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)

Saturday, 14 November 2020

Thread Bowls Workshop

 These are a set of 'Fire and Ice' bowls developed to offer as a new one day workshop.

Blue ice bowl 9" diameter

Fire Bowl 10" diameter

   Made using water soluble film, glitzy sheers, and       LOTS of thread.

 'Fire' bowl adds copper paper lame in for some extra   sheen

Jagged ice bowl 12" diameter

'Jagged ice' bowl proved a little trickier owing to the jagged edge, but LOTS MORE stitching proved successful

Workshops can be booked for a group at a cost of £195 per day plus travelling costs. Or as online live Zoom workshop at £10 per person (Minimum of 10 required)

To book please email maryelmcintosh@gmail.com

Friday, 13 November 2020

Putting on the Glitz online workshop

I am delighted that the 'Putting on the Glitz' two day workshop is now available as an online video workshop through Oliven. The video workshop is £10 or £25 with a full pack of materials available in three different colourways - coppers, greens or blues.
https://youtu.be/EQ4l8_V-Pww       Click here to see a trailer for the workshop
https://www.oliven.co.uk/courses/   Click here to book

This is the green piece used as the teaching example in the video workshop. Worked onto a base of black velvet. Layers of leaves created using acrylic and fabric paints, bonded sheer organzas, transfoils and glitter film.

The watery blue piece is also shown in the video workshop using the same techniques and materials but using a range of blue paints, fabrics, foils and film. 

Glitzy bark uses the copper pack of materials with a range of silver, gold and copper. 
The 'Putting on the Glitz 'packs contain:
12" x 20" piece of cotton velvet
Three pieces of bonded sheer organza (approx 6" x 10")
Three transfoils (approx 6" x 10")
Three glitter films (approx 4" x 3")
Piece of bondaweb
Set of instructions
Contents of pink pack shown

The packs are available from Oliven or directly from me. Cost £15.00 plus £1 P&P
Other colourways available Pinks/Purples/Reds/Greys
Email: maryelmcintosh@gmail.com to place an order

Tuesday, 1 September 2020

Sutton Hoo for QG


The Quilters Guild AGM will be held in the Suffolk and Essex region in April 2021. The theme of the event will be 'Hidden Treasures of East Anglia' and I was honoured to be asked by the organisers to design and make a small piece inspired by the Sutton Hoo mask which will be reproduced on a coaster and given to all attending delegates.

This is a small 12" square piece. Markal stick on a black fabric base with free motion stitch and cable stitch for added texture. 

Tuesday, 25 August 2020

Wood Works


Pink Trees is the first completed piece in a new series called 'Wood Works'

Started as a demo piece at the Knitting and Stitching show in the autumn of 2019. The base layer is ice dyed and then over printed with screenprinting inks through commercial thermofax screens.

The front over-layed layer is created using paper lamination with plain and painted papers; maps, music manuscript, recycled pages and newsprint. Free motion stitched and burnt. 

This piece will be joined by further explorations of works on this theme.

Tuesday, 18 August 2020


 'Fragmentation' was the theme of the Contemporary Quilt challenge for 2020.

The size was set at 50cm x 100cm. My piece was inspired by the idea of fragmented shards of glass falling from a frame.

The fabric used was from my stash of printed fabric. This was then over-dyed in brighter yellows, oranges and reds, made up into mini quilts and heavily stitched. 

The 'fragments' were then cut up and restitched to each other and to a quilted base.

The 'Fragmentation' exhibition of work by members of CQ will be touring around different venues. More details to follow when announced. 

Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Creative Stitched Textiles Virtual Gallery 2020


As our Creative Stitch Graduate Show had to be postponed from the summer of 2020 until next year we have created a series of Virtual Gallery videos (one for each class of students) to showcase their work.

This video is work by the Creative Stitched Textiles class who met at The Cosy Cabin in Risby.

Creative Stitch now have their own dedicated YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDS5NcLuA_PRNdvcpn-9Uqg where you can find all of the class galleries

Creative Stitch Courses - now booking for Sept 2020

Picking Up the Threads

'Picking up the threads' was shortlisted in the Quilt Creations competition category in the Festival of Quilts virtual show 2020


This piece is inspired by my research into the weaving industry. Velvet is woven over thin sharp wires and the nap cut after being woven. My stitched version uses satin stitch to create the texture.

Picking up the threads is 6" wide and 160" long and forms one long continuous loop (like the belts on a loom)

The texture is created by a very wide and dense satin stitch.

This techniques uses a LOT of thread. 47 reels of  standard Guttermann thread. That is 4700 metres in total.

The reverse is not as interesting but is designed to be seen. The whole piece will be displayed on a series of recycled bobbins from old looms from Vanners in Sudbury.

'Picking up the Threads' will be exhibited as part of the Out of the Fold exhibition to be held at The Guildhall in Bury St Edmunds in May 2021

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Bury St Edmunds Abbey

One of the themes for the Out Of The Fold exhibition to be shown in May 2020 was work inspired by Bury St Edmunds Abbey which was founded 1000 years ago. The May exhibition is now postponed.

