Embroidery machines and software
Having enjoyed sailing from a young age and always enjoying a challenge, Carolyn who in the 1980's was one of very few women who yacht raced internationally on large yaching yachts, and had spent a year sailing with her husband, channelled her sense of adventure into her embroidery and textile arts.
Carolyn's first introduction to embroidery machines was in December 1998 when she bought a Bernina 180 and version 1 Bernina Designer Plus software. She had started a City and Guilds embroidery course and was using Corel Draw for some of the design work as she had Multiple Sclerosis and tired quickly which made clearing up after a design session with paints difficult.
She quickly found that the two software's complimented each other but had to teach herself how to use them. One of her tutors, Valerie Campbell-Harding, a well known author of embroidery technique books, encouraged Carolyn to start writing about her use of these software's for embroidery and sewing magazines.
With the increasing availability of different makes of embroidery machines and software's Carolyn's articles became increasingly popular and she became an expert in a range of embroidery machines and software's. Carolyn writes regularly for a number of magazines and after many requests for tuition she set up monthly courses at her yacht club on the river Hamble. The students come with all makes of machines and software's, sometimes with different versions of a software and of course varying levels of expertise.
Carolyn really enjoys the challenge and is constantly amazed at the ideas and embroideries her students produce. The hardest part of teaching she finds is to keep coming up with interesting ideas and projects that are suitable for all levels as she feels that it is very important that each student leaves the class with a sense of achievement.
Specialising into the use of embroidery machines and software she pushes the limits trying to find experimental ways of using these tools. She has regularly exhibited the textile art that she has created with embroidery machines and software. She admits to not having a particular style as every time she cracks one technique another idea appears which she starts experimenting with! She says 'experimenting always takes twice as long as you think and things do not always work out but sometimes you get some very surprising and pleasing results.