Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Please be crewel.....

Yesterday I attended a crewel workshop by the world renowned Phillipa Turnbull of Cumbria in the UK. It was held at the Perkins Center for the Arts in Moorestown, NJ, which is in an old Tudor mansion that was charming. See http://www.crewelwork.com/ if you are not familiar with her work. She is the opening speaker and a teacher at EGA National Seminar in San Francisco. I highly recommend taking her classes if you have the opportunity to do so.The workshop I attended was organized by Karen of www.NimbleNeedle.net, to whom I am most grateful for this wonderful opportunity. Karen's store is around the corner and she is delightful. She recently taught a canvaswork piece, with 5 stitches which were new to me, to my local EGA chapter.
It was fabulous. I learned long and short shading (which I had always been afraid to try)and an entirely new way to do French knots. (Which really improved my consistency!) When looking at my first ever attempts at long and short soft shading, she said my stitching was "bloomin' beautiful". I also learned stem stitch properly; and laid and couched work, as well as closed fly stitch. Also a fascinating lecture the day before on the history of English and Scottish crewel and textiles. It included a power point presentation with amazing photos and she brought a historic American crewel piece which was amazing.

She was commissioned to recreate the Queen Mother's silk damask bedspread lost during the war that matched a crewel headboard, both of which had been originally embroidered by the Queen Mum's mother. It is at Glamis Castle. (This was featured in Inspirations - the Australian embroidery magazine and it is stunning.)
It is also featured on her DVD which I bought, as well as her seat frame (which I found surprisingly comfortable and easy to use even though I am quite obese)
I had brought my heavy metal K's creations stand to the workshop, did not use it because I really liked the seat frame. I also couldn't resist her heartsease pansy kit as this is my favorite flower. I am working on her secret squirrel piece, most of the attendees did her deer stag piece, but I love squirrels, and wanted a beginner piece.

Her beau, Harry Williamson is a trustee of the Royal School of Needlework and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Broderers. He spoke yesterday on the history of them both. His lecture was very interesting and quite informative. He is quite charming and Phillipa is just a treasure. The amount of individual attention was unbelievable. Absolutely amazing 2 days!!! Worth every penny. She has some amazing stuff on her website including stitch demos.

I am really looking forward to An Adventure In Crazy Quilting in April 2011, in Connecticut
and taking classes from Sharon Boggon, Allison Aller and Betty Pillsbury. The workshop I just attended has really improved my stitching skills and Phillipa's comments has vastly increased my self-confidence. Check out www.maureensvintageacquisitions.blogspot.com


Lesley said...

Hello you, It's about bloomin' time you started blogging again. lol. I loved your description of the class. I'm so happy you enjoyed yourself. Take care my friend, luv Lesley

Rachel said...

so glad to see you back. I haven't done any crewel work in so long. Mostly crocheting with some scrapbooking thrown in when time permits. Love the piece your working on, can't wait to see it completed. Be well, hope I run into you soon!

Marianne said...

LOL Lesley, thank you my Brit buddy, so glad you are my friend.
Thanks Rachel, I had done two small Bucilla kits in the 70's So I really consider myself a beginner at crewel. Phillipa's method for French knots is so easy, and they come out so much more consistent in size and appearance. Hope to see yopu soon too!