Machine Embroidery by bursary student Marian

My Bursary Journey: Marian Fearon

Machine embroidery called Stop the Music and Dance produced by Creative Bursary contestant
Winning piece. This piece is a textile hanging, 18’’ x 30’

When I retired 10 years ago I became interested in Textile Art and Patchwork. I attended local workshops and classes to learn the basics which allowed me to create numerous bed quilts as well as quilted hangings all using extensive use of free motion machine quilting. I really wanted to learn Machine Embroidery techniques in order to develop my work further and I was delighted to learn about the School of Stitched Textiles bursary scheme.This is my Bursary Journey.

Applying for the Bursary

Since the course is delivered online and I only use an iPad Pro I enquired about the suitably for study the course. I was told that it would be perfect so I set about applying. The application process was easy. I simply uploaded two images of my most recent work and provided some information about my finances. I was delighted to be short listed and even more pleased when I found out that people had voted for my work, which led to me winning a bursary in Machine Embroidery. I began my studies in the Spring of 2018 and completed it before the 12 month deadline.

Studying online

Because all of the course content is delivered online I needed to learn how to use Keynote app on my iPad. Fortunately I love learning new skills so I really enjoyed learning something entirely new.

I was really surprised at how easy studying online was. At the start of the course my course tutor made contact straight away to talk through any issues or questions. Throughout the course I was able to email her when I needed help. The course work itself was really easy to follow and very comprehensive, and the online video chat with Gail were always helpful and reassuring.


I thought it would be tough to study without other students to discuss things with, but at the start of the course all students get added to a private Facebook group where we were able to discuss work, ideas and share our progress.

As I worked through each of the modules I found it useful to read through all the course work before starting on that module. This allowed me to choose the starting point carefully since it impacts on all the modules. Once I completed a module I sent it to my tutor via WeTransfer, which was again a new experience for me but really straight forward. The course enabled me to learn numerous techniques as well as develop my designing skills and I enjoyed it enormously.

Now that I have achieved the accreditation for the Machine Embroidery Skill Stage 2 course I will endeavour to put these skills and techniques into practice in my new Textile Art work. I then hope to continue further study at a later date.

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We are now accepting applications to our Creative Bursary Scheme. Our bursaries provide students with the opportunity to study a Skill Stage 2 course of their choice with us for free. 
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