Gail Cowley

Textile Designer, Lecturer and Tutor


Gail CowleyI am a partner in, and tutor and lecturer at, the School of Stitched Textiles based at Eccles Farm Needlecraft Centre, Lancashire.
We deliver City & Guilds qualification courses via day/weekend workshops, residential holidays and distance learning. We also design and market a range of our own needlework kits.

I have an honours degree (Bachelor of Design - specialist metal and textiles), a BTEC Diploma in Art & Design and a Further and Adult Teaching certificate. My City & Guilds qualifications are in Patchwork and Quilting as well as Embroidery. I am currently completing a Masters Degree in Education, specialising in e-learning.

I have been teaching textiles courses for the last 12 years and City & Guilds for the last 8, although I still very much enjoy doing single day workshops and talks because of the contact with other like minded people.

My work is exhibited nationally through a number of groups specialising in art textiles - One Step On and All Together Now, as well as locally through The Douglas Valley Quilters.

I have had articles and designs published in various magazines, such as Needlework and Patchwork and Quilting, and have designed the new range of embroidery kits for the School of Stitched Textiles.

I am quite happy to travel abroad and within the UK to deliver talks and workshops as this often allows me to maintain contact with my distance students at the same time.


Funky Cushions Range

Funky Cushion 1Funky Cushion 2Funky Cushion 3
Using layered and burnt transparent fabrics and soldering irons we will produce a beautiful flame coloured cushion to my original design.
Full Day - Machine needed.
Using painted and burnt plastics incorporated within the design (this is done as a demonstration!) and frayed fabrics/threads to build up the rest of the design.
Full Day - Machine needed.
Using layers of silk and felt we will be cutting away to form a 3 dimensional finished piece.
Full Day - Machine needed.

One Stitch Wonder

A day for hand stitchers - how far can you take a stitch? It can be twisted, turned, piled and layered. An exciting way of making a modern day stitch sampler.
Full Day or Half Day.

Three Dimensional Textiles

I personally work substantially in this field and am often asked 'how do you get it to stay there'? The answer is it's actually quite simple when you know how! Students will produce a small sculptured piece on the day.
Full Day.

Building Fences in Embroidery

Why not try incorporating wood into your stitching? We will be colouring and stitching with wood during the day. This is an embroidery course for those of you who prefer hand stitching.
Full Day or Half day.

City & Guilds Taster Days

A day spent working on your own design and then transferring it into stitch. This can be patchwork or embroidery and either hand or machine stitched - the choice is yours. But it will certainly give you an insight into what is involved in the 7900 courses.
Full Day or Half Day.


Worried about designing for Textiles?

This is often a problem area for prospective patchworkers or embroiderers. If they no longer want to work from a kit or book then how can they develop and use their own designs? I will help to point them in the right direction with an illustrated talk.

Using Wood and Metal in Embroidery

My specialist area! I love incorporating different materials into my textiles and this is a great way of doing it. Again lots of photos to get everyone's mouth watering!

City & Guilds by Distance Learning

I am frequently asked "How does this work?", "Is it possible and practical?" and "What sort of work is produced by students?" Because of the amount of illustrations this is a very interesting talk and gives students a good insight into what they are letting themselves in for!

Additional information

Any of the listed courses can be combined for weekend or summer schools or run over several weeks. Alternatively, if you have different requirements, then do contact me and we will see what we can come up with.

All classes can be adapted to suit beginners, intermediate or advanced students and I normally limit classes to 12, depending on space available, to ensure individual attention.

Fees for 2008/2009
Talks £110 Day Workshops (10-4) £165
Travel is charged at 35p per mile
Or by arrangement abroad.

For more details please contact:

The School of Stitched Textiles
Eccles Farm, Eccles Lane,
Bispham Green,
Ormskirk, Lancs UK L40 3SD

Phone 0044 (0)1257 463163 or e-mail


Read Gail's articles on Developing Confidence in Stitch and Design, Crafting with Your Kids, Felt and Felting, The Comedy of Machine Embroidery, Breaks and Bloomers, and A History of the Fan.

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