I absolutely love teaching, sharing my thinking and skills with lovely likeminded people. I offer a varied programme of textile workshops and whether ‘Clothwork’ or ‘Woodwork’, each one is inspired by my own art practice. Many people know me as ‘The Purple Thread Shed’ – indeed this is my Facebook & Instagram profile. This is the name of my own studio in the garden of my home in Roslin, just south of Edinburgh in Scotland and it’s where I first started teaching my textile workshops.
On the road workshops
However I now take to the road and I’m lucky enough to be invited to teach in gorgeous studios and venues across the UK and overseas. I’ve been very fortunate to work with some fabulous venues including The Scottish National Galleries, The Knitting & Stitching Show, Country Living Fair, Crafty Retreats in France and I feel hugely honoured to have worked on the other side of the world with Fibre Arts Australia & Fibre Arts New Zealand.
I had a very busy workshop programme up until 2020 when lockdown happened. Like many people this caused me to reassess my whole life including my teaching commitments and time spent away from home – I told you I’m a home bird!! I now choose to teach a very limited number of workshops each year and I’m very fortunate to work with my absolute favourite textile studios but I’m afraid there may not be as many dates on the calendar as you might wish.
Imagine a room full of like-minded people and a table (or several) covered in boxes and tins of glorious vintage materials. I LOVE genuine old, scrappy materials that have been used, washed & worn and wherever possible use them in my workshops. Imagine then having the time and space to be gently guided through a making process that has ‘stories’ and a deep appreciation of materials at its heart.
Hand stitching is slow so we will rarely finish a piece during the workshop itself, but my aim is for you to leave with a project that you feel excited by, personally connected to and inspired to continue working on at home. As well as demonstrating the techniques throughout the workshop, I’ll work with you individually to create your own personal piece. I’ll encourage you to capture your own thoughts and memories and help you find ways to incorporate them in your work.
My Patchwood workshops take a very different approach but the emphasis on ‘stories’ and ‘materials’ remains the same. ‘Slow stitching’ is replaced by frenzied drilling & stitching but I promise that we have a lot of fun – but beware, it’s oddly addictive!
Workshops at the Wemyss School of Needlework
I love teaching in this beautiful Scottish venue. There are so many stories behind this wonderful school and I have a very personal connection to it as my ex mother in law was ‘mistress’ there for a very many years and as a toddler, my daughter (and her teddy) used to spend many an afternoon there charming the visitors.
I’m now absolutely delighted to host my own workshops in the museum room. We work around a long table surrounded by historical needlework – utter bliss! The shop will be open during our visit and either Sheila or Fiona will be on hand to tell us some stories from the school. I organise these workshops myself and booking can be done directly with me.
Workshops at The Old Barn, Edinburgh
I’m delighted to be hosting workshops at a gorgeous new local venue, just outside Edinburgh. Owned by the very lovely Sarah, it is the perfect place for us lovers of vintage and repurposing. You’ll find The Old Barn Edinburgh minutes away from the city bypass at Sheriffhall.
I currently offer the following workshops