SUMMER SCHOOL: FULLY BOOKED!

Watch the video here

BOOKINGS CLOSED

Deadline was Monday the 20th of March 2024. If you would like to be added to the waiting list and be contacted in the event of a cancellation, please email hello@theswi.org.uk.

SWI Summer School comes to Perthshire!

We're delighted to announce a new-look SWI Summer School for 2024. Come for a long weekend of learning and having fun with like-minded women in a beautiful environment.

What’s on offer?

A variety of expert tutors have been hand picked to offer the best classes across a range of handcrafts and activities. Each subject will be taught in a 3-day workshop, so you can choose one course to take for the duration of the school. You can choose from heritage crafts such as Willow Basketry and Shetland Lace Knitting, or needlecraft courses such as Quilting, Sashiko and Crochet, or indulge your artistic side with 3D Decoupage, Painting, Floral Art, and Beadwork. 

Residential and non-residential places are available. You can stay at Strathallan School for four nights or attend the workshops as a non-residential pupil, the choice is yours!

About the location

Strathallan School is set in 153 acres of rural Perthshire and is an award-winning boarding school with comfortable, well-appointed dorms and modern classrooms and facilities. All residential participants will have access to the school's grounds, tennis courts and golf course for the duration of their stay. There are great opportunities to relax and enjoy walks all around the campus.

Your meals and accomodation

If you choose the residential pupil option you will have full bed and board from Thursday 15th-August 19th. All rooms are single occupancy in a dorm setting with shared common spaces. Bathroom facilities are shared in each dorm.

Non-residential pupils will have lunch provided on each day of the class.

About the SWI

The SWI (Scottish Women's Institutes) is a leading charity for women in Scotland, providing opportunities for learning skills and sharing experiences. We have around 10,000 members in more than 500 communities across Scotland and fun and friendship is at the core of our activities. All women are welcome and we look forward to hosting you at this special learning retreat.

To find out more about joining the SWI click here

 

Summer school 3-day workshops

Which skill would you like to learn or sharpen? Please note spaces are strictly limited on each workshop.


Improver's Crochet by Fiona Meade

 
3-day workshop | Tutor: Fiona Meade | 15-19 August 2024 | Crochet

Member rates: Residential course £500  |  Non-residential course £400
Non-member rates: Residential course £600  | 
Non-residential course £500

After learning the basics of the craft as a child, SWI member Fiona taught herself to read patterns and now designs her own makes for her Ravelry, Etsy and LoveCrafts stores. She now teaches courses locally in Aberdeenshire and globally on her YouTube channel.

This course is for participants who already know the basics of crochet (UK double and treble crochet). You should be able to work in basic rows or make a granny square for example. You will be taught how to read crochet patterns and charts through the process of making a pair of cosy wrist warmers/mitts. You will learn how to add colour, texture, and lace detail to your projects. Participants will be given great tips for getting a professional finish on your projects as well as how to block for the perfect shape. Everyone will be able to work at their own pace in a relaxed environment.
See Fiona’s work here

Is the course for me?

This workshop is for those who know the basic stitches (UK Double/Treble) but want to improve their crochet skills.

What will I need?

Participants should bring their preferred crochet hooks in 2.5, 3mm, 3.5mm and 4mm, scissors, and a yarn needle. A full list will be provided before the course commences.

 If you would like to be added to the waiting list and be contacted in the event of a cancellation, please email hello@theswi.org.uk


Beadwork for Beginners & Improvers

 
3-day workshop | Tutor: Mairi Carlton | 15-19 August 2024 | Beadwork

Member rates: Residential course £500  |  Non-residential course £400
Non-member rates: Residential course £600  | 
Non-residential course £500

Mairi is the Chair of Trustees for the Beadworkers Guild. Originally a self-taught beader, she has been creating and teaching her own designs for more than 20 years. She organises a large beading group in Glasgow called ‘Beadwildered’, teaches locally on a regular basis and delivers workshops for several Scottish Guilds and shops. 

This 3-day workshop will concentrate on learning a variety of different Beadwork stiches including a variation of a Daisy stitch, Apache leaf chains, Peyote stitch, Ladder stitch, Right Angle weave and spiral Herringbone. Participants will be taught how to make a number of different components which can either be made into one necklace or can be made into a number of smaller items which can be worn independently. The course will begin with basic techniques and move on to more advanced methods as everybody gets up to speed.

Mairi strives to create a friendly and relaxed learning environment, where every learner can work at their own pace.

See Mairi’s work here

 If you would like to be added to the waiting list and be contacted in the event of a cancellation, please email hello@theswi.org.uk

 


3D Decoupage by Nan Middleton

 

3-day workshop | Tutor: Nan Middleton | 15-19 August 2024 | Papercraft

Member rates: Residential course £500  |  Non-residential course £400
Non-member rates: Residential course £600  | 
Non-residential course £500

Nan Middleton is famed for her skills with 3D decoupage - the art of layering paper to create a 3D effect. She set up the Creative Care charity in 2010 and has been honoured with a British Empire Medal (BEM) in recognition of her outstanding contribution to arts and crafts and volunteering. She has honed her skills over the past 40 years after being introduced to the eye-catching craft technique by a friend and now specialises in 3D decoupage and her creations are simply stunning. 

