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Wed, 13 Oct


Online Interactive Workshop

Wednesday 13 October 2021: Online Workshop (Stitches In Paper)

Join Gary Mills for the second of three classes in our second all-new Creative Sketchbook Series of 'easy-art' workshops!...

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Wednesday 13 October 2021: Online Workshop (Stitches In Paper)
Wednesday 13 October 2021: Online Workshop (Stitches In Paper)

Time & Location

13 Oct 2021, 19:00 – 20:30 BST

Online Interactive Workshop

About the Event

Gary Mills - Wednesday 13 October 2021 - 7.00pm to 8.30pm (BST)

Online Interactive Workshop: Creative Sketchbook - STITCHES IN PAPER

We're absolutely delighted to unveil our new Creative Sketchbook Series of workshops & classes, safe in the hands of multi-talented designer/artist, crafter and tutor extra-ordinaire: Gary Mills! Gary has tailored a block of THREE Creative Sketchbook classes which students can embrace as a set of one class during each of September, October & November 2021 (for this we have a reduced rate for a block-booking of ALL THREE classes - see our Pay Online section for that special deal!).

Alternatively people can choose to attend just one or two of the classes as they prefer - no pressure from us, but once you've read all about what Gary is delivering across his Printing Patterns, Stitches In Paper and Secret Pockets & Pull-Outs workshops, we're pretty convinced you'll not want to miss out on ANY of what's on offer!...

Introduction by Gary:-

After the success of the first three chapters in the Creative Sketchbook workshops, I've designed a further three amazing concepts that can help develop creative ability in anyone. You do not even have to consider yourself the next Picasso, as all the activities are about making a response rather than an accurate representation of what you see or want to communicate.

Have you always wanted to feel more confident in creating a sketch book or exploring ideas on paper? We are not all given the natural ability to draw and yet we love to get creative, but that blank sheet of paper or a drawing in a sketch book can seem so daunting.

The exercises (chapters) are on “How to create a sketch book”, or more accurately how I carry out a series of engaging and fun activities which you can then later curate into a “book” / sketch book / journal or portfolio.

This is not your conventional art drawing lesson, far from it; but rather a textiles-based sketch book to inform and work alongside your practice, be that a quilter, a textile artist, or someone who just enjoys all aspects of textiles and sewing. These workshops are designed for you to make a response to a moment in time, to have fun through experimentation and playing with “stuff”. Be that colour, texture, form, and line; but also details and little scenes captured in time.

This Stitches in Paper workshop concentrates on methods and ways to join papers together decoratively with simple hand and machine stitch, which look so effective in a sketch book or journal.  As the workshop progresses you will develop ways and approaches to explore the creative collaging affects which can be achieved by layering and joining different papers together simply with stitches. Gary will take you through a series of fun and accessible exercises that inform and open-up the mind with bite size knowledge to later build upon if you wish. This chapter in the creative sketch book workshops ends with a mini conclusion, a beautiful decorative collaged and stitched greeting or note card to keep or give to someone special.

Note: You do not have to do any of the previous chapters in the Creative Sketchbook series as all chapters/workshops run independently so you could do just this one. But if you enjoyed this one, take a look at the rest of them on offer. See also my 'Footnote by Gary Mills' at the end!​

What You Will Learn in this Stitches In Paper Online Interactive Workshop:-

STITCHES IN PAPER starts with some simple methods on layering and joining torn and cut papers with hand stitches; and how you can stop the papers from tearing as you stitch them. As you progress through simple exercises to build your confidence, you will then use a sewing machine to further create more ideas and processes, through manipulating the papers and methods of applying your layers. Finally with all your experiments and examples you will be ready to create a decorative greetings card using both hand and machine stiches in the creative process.

Skill Level for this Online Interactive Workshop:-

Gary has many years’ experience as a professional practitioner and teacher of art and textiles; his workshops are so enjoyable, fun, and very well organised with his clear and patient guidance. This workshop is suitable for all; if you are a beginner this is a great way to learn and explore the rudiments of art-based design processes and for those with some confidence and experienced you could further diversify your approaches to sketch booking through your artistic ability.

Material requirements for this Online Interactive Workshop:-

All the materials are easily accessible. Such as found and recycled papers that can be sourced from local shops or online and most other materials can be found around your sewing box or in your desk draw.

For your Art box start with the basics and build upon as you go… even things found around the home can be used.

You will need for this workshop:-


Have-to-hand a good selection of saved recycled papers along with new sheets of cartridge, photocopy papers and sketch book pages. In Gary’s examples he has used cartridge paper, torn old garment pattern tissue paper and instructions and old books, wrapping parcel paper, in colours from cream to beige and brown. Try to keep you colours consistent to create a cohesive pallet of papers in this exercise. In general, you will need around 6x sheets of A5 (51/2” x 8”) reasonable quality 150 -180 gsm cartridge paper. You can pre-colour your papers before the session if you wish with water-based paint washes but do make sure they are dry before you start the workshop.

