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early career
FREEHAND MACHINE EMBROIDERY COURSES WITH ALISON

The classroom at Highfield Oswestry
Current course diary
All the courses listed below are taught by Alison in different locations around the UK and abroad (suitcase permanently packed and ready to go!). Each course is structured around silk painting and freehand machine stitching demonstrations by Alison followed by individual tuition. Please contact the organiser for more information and to enrol

If a course with Alison at her Garden Studio, Highfield Oswestry is full there is the option of putting your name on a waiting list. Spaces do become available. If you would like to do that contact Alison.

For students unsure if their sewing machine is suitable for freehand machine embroidery I have a Bernina available to hire @ £15 per day. This is a great way to ensure you have a machine that is up to the task

I regularly teach the Embroiderers Guild and other textile groups all over the UK and abroad. If you would like me to teach a workshop for your group please click on the 'courses on offer' button for more information and email me for more details

If you live in AUSTRALIA - please click here

 Colourful Landscapes 
course image course image
course image course image
Inspired by the countryside at its most vibrant, students will use a combination of silk painting and freehand machine stitching to create a colourful landscape picture.
Basing the design on photographs of scenes such as wild flower meadows, fields of poppies, blue linseed or yellow oilseed rape students will learn silk painting techniques to form a base for the stitching.
Through tutor demonstrations and one to one tuition you will learn a range of textures and marks made with just straight stitch and zigzag to creates texture and definition to your picture.
We explore how to create a balanced composition, achieve depth and perspective, colour mix in paint and thread and the use of light and shade.

suitable for: Beginners and Improvers
date21 Jul 2017
duration3 days
total placesenquire at venue
places availwaiting list
per place £enquire at venue
book viaSandie Foster
tutorAlison Holt
Location: Brighton
Organised by Sandie Fostersandiefoster7@ntlworld.com 07909 521615

 Etched in Frost: A Winter Scene 
course image course image
course image course image
A landscape transformed by frost and ice is the inspiration for this course. Students will work from photographs and we will explore paint and embroidery techniques discovering ways to create the effects of frost and winter mist on landscapes, woodlands and foliage. With a limited palette and the elements etched in frost the imagery is dramatic.
Working on white silk, you will outline a design with resist or gutta, paint a background with silk paints and then apply a range of embroidery techniques to add textures and detail to complete the picture.

suitable for: Students with some experience
date07 Aug 2017
duration3 days
total places9
places availwaiting list
per place £195
book viaAlison Holt
tutorAlison Holt
Location: The Garden Studio, Highfield, 85 Oakhurst Road, OSWESTRY SY11 1BL 10am to 4pm each day, please arrive 9.30 first day. Plenty of parking space
Organised by Alison Holtalison@alisonholt.com01691 653118www.alisonholt.com

 Landscapes: An Embroidered Picture 
course image course image
course image course image
Inspired by your favourite landscape explore the creativity of free hand machine embroidery and silk painting. Learn how to create a painted and stitched picture. We will outline a design on silk with resist and paint a background with silk dyes. The course will cover techniques for painting skies, fields, distant hills and mountains and free hand machine embroidery techniques for trees, wheat fields, wild flowers and other textured elements.
We will be covering aspects of art theory such as designing balanced compositions, creating depth and perspective, colour mixing in paint and thread, creating texture and the use of light and shade.

suitable for: Beginners and improvers
date30 Aug 2017
duration1 day
total places15
places availyes
per place £enquire with organiser
book viaPat Screaton
tutorAlison Holt
Location: Frolesworth Village Hall, NR COSBY, Leicestershire LE17
Organised by Pat Screatonpatscreaton@dsl.pipex.com01162 86758107860 106999

 Up Close and Personal 
course image course image
course image course image
Explore the fine detail in close ups of flowers and leaves. Learn how to blend in stitch to create a smooth transition through colour and tonal ranges. Learn interesting stitch techniques for petals, stamens etc. creating depth and definition
A silk painted background will set off this dramatic flower study.


suitable for: Beginners and improvers
date31 Aug 2017
duration2 days
total places15
places availwaiting list
per place £enquire with organiser
book viaPat Screaton
tutorAlison Holt
Location: Frolesworth Village Hall, NR COSBY, Leicestershire LE17
Organised by Pat Screatonpatscreaton@dsl.pipex.com01162 86758107860 106999

