I have been doing some quilting this week but nothing that I can show you yet. So in the meantime I have decided to do a post on my time spent studying at the Royal School of Needlework in London.
People get into quilting via all sorts of routes - mine was through embroidery.
I have always sewn, since I was a little girl (age 7). I started with tapestry kits then by age 9 I had moved onto embroidery.
By the time I was a teenager, I knew I wanted to sew on a more serious level.
When I was 19, I applied to the RSN and was accepted. So in 1985, I moved to 500 miles away to London to follow my dream. It was a huge step for a young girl from a smallish town in Scotland. I was terribly homesick for the first few months, but was kept so busy. I stuck with it.
I did the 2 year course which was very intense. 9am til 5.30 everyday then home to do more sewing. The course I did is now stretched over 3 years and is a recognised Foundation Degree.
I graduated in 1987 - which was the year the RSN moved from it's premises at Princes Gate ( just a few doors away from the Iranian Embassy which was raided by the SAS a few years before) to it's current premises at Hampton Court Palace.
I will now take you through some of the work I did. As well as the RSN work I worked on my City and Guilds Embroidery pt 1 at the same time.
I started off with this canvas work cushion.
These are goldwork samples. They were purposely left half finished so one could see the different types of padding used for the relief.
Fleur di Lis
Gold work sample - design taken from the Queen's Coronation robe.
These samples are 25 years old now and although they have been carefully stored ( not carefully enough) there has been some tarnishing. Goldwork will tarnish especially if it is left in the open air. I worked these samples towards the end of my course. not for beginners!
Hedebo sample - a form of whitework.
Sample of crewel work - one of my favourite techniques!
The photos below are of the most difficult technique - Both sides Alike embroidery. It is used on Regimental Colours and was practically the last technique we learned.
Back - remember this is ONE piece of fabric with the embroidery the same on the back as it is on the front.
My friend Shelley in Australia made the mermaid doll and she now hangs beside the jellyfish.
I realise that some of my samples are looking a bit tatty but they are 25 years old. I have some other work which I just can't find at the moment - a both sides alike crown, whitework cushion and my favourite - a goldwork cross with a saint worked in silk shading. Sadly I fear I have lost this last piece but the others are in the attic. I will did them out one day. Don't forget to click on the photos for a close up view.
I had the best time at the RSN and it will always be one of my proudest achievements. Whilst there, we went to many exhibitions around London, including quilt shows, batik demonstrations at Covent Garden and also a trip to see the Queen's Coronation Robe. I also had the chance to do some restoration work in the workroom 'upstairs' - including working on the funeral pall for Canterbury Cathedral. We ( us students) exhibited our work at the Festival Hall on the Embankment and had a final exhibition at All Hallows Church near the Tower of London, where we presented with our Certificates by the Lord Mayor of London upon graduation.
It really was a blast!
I hope you have enjoyed this post.
Til the next time happy sewing everyone.