Heidi Ingram Designs
I learnt to sew and craft as a child and have always enjoyed creative activities, including photography, making greetings cards and sewing gifts for friends and family. Over ten years ago I was given a cross-stitch kit which started me on my path to embroidery art. Since then I have taught myself a range of embroidery and sewing techniques.
I design mixed media and hand-embroidered landscapes to capture the beauty of rural East Lothian’s countryside, coast, farmland and moors.
Before I start the creative process I spend time photographing local views, woodlands, grasses and flowers in the hedgerows. I sketch ideas in my notebook, making each design unique. I like to experiment with stitch techniques and sampling to find ways of adding extra interest to my designs.
I select the perfect piece of cotton or linen to use as my canvas and hand-paint the background. Layers of paint flow and mix to produce interesting colour gradients. Once I am happy with the background I use freestyle machine-embroidery to draw out my basic design. Sometimes I’ll start with a foreground of grasses, the sea horizon in the distance or a group of gently rolling hills.
To build up the three-dimensional layers of each piece, I collage a range of textiles including silk, cotton, linen pieces, mulberry bark, wool rovings and shimmering organza pieces. Sometimes I’ll include fluffy wool strands to make a cloud bank or woolly grey bobbles to build up a dry stone wall. Finally, I choose my cotton, linen and wool threads and spend many hours hand-embroidering the details to form my intricate designs.
Alongside my creative practice, I am an author/editor for TextileArtist.org and I am member of the Society for Embroidered Work. Both of these organisations promote contemporary textile art and its consideration as an art form.
In 2018 I exhibited at the St Abbs Annual Art exhibition and at the 3 Harbours Arts Festival @ Haddstock. In 2019 two of my works were selected as finalist entries (Best original embroidery design, Best miniature) for the National Needlecraft Awards and were exhibited at the Spring Knitting and Stitching Show at Kensington Olympia. I also had two artworks selected for the Society for Embroidered Work’s first ever exhibition to showcase contemporary stitched art.
I am available to teach workshops and have taught in the past at places like the Poldrate Arts and Craft Centre in Haddington.