Textile Art ‘The Birds and the Bees’

In this class you will create Caroline's textile art called 'The Birds and The Bees' using texture/colour patterns, cut-stitch applique, bobbin work and thread painting.

You will start by creating combinations of divine colour and laying them organically in tiles and/or chopping fabrics into confetti to recreate the surface. Then blurring the surface to design your own individual project, combined with your individually designed applique flowers, birds and bees. A project size achievable in this workshop approx. 50 x 70cm or could be a series of smaller sizes.


Monday 9 am to 4 pm

Tuesday 9 am to 4 pm

Wednesday 9 am to 12pm

  • 2.5 days – Monday & Tuesday 9:00 am to 4:00 pm plus Wednesday 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
  • Suitable for ages 18 to adult
  • Intermediate, Advanced
  • Nearly full

Course Info

Day One
Students will make fabrics ready and together for their individual planned projects.

Day Two

Today students will design, cut and stage the appliques for the projects. Thread stitching to enhance their applique and background designs and have opportunities to make extra decorations that may suit the designs.

Day Three

Continue to add stitching, finishing embellishments and continue/finalise their projects and discuss finishings for an individual look.

Students for this course will need to have sewing experience.  This course is not suitable for beginners.

Please bring the following on your first day of class:

  • Sewing Machine – in good working order with the user’s manual if possible. Don’t forget your power cord and foot pedal. Please note you are responsible to bring and operate your machine so if needed please have a play with your feed dogs down and a foot on to check it is all working before coming to class.
  • Darning foot or free motion foot and drop the feed-dogs facility
  • Sewing machine attached table if you have one
  • Spare sewing machine needles (I suggest Topstitch in sizes 90)
  • Spare bobbins
  • Sewing scissors and sharp small scissors
  • Pins
  • Thread – cotton threads that suit your fabric combination eg. black, grey and white, several greens, pink, crimson, yellow, mustard and blue
  • Decorative threads (optional) – metallic threads and/or heavier 8 perle thread
  • Plus your own favourite sewing tools!
  • Pencil & a black marker
  • A4 paper
  • Paper scissors
  • Long style quilting pins
  • A sheet of baking paper with your name on the top to protect the irons


BACKGROUND: there are a few different options for the background bush scenes. You can use combinations of the tile effect with lots of different scraps and/or make confetti styled textured fabrics as well. Options 70cm x 35cm Light coloured fabric this can be patterned fabric like mine to leave some of the background fabric showing through or plain to cover more with the confetti embellishment technique.

FOREGROUND: Some scraps of fabric to chop up eg. I used some of the following to make the foreground of the bird picture… chopped up some shiny green nylon, mauve and green organza, gold net, dark wool and yarn some pink fabric. Bring some sheer organza in garden tones like green, beige or pink for possible overlay on your surfaces. Bring what you have and I will bring a some to share in class as well. Printed fabric Birds and Bees from fabric and bush leaves etc, bring your own or use the paper collages that will be part of your class product kit.

Also bring your phone camera and a sense of fun!

Your class has an extra cost of $35 – this cost includes:

  • A small essential class kit of fabrics relating to the theme
  • Stabilisers used to create the backgrounds and surfaces

Please have $35 in an envelope with your name on it ready to purchase your kit at the beginning of class.

Happy Camper Reviews

Caroline Sharkey
Course Tutor

Caroline Sharkey

Embellishing the Surface is Caroline’s way of creating textures that are interesting and change the way You as the viewer look at fabric.
Stitching into the surface gives her a changing palette and adding colours brings the artwork and new fabric surfaces to life.

“In her art practise her approach is to chop the fabrics into small confetti styled pieces, and then mix the colours and textures to create beautiful new fabrics.
Caroline travels to teach her unique techniques of fabric embellishments and many different textile workshops. She loves to inspire and encourage everyone to experience the creative side of Textile Art.

Teaching and exhibiting internationally, Caroline is also a judge at quilt shows in Australia and internationally.

Caroline owns The Digital Cloth an online E-magazine bringing artists, craftspeople and their art practise stories to readers 4-5 times a year in this popular magazine. The Digital Cloth has readers from over 20 countries and is growing every year.

Caroline regularly curates 2 exhibitions that help showcase new and experienced textile artists and art quilters show their work Australia wide.
The Desert Threads Art Prize challenge for the Uluru Retreat
Sewing Up a Storm in the Desert every 2 years.
The Coastal Threads Art Prize for the Urunga Coastal Retreat annually, these collections travel for exhibitions and promoting Textile Art both here in Australia and overseas on tour.