Elizabethan Acorn

Timezone 1 (9am-3pm UK time): 12-13 May 2023

Timezone 2 (4pm-10pm UK time): 15-16 May 2023

This crewel work design is a perfect introduction to historic embroidery stitches and techniques. The Elizabethan Acorn recreates an early English design from the 16th Century bed at Hardwick Hall, England, home of the formidable Countess of Shrewsbury, known as Bess of Hardwick, in the late 1500s.

During the class, students will learn classic Crewel Work techniques such as Long & Short Stitch, French Knots and Crewel Stem Stitch. Students will progress quickly and by the end of day two they should be well on their way to completing the design.

Practical information

Length: 2 day
Level: Beginner/Intermediate

Class fee (including kit): £160

Kit Includes: Pure linen twill, wools, Needles, stitch instructions, stitch chart and ‘The Essential Guide to Crewel Work’ booklet

Design size: 11 x 13cm (4 1/2 x 5 in)

Fabric size: 30 x 30cm (12 x 12 in)

Equipment required:
8 inch ring frame with barrel clamp or paddle, embroidery scissors

Techniques: Satin, Laid & Couched Work, Long and Short as ‘soft shading’, Crewel Stem, French Knots

Glamis Dog

Timezone 2 (4pm-10pm UK time): 9 May 2023

Perfect for absolute beginner/completely terrified, this 1-day crewel work class creates the Glamis Dog using French Knots in four different ways.

Master the art of this wonderful stitch as you embroider a charming Spaniel replicated from the set of 1684 bed hangings embroidered by the third Countess of Strathmore, an ancestor of the British royal family. The bed hangings are still in situ in Glamis Castle, Scotland.

Practical information

Length: 1 day
Level: All levels

Class fee (including kit): £95

Kit Includes: Pure Linen twill printed with design outline, Appletons embroidery wool, beads, needles, full-size stitch chart, gift box

Techniques: French Knots

Equipment required:
6 inch ring frame with barrel clamp or paddle, embroidery scissors

Design size: 6.5 x 7.5 cm (2 1/2 x 3 in)

Fabric size: 25 x 25 cm (10 x 10 in)

Phillipa’s mission is for everyone to enjoy historic crewel work. She enables others to enjoy with confidence

Phillipa Turnbull​

Phillipa Turnbull

United Kingdom

As well as being co-host and organiser for this event, Phillipa Turnbull is also an experienced embroidery designer, tutor and lecturer and has been teaching Crewel work for nearly 30 years. She runs The Crewel Work Company and produces fine embroidery kits and hosts retreats. Her designs are based on original crewel work she finds in museums, British castles and country houses which she has spent her career researching.

Visit the Crewel Work Company

Phillipa's Past Festival Workshops

Burghley House Bedhead

Now available as a kit and online course

This design features classic crewel work stitches and techniques of the mid 18th Century, when the original embroideries were created.

Burghley House was built for Sir William Cecil, later 1st Baron Burghley, who was Lord High Treasurer to Queen Elizabeth I of England, between 1555 and 1587, and modelled on the privy lodgings of Richmond Palace. Since 1961, it has been owned by a charitable trust established by the family, who have given Phillipa permission to use this design for our workshop.

Jacobean Peacock

Now available as a kit and online course

The ‘Jacobean Peacock’, created from a design in Phillipa’s own collection, embraces 14 rich colours, 12 interesting
stitches plus 6 variations of ‘quick and easy’ laid and couched work.

Perfect your Long & Short ‘soft shading’, enjoy Coral Stitch and learn where to use crewel stitches on your own designs.

Elizabethan Scrolls

Now available as a kit

This design is based on an original antique petticoat edge from Phillipa’s antique crewel work collection. The design was originally used as popular pattern for silk embroidered Elizabethan coifs, but 100 years later was used in this larger scale for the design for this late 17th Century crewel work. 

Using the original design as a template, Phillipa uses a wide range of crewel work stitches, colours and techniques. The scale of this design is much larger than the scale of the Elizabethan stitched coifs, and therefore an ideal introduction to Elizabethan designs.

American Rose

Now available as a kit

American Rose is a replica of the rose featured on an 18th Century American petticoat panel in Phillipa’s antique needlework collection. These petticoat panels were stitched to the front of a skirt. It is not signed, but uses the same stitches, techniques and direction of stitch as an embroidered bed cover dated and signed ‘Mary Breed aged 19, 1770’ now in the Metropolitan Museum.

Course outline:
Day 1: Fine wools, technique, creating the sepals and stems, Long & Short Buttonhole with ‘soft shading’, Long-Armed Cross Stitch and Crewel Stem.
Day 2: Romanian Stitched petals with Bull Knotted centres, Romanian Couching creates the base layer of the hill, then strawberries in Long and Short Buttonhole, Seeding with Feather stitched leaves.

Muncaster Oranges

Now available as a kit

This beautiful design is taken from a bed cover which, to this day, is still in its original place on a Jacobean four-poster bed in Muncaster Castle, in the English Lake District. It is early 18th Century, from the reign of Queen Anne, and features spot motifs typical of this era.

The stitches are classic British crewel embroidery, worked to a sophisticated and professional standard, combining advanced ‘Long and Short’ soft shading stitches worked with movement and subtle shading in rich colours.