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Silk Shading - Back to Basics Online Embroidery Class - July 2023

Silk Shading - Back to Basics Online Embroidery Class - July 2023

Regular price £135.00 GBP
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1st, 2nd and 9th July 2023

9.30am to 12.30pm (British Time)


Back to Basics is back!  Join me online for three sessions in the summer to go 'back to basics' with Silk Shading.

The aim of this class is to guide you through the fundamental techniques required for silk shading.  This is the class for you if:

You have tried silk shading, and struggled to get the result you hoped for;

When you tried silk shading, you jumped in at the deep end;

You have tried long and short in crewelwork, and would like to improve your skill;

You have a silk shading project coming up, and you want to master the basics first.

I know how difficult it can be to learn the art of silk shading.  I always say it has the steepest learning curve of all the techniques I teach.  What you may not realise, is that it is perfectly normal to struggle at first!

Silk shading has many things to think about:  neat edges, length of stitches, smooth blending, splitting the stitches, stitch direction, stitch angles, colour choices, overlapping elements.  It is A LOT to tackle in one go, and that is precisely why it is a tough nut to crack.

I have successfully help many students crack that nut over the years, and I am pleased to be able to offer this class for the first time ONLINE!

hibiscus, parrot and pansy in silk shading embroidery

To achieve beautiful silk shading, all the elements have to be in place.  When we go back to basics, we start at the very beginning with the foundation of it all: split stitch.  If your split stitch falls apart, you won't be able to get a smooth edge - think of it like the foundations of a house.

Then, we look at long and short stitch - this is the basic of the silk shading technique.  To really hone our skill, we can use certain practices to eliminate some of the more challenging parts of the technique.  I always start with 'tapestry shading' where you don't have to worry about the angle of the stitches.  This allows you to get to grips with that elusive 'long and short'!  This practice will help you extend your stitches and vary them enough to achieve the smooth, blended look we are hoping for.

Next, we move on to looking at stitch angles, stitching on a curved shape.  We look at the tips and tricks for controlling the angle of the stitches - so it doesn't control you!

Then we have time to troubleshoot and look at other shapes.  We can talk about planning your next piece, or have another go at the practice elements to improve your skills further.  This part of the class will depend on the needs of the group, which we will discuss as we stitch together.


The classes are recorded and the videos will be available to you after each session to allow you to continue in your own time, and I give email support between sessions and after the class.

Places on this class are limited to ensure I have enough time to help everyone individually.

I have always felt it is so important to be able to stitch in a comfortable, friendly environment and I'm proud to say that my online classes have proved to have just as lovely an atmosphere.  You can be sure of a fun, relaxed time alongside detailed, informative tuition.


A kit of materials will be sent to you in advance of the class, containing:

Stranded cotton threads

Crewel wool

Calico fabric

Instruction pack

You will need an 8-10 inch hoop (one you can use 'hands-free' like this is ideal) and a pair of sharp embroidery scissors.

You will also need a reasonable internet connection, and to be able to send photos of your work during class - this is so I can see how you are getting on and give you feedback directly as you are stitching.

Some students have chosen to join the class with two cameras - one for them and one for their stitching.


A little background on the technique:

'Silk shading' describes the use of long and short stitch to create beautiful shaded areas on a design.  It can also be used to create naturalistic shading of flowers or animals, for example.

 pitcher plant lure, butterfly and crocus in silk shading embroidery



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