Hampton Court is famous for being the home of Henry VIII and the beautiful tudor gardens that remain. Day students at the RSN receive a pass that allows them to access all parts of the palace.
...and the view of the courtyard from our classroom window.
My mother and grandmother first taught me to embroider when I was little, and then I also completed some more classes when in my early 20's (when I learnt to smock and do some wool embroidery). But in recent years, I've tended to only do any embroidery when I've been making gifts for people. To some degree I had lost the enjoyment that comes from working on a project with such fine detail.
I first became aware of the RSN in 2011 when it was revealed that they had been responsible for embroidering the lace on the Duchess of Cambridge's wedding dress, shoes and veil. At the time I looked at their website and noted that they also had day courses, but it wasn't until earlier this year that I decided to book on to a programme.
I was very keen to try whitework, but unfortunately by the time I went to register the course was full-booked (the RSN courses are very popular). However, fortunately for me, one of their other students was unable to attend, so they contacted me a week before the course to see if I was still interested...and of course I was!
So I joined ten other lovely ladies for two days at the palace for our introductory course. The class participants ranged in age from 17 to late 60's...and we even had three class members who had travelled from Australia, the US and Hong Kong.
And so on to the embroidery...we each made a small needlecase which was the perfect size to undertake in the two days as well as provided the opportunity to learn some new stitches. I particularly appreciated the very technical teaching of the different stitches (it made me realise some of my mistakes over the years!).
Progress after day 1...it doesn't seem like much, but this was 4 1/2-5 hours of work
At the end of day 2...embroidery completed, and tacking stitches in place to commence drawn thread work
And the final product...