 Crashing Waves and Sea Spray 
course image course image
course image course image
Inspired by dramatic coastlines with the splash and spray of waves crashing against the rocks. Using paint and stitch we will create the effects of smooth, craggy or glistening wet rocks and the movement and texture of sea spray.
We will outline a design on silk with resist; paint a background with silk paints and apply a range of embroidery techniques. Students will work from photographs of their choice or from a selection provided by the tutor.
We will be covering aspects of art theory such as designing balanced compositions, aerial perspective and linear perspective, colour mixing in paint and in thread. Investigate the way texture and colour creates depth and perspective and how to draw with stitches.

suitable for: Beginners and improvers
date02 Sep 2017
duration2 days
total places15
places availwaiting list
per place £enquire with organiser
book viaPat Screaton
tutorAlison Holt
Location: Frolesworth Village Hall, NR COSBY, Leicestershire LE17
Organised by Pat Screatonpatscreaton@dsl.pipex.com01162 86758107860 106999

 The Garden in Paint and Stitch 
course image course image
course image course image
Inspired by the flowers and foliage of the Chelsea Physic Garden students will create a thread painted flower study on hand painted silk.

Students will start this course exploring the garden for inspiration, taking photographs of flowers, observing shapes and form, gathering ideas for colour combinations and designs.
Through tutor demonstrations we will learn how to paint on silk and produce creative backgrounds in response to the garden
To complete our designs and create detail and definition we will add a range of freehand machine stitched flowers.


book online

suitable for: Beginners and improvers
date14 Sep 2017
duration2 days
total places14
places availyes
per place £185
book viaChelsea Physic website
tutorAlison Holt
Chelsea Physic Garden 66 Royal Hospital Road Chelsea London SW3 4HS
Michael Hollandmholland@chelseaphysicgarden.co.uk020 7349 6453http://chelseaphysicgarden.co.uk/

 Rivers and Waterfalls 
course image course image
course image course image
Inspired by scenes of rivers and waterfalls with fast flowing water, moss covered rocks, ferns and foliage we will design and complete a painted and stitched picture. With tutor demonstrations learn the painting techniques for the calm reflective appearance of still water, and smooth wet rocks, and the freehand embroidery stitch techniques to create the texture and movement of white water tumbling over and between mossy rocks.
We will cover aspects of art theory such as designing balanced compositions, blending techniques, aerial perspective and linear perspective, colour mixing in paint and thread, creating texture and the use of light and shade


suitable for: Students with some experience
date18 Sep 2017
duration3 days
total places9
places availno
per place £195
book viaAlison Holt
tutorAlison Holt
Location: The Garden Studio, Highfield, 85 Oakhurst Road, OSWESTRY SY11 1BL 10am to 4pm each day, please arrive 9.30 first day. Plenty of parking space
Organised by Alison Holtalison@alisonholt.com01691 653118www.alisonholt.com

 Colourful Landscapes 
course image course image
course image course image
Inspired by the countryside at its most vibrant, students will use a combination of silk painting and freehand machine stitching to create a colourful landscape picture.
Basing the design on photographs of scenes such as wild flower meadows, fields of poppies, blue linseed or yellow oilseed rape students will learn silk painting techniques to form a base for the stitching.
Through tutor demonstrations and one to one tuition you will learn a range of textures and marks made with just straight stitch and zigzag to creates texture and definition to your picture.
We explore how to create a balanced composition, achieve depth and perspective, colour mix in paint and thread and the use of light and shade.

suitable for: Beginners and Improvers
date03 Nov 2017
duration2 days
total places16
places availyes
per place £enquire at venue
book viaJosephine Coleman
tutorAlison Holt
Bernina Sewing Centre 9/1451 Albany Highway Cannington Perth WA
Josephine Colemanberninacannington@bigpond.com9451 1055

 Up Close and Personal 
course image course image
course image course image
Explore the fine detail in close ups of flowers and leaves. Learn how to blend in stitch to create a smooth transition through colour and tonal ranges. Learn interesting stitch techniques for petals, stamens etc. creating depth and definition
A silk painted background will set off this dramatic flower study.


