Graduate Story: Julie Cole Machine Embroidery

Julie Cole studied our Machine Embroidery Skill Stage 3 course. After graduating a few months ago she was kind enough to share her experience with us. Having always loved art, Julie wanted to learn to new skills and stretch and her creative wings. This is her Stitch Journey.

“The SST offered me the perfect package. I could achieve my goal through distance learning, have the support and help from qualified tutors and work as and when it suited me. All this and learn new skills along the way.”

Julie Cole, Machine Embroidery Graduate
Julie Cole, Machine Embroidery graduate.

Julie Cole

I had very limited knowledge of machine embroidery before starting the course. I came from an art background going to art classes on a weekly basis. 

Having fully explored the area of different art techniques I became drawn towards texture and stitch, so I joined a local sewing/quilting group. This gave me a good insight into the world of sewing. I soon realized the preciseness required for quilting was not for me. I wanted to push the boundaries and explore! Wanting to be creative and have freedom lead me to choose Machine embroidery. I realized that I wanted to interpret colour, stitch and design within my work and to be able to do this I needed to acquire new skills.

Why did you choose the School of Stitched Textiles?

I choose to study with the SST as I had decided I wanted an accredited qualification. City and Guilds is a highly recognised qualification with levels from 2-4. I had achieved a certificate in Creative patchwork level 2 but this time I wanted a recognised qualification.

The SST offered me the perfect package. I could achieve my goal through distance learning, have the support and help from qualified tutors and work as and when it suited me. All this and learn new skills along the way. This course allowed me the flexibility to work at a level and pace that would fit into my everyday life.

Machine Embroidered Piece by graduate Julie Cole

What has helped you the most?

By completing this course, I have been able to move outside my comfort zone. I’ve explored new techniques and even revisited old ones that I could never quite master.

For me I have learned to work from a starting point or topic. I found I was able to move forward to create my own design work, converting initial ideas and breaking them down to create my own unique designs. Once I was able to design, I was then able to add my own unique flair allowing me to be creative throughout the tasks for each module. I feel I now have the complete skills to develop my own original pieces of work. A bit like step by step with guidance along the way.

Working my way through the individual tasks gave me the confidence to move forward and develop a larger piece of work. It didn’t feel so daunting because I had developed the skills along the way. This is what I found to be the most helpful throughout the course.

Machine embroidered work by Julie Cole

How will you use your new skills?

With my qualification I would like to teach others how to become creative. I would like to look and explore the possibilities of workshops. Ideally, I would love study more, but first I want to establish my self as a Textile artist. My long-term goal would be to have my own exhibition, display my work and eventually become recognised for my own style of art.

What’s your advice for new students?

I would highly recommend these accredited textile courses to anyone wising to study. Even if you’re crafting for recreational fun. Take a look at the brilliant courses and workshops that the SST have to offer.

My advice to new students would be BELIEVE in yourself. With the wonderful guidance and step by step instruction you will be amazed at what you can achieve. Your tutor is there to help guide you, so don’t give up. Just take it step and step and remember we learn from any mistakes made and move forward. The pleasure you feel when you achieve your goal is exhilarating.

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