Photo: Decorative Applique Panels

Design and create a textile panel with recycled materials using applique and simple stitch, through colour, texture, pattern and motifs. The first sessions of this workshop started by looking at the notion of ‘hygge” or happy/safe place, the workshop can be focussed around on any specific theme or left open to participants, linking just through technique rather than topic.

The visualisation of a ‘safe or happy space’ can help to combat negative emotions and encourage positive mental health. Using the idea of a safe place and colour theory, we ask participants to think of a place either real or imaginary that represents a calm/safe/happy environment. This could be landscape or domestic, somewhere present or in the past. Although there are common theories regarding colours and imagery, I encourage participants to explore both visually and verbally with each other if comfortable, their own personal connections in creating their piece.

During the first half of the workshop, participants will design and make a simple applique panel. In the second half of the workshop, we will concentrate on using simple stitch for decoration rather than structure; adding details, texture or even text. I will also provide a variety of embellishments to add to your piece like traditional buttons and beads but also leftover found objects like washers and shells. Words, quotes or mottos can also be added using hand or machine embroidery. Participants are encouraged to bring scraps of fabric and old clothes to include in their pieces to make them more personal.

The techniques are easy to learn and effective at creating an immediate result so participants feel they have achieved an individual outcome by the end of the session. They are all techniques that can be done at home so if they feel they want to add more to their panel, they can. The panels would be suitable to be framed and hung on the wall or attached to a cushion or bag as a visual reminder of the feeling of safety & wellbeing and encourage positivity.

Photos from:

Arc centre, Stockport (session with in-house mental health group and a public workshop session)

Wigan & Leigh Archives

Creative Coati

Chorlton Arts Festival

Stitch Club (online workshops).