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1st Term draws to a close

The end of my first term as a student on the RSN Future Tutors course is fast approaching and I am required to hand in my completed embroideries for assessment on Thursday this week. Then I get to enjoy a two week break for Christmas, before returning to class ready for Term 2 in early January 2020.

For this course each assessable embroidered piece needs to be stitched and properly mounted on card to meet the brief and RSN requirements – including my name tag stitched onto the back. The pieces also need to be accompanied by the relevant paperwork with includes the Design drawings, the stitch plans, any reference images, any sampling or testing of threads and stitches, a record of time taken to stitch, a materials list, and of course the self assessment forms. I will admit that completing the paperwork sometimes feels more onerous than the stitching, but in the end it does give me a good set of reference material for future development of my stitching, and hopefully will assist me to teach the technique in the future.

For this first term I have themed each of my embroideries around the ‘Grounds and Gardens of Hampton Court Palace’ and I will have three technique pieces to hand in, these being Jacobean Crewelwork ( Frolicking in Home Park ) , Canvas Stitches ( Dawn over the Thames at Hampton Court), and Canvas Shading ( Artichoke ). All of the embroideries in this term have used Appleton’s 2 ply crewel wool, with some stranded cottons, linen, and cotton perle threads also added into the Canvas stitches piece. My Canvas Stitches piece is based on a beautiful photo taken by the talented Noleen Wyatt-Jones, while the other two are based on my photos taken around Hampton Court Palace. A glimpse of the inspirations for each piece and a segment of the stitched works are in the photos below.

Rear Left Photo – Deer in Home Park, HCP. Front left – Deer element in Jacobean Crewelwork.
Centre Photo – Dawn over the Thames at Hampton Court – taken by Noleen Wyatt-Jones. Canvas Stitches in progress.
Rear Right Photo – Artichoke in the Hampton Court Palace vegetable garden. Front Right – Canvas Shading in progress

In addition to stitching the three main assessable pieces, this term we have also completed an initial set of introductory classes, had two ‘Master Classes’ in Mountmellick and Ribbonwork, enjoyed a number of interesting Art and Design Classes, and explored historic embroidery via a Collection Lecture on Counted work. It has been a very full term indeed.

Recreational Stitching

Amongst all of the coursework I have also managed this term to attend 3 of the RSN weekend classes that are offered to all stitchers. I attend these as recreational stitching just for my own pleasure, though I find I also learn a lot from observing various tutors and their teaching styles, along with getting to meet a great cross section of keen embroidery students.

This weekend I was fortunate to have attended Rachel Doyle’s 2 day class in Stumpwork Figures, and it was a wonderful class with a great kit and many tips and insights on creating a figure in stumpwork. I still have a lot of practice to do on creating hands and faces to get my figures looking realistic. I found that the sparkly blue fabric that Rachel used for the background gives a great icy effect to the piece but is very hard to photograph.

Stumpwork Figure – Ice Skater by Rachel Doyle

Here is my version of the little stumpwork Ice Skater. I think I might have to trim her ear muffs a little smaller yet, and that front hand needs to be smaller and tucked into her sleeve a little further, however it was a great weekend learning experience.

Now I must get back to finalising my assessment paperwork and finish mounting my Canvas Stitches ready for Thursday.

Wish me luck and Merry Christmas to you all.