About Me

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Sudbury, Suffolk, United Kingdom
I am a textile artist living on the Suffolk Essex border. I am a member of the Out of the Fold Textile Group and the newly formed Spotlight Textiles. I am the Principal Tutor for Creative Stitch which offers courses in Creative Patchwork and Quilting and Creative Stitch Textiles. I teach each year at the Knitting & Stitching Shows and Festival of Quilts. I also offer workshops and talks to groups throughout the UK in person and via zoom. With a foot in both camps I am also a member of the QGBI and the specialist Contemporary Quilt Group and STARS (formerly Suffolk West Embroiderers Guild)

Monday, 8 October 2018

Putting on the Glitz workshop 2nd Nov 2018

There are still spaces for the 'Putting on the Glitz' workshop on 2nd November 2018.

We will be using fabric paints, bonded sheers, transfoils, markals and glitter film onto black velvet or linen to build up sumptuous backgrounds ready for stitch.

Date: Friday 2nd Nov 2018

Time: 10am - 4pm

Venue: Fornham All Saints Community Centre, Bury Road, Fornham All Saints, Bury St Edmunds, IP28 6JZ

Cost: £40 to include all materials (except fabric)

To book please email maryelmcintosh@gmail.com

Saturday, 6 October 2018

Knitting & Stitching Show 2018

If you are coming to the Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace  www.theknittingandstitchingshow.com/london  then please come along to the ArtVanGo Artists in Action zone. There will be textile artists working every day and I will be one of them on Thursday 11th (am) or Friday 12th (all day)

Artists in Action zone at Harrogate Nov 2017
Great to see my name up there with some of my textile heroines

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Colouricious Block Printing Holiday

So exciting! I have been asked to lead a Colouricious Block Printing Holiday to Jaipur in India. It will be from 7th - 17th April 2020.

The Colouricious Textile Holidays have a great reputation. Lots of trips to sites of historic interest around the beautiful city of Jaipur plus opportunitues for hands-on block printing workshops and visits to specialist textile outlets. 

Have a look at www.colouriciousholidays.com  for more information and to book

Monday, 3 September 2018

Creative Stitched Textiles course - last few spaces

The Creative Stitched Textiles Course will run on Wednesdays at The Cosy Cabin, Risby Barns, Risby near Bury St Edmunds from 19th September 2018
Sample of design work by Annette Morgan
 The course includes (non scary, no drawing required) design work, surface design, and lots of machine and hand embroidery techniques with the aim of developing the skills of students to create original work.

Tutor: Mary McIntosh

This Creative Stitch course replaces the City & Guilds level 3 certificate in Machine Embroidery and is verified and supported by the WI

For more information please look at the website http://sefwi.org.uk/creative_stitch

or contact maryelmcintosh@gmail.com

Opinion(s)ated on tour

Opinion(s)ated detail

The CQ Challenge exhibition 'In Print' continues to tour the UK. Having already been exhibited at the Needle Museum in Redditch and the West Country Quilt Show in Bristol the next stops will be:

2nd - 30th October 2018   The Curve Gallery, Carnegie Gallery, Bangor, Northern Ireland

6th - 15th February 2019   Quilt Fest, Llangollen, Wales

26th Mar - 25th April 2019 The Old Chapel Textile Centre, Newbury, Berks

Sunday, 2 September 2018

Festival of Quilts 2018

The theme of the Quilter's Guild Challenge at The Festival of Quilts 2018 was 'Stitched through Time'

This is my piece made for the competition entitled 'The Colourwheel of Time' inspired by the idea that colour is woven through the cloth we use and the work we make.
Colour Wheel of Time 2018
 Made from recycled calico. Stitched, painted, stiffened, dyed and discharged. Hand dyed cotton fabrics 'woven' through stitched and cut buttonholes.
Colour Wheel of Time (detail)
I am continuing to develop the ideas of adding more colour to my work and plan more pieces using this technique.

Saturday, 1 September 2018


My aim is to design and make original work. However, earlier this year Tin Hut Textiles invited the fantastically talented Debbie Lyddon to give us a workshop exploring forms.

We had two great days playing with ways of stiffening cloth and manipulating it in various ways to create 3D forms. 

