Phillipa Turnbull – Amazing!

My head is going to explode! I am full-to-overflowing with new information, skills and techniques! It was an Excellent Day!

The pillow that Phillipa is holding is the project that we worked on throughout the day. Look at how beautiful it is! All of the projects that The Crewel Work Company produce include their exclusive Scottish grown, specially woven linen twill printed with the design and stitch directions, two of their own made to order crewel needles, all the beautiful Appleton wool you will need and the most comprehensive, detailed instructions I have ever seen. These are NOT simple little kits…they are home study courses in crewel work.

We gathered at 9:30 in beautiful Burford for our day of crewel work. For those of you not from the UK, Burford is a small (1500 – 1800 people) village in Oxfordshire in an area known as the Cotswolds. I wanted to find a house today, settle down and never leave!

Phillipa is not only a master of her art, she is an excellent teacher. Her ability to both explain and demonstrate is outstanding. She knows how to  encourage and gently correct the work of her students and gives each one guidance and confidence in equal measure.

At points in the day I was unsure what to focus on – improving my stitching technique or watching her skill as a teacher. Many of us can embroider: far fewer are good teachers as well. It was clear that she cares very much about the progress of each student. Her goal is for us to go home confident that we can finish the project and be proud of what we’ve accomplished.

Phillipa provided group instruction as well as individual help when we needed it. She began the day by asking us what we wanted to get out of the day and then proceeded to ensure that each of us got what we wanted – no easy task!

One of THE high points of the day for me was that I got to meet Linda, a member of The Unbroken thread community. She’d let me know she would be there and it was so good to meet up. We both had a great time and agreed it had been a pretty special day.

So, after my very first needlework class ever, how do I feel? Tired from concentrating all day, confident that my stitching will continue to improve and THRILLED that I had this amazing opportunity! Now, back to work…

12 thoughts on “Phillipa Turnbull – Amazing!

  1. I sooooooo want to do one of Phillipa Turnbull’s courses…I have her DVD and the Anchor book:-)
    Thank you for sharing yours.
    I have been practising a bit on other kits so that I can at least be of an adequate standard before I buy one of her kits.
    Not sure if I can hold myself back any longer now!!
    Take care,

  2. Hi Kathy!
    How did you like the lapstand? Was it as nice as I think it is? I have one and can not live without it!
    Will you post some pictures of your progress? I’m very curious!
    Gwen Kok, Dordrecht, the Netherlands.

    • Hi Gwen,
      I used the lap stand and I loved it. I bought one in fact with two different sized hoops! Although I use my System 4 stand and Evertite frames at home, when I travel they are quite large to carry (but I do have them on this trip since we came by car – am I nuts?!?) so the lap stand is a great alternative. I’m trying it out today as we travel over to Yorkshire before we go on to Durham for my lesson with Tracy Franklin. And, yes, I WILL show you my progress on both the piece we started yesterday and the new kit I bought from Phillipa. That’s how impressed I was with her kits – they aren’t inexpensive but they are such great learning tools AND beautiful too!

  3. So great to have your description of Philippa’s teaching methods and the whole class experience. I loved the way you described Burford (with a photo!), too. Okay, that’s it. Now I’m determined to sign up for a class with Philippa either this year or next! Thank you, Kathy, for including us “in” on your wonderful trip.

  4. Hi Kathy

    Just to say how very nice it was to meet you yesterday. Like you I thoroughly enjoyed the workshop – but unlike you I flopped when I got home and did not do any more stitching!!

    I hope you have a wonderful time for the rest of your stay in the UK – am very much looking forward to your blog on Tracy Franklin!!

    Best wishes and happy stitching.

    Take care


  5. Kathy, you’re one lucky ducky!!!

    Thanks for the URLs — which I visit and enjoy very much.

    It’s mind-boggling that there is so much out there and never enough time to experience everything.

    Love and hugs and
    Gentle as you go,

  6. Hi Kathy,
    How do you like sewing with Appleton wool – especially with the heavy twill in Phillipa’s kits? I don’t mind the weight of the fabric but I have trouble with the thread breaking and fraying. Did Phillipa say anything about her choice of Appleton threads?
    More likely, I’m not doing something right – but I don’t seem to have this problem with other wool threads? I’d love to know if you experience this problem as you work on your kit!
    Safe travels,

  7. Thank you for the information on Phillipa. I too am jealous for I wish I could be a mouse in your pocket! I can’t wait to see the rest of your stitching experiences via email.

  8. Hi Kathy and Linda,

    How lovely to meet you both at Phillipa ‘s workshop. What a treat it was to dedicate a whole day to crewel embroidery and to spend time with all the ladies who love and share our passion. It was a great help with my stitching technique and I felt it was a very productive and informative workshop. At the end of the day I felt very content.


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