During this course, beginners and advanced pupils will learn new skills in creating modern three dimensional pictures. It will begin with basic techniques in card making then move onto the various ways silicone glue can be used to create waterfalls, smooth rivers, stormy seas or be partnered with polystyrene to create birds and animals. 

All participants will go at their own pace in a happy, relaxed environment.

Outcomes

You will complete at least three 6x6 inch gift cards using various 3d techniques and images.

You will learn the unique feathering skills needed to tackle a thistle, old English sheepdog, Yorkshire terrier or Highland cow!

What will you need? 

Most materials will be provided but please bring your own -

  • Small embroidery/cuticle nail scissors (preferably curved)
  • Tweezers for comfortably lifting small pieces of paper
  • Various sizes of small ball embossing tools. (Or we can share)
  • As many polystyrene pizza bases (any colour) as you can muster from family and friends.


See Nan’s work here

 If you would like to be added to the waiting list and be contacted in the event of a cancellation, please email hello@theswi.org.uk


Shetland Lace Knitting by Elizabeth Johnston

 
3-day workshop | Tutor: Elizabeth Johnston | 15-19 August 2024 | Heritage craft

Member rates: Residential course £500  |  Non-residential course £400
Non-member rates: Residential course £600  | 
Non-residential course £500

Elizabeth Johnston is a handspinner, handknitter and handweaver. She says: Shetlanders knit Shawls and Haps - I love to knit Haps. These can be simple or decorative, but the important part is the border section of ‘hap shell’ or ‘old shell’ pattern, forming a wave in the knitting. In class you will look at hap construction, how it is worked in one piece, including colour in the borders, and see examples of these shaded haps. We will look at the history of these everyday essential garments, discuss how they were used, and who wore them. Choose colours for your own border design and knit a mini hap testing your choices. Instructions to knit a full shawl will be provided.
See Elizabeth's work here

Is the course for me?

This course is suitable for intermediate knitters and beginner lace knitters.

What will I need to bring?

Yarn 1 x 25gm ball of lace weight wool yarn of your choice, and smaller amount of other colours of similar yarn.
Needles 2 x size 3mm DPN’s or 1 circular needle, stitch holders, tapestry needle, pencil, rubber, notebook.

 If you would like to be added to the waiting list and be contacted in the event of a cancellation, please email hello@theswi.org.uk


Painting by Sarah Spofforth-McOuat

 
3-day workshop | Tutor: Sarah Spofforth-McOuat | 15-19 August 2024 | Art

Member rates: Residential course £500  |  Non-residential course £400
Non-member rates: Residential course £600  | 
Non-residential course £500

Sarah is a unique artist specialising in large scale textual animal artwork, using materials such as fabric samples and plaster to add texture and character. Her work is currently on display at Blair Drummond Safari Park, The Lake at the Port of Menteith restaurant, Kings Home, Bar 10, and homes from New Zealand to America.
See Sarah’s work here

Is the course for me?

This course is suitable for beginners.

What will I need?

All materials will be provided.

If you would like to be added to the waiting list and be contacted in the event of a cancellation, please email hello@theswi.org.uk

 


Willow Basketry by Naturally Useful

3-day workshop | Tutor: Karen Collins | 15-19 August 2024 | Heritage craft

Member rates: Residential course £500  |  Non-residential course £400
Non-member rates: Residential course £600  | 
Non-residential course £500

Making things by hand is Karen Collins' passion. The founder of Naturally useful, a company based in Morayshire that grows willow and plant dyes for the wool, makes beautiful useful products from local natural materials. Transforming this raw material into beautiful useful products is Karen's inspiration and she will guide you to make a beautiful basket. This course will be split between Karen and one of her co-workers from Naturally useful.
See Naturally Useful

What you will make

You can choose to make a shopper or a hen basket and more items if time allows.

Is the course for me?

This course is suitable for beginners. Participants should be aware that basket making is a physical activity, so if you suffer from painful hands, arms or shoulders, this may be an issue for you.

What will I need?

All materials will be provided.

If you would like to be added to the waiting list and be contacted in the event of a cancellation, please email hello@theswi.org.uk


Willow Basketry by All About Willow

3-day workshop | Tutors: Catherine Davies & Pascal Carr | 15-19 August 2024 | Heritage craft

Member rates: Residential course £500  |  Non-residential course £400
Non-member rates: Residential course £600  | 
Non-residential course £500

Make a willow woven basket under the expert guidance of Catherine Davies and Pascal Carr of Allaboutwillow. The pair are award-winning master basketmakers with more than 25 years' experience. The artisans work with opera, ballet, TV and film companies and are the basketmakers for the Outlander TV series.
See All About Willow

What you will make

You can choose to make a woven shopper or a bramble basket and there is an option to make a bird feeder or candle holder if time allows.

