About Me

My photo
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)

Friday, 16 April 2021

Workshops for QG AGM

The Quilters' Guild AGM was to have been held in the Suffolk/Essex region this weekend. However......it is now a virtual event with lots of workshops, talks and social events as well as the AGM itself. I have been busy preparing for my workshop Layered Landscapes which will be taught twice, both sessions fully booked, over zoom. I am looking forward to meeting' quilters from all over the UK.

Bluebell Wood 

Poppy Field

Workshop participants can choose to create landscapes in either Bluebell Wood or Poppy Fields designs - both inspired by landscapes near my home on the Suffolk Essex border. Here is my photo taken last year. This year they are not quite out yet, only a few more weeks before they reach full bluebellness

Bulmer Bluebells

I hope to share some of the results from the workshops, with the makers' permission. This workshop can be booked by groups, on zoom or in person. Packs of materials are also available for £10

STARS continue to shine

 STARS members and visitors made some delightful Thread Bowls at a recent zoom workshop. The finished results have been shared with all the participants via WhatsApp (STARS is a very friendly and supportive group) and I have the makers' permission to share them here too. 

Denise Sullivan

Heather Parker

 Denise Sullivan was one of our visitors - an honorary STAR for the day

Denise says:
"I really enjoyed Saturday and was surprised how successful a zoom workshop can be"

Heather Parker selected a range of blues and greens for for her lovely fluted edge bowl

Heather says:
"Bowl completed!"

Jackie Ferguson

Jackie Ferguson was inspired by leaves when stitching her fresh Spring bowl

Jackie says:
"Thank you so much for the great workshop today Mary, thoroughly enjoyed it"

Jane Marsh

 Jane Marsh could not attend the workshop on the day but worked completely from the set of instructions provided for all workshop participants. Lovely colour combination of turquoise and orange

Jane says:
"Thank you Mary for very comprehensive and clear instructions"

Sarah Burke
Sarah Burke selected a range of icy blues for her bowl.

Sarah says":
"Lovely workshop thank you. Having seen other people's bowls I feel the need to make another one with less fabric and more gaps. The free motion zigzag was an absolute revelation for me"

Caroline Anderson
 Caroline worked with a purple/green colourway

Caroline says:
Thoroughly enjoyed the day. Learnt a lot. Excited to make another to develop the technique. Thinking one could make seasonal ones, Christmas, Easter, Spring......endless possibilities"

Jenny Butcher

Jenny's Fire bowl is wonderfully jagged

Jenny says:
"All went well"

If you would like to learn the Thread Bowl technique the workshop can be booked by groups for delivery either by zoom or in person. Oliven are booking now for the workshop there on Tuesday 15th June https://www.oliven.co.uk/  or look out for the workshops at The Festival of Quilts when booking opens in May

Wednesday, 14 April 2021

STARS produce some stellar bowls

Members of STARS (formerly Suffolk West Emb Guild) and guests took part in a zoom workshop to make Thread Bowls.   Many were new to using soluble film and to free motion machine embroidery. Each person used the same taught techniques but worked in their own chosen colourway. The results are great.

Kay Phillips
This gorgeous bowl was made by Kay Phillips.
Inspired by bull rush heads. Kay says:

"An excellent day, I've always enjoyed being taught by you Mary. Overall I am very pleased with my first attempt. I will definitely do this again, ordering more Romeo today!"

Jenny Jarvis made this beautiful bowl in a range of purples with angelina film for extra shine.

Jenny says:
"I really enjoyed the day. Going to try another design today!

Suzanne Morton
Suzanne Morton is a highly accomplished hand embroiderer  but relatively new to machine stitching. Here is the fabulous 'Fire' bowl she created with a range of vibrant reds and oranges.

Jean Hurlock
Same technique but quite a different look to the bowl made by Jean Hurlock.

Jean says:
"My attempt a a seaweed looking rock pool. Thank you Mary for the workshop and an opportunity to develop this into more fun work"

Jane Kelly
Jane Kelly used the pack of materials supplied in the green/gold colourway to make this super bowl.

