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Alison Cole to Join All England Tour!

In 2018 we will be embarking on our next big adventure - The All England Needlework Tour, Part I. This Retreat will be the first in a new three part series exploring needlework in some of the most beautiful parts of England.

We are delighted to announce that your project will be taught by the renowned embroiderer Alison Cole. Alison is well-known for her inspiring teaching style and is a jewel in the crown of the Australian embroidery world. The subject of her project will be this beautifully preserved 17th century embroidered Gentleman's Nightcap. You will use conservation standard silks and metal threads to apply the same techniques and colours as featured on the original.

The Nightcap, which was created circa 1600-1625, is embroidered on to a base fabric of cream linen using coloured silks in a variety of stitches, including a variation of Detached Buttonhole, as well as silver and silver-gilt metal thread in a variation of Braid Stitch. This typical 'Elizabethan' design includes the rose, borage, pansy and strawberry, all enclosed within a coiling stem. We have been given exclusive permission to replicate this design on the Gentleman's Cap by the Shakespeare Museum Trust in Stratford, a great privilege given the rarity of this historic piece.

We will mostly follow our usual well-received routine of castle and museum visits in the mornings, embroidery tuition in the afternoons and a cocktail hour with a lecture in the evenings. We'll take you to both public and privately owned historic houses and castles, where you will be given the chance to explore their rarely-seen needlework collections. Your tuition will allow you to make the most of what you have seen and to put into practice the techniques, colours and designs that inspire you during our visits. During this tour we explore our own country's textile treasures in great depth with experts on hand to answer all your questions.

Our journey will start near Gatwick Airport (recommended airport) with a busy two days of tuition and lectures from Meredith Willett, Alison Cole and Phillipa Turnbull. We will then travel on to see, among other highlights, Salisbury, Stonehenge, Montacute House, Cornwall (where we stay in Bovey Castle), Trerice (pictured), and Bath (Roman Baths and The American Museum). In the historic market town of Stratford upon Avon we will be given a private tour of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Museum to see the original Nightcap and other Elizabethan embroidered artefacts. Workshops with Alison, Meredith and Phillipa will continue throughout the Tour and needlework will be the subject we return to every day as we travel through villages and countryside you thought only existed in films!

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