A blank greetings card to decorate

This can be a simple folded piece of white or cream card 10” x 7” (inches)

  • Masking tape & clear scotch tape (cello tape)
  • Craft knife
  • Bradawl for making holes or a compass point will work.
  • Large needle or Chenille needle
  • Suitable thread for hand and decorative stitches: dark button thread, linen thread, or Perle thread or DCM embroidery thread. (Something thicker than just ordinary sewing thread)
  • Paper and embroidery scissors
  • Ruler or quilting / crafting square
  • Pencil and rubber
  • Something to cut on such as a cutting mat or old magazine
  • Dark and white / cream machine thread
  • Optional: For the greetings card, Gary has used old vintage haberdashery such as a decorative button.
  • Optional: Alphabet block printing set with black ink pad.
  • Optional: You can add thin strips of natural fabrics and trimmings also if you wish.
  • Optional: You may have to hand the sketch book you wish to later curate and add your examples to. Size: A5-A4

Equipment requirements for this Online Interactive Workshop:-

As we will be machine stitching together paper, you will need a straight stitch sewing machine with a large size needle size 14-16 or a denim needle if its reasonably strong to stitch through a couple of layers of paper.

If you don not have a sewing machine you can use hand stitch to achieve the finish…it will just take a little longer to complete.

Additional Information relevant to this Online Interactive Workshop:-

Those attending the workshop will receive Gary’s guidance notes.

Gary's Footnote!:-

I used to struggle with using a sketchbook or even producing one of worth which could support my creative work…. I had to find a solution that worked for me and my way of working through the creative process. To me a brand-new sketch book can be daunting! They always look so beautiful in ‘Paperchase’ all shapes and sizes, with different covers, looking very chic and each knowing they are destined for the most articulate of written words or the finest line of a drawn sketch. 

Of course, you cannot make a mistake in it, that is the law… the law of the new sketch book… especially on the first couple of pages which always seem to warrant your absolute best concentration and your most trained and honed artistic skills! That pressure to produce perfect pages, it always got to me. That is why I have had in the past so many empty sketch books sitting on my shelf unused and still in pristine condition, just because I was too frightened to use them, in case I made a mess of them.

The solution to this phobia for me I found was to work on loose sheets of papers, completely mixed papers of varying weights and textures …. I even make up my own papers by painting white emulsion paint onto magazine papers and brown wrapping papers. I make up my own pages from all sorts of papers, I even use wallpaper lining paper to make fold out books.

A blank page; a white sheet of paper… it is so new, so clean... so minimal… if you are going to make a mark on it, it had better be good! Oh no, flippin' heck …. here I go again!!!


I quite often pre-mark my papers and pages. I may take just one swipe of colour across the page; the colour may relate to the environment I am in or it may not; sometimes I just stick to a neutral colour; a dash of grey or a smudge of beigey brown. Or if the day is bright and sunny, I may go for more pops of vivid colours on may pages. Apart from colour I may layer my page through collage, adding torn pages from old textbooks stuck down or even newspaper tears stuck down. You can always add a thin coat of white emulsion over the top to dumb down any vibrant text coming through…although sometimes I do not mind that as it adds another dimension to my pages. One of my most favourite journals was a sawn in half telephone directory which I thoroughly enjoyed using to record as a pictorial diary, the 3 months in Holland studying at the Royal Academy.

Apart from pages and papers, I use anything I can find at hand to either make a mark on or stitch into, wrap or stick. Large luggage / parcel tags are great, bits of cloth like calico and canvas which have been primed with gesso or emulsion paint. Cardboard and some packings are great alternatives to papers for making marks on or even give a texture to.


Leave the graphite pencil and rubber at home! I much prefer to make a spontaneous mark that is a permanent mark, be that ink, paint, ball point pen, or crayon. Back to those old phobias, would have me doubting that mark I had just made and rubbing it out and starting again; only to miss that opportunity of making an error which turned out to be something quite inspirational and beautiful. I like to use brushes with wet media, in foam, bristle and even from found material wrapped around a stick dipped into ink. Felt tip markers thick and thin work well, as just drawing directly from the pipette of the ink bottle. So, the rule is... break all rules on your sketch book pages! Work spontaneously, be impulsive, be intuitive and just relax, play and ‘not give a damn’ to what transpires on YOUR pages.

Tickets for this Online Interactive Workshop (via the Zoom platform) will be limited and allocated on a first-come/first-served basis! Any free pattern and other information, relevant to this course will be forwarded to you after booking and approximately 5 days before the course date. The ticket price of £15.00 is based on ONE person attending this crafting class.

This CraftyMonkies online interactive workshop is being broadcast from the United Kingdom and the class time given is based on British Summer Time (BST). We advise you check via Google Search (or similar) to see corresponding start-time in YOUR location!

Ordering MATERIALS/EQUIPMENT Online For Any Class/Workshop!

In light of current uncertainties regarding potential lockdowns in some/all parts of the UK due to Covid-19, please ensure you book your place & order any materials/equipment online in plenty of time ahead of any course dates.

Enjoy This Class/Workshop Again on YouTube!

A recording of this workshop will be sent to all who buy a live ticket for the Zoom broadcast approximately 5 working days after the event; the video will be available to view for 30 days from the video release date.

Are you not able to attend this class due to living in a different time-zone? Are you otherwise engaged on the date of this workshop? Well, we have excellent news!

This class will be available to view via Pay-On-Demand via our Online Shop for 30 days following the video release date (approximately 5 working days after broadcast on Zoom).


  • Online Workshop: Stitches

    This ticket is for the CraftyMonkies Online Interactive Workshop with Gary Mills on Wednesday 13 October 2021 (7.00pm-8.30pm, BST)

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