My stitching style usually incorporates many layers of fabric that are quite densely stitched. I enjoy adding textile elements such as plastic net, painted fusible web and threads of different thicknesses to add depth and texture to my designs. I often draw inspiration from the nature that surrounds me, but sometimes a piece of fabric or a particular colour palette provides a creative starting point.
I chose the course because I wanted something that would cover the elements of design in machine embroidery while teaching new skills. Other courses and workshops I could find focused only on a particular technique or finished project. I also wanted a learning environment that was structured but allowed me to work at my own pace. Finally, it was important to me to have the option of feedback on my work to know how I was progressing.
I learned such a lot from this course, from practical techniques such as using metallic threads and decorative stitching, through sewing with twin needles and braiding feet, to couching and making pin tucks. All of which has helped me become much more comfortable using my machine.
I learned different ways of working with fabric, such as strip piecing and quilting, making chenille, weaving and folding fabric and using soluble film to make both open, lacy pieces and also sculptural vessels. Through exploring the use of unusual materials such as plastic net, foils, mylar, plastic straws etc., I have been able to incorporate interesting textural elements to my designs.
Exercises involving colour have led to experimentation in mark making with paint, paint sticks and pencils, foils, roving, stamps and stencils on different fabrics. These projects allowed me to become more confident about my design ability in general.
In summary, I would say to just go for it. Your technical skills will certainly improve as you progress through the course, but it is the process of learning through creating that is important and which will allow you to grow, not producing a perfect piece of stitchery.