I first became interested in studying at the Royal School of Needlework in 2010, just before I retired, having found a leaflet at Hampton Court Palace. I learned to embroider as a child with transfers that came in the Woman’s Weekly magazine and still have a tablecloth for which I won a prize when I was at Junior School. I had also stitched kits in counted cross stitch and Canvaswork before studying at the RSN. I began the Certificate course in 2013 after I had retired and my husband had passed away. I managed to complete the Certificate in one year attending twice per week and sewing to the exclusion of all else. I think it helped me to fill a large void.

When I had finished the Certificate, I was totally hooked and wanted to continue. I wanted to learn more techniques and be more creative as the Diploma permitted. When I look back and review my work now, I can see that I had a lot to learn. One of the things I have enjoyed most is using my botanical painting pieces as inspiration.

During the Diploma, I especially enjoyed Appliqué, Stumpwork and, for something completely different, Box Making. I also enjoyed developing my Goldwork piece using different colours, stitches and including leather.

After the Diploma, time was just no longer available to travel to Hampton Court and to complete the work. However, I have learnt a lot from many expert embroiderers, and apply these standards to my work now. I continue to plan my own projects and am currently working on a piece inspired by RHS Garden Rosemoor which is a public display garden run by the Royal Horticultural Society in north Devon, England.

I am now quite excited by the growth of RSN Online Classes which might permit me to study some more!