Celtic Seascapes

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Thank you 😊 

It's all very nearly ready for you, and I'm really excited!

I've put a few courses together over the past year, and I reckon this is my best one to date. 

I've loved stitching the samples, and filming all the videos for you - even the Celtic knotwork lessons were so satisfying to do!

Scroll down for more information and a comprehensive FAQ list, including a materials list for you to download now. All the answers to your questions should be in the FAQ but if I've missed something out, please do get in touch and ask me - don't be shy! 

What will I learn on this course?

This is your chance to:

  • Create a unique and beautiful seascape using just paper, paint, fabric, and thread 
  • Add an authentic Celtic touch with bespoke knotwork you’ve designed yourself, or lines from your favourite sea poem
  • Discover new stitches, threads, and machine embroidery and textile techniques
  • Get to know your sewing machine in a whole new way

What you'll be doing:

  • Design an original Seascape full of atmosphere and texture, surf and sparkle
  • Gain confidence in creative machine embroidery techniques, whatever sewing machine you have
  • Embellish your work with shells, beads and maybe even text
  • Learn how to frame your Seascape to display and admire

Why 'Celtic Seascapes'?

You’ll have the option to bring your Seascape to life with your own unique piece of authentic Celtic knotwork, based on traditional forms found through the Celtic world from Scotland to Brittany.

What else is included?

  • Over 50 videos you can pause, rewind and watch again as often as you like
  • Comprehensive notes for every lesson
  • PDF handouts to save and print off.

My approach

I want you to become friends with your sewing machine, and be able to use it with confidence to create your own original work. I'll give you detailed instructions to follow where you need them, and I'll also encourage you to go your own way and make these seascapes your own.

Each lesson in the course will help you learn and practice a different machine embroidery technique, so as well as creating unique art, you're building your repertoire of machine embroidery skills along the way.

I've included bonus lessons in:

  • Design 
  • Free-motion embroidery
  • Cable stitch (bobbin work)
  • Using delicate and metallic threads
  • Adjusting and perfecting your thread tensions
  • Designing and constructing Celtic interlacing 
  • Rust dyeing
  • Transfer foil
  • Image transfer
  • extra stitching ideas to try with leftovers
  • Celtic and maritime inspired art and culture

I’ve included my easy-to-follow guide to perfecting your thread tensions, so by the end of the whole course, not only will you be able to stitch like you’ve never stitched before, you’ll know how to adjust your sewing machine so it always works just the way it should.

How does it work?

  • The lessons are hosted here, on CourseCraft.
  • There are six main sections to the course, with between 6 to 8 lessons in each section. 
  • Some lessons are short, some are longer but broken into manageable chunks. 
  • Nearly all have a video (sometimes two or three) and there are PDF downloads sprinkled throughout, where there are important things to remember.
  • As the course progresses, I'll add completed Seascapes to a private gallery within the course. 
  • Just before the course closes next year, I'll pull them all together into a YouTube video for you to share with friends and family. 

This is an interactive course, but you can decide how much interaction you want

You can add comments and upload pictures in every lesson; you can also join our private Facebook group to share work in progress, ask questions and get to know your fellow Seascapers.

I'll be on call via the course pages, Facebook group and email for the first eight weeks; after that, you can still contact me with questions or for course-related help any time.

You’ll have access to the course and the private Facebook group for a whole year, so you can really relax and enjoy creating your Celtic Seascapes.

Come on in, the water’s lovely!

  • Best class ever! You made this class so delightful and I feel like I made some new friends.

    — Liz
  • What did I like best? The interaction I received from others. Connecting with like-minded people was not the reason I signed up for this workshop but it was an unexpected and pleasant outcome. I just loved seeing all the different approaches!

    — Crystal
  • This was an excellent course. The step-by-step instructions and videos were really clear and consequently I was able to produce a piece of work that I'm really pleased with. Your support was always there if needed. I also enjoyed the photos of other members' work on the Facebook page and the camaraderie and support that everyone offered. There has been such a lot of thought, hard work and effort gone into creating the lesson content: I would thoroughly recommend it.

    — Pippa

How much does the course cost?


