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An online approach-based exploration suitable for those willing to take a risk, closing the gap between making, meaning and materials to tell a compelling story through mixed media and stitch.

Register now to be notified when this course becomes available.

By submitting your email address and registering your interest, you agree to receive information about this course, one monthly eNewsletter and weekly Friday Feature Artist interview updates via email, in accordance with our Privacy Policy. We will never share or sell your personal information.

Create Your Own Story

Creating meaningful art allows you to connect with your audience on a deeper level, evoking emotions and sparking conversations that can leave a lasting impact.

It allows you to express your unique perspective and tell a story through your art,
making it more personal and relatable.


But Where Do You Start?

 Cas Holmes understands the importance of creating a dialogue with the materials you use. She creates artwork layered with meaning by piecing together somewhat disparate materials so they can weave in their own history onto the work and ultimately stimulate the viewer’s imagination.

 Cas also knows before you unlock your creativity and elevate your artistry first,
you must be willing to take a risk…

Meet Cas Holmes


Cas Holmes is an internationally acclaimed Artist, Writer and Lecturer.

Her training in fine art painting and photography is evident throughout her well-known work with textiles and mixed media.

Cas’s work comes from the place between the what and the why of creation, between natural and urban environments, people and place and flows from neither a solid idea, technique or desired outcome but rather through a subliminal, intuitive and fluid process.

Often working on multiple pieces simultaneously responding to materials such as discarded cloth and papers, Cas’s work contains a history and offers the viewer an instant feeling of intimate friendliness as she magnifies the details of the often overlooked simplicities of daily life.

Cas’ work is often and perfectly described as Painting with Cloth and Stitch Sketching. 

Cas is the author of several books for Batsford Publications including Stitch Stories (2015) and Textile Landscape: Painting with Cloth (2018).

Cas has received many awards for her work and recently completed a commission as part of Gypsy Maker 4  exhibition created by the Romani Cultural and Arts Company supported by the Welsh Arts Council. 

Her work can be found in private and commercial collections all over the world from, London to New York to Australia.

As part of her practice Cas works on community collaborations developing a range of projects based on environmental themes from the natural and observed world. These collaborations offer her the insight to discover commonalities across these communities, which continue to inform her particular, take on the world.


Cas will step you through the following modules untangling the creative process.

Module 1 ~ Looking Differently

Cas will demystify the sketchbook allowing you to let go of the old belief “I can’t draw!” Drawing may seem hard at first, but under Cas’s guidance, you’ll learn how to engage with your own narrative through your sketchbook to create your own story. From traditional spiral bound to creating your own improvised sketchbooks, you learn how to work on different surfaces using techniques including continuous line drawing and how it relates so well to free-motion stitching.


Lessons & Topics Covered In Module 1:

  • Introduction to Sketchbooks
  • Process of Discovery
  • Continuous line drawing
  • Isolating Textures
  • Using a View Finder
  • Imperfect Sketchbooks
  • Telling your Story with Sketchbooks

Module 2 ~ Drawing, Observation & Appreciation

Cas will now take you deeper into how to develop what you have discovered. By laying the foundations of a daily sketch practice and bringing the outside in, you have the stimulus for your work to progress. Through a series of achievable exercises, including isolation techniques, exploring Colour and tonal value together with the beginnings of the layering process through instinctive collage, which is surprisingly similar to how you’ll later work with paper and cloth, you begin to appreciate how everything is related to the sketchbook.
Module 2

Lessons & Topics Covered In Module 2:

  • Isolating your Work
  • Working with Tone Value
  • Drawing meets Collage
  • Instinctive Collage
  • Adding line and Colour

Module 3 ~ Connecting Drawing To Stitch

Building on what you have been developing with your observations, in this module you’ll understand why the connection between drawing and stitch is so strong. Using the sewing machine with simple exercises and consideration to help you build your confidence with free motion stitch by following forms on paper and constructional straight stitch, with seams and folds. You’ll learn what types of papers work best with machine stitching and why Cas prefers mechanical machines as a simple tool for making a mark with stitch.

