Animal portraits in fabric collage and stitch with Anne Kelly

Sewing, embroidery and accessories

Ref: SLW12066

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About this course

Design and make a unique piece of work to celebrate or remember a special pet or animal in your life. Anne will help you to create a really memorable piece of textile art, using a mixture of textiles made on the course and found in your collections.

Course Description

The pets, animals and birds that surround us and have become increasingly important companions to many in recent years. Interpreting their image and personalitlies in cloth is a wonderful way to celebrate or commemorate their lives.

In this new course with tutor Anne Kelly, you will be designing and making a unique piece of work about a special pet, animal or bird. Using a chosen photograph to design a collage including a background, she will help you to create a really memorable piece of textile art. Hand and machine stitching will form part of the workshop and we will try to incorporate as many meaningful fragments from your collections as possible into this new piece.

You will learn how to

- make a design for textile from a photograph

- use colour, texture and shading and translate these elements into cloth

- make some basic textile printed elements for collage

- use a variety of stitching (hand and/or machine) techniques to add texture

You will need to look through your stash for pieces of fabric to make this collage, Anne will bring pieces to help you with your project. The piece that emerges from your exploration will take the form of an art textile piece, a work in progress, advanced enough to finish with minor embellishing after the course.

Using a mixture of demonstrations and individual tuition, you will be able to visualise and develop your ideas and designs 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 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

What students need to bring

  • List of items to bring:
  • A clear colour photograph or image of the pet, animal or bird for your project, not bigger than A4 size. This can include a background if desired
  • Background fabric (no larger than A3 square) strong cotton or linen union
  • An embroidery hoop if you use one
  • Scraps of fabric in colours that suit your animal, no stretchy or too textured ones, ie fake fur and feathers are not suitable
  • Background scraps in a variety of colours, small pieces
  • White or off-white thread for tacking
  • A selection of embroidery threads for machine (if desired) and hand stitching
  • A glue stick and pins
  • Buttons/beads for eyes
  • Ribbons, wool tops, string for embellishment
  • Small quanitity of acrylic or fabric paint for printing in appropriate colours for your subject
  • Small pieces of sponge (not natural) 2-3
  • Scraps of neutral fabric for printing
  • Wear comfortable clothing and bring an apron or old shirt for printing, and covered footwear

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Threads and glue, embroidery hoops, acrylic and fabric paint
  • Available from tutor:
  • Copies of the tutors recent books.
Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio and covered footwear.


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.

Courses of interest

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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