Friday, 5 October 2012


How to spend 4 wonderful days in good company, playing with silk, paints and lots of stitching!

Several of our members, together with people from various guilds and stitching groups have formed the 'unofficial Alison Holt fanclub'. We meet to further indulge ourselves with masterclasses given by Alison. This year marked our fourth such occasion.The sessions were held in September at Ashby Magna Village Hall. (Note - excellent venue) 
To anyone who hasn't seen Alison's work - take a peep at her website ( to see her wonderful pictures, all of which are stitched on a simple sewing machine.
Our masterclasses follow the same format each time - discussion on the specific topic, followed by everyone selecting an image to work from. Starting with tracing the image with a purple pen, we get an outline onto our silk. Then, in my opinion, the scary bit - we fill in the background details with silk paints. Now this is something that Alison obviously will help us all with, but no matter how hard I try, I haven't yet been able to feel I have mastered this bit. Luckily it doesn't seem to matter too much as the colours are there to help when it comes to the stitching.
Throughout each two day course Alison will gather us all around and demonstrate how to achieve the desired effect, starting first with how to portray the background, then step by step how to add the detail. This is really interesting and I am still amazed at how differently one can use just  a straight stitch or a zigzag to create different effects.
This year, the group had chosen to study rivers and waterfalls on the Thursday and Friday, followed immediately, for the very dedicated members of the Fan Club, by a study of snowy landscapes over the weekend. 
Although those of us who had chosen to do all four days were tired at the end, we had all passed a most enjoyable time and achieved good results - even if our masterpieces weren't quite finished! Some of our group had chosen to do just one of the courses, but hopefully we have  inspired a few more folk to want to sign up for more fun!
If you want any info on next year's courses with Alison, contact Pat Screaton (  or Sylvia Winn (   

Written by Sylvia Winn

A Sample of Alison's work

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