Appliqué working with translucent fabrics with Emily Jo Gibbs

Ref: S3D31665

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About this course

Create layered fabric collages, abstract or figurative, that exploit the qualities of semi-transparent material. This is a hand-stitch class.

Course Description

On this course, you will experiment with layering translucent fabric to change the colour and tone where the layers intersect. You will look at stitching for construction and stitching for decoration, and how the two interplay. You will also experiment with stitch length, density and colour, and you will learn different ways of constructing your work with raw edges, either exposed or trapped.

You will learn how to cut accurate shapes from these delicate fabrics, and build areas of different colours and tones from our overlapping pieces. We will examine how the layers are built up and the work is stitched together, and how to utilse trapping cut pieces so the edges don’t fray.

Working from your own objects, drawings, photographs or collage, there will be an emphasis on really looking at the subject, studying shape, colour and shadows, and experimenting with composition. Emily’s approach to stitching is similar to observational drawing, and you will be encouraged to really observe what you are depicting. You could work on abstracts or make a portrait, a still life or a landscape.

You will also learn how to transfer images onto translucent fabrics using a variety of media, including pencil, ink and silk paint. These marks may act as a guide for your stitching.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • On this course, the tutor will supply linen and silk organza for approximately 2 x A5 test pieces and an approximately A4 finished piece (this is plenty for most students).

What students need to bring

  • Please bring your own drawings and/or photographs as a starting point. If you wish to work from a still life object, please bring the object with you. If you wish to make a portrait of a specific person, please bring several images so Emily can guide you.
  • Pens and pencils, coloured pencils and a sketchbook
  • Bring any silk organza, bits of fabric, ribbons, lace, buttons, etc. and any sewing threads that you have and may wish to incorporate (optional).

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Some threads, embroidery and sewing
  • Ink, pens and pencils
  • Sketchbook
  • Available from tutor:
  • Some additional materials to include:
  • Silk organza in various colours
  • Medium weight cotton or linen as a base
  • Other bits of fabric, ribbons, lace, buttons, etc. that you may wish to incorporate
  • Threads for embroidery and sewing
  • Silk paint

Additional information

Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear (no sandals or open toes).


Emily Jo Gibbs

Emily Jo Gibbs is a British artist who over the last two decades has established an international reputation for her exquisite work. Emily also has experience delivering workshops, practical demonstrations and artists talks for a variety of clients including the V&A, Embroiderers guilds and the Crafts Council. Emily is a member of the 62 Group of Textile Artists.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

Courses of interest

Further study options

Take the next step in your creative practice, with foundation level to Masters in Fine Art study. 

Depending on your experience, start with an Online Foundation Certificate in Art and Design (one year, part-time), a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design made up of 10 short courses taken over two years (part-time) or advance your learning with our BA (Hons) Art and Contemporary Craft: Materials, Making, and Place (six years part-time). All will help you develop core skills, find direction in your practice and build an impressive portfolio in preparation for artist opportunities or higher-level study. See all degree and diploma courses.