Is the course for me?

This course is suitable for beginners. Participants should be aware that basket making is a physical activity, so if you suffer from painful hands, arms or shoulders, this may be an issue for you.

What will I need?

All materials will be provided.

If you would like to be added to the waiting list and be contacted in the event of a cancellation, please email hello@theswi.org.uk

 

Sashiko for beginners by Lorraine McCafferty

 
3-day workshop | Tutor: Lorraine McAfferty | 15-19 August 2024 | Needlework

Member rates: Residential course £500  |  Non-residential course £400
Non-member rates: Residential course £600  | 
Non-residential course £500

When SWI member Lorraine McCafferty shared her love of Sashiko, a beautiful Japanese technique for visibly mending clothes and adding decoration, she had no idea her YouTube video would be viewed more than 14,000 times.

In this 3-day workshop you will explore the beautiful world of Japanese Sashiko embroidery, looking at the different groups of Sashiko patterns and how to create and stitch these patterns using Japanese Sashiko fabric and threads. At the end of this workshop not only will you have some newfound stitching skills and techniques, but you'll also have a small Sashiko Sampler which you can finish into a wall-hanging at home.
See Lorraine’s work here

Is the course for me?

This course is suitable for beginners ,however, some basic sewing skills are required. 

What will I need?

Materials provided -

Japanese Tsumugi fabric

Sashiko thread

Sashiko needles

Clover white fabric marking pen

Cutting Mat with 1/4” markings

 

Please bring with you

Long Ruler

Small scissors

Pencil & paper

 If you would like to be added to the waiting list and be contacted in the event of a cancellation, please email hello@theswi.org.uk

 

Quilting for Improvers

 
3-day workshop | Tutor: Pat Archibald | 15-19 August 2024 | Quilting

Member rates: Residential course £500  |  Non-residential course £400
Non-member rates: Residential course £600  | 
Non-residential course £500

About your tutor

Pat has been quilting for decades, since discovering her granny’s scraps bag. When she grew up, she established Purely Patchwork in Linlithgow, which was Scotland’s first dedicated patchwork and quilting shop. She has been hosting specialist classes since 2004 and now teaches classes at her own studio in Edinburgh and in stitching holidays around the world, too. She exhibits annually on The Edinburgh International Festival Fringe and her work is widely exhibited in the UK, Europe, and the USA and has won multiple awards.

Is this course for me?

This 3-day workshop concentrates on many aspects of free motion quilting. Participants will be taught how to build up a ‘library’ of free motion quilting techniques and patterns on a small sample piece that will be a good reference for further work. Different thread types along with suitable machine needles can also be sampled at this stage. Once the basics have been mastered the participants can move onto creating a small panel that will feature leaves stitched using their choice of techniques and patterns learned earlier in the course. As we will be concentrating on the machine work during the course the finishing/framing of the panel can be completed at home

What will I need to bring?

The main fabrics, wadding and backing fabric will be supplied for both the sample and the small project.

Students will need to bring their own PAT tested sewing machines.
See Pat’s work here

 If you would like to be added to the waiting list and be contacted in the event of a cancellation, please email hello@theswi.org.uk


Shetland Lace Knitting by Elizabeth & Betsy Williamson

 
3-day workshop | Tutors: Elizabeth & Betsy Williamson | 15-19 August 2024 | Heritage craft

Member rates: Residential course £500  |  Non-residential course £400
Non-member rates: Residential course £600  | 
Non-residential course £500

Native Shetlander Elizabeth Williamson and her mother Betsy will take you through the basic stitches, history, and techniques of Shetland lace knitting. Between mother and daughter they have about 99 years of lace knitting experience. Betsy continues to knit lace for sale and runs Shetland Hap classes over the winter months. 

This 3-day workshop concentrates on an introduction to Shetland Lace by knitting a miniature Shetland Lace Hap. Participants will be taught how to read lace charts, the basic stitches of Shetland lace, the construction methods of haps, how to do the Betsy Join when putting their haps together and how to dress Shetland lace.


See Elizabeth's work here

Is the course for me?

This course is suitable for intermediate knitters and beginner lace knitters.

What will i need?

Participants will be required to bring:

  • Lace weight yarn (approximately 300m) in a light colour (this helps to make seeing the stitches and techniques easier)
  • 3 mm needles
  • Scrap yarn
  • Tapestry needle
  • Stitch holder
  • Your thinnest needles (anything less than 3mm) for picking up stitches, the thinner the better.

 If you would like to be added to the waiting list and be contacted in the event of a cancellation, please email hello@theswi.org.uk