Rosie James

A brief biography


Rosie studied Textiles

at Surrey Institute of

Art and Design as a mature student in 1995, specialising in Print. She then set up a business making handprinted fabrics, made up into cushions, scarves and ties. At this time she was obsessed by printing and hated sewing, but became frustrated by the need to tell a story with her prints and decide to do an MA in Fine Art Textiles at Goldsmiths College. This was the turning point to a whole new world of possibilities within textiles.


After an MA show exploring the possibilties of making sculptural pieces with cloth, Rosie turned to the sewing machine and once she discovered she could draw with it, she was off! She began to explore how she could use this textile technique in a fine art way and became very excited by its possibilities. Her first piece involved drawing people at her friends beach hut in Kent, she worked from photographs, and left loose threads hanging to create a scribbly effect. This first piece went on to win the Bentliff Museum and Art Gallery prize and encouraged her to continue to explore what she could do with this technique.


Her work involves an obsession with people watching and looking at the individuals within the crowd. She has gone back to her print training and now mixes screen printing with stitch to create texture and layers. Rosie has published a book called “Stitch Draw” which attempts to show how to draw with the sewing machine alongside examples of many different artists work for inspiration.

Photo Stitch! with Rosie James


February 27th to March 5th 2020

ALL MATERIALS (excluding white/calico fabric) AND SEWING MACHINES PROVIDED.


Day 1 focuses on the following:


• Setting up the sewing machine for drawing.

• Drawing people and animals from vintage magazines, life and/or  


• Transferring drawings onto cloth using tissue paper.

• Stitching drawings onto different surfaces, white/natural cotton,
   transparent fabric, paper, maps, newspaper etc.

• Experimenting with different thicknesses and colours of thread.


By the end of the day everyone should have a range of samples with different kinds of stitch drawing on different surfaces.


Day 2 focuses on the following:

• Demo of monoprinting using a gelli plate.

• Experiment with cut out shapes and natural materials as a resist.


• Demo of using Bondaweb to appliqué figure shapes onto a variety of


By the end of the day students should have a range of printed and appliquéd samples.

Day 3 is an outing day looking for inspiration for your main piece of work.


Day 4 focuses on the following:

Putting it all together. Developing ideas for each student to create their own final composition. Putting together stitch, print and appliqué to create a layered piece which explores students own ideas.


Day 5 focuses on the following:

Developing ideas from the outing day. Students can create a new composition or fabric book.


This day can also be used to finish off work started previous days. Students may also wish to fill in any gaps in their sample collection. By the end of this week students could aim to have a main completed piece of work and a wide range of samples, along with lots of ideas to take further once they get home!


Day 6 is an outing to Cowslip workshops and Jo Downs Glassworks. After we will return to the studio and finish stitching!


Day 7 Today we will say our goodbyes and 'tie up any loose ends'.



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