Botanical Embroidery Meredith Woolnough

Course Overview

Discover the highly versatile machine embroidery processes that Meredith Woolnough uses to create her artworks.

Explore the beauty of nature and create your own embroidered sculpture inspired by botanical forms.

  • Learn to use your sewing machine as an unconventional drawing tool with the freehand embroidery technique.
  • Draw with stitch onto water-soluble fabric creating a range of experimental structures and networks
  • Shape and mold your embroideries into various sculptural forms.
  • Culminate the above techniques to design, stitch and build your own unique botanical creation. This sculpture may mimic a real plant specimen of your choice or be developed from your imagination.

Suited to all levels. No experience is necessary but basic sewing machine operation skills will be helpful.

$15 material fee payable to Meredith

Teacher Profile


Meredith Woolnough is an award winning visual artist that works and lives near the coastal region of Newcastle NSW.

. Her practice engages with the natural environment utilising the skeletal frameworks of flora and fauna as the basis of her own embroidered specimens. Threads are densely stitched into freeform sculptures that are carefully pinned to paper or set in resin preserving them as delicate handmade artifacts. Her work explores themes of the interconnectedness of living things and environmental degradation.

Materials List

Student requirement list:

  • A sewing machine with its standard accessories including sewing table. Your machine must be suitable for FREE MOTION EMBROIDERY/DARNING and have the ability to turn the ‘feed teeth down’. If you have a slide on free arm/sewing table, bring this along too. Please test your machine before you arrive to make sure it is in good condition and sewing well.
  • A freehand embroidery foot or darning foot for your sewing machine. This foot does not normally come standard with machines and may need to be purchased separately.
  • Spare sewing machine needles (sharp or jeans needles recommended)
  • Bobbins suited to your machine
  • A thread stand (if you have one, no need to go out and buy one)
  • A small machine embroidery hoop (15 – 25cm is good). I prefer the sturdy wooden machine embroidery hoops but any hoop with a nice strong hold will be fine.
  • 1 or 2 Squares of sample fabric to fit your embroidery hoop (calico suggested but any woven fabric is suitable)
  • Good quality sewing /embroidery threads of your choice (I use polyester machine embroidery thread, but feel free to bring along cotton/wool/metallic threads if you like to work with those).
  • Embroidery scissors
  • Fabric scissors
  • Paper towel
  • Sketch book and pencils/pens
  • A botanical specimen (or pictures of one) to use as inspiration for your botanical project.

Bring the items below only if you already have them. No need to go out and buy them. The tutor will have a few of these tools available for student use, but it is always easier if you have your own on hand.

  • Awl
  • Small pliers (needle nose pliers are good)
  • Wire cutters
  • Hand needles
  • PVA glue

Student material fee: ($15 per student)

This fee includes water-soluble fabric, a limited range of embroidery threads, wire and various other equipment and consumables provided by the tutor.


Workshop Terms

While our fibre art workshops are usually held in the gallery's historically significant workshop space, the workshop venue may change according to the needs and wishes of the artist tutor. Likewise, the times of the workshops may vary depending on the type of workshop and its presentation.

Timeless Textiles Gallery will, at its own discretion, where a participant is unable to attend a fibre art workshop, an exchange or credit note will be made available or a refund of the  deposit or payment in accordance with the following Workshop Refund Policy.

Major commitments must be met, and in fairness to all, the policy concerning the refund is:
Cancellations 3 months prior to workshop date - refund 80% fees paid
Cancellations 2 months prior to workshop date- refund 50% fees paid.
Cancellations 1 month prior to workshop date- no refund.

Sold out!


13 - 14 Jul 2019


9:30 am - 4:30 pm