Stitch a Story

This workshop will give you plenty of scope for experimenting with a variety of ways to use your cloth and stitch. My aim is to help you to achieve the effects you wish to create, by introducing lots of options, and sharing some of my favourite tips and tricks. You will need to decide on an idea or theme for your book. Bring along your favourite scraps of fabrics, your expertise with needle and thread, and together we’ll have some fun and create your narrative. We will design and make several of the pages or panels, illustrating your chosen theme, and join them together into a concertina style display book. You will learn all the skills you need to complete the project at your leisure.

Lesson Plan

On the first day, we will begin with some discussion, questions, and demonstrations of the techniques and effects I use in my own work ( being aware that I use cloth and stitch as my main medium. ) Then it’s ‘hands on’, time to try out anything that interests you, and make a plan for your own book. It takes time to develop each page, so you may only get a couple of pages done on the first day. At the end of this day, we can discuss how to continue the project, and possible options for constructing the book object. You have a week in which to think some more, and possibly work some more, before coming back for the next session. Also I suggest you think of this as an ongoing project ; pages can be made one at a time, and added to the structure of the book at any stage. By the second session, we will have a better idea of the materials you need to construct your book, and I’ll plan to provide the necessary foundation materials for your structure. So, part of that day will be spent in figuring out exactly how you want to construct and finish your pages / panels. I have options and plans for that stage of the work. And you can continue to make pages.

Requirement List

All your usual tools of the trade …. scissors, pins, etc. You will need some backing fabric to work on to. I tend to use calico as a base, but anything that supports your stitching will do. A bunch of fabric pieces you wish to use for ‘collage’ on your pages. Go for variety and contrast in colour, weight, and texture, or choose stuff to fit with your theme. Maybe think about some transparent fabrics. You can also include papers, photos, cards and stuff like that . Any embellishments that you like to use, beads, buttons, lace, etc. Threads for hand stitching. I use mostly cotton perle no. 8 or similar weight, but you can use whatever you like. Make sure you have some machine weight thread for sewing on small attachments, like beads. Bring needles to suit your threads. Vliesofix ( fusible web ) can be useful. You might need pencil and paper to make extra notes, or to try out ideas / make patterns. There will be a small charge for the foundation materials that I provide for the book structures, notes and equipment, and extra stuff to play with. I estimate that it will be $10 or less per person.

stitch sample book

Workshop Info

6 hours a day for 2 or 3 days

Skill Level » suitable for all levels
Class Size » 12