Freestyle Stitching with Harriet Riddell, 9/10th February

Freestyle Stitching with Harriet Riddell, 9/10th February

A stitch in line can be mighty fine! And for truly joyous and utterly charming examples of stitching then look no further than the artwork of Harriet Riddell (aka InStitchYou).

Delightfully combining portraiture with the sewing machine, Harriet creates unique pieces of art that lovingly capture the essence and soul of their subject.

Normally found stitching her way around the world on a peddle-powered sewing machine, we have persuaded her to come to the studio to teach a few lucky students how to stitch this curious world onto canvas. This course is for the experimental, adventurous and brave!



Learning to dance with your machine & creating stitched portraits

Seeing what’s in front of you and learning how to freestyle stitch without drawing on the fabric first. Creating proportioned faces and learning how to add some InStitchYou charm!


More portraiture and/or stitched scenes.

Continue to explore more techniques like stitching words, free motion embroidery and appliqué.

Capture a scene of your choice in stitch.

This weekend course includes:

  • A series of structured demonstrations and exercises
  • Learning a range of techniques to help you dance with your sewing machine!
  • Relaxed & attentive one-to-one guidance for every student

Suitable for?

Anyone who knows how to work a sewing machine. This course is not suitable for students with every little or no sewing machine experience.

We generally advise that students be 14 years old+ though exceptions can be made where appropriate.

What is included in the price?

  • Two full days’ teaching (10am-4pm)
  • Tea, coffee, biscuits/cake
  • Material to create onto and fabrics to use to build up your portrait
  • Use of a beautiful purpose-built art studio with all the equipment & materials you will need
  • Beautiful countryside setting

This course is for you if:

  • You want to use your sewing skills in a more creative, fun way
  • You want to learn new skills
  • You want to get away from it all and immerse yourself in a fun, creative environment
  • You love creativity, especially on fabric

Need accommodation?

If you are travelling from further afield and would like to stay in the area for your visit then have a look at our recommended list of local B&Bs and hotels.

You will need to bring:

  • A working sewing machine that you are familiar with and know how to operate*
    • It must have a ‘free-motion embroidery foot
    • and have feed dogs that can be dropped (‘dropping the feed dogs’ lowers the teeth which usually push the fabric back, normally with a switch. This lets the fabric be free and pushed in any direction)
    • If you have an extension table for it too then bring that as well
  • A pair of sharp embroidery scissors.
  • Any different thread colours you may want to use
  • Any of your own fabrics that you may want to incorporate into your creations – they may have sentimental value or be special to you!
  • A few choices of photos, showing people/scenes that you would like to capture in stitch

*If someone wants to come to the workshop, but doesn’t have their own sewing machine or they don’t think their sewing machine has a free motion embroidery option, please get in touch and we can try to find you a machine for the weekend. 

Pre course prep

In addition to gathering appropriate images and inspiration, Harriet will set you some ‘homework’ to prepare for the weekend once you have booked on the course. It won’t be compulsory so don’t worry if you don’t get time to do it before the course – there will be lots of time to practise during the workshop.

£165 for the whole weekend, including tea, coffee, cake and biscuits


Complete the booking form (top right of your screen, or scroll down if you’re on a mobile).


Harriet Riddell is a textile performance artist who travels around the world with her sewing machine stitching portraits and landscapes from life.

Harriet’s love of interacting with people and going on adventures inspires her to create her artwork. Her stitched drawings appear from a single line of thread and using applique techniques she adds colour and words to a story.

You can find out more about her on the InStitchYou website.

I love to see other people fall in love with free-style stitching, it is infectious and totally addictive!

Harriet Riddel – InStitchYou

Harriet has had great feedback from her courses.  Here are just a couple of testimonials:

‘Harriet has a natural, relaxed style of teaching. She is generous with tips and advice which must have taken her years to develop. The workshop was well planned and nicely paced making it a really enjoyable experience.’
Lucy Orr
‘I loved the workshop with Harriet! I enjoyed every part of the day and was really pleased with the stitch pictures I went home with. She was very kind and patient with me….a beginner in stitch! Thank you!’
Jan Long

£165 for the whole weekend, including tea, coffee, cake and biscuits


Complete the booking form (top right of your screen, or scroll down if you’re on a mobile).

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