We are excited to launch the global ‘RSN Postcard from Home’ hand embroidery challenge! The challenge is open to everyone from around the world, regardless of their technical level of stitch, with the aim of making us all feel connected through our universal love of hand embroidery.
Join in the challenge — tag your Postcard images with #RSNPostcardFromHome on Instagram, Facebook and other social sites!
Laura-Jane, from Camborne, Cornwall:
Designer and Embroiderer
“As a Textile Designer with a love for embroidery I have been stitching from a young age, taught by my mum where we would stitch together side by side. Graduating from Falmouth University in Textile Design, I am lucky that, as part of my job in collaborating with artists as an embroiderer, I get opportunities to work with diverse techniques. I also create designs for my own practice and am usually never found without a needle in my hand!
My Grandpa had just passed away from Coronavirus when I saw the ‘RSN Postcard from Home’ challenge in the weekly eNews and I knew straight away that I wanted to create something in his memory. Something to commemorate and symbolise saying goodbye.
Home is Cornwall and I wanted to re-create one of our favourite views of Botallack Mine, a group of mine stacks right on the cliffs. I wanted to take some time and take the opportunity of lockdown and decided to challenge myself to learn Blackwork, a new embroidery technique to me. Armed with the Blackwork RSN Essential Stitch Guide I set about creating my design, trying to choose patterns that would complement and represent the organic textures of the rugged Cornish landscape and sea.
I very much enjoyed this technique, its beautiful detailed simplicity giving me the chance to not only learn something new, but to dedicate it with an Appliqué balloon to my Grandpa and to all those who have suffered loss in these strange times.”
Rodney, 70, from Spalding, Lincolnshire:
Retired, married, 4 kids, 6 grandkids and enjoying life!
“I decided to stitch the RSN Postcard from Home after seeing the challenge on the RSN website. It’s just a small project that gives me the chance to mess about with stitches and a bit of design work. I had already done one last year for an Embroiderers Guild challenge and really enjoyed doing that so I did this one.
I’ve been cross stitching for about 30 years. I started when my wife gave me a small one to do on holiday in Scotland and it expanded from there. I was in the Merchant Navy for 31 years and I used to take a project to sea with me as it helped pass the time. I had a spell when I didn’t do much but have found a new lease of stitching life despite struggling with eye sight a bit. I have probably completed/started about 50+ quite large projects and numerous smaller ones, sometimes finished stuff that my wife has started.
Over the last 2-3 years, I have expanded into other stitching projects of embroidery and Kantha. I have done the Silk Shading ‘Robin’ kit by Masako Newton, which I bought from the RSN Shop. That was quite challenging! As an engineer I have a go at anything so I’m not sure what you would class as crafting but I enjoy decorating, cooking, gardening, woodworking. I swim 2/3 times a week and still compete in Masters events at 70. I run and walk. Enjoy National Trust visits. My wife Mary is very crafty too, knitting, crochet, stitching, jigsaws.
I am currently working on a Kantha project, it is my own design of a hot air balloon and I’ve just finished a family tree scroll in cross stitch, also of my own design. I do tend to work on my own designs lately and I’m also quite good at adapting designs and changing them around a bit.
I have done an RSN Day Class with Becky Quine (a fabulous Tutor). It was amazing! I won the Class in your competition at The Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace, London. I had hoped to attend a Framing exhibition this year, as I need to frame my Robin!”
You can see more images of Rodney’s postcards in our Postcard Gallery.
Stephanie from Essex:
“I created this in the first weeks of lockdown. Thankfully I had some embroidery thread in my supplies and for the support I used the lining of an old curtain.
I had been reading a well-known author’s latest book set in the court of Henry VIII. The ladies of the court were often portrayed as working on embroidery. Times were uncertain then (as they are now), and it occurred to me that for hundreds of years women have sought solace from the peaceful absorption of creating pictures (often with meaningful symbols) in embroidery. My mind turned to Hampton Court and your long history of embroidery. I visited your website and I was inspired to take on this small project partly as it seemed a manageable size.
Regarding the design, I have been spending my time at home switching between keeping up with my office work (WFH) and also doing puzzles and crosswords to pass the spare time. These activities at times, appeared to become interwoven with no clear definition between work and home as all were undertaken in the same location. My mind is often ‘puzzling’ over the situation we find ourselves in and wondering how it will all play out – hence the missing pieces.
I drew in pencil around a section of puzzle onto the background cloth and sewed over the outline in the black thread, then added the letters in Chain Stitch. The decorations on the puzzle pieces are in Satin Stitch and Trellis Stitch and symbolise office spreadsheets crosswords. The colours of red (warm) for home and blue (cool) for business felt appropriate.
Although the result is far from technically perfect, I found the process of creating very therapeutic.”
Janine from Bristol
An RSN Diploma in Technical Hand Embroidery student in RSN Bristol:
“My ‘RSN Postcard from Home’ is of Bristol. I came here to university in 1976 and have stayed ever since so it’s really my city more than London, where I was born.
The Postcard features Concorde, the Matthew, and the suspension bridge with a balloon in the foreground to represent the annual Bristol International Balloon Fiesta at the beginning of August. The rainbow border is both for our diverse city and for our current difficulties.
I had got to a certain point of my RSN Diploma Blackwork as I could without tuition so the idea of the Postcard came just at the right time! This is a brilliant idea and I’ve had great fun doing it! I can only thank the RSN Tutors, mainly Deborah Wilding, for giving me the confidence to even have a go!”