Tin Can Metamorphosis in Snape

Saturday was workshop day. This time I headed down the A1 to meet with Snape Textiles Group – a great bunch of women who meet regularly in their gorgeous village hall to share and extend the knowledge of textiles.

I first met the group a couple of years ago when they tackled my ‘Grand Designs’ workshop with enthusiasm- they must have enjoyed it because here I am again!

Grand Designs Beach Hut

The Grand Designs project uses a tuna or sweetie tin as the base for a 3D scene – for Tin Can Metamorphosis we were starting with mackerel tins of varying sizes, plus a few sturdy cardboard boxes.

The first task is to have an idea of the scene you want to capture and ‘treasure’ in this way – my piece shows a little bit of the North Yorkshire coast. It’s best to have an image to work from, drawing or photos. Then choose what details will make the composition- a little planning and a rough template makes it easier to complete the project!

Once the design work is sorted its time to collage the tin – I like to use old maps or reference books – cookery and gardening themes work well!

The collage can dry off whilst textile work commenced. Here’s one balanced precariously on a glue stick – well away from the fabric and delicious homemade tea loaf !

Because the pieces are small, scraps of fabric are all that’s needed to build up the image- so they are great for a bit of stash busting 😊

I bring materials and equipment to share but this group have lots of lovely fabric and samples from previous sessions to use

We have a break at lunchtime- special thanks to Mary for an excellent feast – Bread And Butter pudding!! (That’s her landscape above!)

It’s a nice opportunity to find out more about each other – the group are having an exhibition later in the year and I hope some of these pieces will feature in it.

June’s scene was inspired by a visit to ‘Leafy Buckinghamshire’. She’s used letter stamps and needle felting to create details in her scene.

Some participants like to use machine stitching and others prefer hand embroidery- either will work – just be aware that lots of hand stitching may mean it takes longer to finish the piece!

Barbara preferred not to stitch at all!

Karen was excited to find a way to repurpose a strong cardboard box with a hinged lid- it’s going to be a travel memories box – and has inspired ideas for a workshop with children at a school in India!

This one was inspired by a beautiful French stamp. There might be tiny letters flying over the top of the tin when it’s finished.

Kathryn’s will have laundry blowing over a windy North Berwick scene…when it’s finished!

img_5414Philippa is planning to add some poppies on the outside of her tin.


Allison covered her box with an image of the exterior of a cottage so she made the interior image in applique, Sarah appliqued a beautiful cottage with a garden full of Hollyhocks – she’ll be hand stitching those later…


We tried different methods of supporting the embroideries in the tins – using old felting blocks and actually needle felting recycled fibre fill to make more solid forms.

I hope that some participants will inspired to carry on and transform more tin cans into lovely stitched mementos.695952F6-2621-4327-BFEC-38898C0AE1C7.jpg

Thanks Snape Textile Group for being such lovely students- hope I’ll get to work with you again before too long!

Published by Donna Cheshire Textiles

I am a professional textile artist specializing in Appliqué and Free Motion machine stitching. In order to create a unique colour palette, I hand dye my own fabrics and then use these to create the landscapes and coastal scenes recorded in my sketchbook. I often incorporate recycled or vintage fabrics in my work - they add meaning to the story the work is telling. I love being so close to the Northumbrian coast and countryside and I especially like taking time walk and draw these stunning landscapes

2 thoughts on “Tin Can Metamorphosis in Snape

  1. Dear Donna

    I found your website – you’d be perfect at our Christmas 🎄 markets 5-7th Dec in Darlington, we would love you to join us at our festive event. If you’re interested, here’s the link to apply for a space Christmas Markets 2019
    Market Square
    Thursday 5th December 2019 4-9pm
    Friday 6th December 2019 10-7pm
    Saturday 7th December 2019 10-7pm


    Kind regards


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