Lessons & Topics Covered In Module 3:

  • Sewing Machine basics
  • Seams – Expectations About Paper
  • Adding Dimension Straight Stitch Seams and Folds
  • Free Motion Stitching
  • Machine Stitching into a Sketchbook

Module 4 ~ Printing With Meaning

Use what’s available from the garden, kitchen and your surroundings to make marks on cloth and paper using printing and other mixed media techniques. You’ll now have the opportunity to build a library of textured cloth and paper to use throughout the course using printing methods Cas has adapted over many years. Explore relief printing with textured cloth, botanicals and printing using different paint and dye mediums whilst discovering their unique qualities. There’s no need for expensive presses, use what you have to create amazing results.

Lessons & Topics Covered In Module 4:

  • Ink on Folded Cloth
  • Ink on Paper
  • Relief Printing
  • Printing with Botanicals
  • Staines, Dyes and Wallpaper
  • Staining Paper

Module 5 ~ Auditioning Materials

It’s time to find joy in the accidental by looking at your marks in a new light. Using your printed materials and other materials you enjoy working with; this is the beginning of where painting meets cloth and your printing meets textile collage. As you move through the auditioning process, continuing to investigate what your materials can do and what colours you might use, you’ll create some dry sampling in preparation for module 6.

Lessons & Topics Covered In Module 5:

  • Visualisation Processs
  • Colour Palette Study
  • Auditioning Layouts
  • Cloth Collage
  • Introducing Elements

Module 6 ~ Layering Materials - Wet Applique Method

Establishing and continuing your line of enquiry with your found materials you’ll explore how your work and materials further respond to Cas’s unique wet applique method. Temporarily laminating your cloth together allows you to use your sewing machine without pins giving you the freedom to move more instinctively. Step outside of your comfort zone and have some fun by having a go at a new temporary method.

Lessons & Topics Covered In Module 6:

  • Qualities of Cellulose Adhesives 
  • Why we use Adhesives 
  • Wet Applique
  • Lamination process

Module 7 ~ Connecting Your Story Through Stitch

Stitch holds everything together. Using your machine to stitch into your dried pieces, you’ll discover how the newly created surfaces respond and how you can further extend your ideas and meaning within your work. You’ll realise this is not a linear process; things can keep moving forwards or backwards at any time, remembering the primary motivation is constantly discovering new things. You’ll move your palette around the table, rediscover, rework, and destroy to create, take a risk never to stop reimagining.

Lessons & Topics Covered In Module 7:

  • Working with Dried pre-pasted pieces
  • Straight and Free motion Machine Stitch
  • Relationships between material
  • Machine Stitching a Drawing
  • Extending your own Ideas

Module 8 ~ Hand Stitching

As an experienced instructor, Cas recognises that all learning methods are valid. This is the only platform that Cas has chosen to deliver a longer online course. Giving you the luxury to take time to develop and evolve the processes between each module. With instant and lifetime access to beautifully filmed instructional videos and comprehensive written accompaniments, the Making Connections online course also includes ongoing guidance from Cas over the following 8 weeks after enrolments close. This gives you a wonderful opportunity to have a more extended discussion and delve deeper into your process, building your knowledge more profoundly.

Lessons & Topics Covered In Module 8:

  • Physical and Mental Stitching Tools
  • Why we use Stitch
  • Connecting to Touch Hand Stitch Exercise
  • Stitching on a Smaller Piece
  • Stitching the Wrong Side and French Knots
  • Finding Connections
  • Mounting & Hanging Textile Artwork

View Past Students Work Here

Click the image below to flip through an online exhibition by Making Connections alumni.

Register now to be notified when this course becomes available.

By submitting your email address and registering your interest, you agree to receive information about this course, one monthly eNewsletter and weekly Friday Feature Artist interview updates via email, in accordance with our Privacy Policy. We will never share or sell your personal information.