How long will I have access to the course?

You’ll have full, unlimited access to the course for a year, and I’ll be on hand every day for the first couple of months for feedback and support. The Facebook group is open for the duration, but will be archived at the same time as the course: you will still be able to view posts - you just won’t be able to create new posts or comment.

I do strongly encourage you to aim to complete your seascape by the end of the first few months - particularly if you would like my prompt support and feedback, but as I know that life can sometimes get in the way (and you may well be in a part of the world with the opposite seasons to me!) the course material is available for a year.

What materials and equipment will I need?

You'll need a sewing machine! Make sure it's in good working order before you start the course - when was the last time you cleaned and oiled it? And start the project with a new needle if possible; I use Schmetz 90/14 topstitch needles.

For free motion embroidery, you’ll need a free motion embroidery or quilting foot, and the ability to lower or cover the feed teeth.

You'll need plain, strong and sturdy cotton calico or canvas, firm paper-like embroidery stabiliser (like Stitch'n'Tear), fusible adhesive (e.g. Bondaweb), papers (old book pages etc), a tiny amount of gesso (or white household emulsion paint), watercolour paints, acrylic wax or other sealer (like matte medium), a couple of brushes and a jam jar.

Then you'll need fabric scraps and strips – I love using sari silks for this workshop; some scraps of organza (think “sky” colours), a few all-purpose machine threads, some machine embroidery thread, maybe some invisible thread, some thicker threads and yarns. There are a few optional bits and pieces including water soluble fabric and transfer foil.

Because people will be taking this course in all parts of the world, I can't advise on where to find materials: you need to find your local or online supplier. Most of my fabrics are recycled cottons, and I do love sari silk ribbons! I buy my threads and sewing machine needles from a trusted online haberdashery retailer. For the paints, we can work with what you have already - even a child's watercolour paint set would be fine for this, or even watercolour pencils.

NB By calico I mean strong, plain cotton cloth, not loosely woven cloth - that's what I would call muslin! It needs to be FIRM to take the volume of stitching we're going to do.

You can find a complete materials list here

I only have a basic sewing machine, with limited stitches - can I still do the course?

Yes! The essentials are straight stitch, and some sort of open pattern other than zigzag. The one I use most is a utility stitch for dressmaking/household sewing, not a decorative pattern. Most older machines will have something suitable.

Free motion embroidery is a large part of the course, and you will be missing out if you can't do any. You can try and work round it, but it will be very awkward. 99% of machines will be able to do it: you'll need to be able to cover or drop the feed teeth, and preferably, have a free motion embroidery or darning or quilting foot or similar attachment to be able to stitch with ease.

If you can't drop the teeth, and/or haven't got a suitable foot, there are still ways that we can try and make it work!

If you've never tried any free motion with your machine before, come on in and give it a go, you won't regret it!

How much time will I need?

The course is based on a three day workshop, that doesn’t mean you have to finish in three days! That’s the beauty of learning online – you set the pace. All the lessons are available from the end of June (exact date to be confirmed) and you can work through them at times to suit you.

I suggest taking a couple of hours at a time over the course of a week or so, but it's really up to you how you pace yourself. The course is there for you whenever it suits you and your schedule; you can fit it around all your other commitments.

Are the classes weekly or can I have instant access to all the lessons?

The first two sections are available immediately on enrolment. In the first section you’ll meet other participants, and be able to gather your materials ready to start. The second section has some lessons to start you off and get you warmed up while we wait for everyone to join. The bulk of the lessons are then released when the course officially starts (date to be confirmed).

It is self-paced. Some people may race ahead, but there's no pressure to do that if it doesn't suit you - complete it when you have the time. You could finish the whole thing in a few days, but you don't have to.

If could be that you enrol now, and then get stuck in when you're ready, even if that's at the end of the summer. Not everyone can start right away, so there's no need to miss out if that's you. And while I'm on hand every day for the first eight weeks, after that I do keep an eye on things, so I can still assist if you come unstuck.

Just remember that the course material is only available for a year, so make sure you watch everything before the end and download any PDFs you want to keep.

What techniques will I learn?

