Ali Halley

About Ali Halley

Pencil and paper, needle and thread, have been constant companions throughout my life.

From a young age, pencil and paper were always on the kitchen table, with many a game of noughts and crosses, ‘boxes’, and ‘guess what this is’. Growing up amongst model planes, boats, traction engines, and cars, anything we wanted could usually be made, out would come the paper and pencil so we could draw what we wanted to make.

It was a natural progression to pick up all sorts of ‘needle’ skills, from Mum, Grans, and various Aunts. Dressmaking, knitting, embroidery, crochet, and even tatting, were all things I just assumed that everyone did.

Education reflected my early years, studying as many practical subjects as teachers allowed. Needlework, technical drawing, art and metalwork, the odd science thrown in with the English and Maths.

These skills were put to good use in an architect and landscape design office, storage industry systems, and the soft furnishings industry, even an ordnance repair depot. This all became a solid grounding for my own soft furnishing workroom; helping interior designers realise their designs, specializing in interlined and historical drapery techniques.

A move to The Scottish Borders saw a move into textile art and painting, studying City & Guilds Creative techniques. Renewing my interest in traditional techniques, developing new ones, and exploring my love of natural materials. I often dye and prepare my own fabrics, yarns and papers before bringing them together with stitch.

My work combines quilting, embroidery and print, with colour, design and texture.

Inspirations come from the stunning land and seascapes of the Scottish Borders, the perfection of colour and design found in nature, and the historic architecture, landscapes and cultures I encounter on my travels.


  • Current: Design for Textiles Degree at Heriot Watt University
  • 2011: City & Guilds Level 3 Creative Techniques


  • Scottish Quilt Champion 2011



  • 2014: Group 12. Group Exhibition, Tweedale Museum & Gallery, Peebles
  • 2013: Border Textile, Group Exhibition
  • 2013: Solo Painting Exhibition, Woodside Garden Centre, Scottish Borders
  • 2013: Stitch 12, Textile group. Group Exhibition, Moot Hall Hexham
  • 2012: Stitch 12, Textile group. Group Exhibition, Moot Hall Hexham
  • 2011: Vennel Gallery, Kelso
  • 2011: Scottish Quilt Champion, art quilt and themed quilt. Scottish Quilt Show
  • 2011: Smailholm Art Group, group exhibition
  • 2011: Charity Exhibition, Vennel Gallery. Kelso