suitable for: Beginners and improvers
date07 Nov 2017
duration3 days
total places16
places availenquire at venue
per place £Enquire at venue
book viaMaureen Munro
tutorAlison Holt
Margaret River WA, Australia
Maureen Munromdmunro@westnet.com.au

 Sunlight and Shadows 
course image course image
course image course image
We aim to capture the drama created by strong shadows in a landscape. It may be summer clouds drifting across a hillside, the long evening shadows in a woodland or deep blue shadows within a snow scene. We will look at the bold tonal range within the composition, the wide range of colours found in shadows and play with textures in stitch to create our embroidered picture.
We will outline a design on silk with resist; paint a background with silk paints and apply a range of embroidery techniques. Students will work from photographs of their choice or from a selection provided by the tutor.
We will be covering aspects of art theory such as designing balanced compositions, aerial perspective and linear perspective, colour mixing in paint and in thread. Investigate the way texture and colour creates depth and perspective and how to draw with stitches.

suitable for: Students with some experience
date11 Nov 2017
duration2 days
total places16
places availwaiting list
per place £Enquire at venue
book viaJenny
tutorAlison Holt
Kraft Daze Sewing World, 7/80 Attfield St, Maddington WA Australia
Jennykraftdaze@gmail.com08 9459 7843 www.kraftdaze.com.au

 Up Close and Personal 
course image course image
course image course image
Explore the fine detail in close ups of flowers and leaves. Learn how to blend in stitch to create a smooth transition through colour and tonal ranges. Learn interesting stitch techniques for petals, stamens etc. creating depth and definition
A silk painted background will set off this dramatic flower study.


suitable for: Beginners and improvers
date18 Nov 2017
duration2 days
total places16
places availyes
per place £enquire at venue
book viaJenny
tutorAlison Holt
Stitched n Framed Unit 18, 14 Acacia Ave, Port Macquarie NSW 2444 Australia
Jennyinfo@stitchednframed.com.au(02) 6581 3338www.stitchednframed.com.au

 Seascapes 
course image course image
course image course image
This course includes the design and execution of an embroidered picture of a seascape. Students will work from photographs and will learn silk painting and freehand machine embroidery techniques. Working on silk, you will paint a background and then apply a range of embroidery techniques to complete the picture. You will learn how to paint sky and clouds, sand and rocks and with stitch how to capture the movement of waves, the texture of pebbles, rocks and cliffs.
We will be covering aspects of art theory such as designing balanced compositions, creating depth and perspective, colour mixing in paint and thread, creating texture and the use of light and shade

suitable for: Beginners and improvers
date22 Nov 2017
duration2 days
total places16
places availyes
per place £enquire at venue
book viaJenny
tutorAlison Holt
Stitched n Framed Unit 18, 14 Acacia Ave, Port Macquarie NSW 2444 Australia
Jennyinfo@stitchednframed.com.au(02) 6581 3338www.stitchednframed.com.au

 Flowers and Foliage 
course image course image
course image course image
With a range of garden flowers as the inspiration students will experiment with painting on silk in an impressionistic style to create a base for machine stitching. Drawing with straight stitch and zigzag stitch, machine embroidery techniques will be explored for the flowers. Combining the two elements we will produce images with colour, depth and definition.
Beginners can produce several small pieces which will make wonderful embroidered pictures or cards. Alternatively a more experienced student can work on a larger more complex close up of a flower of their choice.
Stitch techniques demonstrated will include delphiniums, foxgloves, roses, astilbes and many more.

suitable for: Beginners and improvers
date02 Dec 2017
duration2 days
total places16
places availyes
per place £enquire at venue
book viaGeorgina Campbell
tutorAlison Holt
Heretaunga Intermediate School, 260 Orchard Road, Hastings. NZ
Georgina Campbellgeorgec@nowmail.co.nz06 87099050211222580

 Colourful Landscapes 
course image course image
course image course image
Inspired by the countryside at its most vibrant, students will use a combination of silk painting and freehand machine stitching to create a colourful landscape picture.
Basing the design on photographs of scenes such as wild flower meadows, fields of poppies, blue linseed or yellow oilseed rape students will learn silk painting techniques to form a base for the stitching.
Through tutor demonstrations and one to one tuition you will learn a range of textures and marks made with just straight stitch and zigzag to creates texture and definition to your picture.
We explore how to create a balanced composition, achieve depth and perspective, colour mix in paint and thread and the use of light and shade.