My very simple cornucopia shapes in no way ressemble the wonderful sensory work made by Debbie but I acknowledge her teaching and offer you my own humble 'Cornucopies' - not actual copies but started on the workshop and added to at home. Part of the Tin Hut Textiles exhibition at Snape Maltings 31st August - 5th Sept 2018.

A selection of 'Cornucopies' 2018
Made from starched canvas and emulsioned linen. Painted, markal oil sticks, boot polish, wax. Simple machine and hand stitching. 

The next hundred years

As part of the Tin Hut Textiles exhibition 2018 members wished each to make a piece of work to mark the centenary of some Women first being given the right to vote in 1918.

My contribution is called 'The Next Hundred Years' and is inspired by a 1918 banner which read 'Women's Rights are Human Rights' and highlights the work still needed to bring true equality and freedom.

The Next Hundred Years 12" x 24" 2018
 The techniques are those used in my 'Opinion(s)ated' piece made for the In Print exhibition earlier in the year.

Paper lamination using newspaper headlines (these were taken from only 3 days papers in August this year) onto layers of polyester voile, stitched, and coloured from the reverse using acrylic paints to seep through the stitching. Only the suffragette colours of white, green and purple were allowed.

The Next Hundred Years (detail)

Hexperiment III

'Hexperiment' began in May 2017 made for an exhibition at the East Anglian Museum of Rural Life in Stowmarket. 

Made in response to an old patchwork quilt on display in the museum my piece was made from recycled household linens, lined with newspaper, and all handstitched in the traditional manner to make lots of 8" hexagons. Joined by large washers.

Hexperiment - hanging at the Museum of East Anglian Life in Stowmarket May 2017

Hexperiment (detail)

 Hanging outside the rain was supposed to gently rust the metal washers over the summer. Unfortunately the wind caused the hexagons to swing and the metal washers rubbed and sawed through the stitching - so we had 'Failed Hexperiment'                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

It was rescued and remade as 'Hexperiment II' and continued to hang outside for the summer of 2017. Again returned to me as a pathetic pile of torn tape and hexagons after being used as a swing by a small boy!

But the rusting was very disappointing so I decided to give it a helping hand and the hexagons spent the spring and early summer 2018 being gently rusted in a tea/vinegar solution and lots of old rusty junk

Washed (stacked in my dishwasher like plates) and dried and then reassembled as 'Hexperiment III' for the Tin Hut Textiles exhibition at Snape Maltings Sept 2018
Installation at Snape Maltings as part of the Tin Hut Textiles exhibition 2018
The piece is not for sale as I wish to continue to play with the idea. What next? Watch out for 'Hexperiment IV'

Once More unto the bleach! workshop in Fornham All Saints

There are just two spaces remaining on the 'Once More Unto the Bleach!' workshop on Friday 5th October 2018.

We will be working with decolourant*, dye-n-flow and fabric paints to remove and then add colour back into black cotton and linen fabric. You will go home with two unique layered cloths ready to stitch.  
Life's a bleach! sample on black linen
 Venue: Fornham All Saints Community Hall,
             Bury Road, Fornham All Saints, Bury St Edmunds IP28 6JZ

Date: Friday 5th October 2018

Time: 10am - 4pm (doors open 9.30am)

Cost: £40 to include all equipment and resources for the day. Tea and coffee provided. Please bring a packed lunch. 

Fabric: 0.5 metres of black cotton can be pre-ordered for £4
            0.5 metres black linen can be pre-ordered for £6

To reserve your place please email: maryelmcintosh@gmail.com

* this technique can be quite messy and smelly and may not be suitable for those with breathing problems

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Shrivel Up and Dye in Kent

I love it when I do a workshop and afterwards students send me images of their work. Particularly the Shrivel Up and Dye workshop where the end result is not seen until the pieces are washed in a machine at home.