Jane says:
"I love how all the bowls are different. Love this technique, I am going to make lots of small ones as gifts"

Sue Morgan
Sue Morgan has a delightful fluted edge to her hot colours bowl.

Sue says:
" I just wanted to thank you for such a lovely workshop. I was a little uncertain as to whether I would be able to keep up in a real time on-line workshop, but your pace of delivery of each stage was so well-timed.
By the end of the workshop I felt confident to finish my bowl, that I had worked quite hard, but had a really fun day and was buzzing with what I achieved"

More bowls to follow in the next blog post. If you would like to learn the Thread Bowls technique I  offer it as an online zoom workshop or a face-to-face workshop for groups. 

Or book for the workshop at Oliven on Tuesday 15th June https://www.oliven.co.uk/

The Thread Bowls workshop is also being offered at The Festival of Quilts  https://www.thefestivalofquilts.co.uk/  Booking is not yet open

Thursday, 8 April 2021

Out of the Fold Exhibition for Sept 2021

 The much postponed Out of the Fold Exhibition 'Drawing Threads' is now confirmed to run at The Guildhall, Bury St Edmunds, from Wed 22nd until Sun 26th September 2021. All eleven members of Out of the Fold will exhibit work and offer items for sale. We hope to see you there. 

Drawn Thread work in progress

Saturday, 27 March 2021

Summer Workshops 2021 Putting on the Glitz

 Working on a base of black cotton velvet we will use fabric paints, sheer organzas, transfoils and glitter films to create a sumptuous panel ready for stitch. Choice of colourways. 

Putting on the Glitz 'leaves' panel

All materials and equipment provided.

Cost £40

Date: Monday 19th July 2021  10am - 4pm

Venue: SEFWI, 22 Orford Street, Ipswich IP1 3NS

Date: Tuesday 20th July 2021  10am - 4pm

Venue: Nowton Village Hall, Nowton, Bury St Edmunds IP29 5NE

For more information or to book your place please contact Mary McIntosh
email: maryelmcintosh@gmail.com   or  Telephone: 07443474903

Summer Workshops 2021 Shrivel Up and Dye

 Work on a base of shrinkable fabric to layer up and machine stitch lots of different fabrics - silks, velvet, cottons, linen and lace before dyeing in a colourway of your choice. You will then take your piece home to wash and shrink. Perfect backgrounds for further embellishment with hand or machine embroidery.

Detail of s Shrivel Up and Dye textured panel

All materials provided to include the shrinkable base and 12 different white fabrics, lace and cotton tapes. Procion dyes supplied to create all colour choices.

Cost £40

Date: Monday 12th July 10am - 4pm

Venue: SEFWI, 22 Orford Street, Ipswich IP1 3NS

Date: Tuesday 13th July 10am - 4pm

Venue: Nowton Village Hall, Nowton, Bury St Edmunds IP29 5NE

For more information or to book your place please contact Mary McIntosh

email: maryelmcintosh@gmail.com or telephone 07443474903

Summer Workshops 2021 Life's a Bleach!


Life's a Bleach! Workshop

Discharging colour from cloth using Jacquard decolourant and Milton sterilising fluid to create unique fabrics ready for future stitch.

All materials and equipment provided.

Cost £40

Monday 28th June 2021  10am - 4pm

Venue: SEFWI, 22 Orford Street, Ipswich IP1 3NS 

or  Tuesday 29th June 2021  10am - 4pm

Venue: Nowton Village Hall, Nowton, Bury St Edmunds IP29 5NE

For more information or to book your place please contact Mary McIntosh

email: maryelmcintosh@gmail.com  Telephone 07443474903

Natural Dyeing Summer Schools

Gathered weld

 Learn the skills of natural dyeing and eco printing and   colour lots of cloth ready for future stitch projects.

 Day One: prepare mordants. We will use four different   mordants to extend the range of dye colours and mordant   both protein based (silks) and cellulose based (cottons)   fabrics

Day Two: prepare natural dyebaths. We will make four different dyebaths using natural dyes
- weld
- madder
- avocado
- mahonia

Madder dye bath

Day three: eco printing. We will print silk and cotton fabrics with a range of gathered leaves and plant material and make use of spend dyebaths to increase our colour range

All materials will be provided. This will include 
4 different plant based fabrics  (cottons, linen)
4 different protein based fabrics (silks, wool)
4 different mordants (Alum, aluminium acetate, rhubarb, soy milk)
4 different dyestuffs (weld, madder, avocado and mahonia)

All equipment will also be provided.

