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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

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

If you live in AUSTRALIA - please click here

 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
date04 Jul 2016
duration3 days
total places9
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

 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
date22 Jul 2016
duration3 days
total places15
places availyes
per placeenquire with organiser
book viaSandie Foster
tutorAlison Holt
Location: Brighton
Organised by Sandy Fostersandiefoster7@ntlworld.com 07909521615

 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: Students with some experience
date15 Aug 2016
duration3 days
total places9
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

 Silk Painting 
course image course image
course image course image
A day to experiment with silk painting. Learn 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
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 
course image course image
course image course image
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 availno
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

 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
date26 Sep 2016
duration3 days
total places9
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

 Dramatic Skies 
course image course image
course image course image
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
date29 Oct 2016
duration2 days
total places16
places availyes
per placeenquire with organiser
book viaLeonie Hunt
tutorAlison Holt
Location: Embroiderers' Guild of the ACT Inc. Canberra, Australia
Leonie Huntembroideryactclasses@gmail.com+61 (0) 2 6262 80427 625 145

 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
date01 Nov 2016
duration3 days
total places16
places availyes
per placeenquire with organiser
book viaLeonie Hunt
tutorAlison Holt
Location: Embroiderers' Guild of the ACT Inc. Canberra, Australia
Leonie Huntembroideryactclasses@gmail.com+61 (0) 2 6262 80427 625 145

 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: Students with some experience
date05 Nov 2016
duration2 days
total places16
places availyes
per placeenquire with organiser
book viaCarly Leech
tutorAlison Holt
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Organised by Carly Leechcmar1378@bigpond.net.au

 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
date12 Nov 2016
duration2 days
total places16
places availyes
per placeenquire with organiser
book viaCarly Leech
tutorAlison Holt
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Organised by Carly Leechcmar1378@bigpond.net.au

 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
date19 Nov 2016
duration2 days
total places16
places availyes
per placeenquire with organiser
book viaJenny Chapman
tutorAlison Holt
Love Patchwork Shop 8, 8-10 Electra Parade, Harrington NSW 2430 Australia
Organised by Jenny Chapman33jenchapman@gmail.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
date23 Nov 2016
duration2 days
total places16
places availyes
per placeenquire with organiser
book viaJenny Chapman
tutorAlison Holt
Love Patchwork Shop 8, 8-10 Electra Parade, Harrington NSW 2430 Australia
Organised by Jenny Chapman33jenchapman@gmail.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
date08 Feb 2017
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

 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
date09 Feb 2017
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

 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
date11 Feb 2017
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

 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
date06 Mar 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

 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: Students with some experience
date20 Mar 2017
duration3 days
total places9
places availyes
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

 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
date10 Apr 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

 Silk Painting 
course image course image
course image course image
A day to experiment with silk painting. Learn 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
date10 Jul 2017
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

 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
date11 Jul 2017
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

 Winter Trees 
course image course image
course image course image
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
date12 Jul 2017
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

 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 availyes
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 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 
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: Students with some experience
date31 Aug 2017
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

 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 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

 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 availyes
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

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