Above is a super piece by Gail Goldstone of Kent Embroiderers Guild


Just heard that my quilt 'Opinion(s)ated' made for the Contemporary Quilt Group Challenge 'In Print' will feature on the cover of the CQ flyer being prepared for the Festival of Quilts 2018

The whole 'In Print' exhibition opens on Friday 25th May at the Forge Mill Needle Museum in Redditch www.forgemill.org.uk

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Creative Stitched Textiles Course - now booking for Sept 2018

Creative Stitched Textiles Course
(replaces the City & Guilds level 3 certificate in Machine Embroidery)

A comprehensive two year course in design, surface design and machine embroidery techniques to enable you to design and create original stitched textile work

Venue: The Cosy Cabin, Risby Barns, near Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

Dates: Wednesdays 10am - 3pm

Start date: 19th September 2018

Tutor: Mary McIntosh

For more information please go to the website

or email maryelmcintosh@gmail.com or telephone 07443474903

Autumn Workshops 2018

Mary McIntosh Workshops Autumn 2018                                   

Friday 7th Sept 2018   Shrivel Up and Dye  

Create a highly textured piece using shrinkable fabric and lots of lovely natural fabrics such as silks, linens, cottons, velvet and lace. We will layer up and stitch and dye. All materials and dyes will be provided. Machine stitching.
Cost: £40

Friday 5th Oct 2018   Once More unto the Bleach!

Taking the discharging process further by adding in colour as well as removing colour from cloth. All discharge pastes, fabric paints, dyes, screens and other equipment will be provided* Fabric may be pre-ordered for an additional £10
Cost: £40

Friday 2nd Nov 2018   Putting on the glitz!

Adding surface enrichment to your discharged and coloured fabrics or start a new piece using markal, foils, glitter film, sheers and lame. Stitching and burning.  All materials and equipment will be provided inc soldering irons. Bring your own sewing machine and threads.
Cost: £40

*This technique uses household bleach which is a toxic substance and can become quite smelly so masks must be worn

Venue: Fornham All Saints Community Hall                    
            Bury Road                                                                  
            Fornham All Saints
            Bury St Edmunds                                                       
           IP28 6JZ                                                                       

Class maximum 12                                                                 
Each workshop can be taken as a single class                   
Payment taken in full on booking
Refunds given only if the place is filled

To book please email maryelmcintosh@gmail.com

Proud tutor moment

I am delighted that Gillian Golding, one of my City & Guilds students at Creative Stitch, has been shortlisted for the C & G student bursary award 2018. Gillian will show her work in the City & Guilds Student gallery at the Festival of Quilts at the NEC in August.

Here is a glimpse of her work - a small section from her wallhanging

Wallhanging (detail) by Gillian Golding

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Creative Stitch at Textiles East

The Creative Stitch team will have a stand at the Textiles East Fair this weekend. We will be demonstrating and promoting the Creative Stitch courses. Come along and say hello.

Putting on the Glitz - enriching the surface with fabric paint, foils and glitter film

Textiles East Fair Opens

Textiles East Fair at Swavesey College, Swavesey, Cambs CB24 4RS opens on Friday 16th and Sat 17th February. Please come along and see my work as part of the Out Of The Fold gallery
Out of the North East - work inspired by the mats made by my Northumbrian Granny

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Out of the North East - hookie

Finished my third piece for the Out of the Fold exhibition at Textiles East Fair in February. This is so unusual for me as I am normally still stitching the night before. 

This piece is also inspired by my Granny's mat making and is my interpratation of a 'Hookie' mat where short strips of recycled fabrics were hooked through the hessian  leaving both raw edges on the same side. Always worked from the back so you only saw the finished result right at the end. They were densely worked and took a long time to complete. They were my favourites - lovely and soft.
Out of the North East - Hookie (detail)
 My Out of the North East pieces are all double sided so I will need to find an appropriate way of hanging them for the show
Hookie - reverse side (detail)

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Out of the North East - second piece completed

I am really enjoying making my exhibition pieces for the Out of the Fold exhibition at Textiles East in February 2018 https://textileseastfair.wordpress.com/

Inspired by my Northumbrian Granny who made clippie mats from old clothes. This second wallhanging is my interpretation of a 'proggie' where strips of cloth were woven through the hessian sacking. Mine is made from all recycled calico. Stitched, painted, dyed, and discharged cloth.

Out of the North East II (detail)
This is only a small close-up. To see the whole thing you will need to come along to the Textile East Fair in Swavesey Village College on 16th and 17th February 2018

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Preparing work for Textiles East

Out of the Fold have a major new exhibition of work on the theme of 'out of the East' which will appear first at the Textile East Fair in Swavesey in February 2018.

My work will have the title 'Out of the North East' and inspired by my thrifty Northumbrian Granny who made clippy mats out of donated clothes.

Here is a glimpse of my first completed piece - number one of a series of three

Watch out for future blog posts showing work in progress