In this workshop you’ll spend two lovely days sharing kitchen stories, playing with deliciously scrappy vintage materials and slow hand stitching to create a cloth story collage inspired by our theme – Kitchen Tales.

I’ll share the stories behind some of my own kitchen collages and then gently lead you through my process of gathering and playing with materials and then using words, motifs and simple hand stitching to create a piece that is personal and has story at its heart.

The inspiration for your collage will be handwritten kitchen related text such as recipes, notes on cleaning or even old shopping lists. This is a wonderful opportunity to use your own handwritten family recipes or text but don’t worry if you don’t have any, you’re very welcome to use something from my personal collection of recipes and text from my highly prized old domestic science jotter.

I’ll raid my studio, The Purple Thread Shed, to provide a fabulous selection of vintage materials for you to use throughout the workshop. I LOVE using old & used materials so I’ll bring along old embroidered table linens, vintage cotton fabrics and old quilt fragments.

Working on an old woollen blanket background, I’ll demonstrate my relaxed approach to cloth collage where fabrics are ripped and layered, printed words are highlighted, and personal words are hand stitched. I’ll show you how to add a stitched motif or two – all adding to your Kitchen Tales.

We’ll start by printing your handwritten text onto calico using an inkjet printer.  We’ll use this printed fabric as a starting point to piece together a scrappy collage of old and used fabrics.  This is a intuitive process that will take much longer than you think – it could actually take you most of the first day! Please note that depending on the venue we may not be able to print your fabric on the day (I can’t get my trusty printer onto a train or airplane) BUT if this is the case arrangements will be made for me to print your text in advance of the course.

Once you’ve created your ground you’ll start pulling it all together through the rather lovely process of slow hand stitching. I’ll encourage you in letting this become a relaxed and organic process. Don’t worry if you’re not an experienced stitcher – running stitch and cross stitch are all you need to know and I’ll be sharing some of my favourite stitches and processes. I’ll show you how to highlight chosen words and phrases from your text with stitch. Neat perfect stitching is not the order of the day, a love of things old, washed and worn and telling stories in cloth most definitely is!

As well as demonstrating the techniques throughout the workshop, I’ll work with you individually to create your own personal piece. You’ll be encouraged to capture your own thoughts and memories and find ways to incorporate them in your work.

You won’t finish your collage during the workshop – hand stitching is really slow! However you will leave with a gorgeous project and all the ideas that you need to continue working on it in your own time at home.

While all the materials are provided, you may wish to use some of your own special bits & pieces to make your collage even more of a personal story – you’ll be given ideas for what to bring on booking.