The Worshipful Company of Clothworkers – Kneeler Design Competition in association with the RSN

Early in 2017 a competition was set at the Royal School of Needlework for my year, to design a kneeler for The Worshipful Company of Clothworkers, a yearly event.  Each year the theme alters and this year was particularly fun, as it was Music and the Church, with reference to James Burton’s carol for St. Thomas’s Eve on the 21st December.

After a visit to St. Olave Hart Street Church near Fenchurch Station, London and a tour around the Clothworker’s Company Livery Hall and archives.  I decided on the design below.  Let me explain…

Cherubs in the church represent music, so a horn blowing cherub was necessary in order to denote music.  He is blowing out the first line of St. Thomas’s carol written by James Burton in Latin.  Within the carol three wise kings give to the poor and as I learnt from the trip to the Clothworker’s archives, traditionally the Clothworker’s Company gave bread, meats, beer and coins to the poor on the 21st December, St. Thomas’s Eve.  I therefore made the three kings give bread and coins and beer instead of their usual gifts of gold, Myrrh and Frankincense.  I also made my kings three singing kings to add an extra musical note.  The background had to be worked in a particular blue and has a snowflake design on it to represent the time of year.  The edges of the kneeler also have the snowflake continued around and also has the symbol used to represent the Worshipful Company of Clothworkers.

I was thrilled to be chosen as the winning design by The Worshipful Company of Clothworkers, and I am grateful to my peers Nikki Fairhurst and Jung Byun who helped sew up the end design into the kneeler and the RSN for all their support.

If you would like to see the kneeler then it is on display at St. Olave Hart Street Church, but I think it is being kept for extra special knees at the front of the church rather than in the pews!

Lastly Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone!

1. Work in progress
2. A King worked in a variety of canvas stitches

3. The side of the kneeler showing the symbol used to represent The Worshipful Company of Clothworkers.  It is a rams horn.  This image also shows the wonderful background design that works so well to show off a snowy starry night.

CJM & Kneeler 2
4. Me with the finished work still on the slate frame.
Kneeler 17 CJM 2
5. The kneeler fully made up and ready for some knees! 

5 thoughts on “The Worshipful Company of Clothworkers – Kneeler Design Competition in association with the RSN

  1. Oh so much canvaswork! Having finished my Certificate piece I can’t imagine attempting something so large. But this is a truly beautiful piece. Your colours are so vibrant, and with so much thought having obviously gone into it. Congratulations on the win!


  2. Thank you so much for sharing this Chrissie! It’s fabulous. I loved your explanation of how you gathered the parts of the design together, and the opportunity to see the work part-finished. I liked your choice of colours and way the that you combined some quite simple figures into a well-balanced and quite complex whole. A really good example of your ability to create a design from start to finish. Well done!!


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