I passed!

I received my assessment from the Royal School of Needlework today and I am over the moon! It’s been a long, long time since I’ve earned a grade for anything and, although I know it’s the learning that counts, I was still interested to see what the professionals had to say about my stitching.

But first…drum roll please…

Pass with Merit!!!

From the RSN Certificate Assessment Information:

Students are measured up against the finest embroiderers in the world and the gradings are much higher than other comparable courses. It is a great achievement to gain a Pass on an RSN course and this is what our tutors are
aiming for you to accomplish. If you gain a Pass grade you can be assured that your work is
of the appropriate standard required by the RSN

Merit 80% to 89% – this level indicates that you have demonstrated relevant and accomplished application of basic technical and practical skills; highly effective application of fundamental professional skills and a strong ability to work independently.

I am so chuffed! Proud! Amazed! Thankful! Relieved!

Here are a few of the comments the assessors made about my work.

Concerning the paint lines being completely covered: “There are a few paint lines showing: i.e. the needle woven edge of the main flower. Otherwise good.”

I agree. See photo below. (Of course, I had to look at an enlarged photo on the computer screen to see it! But that’s why they’re the pro’s and I’m not – yet!)


“Good overall color balance. Very good use of shading throughout” (Yippee!) “Perhaps the piece would have benefited from the seeding in the two leaves to be in a gold color” Fair point. Might have pulled it together and added a spark of brighter color. I like it how it is, but it’s good input.

Variety of stitches: “An interesting variety of stitches, which work well in the design, you have included extra stitches such as tete de boeuf and pistal stitch. Well done”

Accuracy of stitches:”We can see an improvement in your points and the edges of your shapes as you have stitched your work. The edges are uneven in the central hillock.” Yep, they are. But if that’s the worst thing I did, I’m happy!

Where I lost the most points was on the mounting, specifically on the back. Attaching the fabric to the back of the mounted embroidery was really difficult for me. The curved needle was tricky to use and I did it at the very end of the last day. I admit, I worked quickly to get finished and at that point in the course I was not doing my best work. Fair dues.

So a pass with merit. Wow Zow! Who would have thought? Not me, that’s for sure! Next up at the RSN – goldwork. But that’s a ways off and there’s so much to do between then and now!






44 thoughts on “I passed!

  1. Brilliant Kathy, well done!

    I would love to be able to afford to go on the RSN cert and dip courses, but I fear I never shall. So, I’m so glad to be able to go with you! Looking forward to your next course, which is when? Next summer?

  2. Well done, i know by experience of their high standard of work.

    My friend did the blackwork course, and she received a Merit also, 88%, just doesn’t feel fair.


  3. Very excited for you – a wonderful result. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. Jillian in Australia.

  4. Happy dance and congratulations!!! Of course we knew you would get high praises (cuz we’ve seen your work!). I’m so pleased for you! “:D

  5. Very well done, indeed! I aspire to be where you are now some day! The colors of this piece are just gorgeous and the whole thing just makes me want to go home and stitch something. Keep those close-ups coming – I can’t get enough of seeing the detail!

  6. Woohoo! When I saw the title , I smiled and said “How great! I know Kathy must be so happy after all the effort she put in on this course.” Huge congratulations to you for the “With Merit” – icing on your cake!

  7. How could you not get a good rating!! You have golden hands in all your handwork, I so admire your talent.

  8. Well done! Your piece is beautiful. You’ve inspired me to pick up my crewel project again and sew (but secretly, I don’t want to finish it as I so enjoy working on it!).

  9. Well done! I’m not surprised at all that you passed with merit. You worked very hard getting ready for the class and did a great job. I hope to take an intensive class like that someday.

  10. What more can I say ? They have covered it all. I am constantly amazed at your talents, but why should I be, you have always set a high standard. As I told one of the Irish Chamber Players this last week, Kathy didn’t play oboe in high school because they already had enough oboes. So she learned to play cello, then she took up English horn, then harp, guitar, Chinese zither, of course recorder, piano, and Irish pipes. Besides all this she is a sweet wonderful daughter.I love you so much.

  11. Well done!! I can fully understand how you got that merit though, your stitching is exquisite. Can’t wait to see how you get on with the Goldwork course.

  12. A merit !! Yeh!!! Delighted for you – we knew you would.

    Congrats and thankyou for sharing your experience. Peg

  13. Congratulations. Well deserved, of course. I remember your post about the curved needle – wasn’t it the only thing you didn’t enjoy? Your work is beautiful – the closeup of the showing outline stitches left me drop-jawed with wonder over the perfection of the x’s.

  14. Congratulations Kathy! I agree with most of the assessment, but as for the hillocks, well I think the slight unevenness makes it look more ‘grassy’. Perhaps that’s why they’re the pros and I am not.

  15. Congratulations Kathy,

    You deserve it . I am a keen reader of your blog, and learned a lot from you. You are wonderful.

  16. Kathy,

    How exciting! I am so happy (and envious too – wish I was taking a course or several at RSN) for you!

    After your certificate, do you plan on going for the diploma? πŸ˜€

    It also sounds like they gave a very fair assessment of your work – I liked that. It shows they took the time to really evaluate and encourage at the same time with the remarks/comments. You are so lucky!

    Confetti throwing over here for you!
    Hugs and Love,

  17. Fantastic result Kathy. Congratulations. Wonderful to have such recognition from the best in the world.
    And I love your mother’s comment. Every proud mother in the world knows how she feels.
    Warmest regards, Suzy in Australia.

  18. Many congratulations on your Pass with Merit. It is well deserved and you are justified in feel both pleased and proud of your achievement.

    I really enjoyed your posts about the course and I am delighted, but not the least bit surprised, that you passed with flying colours.

  19. Kathy,

    What is the next course for you to take towards the certificate? Dying to know what is happening next. πŸ™‚

    Hugs and Love,

    • Hi Jennifer,
      Gold work is the next course I’ll be doing for the RSN Certificate. I’ll do two days of course work when we go over to the UK at Easter and the rest in the summer. At least, that’s the plan right now. I’m also launching a new format of the web site after the start of 2012 and they’ll be some new things there. Right now I’ve just finished a huge school Christmas Concert and we have visitors beginning tomorrow until after the New Year. I’m so excited!
      Liebe Grusse,

  20. Kathy,

    I can’t wait to see the new format of the website. I did wonder is the course expense including room and board?

    Will you have to come up with a pattern to do the gold work like you did the Jacobean panel?

    So happy and excited for you, and wishing you a joyous holiday and New Year! πŸ™‚

    Hugs and Love,

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