Wendy Dolan’s Architecture in Stitch Workshop, 20 May 2021
Wendy’s workshop followed on from, and expanded upon, the techniques she described and illustrated in her ‘Layer, Paint and Stitch’ lecture to Guildford Quilters’ monthly meeting the previous week. She demonstrated how we could add a new dimension to our quilting by using machine stitchery to outline and highlight shapes and structures. She showed us how to select tones of the same or similar colours to use as a background and to trace simple architectural images onto them. There are many ways to add texture to our quilting; by piecing and layering different fabrics, using free motion embroidery – primarily straight stitching and zigzag – to highlight key aspects of our chosen image. She cautioned us to start with a small, fairly simple picture in order learn her approach. A number of us had thought about doing our house as a design for this workshop. Wendy suggested we do the front door rather than trying to squish the whole house into our in A5 size project!
Wendy provided a clear, detailed set of instructions as preparation for the workshop, which was much appreciated. We knew what equipment and materials to have to hand, what sort of design to prepare, and even how to select different coloured threads to hold the fabrics in place and outline the design. Her book, Layer, Paint and Stitch: Create textile art using freehand machine embroidery and hand stitching, contains some of the methods she demonstrated, expanding and elaborating upon them. Wendy Dolan is an outstanding teacher, overcoming the challenges presented by running a workshop on Zoom by using multiple camera angles and giving advice individually rather than rushing ahead and baffling the more challenged amongst us (including me!). I will certainly seek out other workshops she conducts and incorporate her approach in my quilting.