First, you’ll learn my technique to create unique and interesting collage base as a background for your seascape. Then, I’ll show you my tricks to design a seascape that works (free tip: make sure the sea doesn’t flow downhill!) and how to create mood and interest, so much that someone will want to dive right in.

You’ll learn how to use simple stitches to add lines of fabric, and investigate the different preset patterns available on your machine to build up areas of colour and texture and to couch thick threads and yarns.

My aim is that by the end of the course you’ll be confident in setting and using your machine for free motion embroidery, using a thicker thread in the bobbin (cable stitch, or bobbin work), and getting those tricky metallic threads to work for you. You'll also be completely comfortable with adjusting and correcting the tension on your sewing machine.

You'll learn an easy way to transfer images or printed text to fabric, to make it ‘stitchable’ and how to embellish your work with a little hand embroidery, beads, trimmings, and shells - other bits and pieces from your stash!

And these are not Celtic Seascapes for nothing! There’s a large section on how to design and create your very own Celtic knotwork, including designing a knot to fit a space – and then most importantly, how to translate these into fabric and stitch, using cable stitch and reverse appliqué. The last section of the course looks at different ways you can finish your work for display.

Oh, and there’s a huge bonus section with those all-important instructions for beginners in free motion embroidery and cable stitch, how to use those tricksy metallic threads without tears, my easy-to-understand guide to your sewing machine tension – as well as extra stitching ideas to try and links to all sorts of other things for you to investigate. There’s loads to keep you busy!

Do I have to be able to draw?

The section on designing Celtic knots uses a pencil, ruler and eraser – if you can use them, you’ll be fine. There’s no other drawing involved.

What's included in the course?

There are six main sections, with six to nine lessons within each one. Most lessons have at least one short video, and there’s a few with several videos for the component parts – there’s a lot to these seascapes! And there are PDF handouts dotted through the course, for you to print and save, and keep forever.

You'll be able to comment and upload photos in any lesson within the course, as well as take part in the discussion group on Facebook for feedback and camaraderie.

You also have access to my support and feedback for the first 8 weeks. I’m at the end of an email, I check in with the course several times a day, and also the Facebook group. You won’t be waiting long at all for me or another participant to be there to comment or advise, even if you’re in a different time zone!

And that’s the beauty of online courses - you can make friends with people all over the world and compare notes. Whether you’re an early bird, an owl, or an insomniac - there’s sure to be someone else up and about creating a seascape too!

And while I'm not going to be in the room with you, you will get the benefit of my years of teaching and expertise, on hand at the end of an email to answer any queries or problems you may come up against - more so than in a class, as we have so much more time together with this course than just a few hours on a workshop.

Can I share content, videos or PDFs from the lessons?

As I am sure that you will appreciate it takes a lot of time and energy to prepare and run online courses. Please do not share any of the content. All the information is for the sole use of the individual subscriber and not to be used in any form without written agreement from Isobel Moore. This includes direct teaching to others.

I am happy for you to share your completed work on social media so long as you tag/give me a mention, and you are sensible about posting work-in-progress pictures, or answering questions from friends and don't divulge the inside details of the course – it’s not fair on everyone else who’s paid to join, or on me – it’s taken a lot of work to put this together for you!

Why can't I have access to the course indefinitely?

While the videos may be pre-recorded, I am at the end of an email and available throughout the course to advise and comment on your work for the first eight weeks. I check in several times a day, to reply to everyone's comments individually and promptly. I try my hardest to make sure nobody is left hanging waiting for a response. I'm sure you can understand, I can't keep this up indefinitely! I also know from experience that most people work better to a deadline - if you want to receive feedback from me and the other course participants, and have your work featured in the class video, having a cut-off will help you finish the course and achieve your goal of a finished seascape!

The course materials will be available for 12 months in total, so you will still have ten months of access after the interactive element of the course has finished. This is ample time to make oodles of different seascapes, and apply the techniques you'll learn to other projects - and practice your Celtic knotwork!

I still have a question, how can I contact you?

I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have. Click on my name (at the top of this page) to email me. Or send me a message via my website

As part of the course you will be invited to join a closed group on Facebook, this is where you can share your work and ask questions - to me and other course members.

