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Frances never had a career of sorts, but has always enjoyed sewing. She took courses at the Royal School of Needlework, and even made her own wedding dress! When living in Saudi Arabi for several years, she took up quilting and on her return to England decided that she wanted to learn how to design her own quilts.

Frances enrolled on the Level 2 Quilt Making course, before progressing on to Level 3 and also taking up Level 2 Embroidery. Before she knew it, she was continuing on to the Level 3 Building an Art & Design Portfolio, and learning lots of new art techniques she had never come across before!

Frances’s favourite part of the Portfolio course was learning how to etch and print, which also involved some lino cutting. Her final project involved hanging a silk muslin cloth decorated with printed leaves, on which she projected images of flora and fauna of the New Forest.

 “I couldn’t even take photographs before, and now I’m making them into films!”

The Portfolio course has enabled Frances to progress on to the HNC, after which she plans to continue to the HND before doing two years at University to gain a degree. “I was a bit nervous about the last bit,” Frances said, “But since then I’ve visited Chichester University and I really like it there. Some people from previous courses have gone there and say it’s really good.”

So far on the HNC Frances has studied several different Art movements and contextual studies, and had also had to complete lots of self-directed work which involves writing her own brief. She has created a children’s book along with illustrations and is even writing poems. “You can do absolutely anything and someone will help you! I specialised in textiles and now I’ve discovered a liking for writing poems and stories, which I never thought I’d be able to do!”.

I couldn't even take photographs before, and now I'm making them into films!


Frances enjoys studying at Eastleigh College, and thoroughly recommends the course: “It’s great fun and you get to meet lots of new people. The sense of achievement you get at the end is brilliant, and the lecturers will always support you.

“The course is a great way to get back into education, and it teaches you to find ideas and do something with them. I was a quilter but my husband thinks it’s brilliant I can write poems and stories now.”

Building an Art and Design Portfolio is a great way to advance your artistic skills, whether you’re a painter, sculptor, sewer or all three! It is the gateway course onto the HNC, HND and eventually a degree if you aspire to take your interests further.

To find out more about the course, please visit the course page or call 023 8091 1299.