally with a good sized work-surface or table, adjacent to your computer, and with enough space to layout your assembled materials and tools ready for the start of the day. Also assemble any materials listed on the course details which will not be supplied in any materials kit sent to you, if included in the course. (If your course includes materials, this will be clearly stated in the course materials section above).
Ensure you read and familiarise yourself with the Zoom joining instructions emailed to you with your course confirmation before the course starts. We recommend doing this several days in advance to avoid technical issues on the day.
What computer set-up will I need to take a course?
You can join a zoom meeting on a computer or laptop – Mac, PC – with Internet connection, a webcam, microphone and speakers (usually in-built). You need high speed Wi-Fi with full bars signal that doesn’t drop out Internet connection and a modern internet browser (see "What Web Browser do you recommend" below).
You will need an email account to sign up for a course and an up-to-date web browser.
To join the course simply click on the link in your confirmation email and follow the instructions on the screen. You can access Zoom via the web browser or app. For help joining a meeting see Zoom support here
It is also useful to have the following close to hand - a secondary device to join via the Zoom link is recommended if possible to assist sharing your work in progress during the day (eg a smartphone with in-built camera or ipad/tablet), if possible.
Some of the course resources may be presented as PDF files, which will require a PDF viewer such as Adobe Reader.
What web browser do you recommend?
PC users – Chrome 30+, Firefox 27+, Edge 12+, Internet Explorer 11+ are supported.
Mac users – Chrome 30+, Firefox 27+, Safari 7+ are supported.
Please be sure to keep your browser updated. If you need to upgrade your browser, go to your browser manufacturer's website and download the most recent version.
Phones and tablets – download the Zoom mobile app from the App Store (iPhone) or Google Play (Android).
We recommend setting up and testing Zoom a few days in advance of your course to ensure you do not have problems on the day. If you have checked the technical requirements above and are using a suitable browser but the problem persists, email email@example.com (Monday-Friday, and for courses held on Saturday or Sunday, 8.45-9.15am only) with the details of your problem (including a screenshot if useful) for advice.
I’ve lost my login details, what do I do?
If you have deleted your login information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org (Monday-Friday, and for courses held on Saturday or Sunday, 8.45-9.15am only).
I’ve changed my mind and no longer want to do this course, what can I do?
Please contact email@example.com immediately if you have changed your mind, within 14 days of booking. Please also refer to our Terms and Conditions when booking. If your course includes multiple units, by booking you are committing to attend all unit dates listed in the course description, no alternative dates or refund can be offered for any that you are unable to attend. For any other queries about online courses please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
For courses that included a posted materials pack: (this will be stated clearly in the course materials list above). Please only book this course online if you live on the UK mainland. The costs included in the course fee do not cover areas outside of the UK mainland. See note below.
Can I do this course if I live overseas?
If you live overseas (including Northern Ireland, Scottish Highlands and Islands, Channel Islands, Isle of Wight and Isle of Man), please email the Bookings Office email@example.com with your address and contact details, do not book the course online. Our team will then ascertain whether we are able to post the materials to you and, if so, the additional cost. We will then let you know and you can decide whether or not to go ahead with the booking. Please note that delivery of the materials box to an overseas address may also take longer.
What is included in the materials pack?
Included materials are listed in the ‘Course materials’ section above.
When should I expect to receive my materials pack?
Your pack will be posted to arrive 1-2 days before your course starts. It will be delivered by courier. Boxes are usually larger than letterbox size and the courier may contact you via email with delivery information. Currently, these can only be posted to mainland UK addresses - please see note above if you live overseas.
Who do I contact if I haven’t received my materials pack or it is missing an item?
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org (Monday-Friday) within two days of the course start date. If the original delivery is failed or refused and returned to the College, you will be responsible for paying any additional charges for re-delivery.
Claire Wellesley-Smith is an artist and author. She has an MA in
Visual Arts and specialises in slow textile processes including the
use of natural dyes and hand stitch. She has many years experience
of teaching adults textile-based processes as part of long-term
projects. Her book, Slow Stitch: Mindful and Contemplative Textile
Art was published by Batsford in 2015.