Painting with Thread with Dionne Swift

Course Overview

I cannot deny it – I love Free Machine Embroidery and all it offers me. I can get lost in the interplay between myself and my machines, the cloth and threads…there’s much more to this than a quick to and fro with the feed dogs down!

Over this three day fibre art workshop, your eyes will be opened to the spectacular world of embroidered Art, but first we will start with as any artist would, with drawing and observation – tuning your analytical skills and warming up your vision in readiness to draw with your machine.
Think of the thread as your paint, the machine your brushes! Using free machine embroidery discover new techniques to develop texture and colour mixing – create depth and stunning compositions in stitch.
We shall create essential reference samples and be well on the way to developing a significant finished piece – learn all my hints, tips and secrets to successful stitchery!!

Teacher Profile


Dionne Swift is an inspirational Textile Artist and Tutor, exhibiting and teaching in the UK, Italy, Holland and online..

“What a fabulous workshop learning to paint with thread! And learning so much more – about threads, needles and sewing machines. Dionne took away the “fear”of machine embroidery for me ; she is an inspirational teacher. Many thanks Dionne!” Allison James.

Materials List

Materials :
• Drawing equipment – graphite drawing pencils, oil pastels or Caran d’ache crayons
• A4 sketchbook – good quality cartridge
A fully serviced sewing machine capable of dropping the feed dogs with a free machine embroidery/darning foot.
• A supply of threads : cotton, viscose, different thicknesses [fine 100 or 80 wt bobbin fill thread, 50wt cotton or polyester, 40 or 30 wt rayon, 12 wt cotton or rayon top stitch threads] plus some hand embroidery yarns: all in the broadest variety of colours you can muster – the more you bring the better!!
• A supply of 90 but preferably 100 TOP STITCHING machine needles – these have a larger eye than regular needles
• A free standing thread guide if you have one
• Basic sewing kit of scissors etc
• Camera/ipad/note book
• A wooden embroidery hoop approx 20/25cm diameter [square if you can find one: otherwise round will do]
• Dissolvable/water soluble fabric : 1/4 metre
• Plain weave cotton or calico for sewing on to approx 0.5 metre
• E;ectrical extension lead
• possibly a cushion or two
• Sewing glasses and your smile
No material fee

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.


21 - 23 Sep 2019


9:30 am - 4:30 pm