  Cost for all three days is £150 
(Numbers strictly limited to 5 to comply with Covid guidelines)
Weld dyed fabrics

Ipswich weekend
Friday 4th, Sat 5th and Sun 6th June 2021    10am - 4pm

Venue: SEFWI, 22 Orford Street, Ipswich IP1 3 NS

Bury St Edmunds weekend
Friday 11th, Sat 12th and Sun 13th June 2021  10 - 4pm

Venue: Nowton Village Hall, Nowton, Bury St Edmunds
IP29 5NE

Eco printed with acer leaves

For more information and to book your place please contact Mary McIntosh
email: maryelmcintosh@gmail.com
telephone: 07443474903

Friday, 26 March 2021

Out of the Fold project

 The much delayed Out of the Fold exhibition ‘Drawing Threads’ is now confirmed for The Guildhall, Bury St Edmunds from 22nd - 26th September 2021. 

As part of the exhibition we have a new project. This is a detail of one section to whet your appetite. Lots more to come.........

 Suffolk puffs for a Suffolk Show

Monday, 22 March 2021

Creative Stitch Open Days

 Creative Stitch Tutors Mary McIntosh and Diane Tompkins will be demonstrating and available to give information on the Creative Stitch courses and workshops. Plus a display of student work in Patchwork and Quilting and Machine Embroidery. 

Friday, 19 March 2021

Shrivel up and dye

 Using one of my all time favourite techniques of stitching different fabrics to a shrinkable base before overdyeing for a new project to be shown as part of the next Out of the Fold exhibition in Sept. This is a small corner detail of the first section made.

Shrivel Up and Dye with machine stitching, additional hand stitching and beading

I offer Shrivel Up and Dye as a one day workshop. New dates coming soon................................

Monday, 15 March 2021

Creative Machine Embroidery Short Courses now booking for June 2021

With venues starting to reopen for groups of six we can now run the planned Creative Machine Embroidery courses from the beginning of June 2021.
These will on Wednesdays at The Cosy Cabin in Risby, near Bury St Edmunds with tutor Mary McIntosh and on Thursdays in Ipswich with tutor Diane Tompkins.

For more information or to book a space please contact mary.cs@sefwi.org.uk


Friday, 12 March 2021

Experiments with texture

 I have been playing with some ideas to create the textures of corroded metal and crumbling plaster work. Not quite there yet but some of the techniques have potential.

Nasty nylon nets and lace transformed by burning

Humble craft vilene with lots of colouring and metallics. Areas removed and reattached with a soldering iron

The back of the vilene is quite interesting too......

More experiments to come - I will keep you posted!

Sunday, 7 March 2021

Quilters' Guild AGM Workshops

 The Quilters' Guild AGM is being held as a virtual event on the weekend of 16th, 17th and 18th April 2021 with an exciting variety of talks and workshops offered by textile artists from the East Anglian region.  To book please contact the Quilters' Guild shop  QG Shop

The workshop is called Layered Landscapes with a choice of either Poppy Field or Bluebell Wood - both inspired by places near my home on the Suffolk Essex border

The first workshop date of Sunday 18th April has sold out but a second date has been added on Saturday 17th April at 2pm
Poppy Field

We will use commercial fabrics to build up a landscape picture and capture snippets under net before stitching by machine. A good place to start with free motion embroidery for those new to the technique.

The piece can be further embellished with hand stitching and beading
Bluebell wood (work in progress)

Texture Adventures workshop now online

 The Texture Adventures workshop is now available as an online video. 

Cost is £15 with the option of a kit available in your chosen colourway for an additional £10

To book please visit https://www.oliven.co.uk/

Sample of Texture Adventures technique (red colourway)

Sample of the Texture Adventures technique Green colourway

Textures Adventures sample shown in the video (Blue Colourway

Detail of the free motion embroidery and additional hand embellishment