Ali draws inspiration from the every-day. Everyday people and everyday things and is endlessly fascinated by people and their stories, particularly their memories of ordinary home and working lives.
Wherever possible she works with old and used materials. Seeking out fragments of old clothing, household linens and the everyday bits & pieces that are to be found hidden away in the bottom of drawers.
She loves the thought that an old piece of clothing is implanted with stories of the wearer or that a piece of washed and worn table linen holds the secrets of a household. She layers and patches these fragments together, combining them with hand stitch – offering a glimpse into lives all but forgotten or overlooked.
As well as spending time working from her studio ‘The Purple Thread Shed’ in the garden of her home near Edinburgh, she also teaches in other gorgeous venues around the UK and overseas. Her work has been featured in books and several magazines.
Join Ali Ferguson for one or two days of hand stitching with a difference creating a ‘stitched sampler’ from ‘patches’ of wood. This is such a unique way to curate your own little collections of random treasure into one gorgeous wall hanging full of your own personal stories & memories.
You could make a sampler themed around your family or memories of childhood. You could bring along the contents of granny's sewing box, small things from grandpa's tool shed, or a collection of garden related bits – scraps of twine, old seed packets, seed-heads, plant labels, and bits of rusty fence wire! You could work on a kitchen theme with recipe’s, bits of cutlery, cookie cutters & kitchen cloths. Perhaps you habitually pick things up when you are out for walks - things gathered from nature make a beautiful collection with perhaps some text from a nature book or similar. Or maybe you’ll gather together a collection of unrelated bits that when put together tell a story of you. Thinking about and gathering together your materials in advance of the workshop is the very start of the making process, so do make sure you give yourself time and enjoy!
On day one you’ll start by preparing & painting your wooden patches before laying out your treasures. Each object will be stitched into place onto its wooden ‘patch’ and then these will all be stitched together to create your unique sampler. You’ll drill two tiny holes through the wood for each stitch that you make – you’ll soon feel as comfortable using the drill as you do your needle & thread! You’ll work with six wooden patches if you book for one day and twelve if you can join us for the two.
No previous experience is necessary, you’ll be shown everything you need to know.
1 or 2 days workshop - to attend both days please book both workshops. Total £190
7 October 2023 10am - 4.30pm £95 - Fully booked
8 October 2023 10am - 4.30pm £95 - Places available
Includes some materials & refreshments - please bring along lunch or alternatively visit one of the two Cafes on site or the award winning farm shop.