Graduate Story: Lis Stewart – Hand Embroidery

At the height of the Covid lockdown, Lis Stewart began dabbling with cross stitch again. After deciding to enrol onto our Hand Embroidery Skill Stage 2 course, she’s here today to tell future students about how much she learned and how much enjoyment she got from the course. 

Lis Stewart

In August 2020 I enrolled on the Skill Stage 2 Hand Embroidery course.

When I was 8 years old, I was given a cross stitch sampler as a Christmas present.  I loved it and continued to cross stitch as I got older.  In my late teens and early twenties, I designed my own cross stitch patterns. I enjoyed the challenge of turning pictures of anything into stitch.  However, for the next twenty years I really didn’t do much stitching at all. With a young family and a full-time job I had no time for it.  And then Covid hit!

Lis Stewart Hand Embroidery Graduate from the SST
Stitch sampler from module 1

Studying with SST

Covid meant that everything stopped.  Not as much pressure at work, no clubs in an evening for the children. With more time on my hands, I saw this as an opportunity.  I found my old craft bag in the loft and began dabbling with cross stitch again.  Because all the shops were closed, I started looking online for resources and stumbled across the School of Stitched Textiles.

I kept going back to the website time after time to look at the courses and the work that previous students had produced. In August 2020 I took the plunge and signed up to the Stage 2 Hand Embroidery course.  After most of the studying I have ever done being a means to an end, I guess my motivation was just to learn more about stitching and do something I knew I would enjoy.  I chose the School of Stitched Textile because I knew that if I competed the course I would get an actual accredited qualification. Something I could maybe use in the future.

Assessment piece from module 1 by Lis Stewartt

Experience of Studying

I loved the course.  My favourite thing about it was that before I started the course, I thought I knew quite a lot. However, I quickly realised that I didn’t really know anything about stitching at all!  There was just so much to learn. However, it was fun and I loved learning new stitches and techniques.  My favourite part was the blackwork element.  I just found the history of it fascinating and experimenting with what you can do with it was a revelation to me.  On the whole the most helpful thing I have found through doing the course was the broad range of techniques covered. It was also nice to discover just how much I enjoyed learning again.

Now that we are coming out of Covid, my time is limited again. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to do another course at the moment.  I would love to return to the SOFST in the future to do the next skill stage or to learn a new genre of stitch, possibly machine embroidery or patchwork.  And who knows…maybe teach some other 8-year-olds to love stitching like me.

Advice to New Students

If you are looking for a stitching course, I would highly recommend SOFST.  Stage 2 gives you a broad grounding in so many aspects of Hand Embroidery so you can see what you like and what you don’t.   The school are supportive throughout, the tutors are highly qualified and you can fit it around your other commitments as there are no set times to be somewhere or do something.  Obviously, there are deadlines but these are flexible.

My advice to you if you are a new student or thinking about doing a course is simply to go for it! Enjoy the challenge of learning what amazing things you can do with a needle and thread.

 

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