Saturday, October 29, 2016


What a fabulous experience!  The Intensive study of 12 days with the Royal School of Needlework was magnificent.  There were only 6 students in our Diploma course.  Of the 6 only 3 of us completed our projects.  And this year they added a day more than the previous 11 day Intensive study groups.

I chose stumpwork.  One of the guidelines limited the size of the figure - which could not be more than 4" high.  Working a stuffed head, making 2 hands with 5 fingers each, and clothing to fit over such a small piece was quite a challenge for one who has a few arthritis issues, strength in the fingers, etc.  But all turned out well and I am thrilled that I had the opportunity to participate.  My tutor had the distinct honor of working on Kathryn's wedding gown and William's christening gown.  Mercy!

Process:  Get in as 1 of the 6; submit sketch of design for approval  (must be 4" - 4"???? I can't see 4"); after approved plan trip; arrive; paint fabric (they call it calico I call it a heavy grade of muslin - very substantial - 24" x 24". - yes, 24" x 24" for 4" figure????); make a body and stuff appropriately; prepare 2 hands and they must be mounted so they are visible; add shoes (yes, they do actually look under the skirt!) stitch a head with facial features; apply wire edge to skirt and needle lace the ruffle and attach to body; make needlelace slips off fabric and attach to design;  various wire wrappings (flag pole and olive branch); wrap bead (flag pole top); appliqué (flag); needle laced leaves for olive branch; appliqué wings and couch accordingly;  add pearls to sleeves then attach over stuffed body; needle lace vest; add hair.

Once the front is done we made a bubble wrap frame to lay the figure on and then proceeded to do the mounting on the back.  First we added wadding then we stitched the design taunt across the back (after centering on the front of course).  This is the part that gave me trouble.  We had (HAD) to use a curved needle - very thin curved needle.  I continually poked myself while attaching with the herringbone stitch.  Point of importance here - I'm a bleeder!  Yep, I spent a great deal of time wrapping my fingers in bandaids and watching that I did not get blood on the design area!  Gruesome.  My tutor would say "Be one with the needle, Sandy, be one with the needle" as she passed by my work area.  Grrrrrr!  Good thing she was so cute and fun to work with or else - - - -

When all was said and done, we began wrapping to ship off for assessment.  Mine was wrapping at 5:45 pm - doors closed at 6:00 pm.  That's why the heading is PHEW!

I noticed in pictures when I reviewed at home (after the fact of course) that something happened to her face and it lost it's fairly decent setting as shown in the photo above before the hair was added.  Oh well.  It is what it is!  Great, great, great!  Please adventure forth if you have the opportunity!  Many modules to select from:  silk shading, gold work, blackwork, cut work, canvas, Jacobean, and more.

There were special 2-day classes in conjunction with the intensive study.  We were permitted to purchase any extra kits from those classes.  I bought a fabulous bumblebee brooch kit and a lovely Queen of Hearts piece that incorporated some gold leather, stump work techniques, etc.  In my spare time - - - -


As classes move forward, we are preparing to post the first lesson for the Santa's Rewards project from Devon Nicholson.

As a reminder, standard classes cover a 6-month period.  One lesson is posted each month.  Lessons are posted in a secret Facebook page to which paid participants are invited to join. The 6-lesson packet is $150 and is invoiced through PayPal.

There is still time to join us so if you'd like to take part just send me an email and we can take it from there.  

Monthly lessons will be posted on November 15 for Happy Haunting and Robin's Wreath as well.


Registration is currently going on for these two fabulous trips:  Have a Ball in Boston and Party on the Po.

We are so excited about the response of these stitching trips and would love to have you join us.  The group that has signed up so far appear to promise a great time for all.  We have already been laughing and jabbing online and we haven't even met face to face!  It will be super fun.

Get more details over on our sister blog -  Space is limited on these trips and we would hate to have you miss out.  Also special deals, such as free airfare, will be expiring within the next week so check it out!  Come on over.

Email me with questions on any of the things I have shared with you!

Have a great weekend and be sure to Stitch with a Smile!


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