Royal School of Needlework

Hello, Mr X Stitch here. I thought I’d tell you about my recent Xploits. It is a life less ordinary.

Two weeks ago today the Spring Knitting & Stitching Show started at Olympia in London. Organised by Upper Street Events, it is a great show for fans of needlecraft with a wealth of stalls selling all the materials you might need to get your stitch on.

New cross stitch learners at the Inspiration Station

It was my fifth year with a space there, and the second year that I was hosting an Inspiration Station with close support from the Royal School of Needlework and the Young Embroiderers Guild.

Young Embroiderers' work in the Mr X Stitch Inspiration Station at the 2015 Spring Knitting & Stitching Show

We had a great selection of competition entries for this year’s Young Embroiderers De Denne competition – the theme was All That Glistens Is Not Gold and we had a range of ideas. One of my personal favourites was Laura Clough’s “Dew in the Morning”:

Dew in the Morning by Laura Clough

As well as these fantastic Young Embroiderer pieces we also had the World’s Longest Embroidery draped all over the stand and people were invited to add a motif to it.

Stitching on the World's Longest Embroidery


We had the amazing goldwork of Charlotte “Hanging By A Thread” Bailey which was arguably the finest embroidery in the building. It was Charlotte’s first proper exhibition and great to see her receiving the praise she deserves from needlework fans of all ages.

Charlotte Bailey explains her goldwork to a rapt audience at the Spring Knitting & Stitching Show

All in all, it was a great show. We spent four days chatting with people, teaching cross stitch to children and adults from all walks of life. We met some interesting amateur stitchers, including the super-fast Powerjen, and also spent a lot of time promoting lovely cross stitch designers like Bobo Stitch and Hannah Bass.

RSN Degree Students Teaching Cross Stitch in the Mr X Stitch Inspiration Station at the 2015 Spring Knitting & Stitching Show

The show had the usual mix of stitchy sellers and knitting names, and I enjoyed catching up with Jane Greenoff, Sue and Heather from the Knitting Hut, the guys from Black Sheep, and the mighty Toft Alpaca Farm, whose Crochet Jungle was a magnificent installation.

Toft Alpaca's Crochet Jungle at the 2015 Spring Knitting & Stitching Show


The Show was over before it began and the four days flew by, but everyone involved had a great time and we managed to create a whole new bunch of needlecraft ninjas as well. Thanks to everyone who helped out – we’ll see you at the next event!

Young Embroiderers In Action

Were you there? What was the show like for you?


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It's a newsflash! Embroidery And Textile Art News From Mr X Stitch

If you’re looking for somewhere to buy high quality stitchery supplies (and you’ve been to the Spring Knitting & Stitching Show) then head over to Hampton Court and check out the Royal School of Needlework Grand Sale!

Royal School of NeedleworkRSN Grand Sale

Friday 6 – Saturday 7 March 2015
10am – 4pm
Admission £3, includes entry to our Grand Draw

Join us for our ‘not to be missed’ Grand Sale and buy haberdashery, fabrics, embroidery frames, books, trimmings, canvases, one-off collectables, vintage curios, accessories and more. All the money raised will help our work in keeping the art of hand embroidery alive.

Royal School of Needlework Haberdashery

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Spring Knitting & Stitching Show

Oh yes, it’s nearly time for the Spring Knitting & Stitching Show and I’m getting ready to host another Inspiration Station for everyone! Featuring work from the De Denne competition by Young Embroiderers from across the UK, some terrific work from the uber-talented Charlotte “Hanging by a Thread” Bailey and the mighty Lord Libidan, and some great examples of embroidery courtesy of the Royal School of Needlework, there will be free cross stitch for you to try and it’s bound to be a great place to be!

It's the Mr X Stitch Inspiration Station at the Spring Knitting & Stitching Show

We’ll be at Stand F50 so be sure to come and say hi! I’ll have some free calendars to give to people who ask for them, so if you’re paying attention that’ll be a nice freebie that’s still useful for ten months!

Hopefully you can make it to the show – it’s a great day out and filled with interesting stitchy stuff to look at. But don’t just take my word for it – here’s what the organisers have to say!

Dust off your sewing box and join us at the craft show of the year! The Spring Knitting & Stitching Show, Olympia, London. 5-8 March 2015

Spring is the perfect time to start some new craft projects and The Spring Knitting & Stitching Show offers everything you need to get started. Held at Olympia London, from 5th – 8th March 2015 the show offers the best craft products, workshops and inspiration all under one roof.

Shop from over 200 exhibitors offering fabric, yarn, patterns, threads, haberdashery and sewing machines. Treat yourself to some expert tuition in one of The Learning Curve Workshops which offer an extensive selection of practical classes covering knitting, crochet, patchwork and quilting and everything in between.

For those who want to make their own clothes we also offer The Dressmaking Studio* with a series of workshops dedicated to buttonholes, hems, seam finishing, zip insertion, dart, pleats, understanding patterns and everything else relating to dressmaking!

It's the Mr X Stitch Inspiration Station at the Spring Knitting & Stitching Show

If you’re seeking ideas for interior projects, come along to The K&S Homestyle Theatre in association with Janome where we offer free sessions from sewing experts such as Lauren Guthrie from the BBC’s Great British Sewing Bee, on all kinds of home furnishing ideas.

We also have some sensational features this year including Riviera Style Resort & Swimwear from the Fashion & Textile Museum; The Crochet Jungle brought to you by TOFT, plus an entirely Knitted Farm.

For a full list of features and workshops and to book tickets, please visit or call 0844 848 0159

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It's a newsflash! Embroidery And Textile Art News From Mr X Stitch

Royal School of Needlework gains Quality Assurance Agency approval

The Royal School of Needlework (RSN) Degree programme, the only degree of its kind in Europe, has been awarded the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) recognition for its BA (Hons) Hand Embroidery for Fashion, Interiors, Textile Art which is validated by the University for the Creative Arts.

This recognition of the RSN’s higher education provision now opens up the RSN degree course to applications from international students.

RSN_Nov 2013_1 - Copy

Also this year the RSN achieved re-accreditation of its Certificate and Diploma in technical hand embroidery from the British Accreditation Council, which, like the degree course, are unique courses not available elsewhere. Together these achievements reinforce the RSN’s position as the world-renowned international centre for excellence in hand embroidery.

Dr Susan Kay-Williams, Chief Executive of the RSN says ‘achieving the QAA recognition has required a great deal of work for a small organisation. We have had to go through as many hoops as much larger institutions with far fewer people to do the work, so we are very pleased and relieved to have achieved accreditation and to have been recognised with four areas of good practice. ‘

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The RSN was commended for the quality of student learning opportunities and QAA recognised good practice in the extensive involvement of employers and students in course design, the comprehensive, effective and rigorous admissions processes, the use of bursaries to encourage and support student learning and the effective system in place to engage and respond to the student voice.

The BA (Hons) Hand Embroidery for Fashion, Interiors, Textile Art course is delivered at the RSN at Hampton Court Palace and offers a unique learning experience for students including access to unparalleled industry contacts and work placements. The ratio of staff to students is significantly above the national average allowing for individual guidance in the students’ study plan and progress.

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Course Leader, Angie Wyman says ‘We are delighted to receive the recognition from the QAA, an endorsement of the quality of the educational experience that we offer from our Higher education programmes’.

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Mr X