17 November 2016

The Mellerstain Firescreen

Way back in 2012 before I started my weekly embroidery classes, I attended a beginner's day class in crewelwork at the RSN (Royal School of Needlework). We had to go down to the shop to pay for our class kit at lunchtime, and of course I had to buy a few things!

I picked up the incredible Mellerstain Crewelwork kit by Philippa Turnbull of The Crewelwork Company as I knew it would make a perfect firescreen for our open fire in the sitting room. I got home, took one look at the size of it and put it all back in the bag! One beginner's class and I thought I could stitch something this big!

Fast forward to Sept 2014 and after a few months of classes, one Tipsy Thistle Bag

 and one Robin Cushion later...
 I was finally ready to start. The kit is amazing! Detailed instructions...

 Loads of lovely Appleton's Crewel wool and the design screen printed onto good quality twill

 With Sophie's help I framed up my design and made a start...

 I then came to a complete stop for more than 2 years - I had to move my frame as we were rearranging the room and I no longer had the space for a large frame to be set up permanently.

I have thought about picking it up again several times, but it seemed too much hassle, until I read Mary Corbet's post about this project, in it she describes how Philippa recommends a hoop seat frame. I have one of those and I love it! so today I got my firescreen back out of the box it's been languishing in.
I am really enjoying working on this again

 I love how easy it is to blend the colours when silk shading with wool

I spent about an hour and a half working on it this afternoon
On the plus side, I know I will continue working on this and will finish it using my hoop, it just makes stitching so much easier. I take the hoop off after each session, my hoop is bound with bias tape and I don't seem to damage the parts I have already stitched. The only negative that I can see is that I may get some wrinkles and distortion. Philippa recommends a good wet blocking at the end of the project so I think I will just have to go with that.

The kit is still available from the RSN HERE  however I am shocked that the price is now £140, I know I paid £98 as the price is still on it, Hmmmm


  1. I think your stitching is so pretty you do it really well

  2. I too am stitching melellerstain! Mine is the parrots cushion though. Leaving the birds till last!

  3. Beautiful! Don't give up; I finally finished a birth announcement begun in 1971 for my second daughter when her daughter was born in 2013! You will probably beat that, right?

  4. Perseverance is the thing. It's a big project, but all that means is you have more fun stitching it...!

  5. What a beautiful piece. It's amazing how our enthusiasm overtakes common sense, isn't it?!

  6. Wow, what a gorgeous piece this is! I do hope you continue to work on it as I can't wait to see it develop. it's amazing! I loved seeing your past work again too, so nice to see everything again! You are a talented embroiderer!

  7. I covet that screen! i want it. Your embroidery is just lovely. As I look at this firescreen, I imagine how it would be as an applique. Hmmmmm

  8. Elaine so glad to see you back working on this stunning project, your needle skills are such a joy to see and learn from. many thanks for so many detailed photos its great to see how you work. Cheers Glenda