I joined the RSN Certificate course at Hampton Court Palace in October 2015.  I’m fortunate enough to live locally and had often ventured into the RSN Shop within the Palace grounds to browse the wonderful collection of books, kits and embroidery equipment.  It was on one of these visits that I found out about the C&D course.  It’s flexible nature is perfect for me.  I can study at my own pace and fit stitching around family life and work commitments. Plus, the location is incredible!

Of the four techniques covered in the Certificate, Blackwork is my favourite. I like the structure it provides. The placement and scale of the stitches is limited by the weave of the fabric, unlike other techniques within the Certificate course where needle placement is entirely down to you.  I believe this limitation allowed me to focus more on the shape and shading of my piece.  I’m really happy with the final work – a grumpy goldfish.

The Goldwork piece is my own design – an abstract apple tree.  This was my final piece, by which point I understood the design and preparation process better and took a great deal of time working up different ideas to fit the brief.  Overall, I found the design aspect of the course as enjoyable as the actual stitching which was an unexpected bonus for me.