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early career
Highfield, Oakhurst Rd,
Oswestry, SY11 1BL

01691 653118
link to BigLoaf website design, layout and maintenance
MACHINE EMBROIDERY COURSES WITH ALISON
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 painting and stitching demonstrations by Alison followed by individual tuition. Please contact the organiser for more information and to enrol

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 for organisers' button for more information and email me for more details

If you live in AUSTRALIA - please click here

 Flowers and Gardens: A Picture 
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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, foxgloves, 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
date02 Sep 2015
duration2 days
total places15
places availno
per placeenquire at venue
book viaPat Screaton
tutorAlison Holt
Location: Frolesworth Village Hall, NR COSBY, Leicestershire LE17
Organised by Pat Screatonpatscreaton@dsl.pipex.com01162 86758107860 106999

 Tear Layer and Stitch: Seascapes 
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You will learn how to create paper and stitch collages on a seascapes theme. Layers of cut and torn paper and tissue form a base for freehand machine stitching. This is an experimental free way to work and includes a variety of stitch techniques using straight stitch and zigzag.
suitable for: Beginners and improvers
date04 Sep 2015
duration1 day
total places15
places availno
per placeinquire at venue
book viaPat Screaton
tutorAlison Holt
Location: Frolesworth Village Hall, NR COSBY, Leicestershire LE17
Organised by Pat Screatonpatscreaton@dsl.pipex.com01162 86758107860 106999

 Woodland Scene: An Embroidered Picture 
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Inspired by shadows and dappled sunlight falling on the woodland floor, we will explore the light and shade, colour and textures in a woodland scene
With a series of demonstrations learn silk painting and freehand embroidery techniques for the elements found within a woodland including tree bark and moss, foliage, snowdrops, bluebells and ferns.
We will cover aspects of art theory including designing balanced compositions, creating depth and perspective and how to mix colours in paint and thread
suitable for: Students with some experience
date05 Sep 2015
duration2 days
total places15
places availno
per placeenquire at venue
book viaPat Screaton
tutorAlison Holt
Location: Frolesworth Village Hall, NR COSBY, Leicestershire LE17
Organised by Pat Screatonpatscreaton@dsl.pipex.com01162 86758107860 106999

 Nature in Paint and Stitch 
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Exploring Nature in Paint and Stitch: In this workshop students will explore landscapes in the broadest sense, with detailed, colourful, textured drawing on a sewing machine. Students will investigate the colours and textures of the natural world in silk painting techniques, experimenting with colour washes and layering paint to create fine detail. We will progress to make marks and textures with freehand machine embroidery using just straight stitch and zigzag. This gives the foundation for designing a unique composition of the students’ choice to execute in paint and stitch, bringing all the elements together to create depth, definition and perspective

suitable for: Students with some experience
date04 Oct 2015
duration5 days
total places12
places availno
per placeenquire at venue
book viaFibres West website
tutorAlison Holt
Fibres West 2015 Muresk WE Australia
info@fibreswest.com.auinfo@fibreswest.com.auhttp://fibreswest.com.au/

 Rivers and Waterfalls 
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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
date17 Oct 2015
duration2 days
total places16
places availno
per placeenquire with organiser
book viaCarly Leech
tutorAlison Holt
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Organised by Carly Leechcmar1378@bigpond.net.au

 Reflections in Water 
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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
date21 Oct 2015
duration2 days
total places12
places availyes
per placeenquire with organiser
book viaCindy Watkins
tutorAlison Holt
Location: Deloraine Tasmania Australia
Organised by Cindy Watkinsdeeppeacestudio@yahoo.com.au

 Landscapes: An Embroidered Picture 
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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 based on a photograph of your choice. 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
date31 Oct 2015
duration2 days
total places16
places availyes
per placeenquire at venue
book viaGerry Harvey
tutorAlison Holt
Embroiderers Guild of WA. Perth, Australia
Gerry Harveygerryharvey@optusnet.com.au