What if I'm unhappy with my purchase?

Once you've signed up, I am not able to give refunds, so do please get in touch before enrolling if you have any questions. If you're really unhappy with the course after enrolment, please email me as soon as possible.

Please note: this course is intended for all abilities, including beginners. If you have a lot of machine embroidery experience, and you’re looking to learn more advanced techniques and be stretched, this may not be the course for you. However, I’m sure there’s a lot here that you will like, and you may enjoy it as a chance to try something different, perhaps learn how to construct those Celtic knots, or maybe to use materials you haven’t tried before - or even just for fun!

Will you be offering the course again?

I expect so! A lot of work went into this course, so it would be a shame to only run it once. But if I do, it won’t be until next summer.

That all sounds great. Where do I sign up?

As soon as the course is open for enrolments, there will be a big pink button here to click to sign up.

In the meantime, make sure you're on my newsletter list to be notified as soon as the doors open. Sign up here:

  • I cannot thank you enough for this class. I have absolutely loved it. It was affordable, so very well set out with the videos, lessons etc - probably the best online course I have done! Thank you for sharing your knowledge and talent.

    — Terri
  • What did I like best? Izzy's unfailing support and encouragement and the feeling that you have created something beautiful, whatever the skill level.

    — Kate
  • I liked that we were given very clear directions and help when we needed it but we were free to create as we wished, and the diversity of the finished pieces shows that.

    — Sue

How did this course come about?

This course has been a long time coming, mostly because it’s one of my favourite topics and I wanted to do it proud. As such, it’s a bit of a whopper – it’s got everything: collage, sari silk ribbons, free motion embroidery, automatic patterns, rust dyeing, image transfer, reverse appliqué, cable stitch, couching, metallic thread, constructing Celtic knots, water soluble fabric, transfer foil, the inevitable beads and shells – and all in my favourite colours!

I visited the far north of Scotland for the first time over thirty years ago – long before I started my textile journey. I even swam in the sea off Balnakiel Beach at Durness (and I’ve only just warmed up again). There’s something glorious about the light and the colours of the west coast of Scotland, and I was absolutely delighted to discover similarities with the west coast of Finistère, once we started holidaying there when my daughter was tiny. Brittany may be warmer, but the weather can be distinctly Scottish on occasion.

There’s just something about the colours, the huge skies, the clarity of the light, not to mention striding along an empty sandy beach, the wind making your eyes stream and your hair whip into your eyes, sand blasting your skin – I just love it. To say it stirs my soul is an understatement!

I hope that as well as being an in-depth machine embroidery and creative textile course, the experience of taking this course will stir your soul in the same way that Celtic coastlines stir mine. And as well as making a seascape to be proud of, you’ll feel you’ve had a refreshing and immersive experience – and made some good friends along the way.

  • It's the only online course I've done, so have nothing to compare to. But I can't fault it in any way!

    — Carol
  • Isobel's video tutorials were clear, well-paced and a pleasure to watch. I like her calm voice and gentle delivery! Even when explaining techniques I have used before, I still picked up some good tips and useful advice.

    — Deborah
  • This was the first online course that I have ever done and was unsure how it would work. It has encouraged me to repeat the experience. I only hope others are as 'complete' as yours.

    — Kate
  • Thank you again Isobel. I enjoyed the workshop immensely and your videos and course material were top notch (CourseCraft provides an excellent interface).

    — Crystal

A little bit about me

I’m Isobel Moore, textile artist and teacher. I’ve taught hundreds of people in adult education, my own weekly classes, day workshops and residential courses over the last eleven years since I completed my own City & Guilds Diploma in Machine Embroidery. And now I'm teaching people online!

My background is in plant science, and I care deeply about the natural world. My favourite materials are old papers, fabrics and beads, and I like to use as much recycled material as possible. As well as doing my small bit for the planet, I do like the faded colours and textures, as well as the serendipitous mix of colours from using what I can find or what I have already.

If you want to find out a bit more about me and my practice, have a look at my website where you can find all my social media links, and sign up for my newsletter.