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I will start by saying that I have absolutely enjoyed this RSN Jacobean Crewelwork class, I have learnt so much, and I am very glad that I have had the opportunity to do it.

What have I leant? Anyone contemplating undertaking the RSN Certificate via Intensive mode need to be aware that in reality an RSN Intensive class really does mean intensive. There are no “days off”, stitching takes over your days and nights, there is no time for sightseeing, or as some of my class mates found out no time for doing washing, eating out or going to the pub.  In fact I have needed several days after the course to catch-up on sleep and generally get my equilibrium back before I could write this post.

The most important part of any RSN class is the brief that you are given when you enroll. This tells you all of the stitched components that need to be included in your piece. Based on the advice given in Catherine’s blog ‘Hillview Embroidery’, I have begun to think of each of these Certificate pieces as ‘a sample of stitches and techniques arranged in a pleasing design’. Thanks Catherine for that insight!

From the brief I knew the minimum stitches and techniques – eg Stem Stitch, Block Shading, Laid Work, Long and Short Shading, Whipped and Woven wheels etc. I knew that the design should reflect ‘traditional Jacobean’ elements eg tree of life and animals and that these elements would likely be out of proportion.  I tried to incorporate most into my design, while still making it personal and pleasing.

Here are a few examples from my piece:


Stem stitch, Bullion’s, French Knots


Block Shading,


Long and Short Shading,


Laid work, whipped and Woven Wheels


For a personal element of the design I wanted to find a creature to include – one that I had not seen in others work – but would still fit the Jacobean brief. Hence the frog (or toad) prince.

After all stitching is completed then it is on to mounting – the RSN way. I know that others have written extensively about this process and all I can say is that it is long and difficult, and now done. I will get lots of practice as mounting is the final step for each piece. Next class – Blackwork.

My finished Jacobean Crewelwork  piece:


RSN Intensive Jacobean Crewel 2018.

I am very grateful that my husband has taken on all of the support roles eg. Meals, washing etc, giving me the time to immerse myself in this unforgettable experience.