 Seascapes: A Picture 
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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
date03 Nov 2015
duration3 days
total places16
places availyes
per placeenquire at venue
book viaMaureen Munro
tutorAlison Holt
Margaret River WA, Australia
Maureen Munromdmunro@westnet.com.au

 Woodlands: Techniques 
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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 Nov 2015
duration1 day
total places14
places availyes
per placeenquire at venue
book viaTextile Prague
tutorAlison Holt
Slovansky dum, Prague
Textile Prague textileprague@gmail.com

 Flowers and Foliage 
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With a range of colour photographs of flowers as the inspiration students will experiment with painting on silk in an impressionistic style to create a base for machine stitching. A range of machine embroidery techniques will be explored drawing with straight stitch and zigzag stitch, 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, astilbes, daises and poppies and many more.

suitable for: Beginners and improvers
date15 Jan 2016
duration3 days
total placesenquire at venue
places availyes
per placeenquire with organiser
book viaPam Neave
tutorAlison Holt
Keep on Sewing, Hillscourt Conference Centre, Rose Hill, Birmingham
Pam Neavepneave51@btinternet.com

 Flowers and Foliage 
course image course image
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With a range of colour photographs of flowers as the inspiration students will experiment with painting on silk in an impressionistic style to create a base for machine stitching. A range of machine embroidery techniques will be explored drawing with straight stitch and zigzag stitch, 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, astilbes, daises and poppies and many more.

suitable for: Beginners and improvers
date23 Jan 2016
duration1 day
total placesenquire at venue
places availyes
per placeinquire at venue
book viaDiana
tutorAlison Holt
Castle Court Quilters Whittington Nr Oswestry Shropshire SY11 4DF
Dianadiana@castlecourtquilters.co.uk01691 654862www.castlecourtquilter.com

 Flowers and Foliage 
course image course image
course image course image
With a range of colour photographs of flowers as the inspiration students will experiment with painting on silk in an impressionistic style to create a base for machine stitching. A range of machine embroidery techniques will be explored drawing with straight stitch and zigzag stitch, 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, astilbes, daises and poppies and many more.

suitable for: Beginners and improvers
date30 Jan 2016
duration1 day
total placesenquire at venue
places availyes
per placeinquire at venue
book viaDiana
tutorAlison Holt
Castle Court Quilters Whittington Nr Oswestry Shropshire SY11 4DF
Dianadiana@castlecourtquilters.co.uk01691 654862www.castlecourtquilter.com

 Winter Trees 
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A course that combines two elements, machine embroidered lace and silk painting, for the background, a simple winter sky, sunset or landscape painted on silk and the foreground, one or several machine embroidered 'lace' skeletal trees to overlay the painting.
This involves the technique of stitching across a hole cut into fabric to create a lacework structure. The trees can be placed over the silk painting and the card mount to create a 3 dimensional image. Additional free hand embroidery can be added to the painted background to create more detail in the landscape


suitable for: Beginners and improvers
date10 Feb 2016
duration1 day
total places15
places availyes
per placeenquire with organiser
book viaPat Screaton
tutorAlison Holt
Location: Frolesworth Village Hall, NR COSBY, Leicestershire LE17
Organised by Pat Screatonpatscreaton@dsl.pipex.com01162 86758107860 106999

 Snowscene: A Picture 
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You will work from photographs and explore paint and embroidery techniques discovering ways to create the effects of snow, frost and winter mist on landscapes and woodlands. Working on silk, you will create then outline a design with resist, paint a background and then apply a range of embroidery techniques to complete the picture.
The course is structured around group demonstrations by the tutor followed by individual tuition. 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: Students with some experience
date11 Feb 2016
duration2 days
total places15
places availyes
per placeenquire with organiser
book viaPat Screaton
tutorAlison Holt
Location: Frolesworth Village Hall, NR COSBY, Leicestershire LE17
Organised by Pat Screatonpatscreaton@dsl.pipex.com01162 86758107860 106999