suitable for: Beginners and Improvers
date15 Jan 2018
duration3 days
total places9
places availwaiting list
per place £195
book viaAlison Holt
tutorAlison Holt
Location: The Garden Studio, Highfield, 85 Oakhurst Road, OSWESTRY SY11 1BL 10am to 4pm each day, please arrive 9.30 first day. Plenty of parking space
Organised by Alison Holtalison@alisonholt.com01691 653118www.alisonholt.com

 Silk Painting 
course image course image
course image course image
An opportunity to experiment with silk painting. Learn a little about colour theory, how to mix colours and explore how silk paint behaves on fabric. Practise how to control the flow of the paint and achieve more predictable results. We will be blending and layering colours to produce a range of interesting effects as backgrounds for stitching.


suitable for: Beginners and improvers
date07 Feb 2018
duration1 day
total places15
places availyes
per place £Enquire at venue
book viaPat Screaton
tutorAlison Holt
Location: Frolesworth Village Hall, NR COSBY, Leicestershire LE17
Organised by Pat Screatonpatscreaton@dsl.pipex.com01162 86758107860 106999

 Colourful Landscapes 
course image course image
course image course image
Inspired by the countryside at its most vibrant, students will use a combination of silk painting and freehand machine stitching to create a colourful landscape picture.
Basing the design on photographs of scenes such as wild flower meadows, fields of poppies, blue linseed or yellow oilseed rape students will learn silk painting techniques to form a base for the stitching.
Through tutor demonstrations and one to one tuition you will learn a range of textures and marks made with just straight stitch and zigzag to creates texture and definition to your picture.
We explore how to create a balanced composition, achieve depth and perspective, colour mix in paint and thread and the use of light and shade.

suitable for: Beginners and Improvers
date08 Feb 2018
duration2 days
total places15
places availwaiting list
per place £Enquire at venue
book viaPat Screaton
tutorAlison Holt
Location: Frolesworth Village Hall, NR COSBY, Leicestershire LE17
Organised by Pat Screatonpatscreaton@dsl.pipex.com01162 86758107860 106999

 Up Close and Personal 
course image course image
course image course image
Explore the fine detail in close ups of flowers and leaves. Learn how to blend in stitch to create a smooth transition through colour and tonal ranges. Learn interesting stitch techniques for petals, stamens etc. creating depth and definition
A silk painted background will set off this dramatic flower study.


suitable for: Beginners and improvers
date10 Feb 2018
duration2 days
total places15
places availyes
per place £Enquire at venue
book viaPat Screaton
tutorAlison Holt
Location: Frolesworth Village Hall, NR COSBY, Leicestershire LE17
Organised by Pat Screatonpatscreaton@dsl.pipex.com01162 86758107860 106999

 Texture in Nature 
course image course image
course image course image
Celebrating and exploring the colours, texture and detail of trees.
We will work on stitch techniques for tree bark. Some smooth, others craggy and covered in lichen and moss.
We will cover aspects of art theory such as designing balanced compositions, creating depth and perspective, colour mixing in paint and thread, creating texture and the use of light and shade.
Students will work from photographs of their own or from a selection provided by the tutor.


suitable for: Students with some experience
date19 Feb 2018
duration3 days
total places9
places availwaiting list
per place £195
book viaAlison Holt
tutorAlison Holt
Location: The Garden Studio, Highfield, 85 Oakhurst Road, OSWESTRY SY11 1BL 10am to 4pm each day, please arrive 9.30 first day. Plenty of parking space
Organised by Alison Holtalison@alisonholt.com01691 653118www.alisonholt.com

 Silk Painting 
course image course image
course image course image
An opportunity to experiment with silk painting. Learn a little about colour theory, how to mix colours and explore how silk paint behaves on fabric. Practise how to control the flow of the paint and achieve more predictable results. We will be blending and layering colours to produce a range of interesting effects as backgrounds for stitching.


