Machine embroidery inspired by Klimt with Wendy Dolan

Art textiles

Ref: SLW11287

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About this course

Develop your freehand machine embroidery and other skills to create unique designs inspired by the artwork of Gustav Klimt. Layer and bond fabrics onto velvet or cotton, adding threads, stitch, paint and metal foils, as you make a series of opulent samples before embarking on a finished work.

Course Description

The patterns and colours in the work of Gustav Klimt provide an endless source of inspiration for design. Fabrics will be layered and worked into with freehand machine embroidery, and then areas of the design will be cut/burnt away revealing exciting colour combinations. Imitation gold leaf can be used to embellish the designs. The final samples can be presented as decorative panels.

After demonstrations of the techniques, you will be encouraged to create a set of stitched samples. You will then work on an individual project producing a unique decorative panel.

Materials and techniques covered include freehand machine embroidery worked on layered fabrics and the use of a soldering iron to burn away areas of the design, revealing exciting colour combinations.

Then, with encouragement and guidance from the tutor, you will work on individual projects. Group reviews will be held during and at the end of the course so that ideas can be shared and discussed.


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


  • Some fabrics for sample pieces supplied by the tutor, including silk fabric squares, organza fabric, Stitch'n tear, gold leaf, bondaweb. It may be necessary to purchase additional fabrics, see below.

What students need to bring

  • Gather some visual resources; look for images depicting the artwork of Gustav Klimt. These images can be used as ideas for inspiration. Consider his use of pattern, texture and colour.
  • Your sewing machine: with a darning foot if you have one and your extension table (if you wish to use a College sewing machine, please email us to reserve one – email:
  • Scissors – small embroidery and fabric
  • Pins
  • Spare machine needles (90 (14))
  • Fabrics: Plain, coloured background fabrics, e.g. cotton, dupion silk. Polyester Organza.
  • Threads: Machine embroidery threads according to your choice of colour scheme / fabrics
  • e.g. cotton, rayon, metallic, polyester, etc.
  • Hand embroidery threads for cable stitch, e.g. cotton Perlé, soft embroidery cotton, cotton à broder, fine wools and cottons, gold fingering.
  • Pencils and coloured pencils (if you have them)
  • Tracing paper
  • Soldering iron with a fine tip (18 watt) if you have one.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Madeira 30 machine embroidery threads
  • Sewing machine needles
  • For any materials you need to purchase from the shop, we suggest you do so during the first morning of your course, after having discussed with your tutor.
  • Available from tutor:
  • Wooden Embroidery Frames, 20 – 25cm
  • Madeira 40 machine embroidery threads
  • Coloured silk fabric
  • Organza fabric
  • Calico backing fabric (pre-shrunk to remove the dressing)
  • Bondaweb


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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