 Dramatic Skies: A Picture 
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Dramatic Skies: An Embroidered Picture with painted and stitched detail incorporating colourful sunsets and stormy clouds.
Working on silk, using photographs as a starting point you will create a design. You will paint a background and then apply a range of embroidery stitches to represent clouds in all their wonderful shapes and colours to complete the picture.
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
date13 Feb 2016
duration2 days
total places15
places availyes
per placeenquire 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 
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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 simple painted background will set off this dramatic flower study.
suitable for: Students with some experience
date14 Mar 2016
duration3 days
total places10
places availno
per place£180
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

 Texture in Nature 
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Exploring the detail and texture of trees in close up
we will experiment with stitch techniques for bark, lichen and moss.
To complete the composition we will create an impressionistic silk painted backdrop for
our tree study.
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.
Students will work from photographs of landscapes of their choice or from a selection provided by the tutor.
suitable for: Students with some experience
date21 Mar 2016
duration3 days
total places10
places availyes
per place£180
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

 Woodland Scene: An Embroidered Picture 
course image course image
course image course image
Inspired by shadows and dappled sunlight falling on the woodland floor, we will explore the light and shade, colour and textures in a woodland scene
With a series of demonstrations learn silk painting and freehand embroidery techniques for the elements found within a woodland including tree bark and moss, foliage, snowdrops, bluebells and ferns.
We will cover aspects of art theory including designing balanced compositions, creating depth and perspective and how to mix colours in paint and thread
suitable for: Students with some experience
date08 Apr 2016
duration3 days
total placesenquire at venue
places availyes
per placeenquire with organiser
book viaMiriam Forder
tutorAlison Holt
North Wales Embroiderers Plas Tan y Bwlch
Miriam Fordermiriamforder@hotmail.com

 Seascapes: A Picture 
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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
date04 Jul 2016
duration3 days
total places10
places availyes
per place£180
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 Techniques 
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This is a course for students who want to increase their knowledge and expertise of painting on silk
Learn how to paint areas in a composition that have detail but not texture, that lend themselves to being executed in paint rather than stitch
You will learn how to draw with resist/gutta to outline shapes and control the dye. Also how to mix colours and tones, create detail without using resist. We will produce a portfolio of paint techniques that will help you with future painted and stitched projects
The course will cover painting techniques for the following elements:- Skies including clouds and sunsets. Details on distant fields, hills and mountains. Colourful reflections in still water and shadows on lawns, roads and pathways

suitable for: Beginners and improvers
date31 Aug 2016
duration1 day
total places15
places availyes
per placeenquire with organiser
book viaPat Screaton
tutorAlison Holt
Location: Frolesworth Village Hall, NR COSBY, Leicestershire LE17
Organised by Pat Screatonpatscreaton@dsl.pipex.com01162 86758107860 106999

 Dancing in the Breeze 
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Inspired by dancing cow parsley and tall poppies in a summer breeze, create a painted and stitched landscape.

We will explore the painterly elements of free hand machine embroidery. Learn how to paint skies and distant hills to give depth to your picture. Learn stitch techniques for trees, hedges, and foreground details including grass, poppies, cow parsley and wild flowers.

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 landscapes 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
date01 Sep 2016
duration2 days
total places15
places availyes
per placeenquire with organiser
book viaPat Screaton
tutorAlison Holt
Location: Frolesworth Village Hall, NR COSBY, Leicestershire LE17
Organised by Pat Screatonpatscreaton@dsl.pipex.com01162 86758107860 106999

 Seascapes: A Picture 
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
date03 Sep 2016
duration2 days
total places15
places availyes
per placeenquire with organiser
book viaPat Screaton
tutorAlison Holt
Location: Frolesworth Village Hall, NR COSBY, Leicestershire LE17
Organised by Pat Screatonpatscreaton@dsl.pipex.com01162 86758107860 106999

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