Philippa Turnbull

Based at Pembroke House, Appleby-in-Westmorland, near the beautiful English Lake District, the Crewel Work Company are crewel work specialists. Designer, tutor, author, Phillipa Turnbull researches designs in Castles and Country Houses throughout the UK to create crewel work kits in the style that she and her many followers enjoy. Phillipa uses a combination of design, materials and stitches, most of which embroiderers have enjoyed using for the past 400 years. She uses Appletons wools and specially made needles which perfectly suit The Crewel Work Company`s “Z” twist Jacobean Linen Twill, woven exclusively for Phillipa by a specialist historic textile weaver in Scotland.

She specialises in creating kits which combine stitches, techniques and designs she has found in original 17th and 18th Century British crewel work, thus enabling others to enjoy creating their own heirloom.

Whilst researching in the Stately Homes and Castles, Phillipa has found many beautiful needlepoint designs, and these are now available by special permission from the castle owners, as canvases and kits. They are true in scale and colour, hand painted for absolute accuracy in every stitch.

Current Involvements & Recent Achievements

In no particular order I am currently involved in…

  1. Organising Lady Anne`s Needlework Retreats 2014 plus two mini retreats (3/4 days) at my home in Appleby and at Muncaster Castle
  2. Creating a textile room in a castle (more later)
  3. Completing for my crewel work book
  4. Exhibiting at The Knitting and Stitching Shows “A Timeline of Crewelwork” in London, Dublin and Harrogate

I have recently…

  1. Re-created a 1650s altar frontal in The Embroiderers guild collection (with Val Osborne and Lesley Atkinson)
  2. Designed a Lecturn Fall for The Ancient Company of Broderers (with Jane Lemon and the RSN) which has now been embroidered by The Royal School of Needlework
  3. Completed The Lady Anne`s Flowers design as a kit (hurrah!)
  4. Run Lady Anne`s Needlework Retreat 2012, to great acclaim!

EXHIBITION – “A Timeline of Crewel Work” at The Knitting and Stitching Show in Alexandra Palace, London, 2013. Original 17th Century through to the early 20th Century crewel work alongside 21st Century replicas worked in their original un-faded colours. Large “Jacobean” bed hangings,pillows, precious Elizabethan fragments, an altar frontal, from castles, museums and houses, and from my own collection. We are in The Textile Gallery, very near The Royal School of Needlework and the Embroiderers Guild so make this area the first area you visit! Meet Phillipa and her team. See you there!


Beth Russell – Designers Forum


Beth Russell first developed her eye for matching colours to wool whilst working at the Royal School of Needlework in London.

She formed Designers Forum (now over 20 years ago) and has built an international reputation for her interpretations of William Morris designs.
Beth’s adaptations differ from the Morris originals in that they are to be stitched in needlepoint, whereas Morris’ were meant for a myriad of different purposes – wallpapers, fabrics, embroidery, tapestry, tiles and book decoration. However, in every other way she tries to be essentially true to the great man. The designs are first sketched or painted and then each part is worked many times on canvas before the final shapes and colours are decided.

Beth hopes that her needlepoint kits and books might provide a means by which people can exercise their talents and find the contentment that Morris preached is the right of each and every one of us.

Some of Beths designs:

‘Lodden’ cushions:

Castel Coch – Hare & Tortoise on Workbox and

‘Quack Doctor’ miniature:

‘Acanthus & Vine’:

Beth Russell’s ‘Rose Garden’ cushion

and miniature based on a William

Morris design: