Christine Chester : Poetry of Stitch 2020

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Christine Chester : Poetry of Stitch 2020


Stitching, whether by hand or machine, is usually the final layer on a piece of work that we enjoy the most. Stitching can be meditative, exciting, focussing, textural, colourful and is essentially all about mark making. Often we get into a routine using the stitches with which we are most familiar, but this course will look at ways of stitching that will extend your language of marks.

Venue: Committed to Cloth Studio, Surrey

Dates:  23-27 February 2020  

Course Fee: £450     Deposit £225 payable on booking



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There will be a concentration on using the sewing machine, but also looking at hand stitch as the heavier and more ‘spotty’ marks that is tricky to do on the machine (though not impossible). We will explore your machine’s potential through use of tension, straight and swing stitches, and the occasional use of an accessory or two.

You will be encouraged to bring fabrics you may have made on other courses, as well as making experimental surfaces that you can use for your stitch samples. There will be an emphasis on trying lots of small sample pieces rather than working towards a larger piece, but these can be combined to form a book towards the end of the course.

We will also use some inspirational photos to help focus our ideas about stitching and these will be related to Poetry of Decay – photos of rust/liche/moss/peeling paint/rock/


Please bring with you

  1. Supplies:

  2. · Sewing machine + range of extra needles (preferably Microtex Sharps or the titanium needles in sizes 70 – 90) + instruction manual (essential) + all accessories that you have including an embroidery/darning foot

  3. · Range of fabrics previously dyed (monoprinted/space dyed/tray dyed) – don’t worry if you don’t have these you could bring a couple of batiks – a few pieces which are at least 4” x 6” or could be larger of course!

  4. · 1-2m white cotton fabric – either previously used and washed, or PFD, or scoured (soaked for a coupe of hours in hot washing soda and then washed at 60 degrees in washing machine)

  5. · Plain neutral support/background fabric that all your experiments can be mounted on – this could be medium weight calico, or linen, or canvas, or anything similar which you prefer – 1m

  6. · Stitch & tear – about 1m

  7. · Small piece of bondaweb – about half metre

  8. · Few pieces of coloured tissue paper – cheap stuff!

  9. · A few used large brown envelops

  10. · Fabric scissors & good pair of small embroidery scissors

  11. · 6-8 photographs of rust & decay

  12. · Machine threads to co-ordinate and contrast relating to the colours on your photographs – include some metallics, some variegated and some plain.

  13. · A few hand embroidery threads in same colours as your machine threads

  14. · Hand embroidery needles

    Please note : It is important to wear sturdy, flat, rubber-soled sensible shoes with good support. 





Please arrive no later than 9.15am on the Sunday for a 9.30am start.  Teaching hours will run from 9.30am to 4.30  The studio opening hours will be from 8.30am to 5.00pm. If you arrive early bear in mind that the Class does not begin until 9:30 as we may still be setting up. 

On Thursday, the studio will close at prompt at 4:00.

Studio Information

Lunches, tea/coffee, nibbles and fruit will be provided.

We can provide gluten free, and vegetarian meals. We need to chat if you have more complicated dietary needs!

See the Accommodation list, which comes with student feedback, if you need to stay locally.

Contact and Directions :

 Leslie Morgan