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Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Come, Travel with Me!

 

You’ve probably noticed that there’s a magnificent trend going on right now in needlework-related travel. I love it!

I love the fact that embroiderers are getting out and about to workshops, tours, and retreats in exotic places, from the Highland castles of Scotland to shipboard tropical cruises, where they can interact with other embroidery enthusiasts, learn about embroidery, and explore local needlework, all while enjoying the little luxuries and fineries afforded by the vacation.

What a way to take a holiday!

The fact is, though, I don’t travel a lot right now. For the majority of us, the time might not be quite right for our dream vacation. Work, family obligations, financial restraints and the like keep us dreaming. Some day! Some day!

But this doesn’t mean I’m not intensely curious about how these grand experiences play out! I love it when folks on the workshop or traveling end of the experience send me photos and emails. It’s a great way to vicariously take part!

Today, I’d like to share with you some photos from a current needlework retreat in the Lakes District in England. The retreat is going on right now, and it looks lovely!

So, let’s escape together for a little bit, shall we?

Arts & Crafts needlework retreat in the Lake District of England, with the Crewel Work Company

The Crewel Work Company’s current retreat is taking place in the Lake District in England, where the participants are studying design and techniques from the Arts & Crafts movement, while nestled in a gorgeous setting among the lakes and hills of northwest England.

Arts & Crafts needlework retreat in the Lake District of England, with the Crewel Work Company

Oh, the view! What an idyllic spot for a needlework retreat!

Arts & Crafts needlework retreat in the Lake District of England, with the Crewel Work Company

Unlike some of the other Crewel Work company retreats and tours, this one is a bit more stationary.

While staying in one central location, where the attendees are enjoying some 30 hours of needlework instruction, there are short trips out to visit historical Arts & Crafts houses in the surrounding area, where they get to view private embroidery collections.

Arts & Crafts needlework retreat in the Lake District of England, with the Crewel Work Company

The retreat participants get to see fantastic specimens of needlework!

Arts & Crafts needlework retreat in the Lake District of England, with the Crewel Work Company

These are textiles you’d never really be able to see otherwise, and the participants get to see them close up and personal, where they can really notice the details…

Arts & Crafts needlework retreat in the Lake District of England, with the Crewel Work Company

…like this adorable little spotted animal with its pink nose, leaping off a vine. Is it an ermine? Is it a dog? I don’t know – I wasn’t there for the explanation, but either way, it’s pretty cute!

Arts & Crafts needlework retreat in the Lake District of England, with the Crewel Work Company

And red! Fantastic red! Adam & Eve in the Garden of Eden, surrounded by fantastic flora and fauna, all in red! And look at all that teeny tiny stippling with seed stitches.

Arts & Crafts needlework retreat in the Lake District of England, with the Crewel Work Company

And of course, the retreat wouldn’t be complete without classes. This particular tour has three world-class tutors: Jenny Adin-Christie, seen above…

Arts & Crafts needlework retreat in the Lake District of England, with the Crewel Work Company

…Nicola Jarvis…

Arts & Crafts needlework retreat in the Lake District of England, with the Crewel Work Company

…and Phillipa Turnbull.

All three classes go on at the same time, during the times allotted for classes, with the participants in very small groups for concentrated tutoring. The classes rotate through the tutors from day to day.

Each participant receives a complete kit, with thorough instructions and every kind of needful thing to finish the project, and during the classes, all the techniques used for each project are taught.

Arts & Crafts needlework retreat in the Lake District of England, with the Crewel Work Company

For most of the projects, it’s unlikely anyone will finish during the retreat, but they’re all armed with good instruction and everything they need to finish the project at home.

Arts & Crafts needlework retreat in the Lake District of England, with the Crewel Work Company

But you know, after a week like this…

Who would want to go home?!

So that’s what’s going on this week over in England, with the Crewel Work Company’s current retreat.

They have some particularly enticing tours coming up next year, too, with a Scottish Highlands tour and another Lady Anne’s Retreat.

I’ll admit, my curiosity is piqued by the Four Nations retreat in 2017. The details aren’t announced yet, but I’m guessing it’ll be a whopper.

Maybe it is time for that dream vacation, after all…

If you’ve been on, or are going on, a needlework-related tour or retreat and would like to share your experiences – to be a correspondent in the field, and spread the joy – I’d love to hear from you! Feel free to drop me a line!

 
 

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(13) Comments

  1. Dear Mary

    These retreats look absolutely stunning, imagine being taught by these wonderful tutors and visiting those beautiful historical places and the scenery and being told the history behind them and exploring those lovely pieces of embroidery and dining in those lovely historical rooms how wonderful, “dream”, if only I could afford to go “sigh”. The Four Nations tour in 2017 sounds wonderful. Thanks Mary for sharing these delightful links to these wonderful embroidery retreats and for taking through the adventures of the embroidery retreats.

    Regards Anita Simmance

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  2. A retreat like that is definitely on my bucket list. In the meantime I will just have to content myself with such lovely pictures and stories from those lucky enough to be able to go 🙂

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  3. Oh, how lovely. I would certainly not want to go home! All that embroidery, plus it’s so GREEN and pretty! (Why yes, I do live in drought-stricken California. Everything is brown.) To go to the Lake District and be able to do all that…that would be a dream come true.

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  4. Thank you Mary, this wonderful part of England was of course home to Beatrix Potter. How exquisite the work looks.

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  5. It does look glorious! Thank you for sharing the photos. I am lucky enough to be taught by Nicola on the RSN Certificate Course at Rugby and she is an amazing tutor.

    I am also very fortunate to be going on a workshop organised by the North Kent Embroiderers Guild in November which will be taught by Jenny Adin Christie – I have heard many superlatives about her teaching too.

    I am sure that everyone there this week is having a simply fantastic time.

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  6. Merci pour ce reportage très interessant; c’est sur, un stage de cette qualité donne envie de ressortir les aiguilles laissées de côté pendant les vacance! Amicalement

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  7. Oh such beautiful pictures! They definitely do make you want to take a retreat there. Thanks for sharing such a lovely idea.

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  8. While all this travel sounds exciting, there is retreat planned for next month aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach California September 21-27 2015. There are different kinds of workshops, classes, and even lectures. I found it on the website foreverembroiderystudio.com. California is not as far away as England, and no custom agents.

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  9. My Mum got back to NZ yesterday after a 25 night tour from here to Scandinavia, included a few days in Russia too. She does a tour like this every second year… I’m looking forward to my first one – who knows when that might be though!
    Keeping an eye on the Embroidery cruises offered from Australia, I think that would be a great start.

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  10. Stitching in the Lakes Region does look like a lovely time, but so does the Queen Mary. I, however, will take a one day cutwork class in Albuquerque with Marian Scoular (an RSN graduate from way long ago) over Labor Day weekend. You take what you can get! I’m also going to the SAGA mini convention in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, in October, taking two embroidery classes. Not much in the way of idyllic retreats, but fun nonetheless.

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  11. Along those lines, Tia Stephanie Tours (www.tiastephanietours.com) offers wonderful, small group textile tours. I had the great fortune to be a part of the Mexican Rebozo tour last September. We met the weavers, fringe makers, and embroiderers at their homes/studios. Fabulous experience!

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  12. Laura Jenkins Thompson offers a top notch experience at SAGA conventions (smocking.org) and at Stitchin’ Charleston Style. Very patient and extraordinarily talented. Very happy that SAGA started me on a wonderful journey.

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  13. I am currently thinking about booking a stitching holiday in the Alps next year with tuition from Nicola Jarvis. It sounds so amazing…

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