School & community group workshops


At the end of last year I had a conversation with Rosamund Seal, vicar of All Saints Church, Holbeach…….she is a lady with great vision, infectious enthusiasm and persuasive charms.  It went something like this:

Rosamund: ‘Carol, how would you like to make 4 very very long textile banners for bare pillars in the church’

Me: ‘I’d love to’

Here are the 4 finished banners hanging in Holbeach Church.  Do go and see the work of an amazing group of ladies who came together at the beginning of the project; worked together sharing skills and learning new ones to get these 4 huge banners finished in record time!







I worked with Year 6 of Holbeach Primary and William Stukeley schools along with a group of lovely ladies who formed a church sewing group  – Carol, Grace, Meg, Carolyn and Janet.

The theme for the banners was to be the four elements water, earth, air and fire.

Yr 6 groups from both primary schools, teachers, myself, the sewing squad and Rosamund met in church to gather inspiration for banner design.

Thursday 5 February – Holbeach Primary Academy

The two hours went very quickly and it was soon time to roll up designs so I could present them to the church sewing group at our first meeting on 21 February.

banner designs

Tuesday 10 February, William Stukeley Primary School 1.15-3.15

Year 6 worked on the 4 banner designs this afternoon.

Here’s the proof of how hard they all worked and many thanks to teacher and teaching assistants for all their help:

WS 1

Saturday 21 February – first sewing group meeting

The sewing group have a staggering range of skills and experience, from embroidery, to machine stitching and hand stitching; luckily they are also all up for a challenge.

We all gathered in Holbeach church at 10am and looked at the banner design ideas from both William Stukeley and Holbeach Primary schools. We decided on a rough design that I would then take away to develop.

banner EARTH

Wednesday 4 February – second Holbeach Primary session

Yr 6 cut designs for each of the four banners and then stitched their name onto a square of felt.   The felt squares will be displayed alongside the completed banners so everyone knows who created them.




Wed 18 March – second William Stukeley session

After they settled into their groups of Fire, Earth, Air and Water, Yr 6 followed my banner design plans to cut a number of shapes from various fabrics.  They then got the chance to embroider their name on a felt square, being as creative as they liked to individualise their work.

Many young people had never stitched before, both myself and the TA’s were very impressed with the standard of work they produced and the concentration and patience they showed….especially in threading the needles!



Saturday 21 March – Ladies that Sew

The Holbeach sewing group that was formed as part of the banner project, met last Saturday to measure and tack the 4 banners ready for decoration the following week.

Yr 6 of two Holbeach primary schools have contributed design work and cut applique pieces for decoration – this is truly a cross generational project that is bringing the whole community of Holbeach together!

The sewing group are a great team. I’m really enjoying working with them and have already picked up some great tips.

hol 1

Watch out for the flash of a beautiful old and treasured thimble

hol 2


Saturday 28 March 2015 – Ladies that Sew

We got so much done this morning….the ‘Air’ banner was first; the hot air balloons produced a few tricky moments but we soon had the whole banner sewn up so to speak.  The pieces are going home with the ladies for machine sewing.

Templates for the ‘Earth’ banner were shared out so that we could work on them at home, so next Saturday 4 April we should be able to start pinning pieces directly onto the base material.

hol 1

The Spalding Guardian came to see us Saturday 21 March

Many thanks for this great piece Spalding Guardian and great pic Tim!

Holbeach sewing group make church banners

spalding guardian

Passionate artist Carol Parker was asked by Vicar of All Saints Church, Holbeach, Rosamund Seal to make four long textile banners for the bare pillars of the church.

Since the start of the year, Carol has been working with Holbeach and William Stukely Primary Schools to design the banners, and Holbeach Sewing Group to make the banners.

The elements are the themes for the banners: water, air, earth and fire. Carol and the sewing group started making them on Saturday.

The material has already been bought, cut and folded and they have the templates to begin work with.

Carol said: “I had a lovely time on Saturday, not just because there was tea and biscuits! We had a giggle too, they’re all really experienced. People were always coming in and interested in asking what was going on.”

The picture shows the Holbeach Sewing Group, Joyce Hardy, Janet Walker, Grace Atkinson and Meg Newey as well as Carol Parker, working on the banners in All Saints Church in Holbeach.

Saturday 4 April – Sewing amongst the flowers

Only me, Meg and Grace this morning, Easter commitments meant others were unable to attend. Meg had done a sterling job on a branch of flowers and tendrils for the Earth banner and Grace had machined the hot air balloon segments for the Air banner…we laid out all the pieces and then gave ourselves homework to do!

We started work on the Fire banner, cutting the main pieces ready to be overlocked on Grace’s machine.

holb hands

Saturday 11 April – New Members

Carole has taken the Water banner away to machine cut pieces into place; Grace is working on the Fire banner and stuffing the hot air balloons, Meg the Earth banner and Carolyn (new to the group) is using her skill and creative flair to create 1 large and 4 small damsel flies from my templates.

The rest of us are waiting for the hand sewing and embellishing.

There won’t be a sewing group next Saturday, but we will meet up again on 25 April



I can tailor your workshop depending on the curriculum area you wish me to link in with and age/ability of participants.  All age ranges from pre-school to adult.  Here are just a few:

Large scale city installation with John Harrox Primary School – x75 Yr 1&2

cardboard city


Using choice of stencil and freehand design.  Fabric is prepared for hanging and poles provided


ACTION PAINTING – with  the addition of coloured sand for texture

FIGURATIVE SCULPTURE – using soft, brightly coloured aluminium wire

EXTREME KNITTING – using extreme knitting needles and French knitting reels.  Body knitting using a variety of plastics, yarns and cord to create a whole class installation

big french knitting

FELT MAKING – clean and soapy fun for all ages!  Create individual pieces using wool fibres, fabrics and thread.  Can be sewn together and backed by the artist for a class wall hanging

ENVIRONMENTAL ART AND PRINTING – using natural materials

WILLOW AND TISSUE LANTERNS – can be themed to any event or subject area and are great for group work and festivals

WINDSOCKS – painted and printed fabric secured to a wire ring; each one individual just like the makers!  Test flight included.

MURALS – indoor and outdoor

KNIT GRAFFITI – the traditional craft of knitting becomes a public art installation to regenerate a high street – learn to knit and add to a public realm installation too!




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