We still hope to hold the exhibition later in 2020 or Spring 2021. So I will not show my whole piece but here is just a tiny section. The idea behind the work is a base layer stitched with the plan of the original Abbey and grounds as it was before dissolution (taken from a historic document)  with an overlay of the same area as it is now (taken from Google Earth).

Bury Abbey (detail)
Some new techniques for me and more representational than my usual abstract style - but I enjoyed making the piece

Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Putting on the Glitz - lovely and leafy

This is a piece started as a demonstration teaching sample for a workshop with Lincoln Embroiderers' Guild in Feb 2020. I have now finished it off with lots more bonded sheers, transfoils, glitter film and stitch.
 I teach this as a workshop - either as a one day to make the panel or a two-day when we add stitch

Luscious leaves 2020

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Drawn by a thread - further experiments

The Drawn by a Thread experiments with the 'failed' piece of fabric has progressed. The first piece which I painted with lumiere has had added stitch. Quite pleased, good colour, movement and texture.

Drawn by a Thread - luminous lumiere

The second piece which I spent ages colouring with markal I then ruined by overdyeing and lost most of the colour. But here it is remarkalled and looking good. In the airing cupboard drying and then ready for stitch.
Drawn by a thread - marvellous markal

These pieces were being made for the Out of the Fold Exhibition to be shown in Bury St Edmunds in May 2020. The exhibition has been postponed. Look out for a new date for Autumn 2020 or Spring 2021.

Sunday, 5 April 2020

Completed work from workshops

Whenever I teach a workshop to a group I always say "Send me an image of your finished piece"

Of course hardly anyone does but every now and again, sometimes years later, someone contacts me to show their work and it really makes my day. Here is a snapshot of those received recently.

Scrap stash reversible by Julie Jordan
From the Cambridge Federation WI Summer School 2018. Julie Jordan went on to make her quilt four times the original size and produced this stunning 80" x 80" full king sized quilt

More recently from a Putting on the Glitz workshop with Lincoln Embroiderers' Guild this lovely piece by Carol Walker - a work in progress.

Sunday, 19 January 2020

WOW Book 5 now published

I am delighted to be included in the latest WOW Book published by D4Daisy demonstrating my 'Life's a Bleach! technique alongside a profile and images of some recent work. 

Copies are available direct from me at the cost of £25 email maryelmcintosh@gmail.com or from https://d4daisy.com

WOWbook 05

Friday, 17 January 2020

Drawn by a thread experiments - now overdyed

Well one worked........the version coloured with Lumiere fabric paint looked a bit lurid but then was overdyed using a dark blue procion dye. It has knocked back the colours, dyed the white cotton thread and the paint has acted as a resist. Really pleased with this one.
Drawn by a thread experiment (lumiere)

Next stage is to add stitch using coloured threads.

But I have ruined the one coloured with markal. The markal has not offered as much resist and the colours have been almost entirely overwhelmed by the dark brown/red dye. Disappointed. But that is why we experiment and sample.
Drawn by a thread experiment (markal)

Next step - go back and add more colour on top

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Experiments for Drawn by a thread

When making my “Drawn by a thread” piece for the forthcoming Out Of The Fold exhibition I misjudged the shrinkage and instead of having a background of 18” x 48” as required ended up with a    piece only 16” wide and 44” long. Never one to waste fabric or the opportunity to turn a failure into the possibility to try something new I cut it into two and am trying a couple of things.

Step one: stitched and washed
Stage one. Quilt sandwich, stitched with white cotton thread. Washed to shrink.
Colour added (markal

Experiment one. Use markal oil sticks to act as a resist, add colour and sheen.

Colour added (paint)

Experiment two. Using Jacquard Lumiere paints to add colour.

Now for the next stage....overdye

Friday, 10 January 2020

Drawn by a thread

Drawn by a thread (detail)

Just finished a new piece of work for the “Drawing Threads” exhibition by Out Of The Fold http://outofthefoldtextilegroup.blogspot.com/ which will be shown at The Guildhall,  Bury St Edmunds in May 2020

This is a new technique I have been playing with to get more colour and texture into my work. More experiments to follow. It uses a LOT of thread.

This is a small corner to tempt you along to the exhibition to see the whole thing.

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

Picking up the Threads

Picking up the Threads (detail)
This piece was meant to be submitted for the Norwich Makers Month juried exhibition taking place at The Forum from 8th - 23rd Feb 2020 https://norfolkmakersfestival.co.uk/
But I missed the deadline!

However I finished it and it will be exhibited as part of the Out Of The Fold exhibition at The Guildhall, Bury St Edmunds from 20th - 24th May 2020
Picking up the Threads 2019 (detail)

It is about four metres long and used four thousand (yes, thousand) metres of 40 different coloured threads.

Here is a glimpse of part of the piece. To see the whole work come along to the exhibition in May.