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In-person course

Two day machine embroidery workshop

Free machining and applique

About the Course

In this fun and inspiring workshop you will learn how to really make the most of a sewing machine, using it to create a diverse set of samples and images with a range of visual effects, from 'drawn' to decorative. You can work from your own images (drawings and/or photos) or from some of mine. As the course is run for no more than 2 people at a time, it can be tailored very much to individual needs and requirements.

By the end of the 2 days you will have:

- Learnt how to set up a sewing machine for free machining
- Learnt how to prepare images and fabrics for free machining
- Studied a range of samples for inspiration and understanding
- Watched a range of demonstrations
- Experimented with different ways to add colour to your images: threads, dyes, applique, reverse applique, whip stitch, cording, couching and cutwork
- Understood health and safety issues when free machining
- Created a set of sample images to take home with you
- Consolidated your learning and refined your skills by producing a more finished piece of work, or further set of samples, possibly combining techniques, if you wish.
- Received a set of technical handouts to support your day's learning

The workshop is run for groups of 2 people on 2 days negotiated with me (can be weekdays or weekend), and is held in my comfortable and cosy garden studio close to Richmond Park and Kingston town centre. The 2 days cost £115 each or if you want to do the course on your own it will cost £205.

I have 30 years experience teaching art, textiles, printmaking and illustration in further and adult education, in colleges and privately too, so you can be certain of well structured, well paced and inspiring teaching and learning.

Alongside my teaching, I have been a practicing artist and designer for 30 years, exhibiting nationwide and working commercially within the fields of textiles and illustration.

Regarding Covid, I am doing the best I can with social distancing in my studio offering visors and sanitiser. My studio is in my garden and the loo is in my house - I will supply your own hand towels for the day and simply ask that you are as vigilant as you can be in these strange and somewhat difficult circumstances. I am committed to track and trace and urge participants to be committed to it as well.

If you will be redeeming a CraftCourses gift voucher on this course, the voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.

What's included in the price?

Costs include all materials, and refreshments. You can use my Pfaff sewing machines, or bring your own if you feel more comfortable with a machine that's familiar. If you are bringing your own, you just need to check beforehand that you can drop the feed and bring an embroidery foot that fits your machine.


Ruth Blackford at Ruth Blackford
233 Kings Road
Kingston Upon Thames
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This craft course provider has been awarded Gold status for receiving 10 or more 5 star ratings from previous students.

The Students' Choice award ensures that course providers get recognised for their efforts in the teaching and practice of UK craft.

They also allow tutors to gain valuable feedback on their courses and for new students to find the course that's right for them.

Suitable for

  • Adults
  • Intermediate level
  • Public transport
  • Seniors
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Teenagers
  • Wheelchair users

Available as a gift

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2 days (10:00am to 4:00pm)

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In-person course
- - #29553

The 2 days I spent with Ruth on this course were excellent and, though initially a little apprehensive at doing a 1:1 course, I immediately felt relaxed and at ease with Ruth and found we had a lot in common to chat about. I learned a huge amount about free machine embroidery and came away with many new skills and greater confidence. She is a very patient and kind teacher who gave lots of encouragement; I found seeing her beautiful work very inspiring.
I must also comment on the excellent gluten free lunch and snacks that were provided- thank you Ruth! Delicious homemade soup!
I would thoroughly recommend this course! and give it 5 stars.

In-person course
- - #25924

An intensive but fantastic 2 days learning the essentials of free machine embroidery. Ruth pitches her information & help at whatever level is appropriate for the individual. We had fun, excellent food & left with handouts & work that we were proud of after such a short time.
I would recommend Ruth as an excellent tutor.

In-person course
- - #19445

Ruth is a very accomplished artist and I learnt a lot during my 2 day course. Ruth was very accommodating when it came to my goals. I acquired new skills, learnt to handle different threads and fabrics and feel ready to explore by myself. It is good to work on a 1:1 basis with a tutor.
Thank you for an enjoyable 2 days, Maria

In-person course
- - #17905

Such an amazing opportunity to have a tutor to yourself ! Ruth was very welcoming and I felt instantly at ease working in her studio. The 2 days flew by and they were well planned, I came away with new skills and confidence to continue creating on my own . The 2 day course is enough for any level to attend and come away feeling like they’ve developed new skills . Thoroughly recommended

In-person course
- - #17882

A fantastic course for anyone who has a lot, little or no embroidery experience. Ruth Blackford is a great communicator.

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