suitable for: Beginners and improvers
date12 Mar 2018
duration1 day
total places9
places availyes
per place £65
book viaAlison Holt
tutorAlison Holt
Location: The Garden Studio, Highfield, 85 Oakhurst Road, OSWESTRY SY11 1BL 10am to 4pm each day, please arrive 9.30 first day. Plenty of parking space
Organised by Alison Holtalison@alisonholt.com01691 653118www.alisonholt.com

 Silk Painting for Improvers  
course image course image
course image course image
For students with a some experience in colour mixing and applying silk paint. We will learn how to paint areas in a composition that require detail but not texture, such as skies, reflections in still water and shadows across a pathway or on a beach.


suitable for: Improvers
date13 Mar 2018
duration1 day
total places9
places availno
per place £65
book viaAlison Holt
tutorAlison Holt
Location: The Garden Studio, Highfield, 85 Oakhurst Road, OSWESTRY SY11 1BL 10am to 4pm each day, please arrive 9.30 first day. Plenty of parking space
Organised by Alison Holtalison@alisonholt.com01691 653118www.alisonholt.com

 Wild Flowers and Grasses 
course image course image
course image course image
Using wild flower meadows as the inspiration we will learn stitch techniques for poppies, daises, corn, barley and grasses using
straight stitch and zigzag stitch. We will paint a simple background as a base to give depth to the composition. Combining these two elements we will produce images with colour, depth and definition.
Students can produce several small pieces which will make wonderful small embroidered pictures or cards.
suitable for: Beginners
date14 Mar 2018
duration1 day
total places9
places availwaiting list
per place £65
book viaAlison Holt
tutorAlison Holt
Location: The Garden Studio, Highfield, 85 Oakhurst Road, OSWESTRY SY11 1BL 10am to 4pm each day, please arrive 9.30 first day. Plenty of parking space
Organised by Alison Holtalison@alisonholt.com01691 653118www.alisonholt.com

 An English Country Garden 
course image course image
course image course image
Create a painted and stitched picture of flowers within a garden setting and explore the painterly elements of free hand machine embroidery. We will outline a design on silk with resist and paint a background with silk dyes. The course will cover free hand machine embroidery techniques for a variety of garden flowers and foliage including delphiniums, aliums, achillea and verbascum. We will be covering aspects of art theory such as designing balanced compositions, aerial perspective and linear perspective, colour mixing in paint and thread, creating texture and the use of light and shade
suitable for: Students with some experience
date23 Apr 2018
duration3 days
total places9
places availwaiting list
per place £195
book viaAlison Holt
tutorAlison Holt
Location: The Garden Studio, Highfield, 85 Oakhurst Road, OSWESTRY SY11 1BL 10am to 4pm each day, please arrive 9.30 first day. Plenty of parking space
Organised by Alison Holtalison@alisonholt.com01691 653118www.alisonholt.com

 Up Hill Down Dale 
course image course image
course image course image
A course that encompasses all the best imagery from rambling in the countryside. Meandering rutted tracks, old wooden gates, stiles and mossy dry stone walls.
We will outline a design on silk with gutta and paint a background with silk dyes and explore stitch techniques for the textured elements of the composition
suitable for: Beginners and improvers
date16 Jul 2018
duration3 days
total places9
places availwaiting list
per place £210
book viaAlison Holt
tutorAlison Holt
Location: The Garden Studio, Highfield, 85 Oakhurst Road, OSWESTRY SY11 1BL 10am to 4pm each day, please arrive 9.30 first day. Plenty of parking space
Organised by Alison Holtalison@alisonholt.com01691 653118www.alisonholt.com

 Up Close and Personal 
course image course image
course image course image
Explore the fine detail in close ups of flowers and leaves. Learn how to blend in stitch to create a smooth transition through colour and tonal ranges. Learn interesting stitch techniques for petals, stamens etc. creating depth and definition
A silk painted background will set off this dramatic flower study.


suitable for: Beginners and improvers
date06 Aug 2018
duration3 days
total places9
places availyes
per place £210
book viaAlison Holt
tutorAlison Holt
Location: The Garden Studio, Highfield, 85 Oakhurst Road, OSWESTRY SY11 1BL 10am to 4pm each day, please arrive 9.30 first day. Plenty of parking space
Organised by Alison Holtalison@alisonholt.com01691 653118www.alisonholt.com

