Capability Brown Festival

300th Anniversary of Capability BrownJoint CBEG logo

2016 was the 300th Anniversary of the birth of Lancelot "Capability" Brown. He was a landscape designer who created a style which has shaped the people's picture of typical English countryside. He worked on the parklands of some of the great houses of England in the 18th century creating natural scenes with water, planting, and trees. Everything was designed to look elegant.

Capability Brown by Richard CoswayAs the first ever celebration of Capability Brown, the Festival brought together a huge range of events involving Young Embroiderers and the Embroiderers' Guild. There were a series of unique textile exhibitions at venues across the country throughout 2016. Several of our groups had their work on display alongside the Embroiderers' Guild adult members. You can see some of their work here. It may well inspire you to do some stitching of your own!


Our Young Emnbroiderers have been working hard and their pieces have been exhibited at different Capability Brown exhibitions around the country

Leamington Spa Junior Embroiderers and Textile Students

Leamington Spa Junior Embroiderers and Textile Students are exhibiting their work at the Capability Brown Exhibition at Charlecote Park until Wednesday 10th August 2016. This is what they had to say about their work "We chose fish as our subject to represent the pike which were fished from the river which runs through the Charlecote parkland. They are represented on the Coat of Arms of the Lucy family who have owned and resided at Charlecote for generations. The fish are designed and worked by our young members on a painted background using scraps of fabric, threads and trimmings with hand and machine stitching."

Ugbrooke by Mia aged 9 Exeter YE Ugbrooke by Molly aged 7 Exeter YE
Exhibited at Ugbrooke work by Mia aged 9 Young Embroiderer from Exeter group Exhibited at Ugbrooke work by Molly aged 7 Young Embroiderer from Exeter group

Broughton Castle by Nettie aged 8 Banbury group
Exhibited at Broughton Castle - work by Nettie aged 8 from Banbury

Exploring our Capabilities by Durham City YE at Gibside
Exploring our Capabilities by Durham City YE exhibited at Gibside Walled Garden

"Exploring our Capabilities" is a triptych by Durham City Young Embrioderers. It was inspired by vines, flowers and signage on the Gibside Estate. It has been worked in various threads and yarns as well as tea-dyed fabric, antislip underlay, plastic bags, garden twine, pan scourers, trampoline covers and umbrella fabric witih braids, plaits, twisted cords and other techniques. The background was made of tea towels. "Exploring our Capabilities" is currently hanging in the Walled Garden "Landscapes and Gardens at Gibside" exhibition as part of the UK's Capability Brown Festival.


Landscapes and Gardens

Visioning the Landscape at Blenheim Palace - 13th February - 2nd May 2016

Here are some images of the work that our Oxford Young Embroiderers have done for the exhibition at Blenheim Palace. The exhibition is running until 2nd May 2016 so if you get the opportunity, go along and have a look at their fantastic textile work.

Grand Bridge Blenheim Grand Bridge Blenheim
Heather Fishburn aged 11, Oxford YE Hannah Sandford aged 9, Oxford YE
Grand Bridge Blenheim Grand Bridge Blenheim
Ella Erganelli aged 7, Oxford YE Heather Anderson aged 11, Oxford YE
Grand Bridge Blenheim Oxford Young Embroiderers


Landscapes and Gardens at Petworth House and Park - 19th March - 4th September 2016

Our Worthing Young Embroiderers have worked together to create a woodland landscape with deer, lakes and creatures, based on the landscape and gardens theme for the Capability Brown exhibition.

Worthing Young Embroiderers' Group Piece for Petworth Worthing Young Embroiderers' Group Piece
Detailed pieces by Worthing Young Embroiderers for theCapability Brown exhbitiion at Petworth House
Detail of Worthing YE project for Petworth House


At some of the exhibition venues our adult members have been setting up activities for young people to take part in.

Meet Hercules the Sheep!

Hercules the SheepThis is Hercules - he was made by an adult member of the Embroiderers' Guild from the South West of England - Fiona Vann. A few members of her branch (Stow-on-the-Wold) held an exhibition at the Cotswold Farm Park (Adam Henson's farm on BBC's Country File) for the Embroiderers' Guild's National Day of Stitch and Fiona made Hercules specifically for this event (he is a Cotswold Lion Sheep). His coat was made of cotton tags and Fiona provided extra for adult and child visitors to decorate and add to his body.

Hercules the SheepHe actually is the size of a sheep sitting down. He is hand stitched and very cuddly and we hope that he will be on display again at some of the venues of Capability Brown exhibitions this year where visitors, young and old alike, may be able to add some more fleece tags to him. He would then be even cuddlier! We will let you know on this website where he is going to be so you can visit him and you can maybe add your own tag.


Stitching at Standen House

One of the membersof the East Sussex branch of the Embroiderers' Guild came up with the idea of a Stitching Day at Standen House while the Capability Brown exhibition was on. Here's what she said...

Stitching at Standen"I took a piece of work specifically for children to contribute to as their parents were looking at the exhibits. I had stitched some stalks, leaves and some blue "daisies" onto some loose-ish woven linen and tipped a variety of coloured threads out beside me. The children chose a colour, I threaded up a tapestry needle for them and they each stitched either a cross-stitched or lazy daisy flower above the stalks. I was surprised how keen they were to join in and how pleased their parents were with the results they produced. We finished up with bluebells, snowdrops, daisies and even a scarlet pimpernel in the design. Perhaps some of our other branches might consider doing something similar at their nearest Capability Brown venue. Here is a lovely photo of the work we achieved."