Craft in the Cotswolds

Barbara Shaw hand-stiches textiles in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds. Her unique craft collages help to bring the countryside alive.

She hand-stitches small scraps of fabric in layers to produce her unique collage pictures and takes inspiration from nature. Of her many subjects it’s the sheep that seems to capture people’s imagination and which “brings a smile to the most solemn faces.” Border Collie artwork is a recent addition to the sheep related theme, which was prompted by an invitation to attend a Sheepdog Trials event in Suffolk.

The Collie is based on a dog called Gwen and Barbara says she has “tried to capture her beautiful markings and eager expression.” Each animal that Barbara stitches is different and she never knows what their characters will be until the pictures are finished.

She stitched her first Cotswold sheep in 2007 which proved to be so popular she is now up to number eight. Rare breeds including Herdwick and Soay have joined the Cotswolds in the flock of textile sheep. Perhaps another dog is needed to round them all up!

For further information about Barbara and her work visit or find her on Twitter @art_in_textiles and on Facebook at Art in textiles. Original pictures are for sale as well as cards and limited edition prints. Barbara can also be contacted for commissions.

Article was first published by NFU Countryside October 13th 2015 → Craft in the Cotswolds, Barbara Shaw