 Woodlands: Techniques 
course image course image
course image course image
Machine Embroidery: Woodland Techniques

Each student will produce a portfolio of free hand machine embroidery techniques using only straight stitch and zigzag. On a theme of woodlands the course will cover embroidery techniques for tree trunks, foliage, bark, ferns and woodland flowers such as bluebells, snowdrops and azaleas. Exploring the way texture and colour create depth and perspective, learning to draw with stitches
suitable for: Beginners and improvers
date29 Aug 2018
duration1 day
total places15
places availwaiting list
per place £Enquire at venue
book viaPat Screaton
tutorAlison Holt
Location: Frolesworth Village Hall, NR COSBY, Leicestershire LE17
Organised by Pat Screatonpatscreaton@dsl.pipex.com01162 86758107860 106999

 Texture in Nature 
course image course image
course image course image
Celebrating and exploring the colours, texture and detail of trees.
We will work on stitch techniques for tree bark. Some smooth, others craggy and covered in lichen and moss.
We will cover aspects of art theory such as designing balanced compositions, creating depth and perspective, colour mixing in paint and thread, creating texture and the use of light and shade.
Students will work from photographs of their own or from a selection provided by the tutor.


suitable for: Students with some experience
date30 Aug 2018
duration2 days
total places15
places availwaiting list
per place £Enquire at venue
book viaPat Screaton
tutorAlison Holt
Location: Frolesworth Village Hall, NR COSBY, Leicestershire LE17
Organised by Pat Screatonpatscreaton@dsl.pipex.com01162 86758107860 106999

 Reflections in Water 
course image course image
course image course image
Inspired by scenes with reflections in lakes, slow flowing rivers or canals, this course helps students to improve their silk painting skills which adds a new dimension to machine embroidery projects.You will learn the silk painting techniques needed to interpret the reflected details in water. It also includes all the stitch techniques required for the landscape and its foliage.
We will cover aspects of art theory such as designing balanced compositions, blending techniques, aerial perspective and linear perspective, colour mixing in paint and thread, creating texture and the use of light and shade.

suitable for: Students with some experience
date01 Sep 2018
duration2 days
total places15
places availyes
per place £Enquire at venue
book viaPat Screaton
tutorAlison Holt
Location: Frolesworth Village Hall, NR COSBY, Leicestershire LE17
Organised by Pat Screatonpatscreaton@dsl.pipex.com01162 86758107860 106999

 Etched in Frost: A Winter Scene 
course image course image
course image course image
A landscape transformed by frost and ice is the inspiration for this course. Students will work from photographs and we will explore paint and embroidery techniques discovering ways to create the effects of frost and winter mist on landscapes, woodlands and foliage. With a limited palette and the elements etched in frost the imagery is dramatic.
Working on white silk, you will outline a design with resist or gutta, paint a background with silk paints and then apply a range of embroidery techniques to add textures and detail to complete the picture.

suitable for: Students with some experience
date10 Sep 2018
duration3 days
total places9
places availyes
per place £210
book viaAlison Holt
tutorAlison Holt
Location: The Garden Studio, Highfield, 85 Oakhurst Road, OSWESTRY SY11 1BL 10am to 4pm each day, please arrive 9.30 first day. Plenty of parking space
Organised by Alison Holtalison@alisonholt.com01691 653118www.alisonholt.com

 Flowers and Foliage 
course image course image
course image course image
With a range of garden flowers as the inspiration students will experiment with painting on silk in an impressionistic style to create a base for machine stitching. Drawing with straight stitch and zigzag stitch, machine embroidery techniques will be explored for the flowers. Combining the two elements we will produce images with colour, depth and definition.
Beginners can produce several small pieces which will make wonderful embroidered pictures or cards. Alternatively a more experienced student can work on a larger more complex close up of a flower of their choice.
Stitch techniques demonstrated will include delphiniums, foxgloves, roses, astilbes and many more.

suitable for: Beginners and improvers
date22 Sep 2018
duration2 days
total places15
places availyes
per place £Enquire at venue
book viaBeverley Caleno
tutorAlison Holt
Old Bank Studios 19 Kings Quay Street, Harwich, Essex CO12 3ER
Beverley Calenoinfo@oldbankstudios.co.uk01255 242930http://www.oldbankstudios.co.uk