The Royal School of Needlework began offering online Certificate and Diploma courses from October 2021. I started taking the course from January 2022 while I am living in Dublin. At first, I was a bit anxious about how well they would be able to teach embroidery online instead of in person, but it turned out to be a great learning environment for me. My tutor, Jen Goodwin, uses several digital tools, making great use of WhatsApp both inside and outside the classes to tell us the way to stitch each technique. We exchange many photos with each other throughout the course and my questions and queries were always clearly resolved. I also do not have to stress about travelling to the school. I will share my work on each module with a simple explanation, based on my experience, for anybody who is considering taking the course at the RSN. The certificate course, which I have been taking since last year, has 4 modules, each module having 8 lessons. To receive the certificate, all four modules have to be over the passing mark. After the certificate, the Diploma and Advanced Diploma courses are offered to reach a higher level of technique. One module in our online course takes about half a year, so it takes four or five years to complete the Advanced Diploma. The biggest advantage of this online course is that you can organise your own time for learning hand embroidery even if work or family life is busy. You don’t even need to live in the UK. The only requirement is to join a six-hour course once every fortnight or so. There isn’t an entrance exam for the Certificate and Diploma courses. On the other hand, we need to complete a lot of homework outside the class, which can be difficult to make time for. For this reason, RSN gives us plenty of time for finishing each module: about five years. Our tutor supports us in making our own design for each module. Everybody’s design is unique, but we do not compare ourselves against each other. It is a precious time you spend as an individual with your own embroidery, at your own pace and with joy. Especially at first, it doesn’t matter if you are good at it or not, but the most important thing is the love for the embroidery and patience. My tutor Jen often tells us that the technique will click with us naturally, as long as we keep stitching. I completely agree.

1st Module - Jacobean and Cruelwork
2nd Module - Canvas Work
3rd Module - Gold Work

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