Graduate Story from Patchwork and Quilting student Saba Asim

Graduate Story: Saba Asim, Patchwork & Quilting

Dubai-based graduate, Saba Asim is testament to the fact that our courses can be studied from anywhere in the world. Saba starting studying with us because she really wanted to create her own Patchwork and Quilt designs, instead of simply working to patterns found on the internet. Having recently completed Patchwork and Quilting course (Skill Stage 3), we take a look back through some her creations and discover more about her #MyStitchJourney. 

“I learned to be able to work independently, manage my time better, and translate my ideas into actual tangible pieces. Help is always at hand, from SST and from your tutor. And the Facebook community group is extremely helpful.”

Saba Asim

I learned to sew as a kid from the family elders, making doll clothes to start with, then moving on to making my own clothes and embellishing them with hand embroidery. 

My quilting journey began when I found a scrappy quilting book in a local bookstore during my college days in my hometown Lucknow (India). Patchwork and quilting in this manner was not a widespread practice in India back in the 80s and 90s. So, I found the book fascinating. And thought this was the best way to use up all the bags full of cut offs that we got from the dressmaking. Thus began my journey of exploring the old template based cutting techniques described in the book, to make my very first quilted projects. I did not even know batting, so I used foam sheets (which I later discovered, disintegrate over time leaving you with only two fabric layers).

Studying With the School of Stitched Textiles

I started my quilting journey in earnest when I joined the quilting community here in Dubai about 10 years ago. Polishing my own skills and becoming mentor to the many beginners in our group has been a beautiful learning curve.

Until now I was using designs from the internet and was looking for a way to become more confident at creating original textile art pieces.

With a master’s degree in science under my belt and no professional training in arts and needlecraft, it has been my dream to add some relevant qualification to my CV. Since nothing was available locally at this level, I had been looking up online courses for a while when I came across the School of Stitched Textiles.

What’s the most helpful you’ve learnt?

I learned to be able to work independently, manage my time better, and translate my ideas into actual tangible pieces. I struggled with the design module in the early days of the course, but it eventually helped me to overcome my fears and create without inhibitions. My queries were always answered promptly by the office and my tutor Deborah Jarvis was just an email away whenever I was looking for guidance or motivation.

What’s next?

I am working on some original project ideas and looking out for open calls to enter my work into local art exhibitions. I recently participated in two local curated group exhibitions. I am happy to say my work was appreciated as textile art in this part of the world is still not so commonplace.

Teaching has always been a passion, so I love to motivate beginners to ‘build creative confidence stitch by stitch.’ Both within my Quilters Circle and private one to one mentoring.

What would you say to people looking to study with us?

For people who are looking to develop their skill set, to work independently, or planning to start a small business, this City and Guilds accredited course is the way to go. The course is packed with content that one would not consider exploring on their own, but the structured approach of this course pushes you to delve deep into the details of a variety of styles and techniques. The next step then is to adapt these techniques to make them work for you.

Help is always at hand, from SST and from your tutor. And the Facebook community group is extremely helpful.

Take a good look at the various course options before deciding what you would like to do. The course is extensive, so you need to make time, take a step back, plan a schedule and then go about working on each module as it comes. There may be times when you find yourself lacking in motivation. Seek help. Everyone from mentors to peers is super helpful.

Stay focused and you’ll get there!

Joan Harrison Bursary

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