Graduate Story: Jane Freeman – Textiles

Hi. My name is Jane Freeman and I recently completed Textiles Skill Stage 2 with School of Stitched Textiles. I work as an office manager for a commercial diving company and spend the rest of my time enjoying the beautiful beaches of Wexford, chilling in the garden or sewing! 

A friend asked me to create a backing for a beautiful crocheted blanket so I decided to have a go at Patchwork. I usually make it up as I go along, which is great to a point, but learning the techniques properly makes life so much easier. Learning new techniques that I hadn’t even considered before was also a big motivation for me. Patchwork, Applique and Embroidery for instance, enabling me to embellish otherwise plain fabric adding extra dimension to my creations.

Jane Freeman Textiles graduate from the School of Stitched Textiles
Sample techniques Textile course, by Jane Freeman

What attracted you to the School of Stitched Textiles?

I’m very much a “give it a go and see” kind of person and over the years I have unofficially studied various hobbies and interests (read “Google”, “You Tube” and Books!) With the exception of a Certificate in Humanities from the Open University when my daughter was very small, my qualifications have been certified by myself to my own standards. I have been quite happy doing this but not being accountable to anybody but yourself can sometimes lead to complacency. I felt now was the time to put myself out there and be tested. I work full time and live in a rural part of Ireland so an online course would be perfect for me. I saw a post from SST online, loved what I saw and signed up.

How has the course helped?

The course has given me a new sense of confidence in myself. I have always said that I can’t draw or paint and so module 2 of the course was particularly terrifying. But the course materials were excellent and I realised that with a little patience and confidence, I actually can. It has also taught me a very valuable lesson in planning and design. Instead of my usual “make it up as I go along” method, I now know how to properly formulate a plan (or two) and work methodically. It really does save time, materials and sanity in the long run

I plan to do some more study for the time being and expand my skills further. I enjoy crafting and making things for friends and family but maybe I’ll open an online store later, we’ll see.

Textiles work by graduate, Jane Freeman
Textiles sample produced on Textiles course by Jane Freeman

Would you recommend the course?

I would absolutely recommend this course to anyone with even a slight interest in stitching, crafting, design, they’ll love the subject even more by the end. The course materials are well put together and interesting, and the help, advice and encouragement from the tutors and other students is marvellous. There is no pressure at all, you work at your own pace and feel a great sense of achievement at the end of each module. The work is also very therapeutic and calming.

final assessment piece by Jane Freeman

What would your advice be to new students?

Go for it and keep going. Whatever pitfalls you might face don’t give up. Even if creativity and motivation have hit the floor, which they will do. Get out in the fresh air, breathe, and try and spend a little bit of time each day even if it’s just reading the course notes. I go outside and lose myself in the garden and I find that when I sit back at the sewing machine I’m more relaxed and focused. And communicate with your tutor, her help is invaluable. But most of all, just enjoy it!

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