Gay Ann Rogers

Gay Ann Rogers

Needlework Designer/Teacher

Needlework Designer/Teacher




1. Eleanor's Dedication and

More to the story -- Click here

2. My inspirations for Eleanor

Click here

3. DH Historical Fiction

Click here

4. Elegant Eleanor

Click here

New: .Brief History Part I

Click here

Eleanor of Aquitaine


Class at Shining Needle Society and complete kit.


$337.00 includes shipping.


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Who Was

Eleanor of Aquitaine?


Eleanor of Aquitaine (1124 – 1204) is the most famous queen of the Medieval period and one of the most extraordinary women in history. A renowned beauty with a headstrong, spirited personality, she was the Queen of France, the Queen of England and mother of three English Kings, young Henry, Richard the Lion-Hearted and John Lackland who gave England Magna Carta.


Eleanor’s court was renowned for troubadours, courtly love and the legends of King Arthur and Guinevere. She was indeed the Mistress of Camelot.

Details of Eleanor's Kit


The Contents:

Dear Needlefriend Letter, 2 pages plus title page

Instructions, 51 pages long plus title page

Color Appendix, 1 page

Oversize Graphs (11" x 17"), 13 pages

Two color copies of my finished Eleanor

(One 11" x 17",  the other 8.5" x 11".


17 colors of Au Ver a Soie,

One color of Planet Earth silk,

One color of Needlepoint Inc silk,

Nine colors of floss.


Five spools of Kreinik braid,

One spool each of:

Gold Passing Thread Tambour Thread

Gold Wire



Au Ver a Soie 100/3.


Soft ivory (color) congress cloth

12" x 14" and 6" x 8".

The finished size of Eleanor is approximately 7" wide x 9" tall.


Beads, Jewels and Pearls in 8 little baggies.

They include:

Gold-colored metal beads (mostly gold-plated brass)

crystals and Czech glass beads

pearls in a variety of sizes.


What the kit does not include:

Stretcher bars, thumb tacks, needles, scissors, highlighter, pencil and eraser and optional loose leaf notebook for the instructions.


Eleanor's Class at Shining Needle Society


I have decided to make Eleanor into a class at Shining Needle Society for a number of reasons and Kate thought it wise also.

Please note: there is no additional charge for the class, it comes as a part of the package.


Eleanor is easy to stitch, all you have to do is count accurately and follow my instructions and your Eleanor will look exactly like mine.


But is that always the best choice? My Eleanor is mine, yours belongs to you. In the best of all possible worlds, I would like you to use my Eleanor as inspiration, with hopes that you will bring yourself to the fantasy of your Eleanor. I'm hoping to encourage you to be brave and try.


With my other two queens (Elizabeth 1 and Catherine the Great), I had so many people who were afraid. I'm not quite sure what they were afraid of, but they were. This time, I would like to help dispel the fear. Eleanor is easy to stitch and fairly forgiving in case of errors. I would like to help when an error is OK and when it might be better to rip.


As I stitched Eleanor and with Kate's urging, I took a lot of photos of my Eleanor in progress. In particular these photos might help with Eleanor's hair. You will be able to follow along row by row in the first steps of Eleanor's hair, and then see more generally how I filled it in, step by step.


I am not a goldworker, I'm a canvas person and I treated the gold thread exactly the way I would any thread: I couched it with tent stitches spaced a length I thought appropriate. I would like to do a lesson on this -- and hopefully people with a goldwork background will voice their views.


I would also like to talk in some depth about the rigors of designing faces in needlepoint. No, I can't give you a formula for making all faces. Each tilt of the head or angle of the face changes the mix, but I can perhaps tip you into some of the problems and the different ways I solve those problems.


As a bonus, Carol Caldwell who proofed Eleanor will be with us. The great advantage is that Carol stitched Eleanor from the instructions and will be able to help you with the progressions in a way I can't.  Remember, I didn't have any instructions for Eleanor, only an idea in my head.


Class will last for 2 months, from June 1 to August 1; after August 1, we will convert the room into a Stitchalong Room and Kate will likely keep it open as long as there is interest.


The 'Dear Needlefriend' Letter included in your kit will give you details about the class. If you have questions about it, you can email me.

Below are photos of the threads and beads in Eleanor's kit

All together 19 colors of silk:

17 colors of Soie d'Alger

one color each of Planet Earth and Needlepoint Inc.

Specialty gold threads:

Au Ver a Soie 100/3

Tambour thread

Gilt passing Thread

Gold Wire



Nine colors of Anchor and DMC floss

(total 10 skeins)

Eight Small baggies with Eleanor's gold-colored beads, crystals and glass and her pearls in an assortment of sizes.

DH and Eleanor


DH had great influence on my choices for the way I stitched Eleanor. As there is only one image of Eleanor, a tomb sculpture, I turned to DH for help.


If you compare Catherine's portrait with Eleanor's, you will see that Catherine holds her head high and looks directly at you, whereas Eleanor's head is tilted and her gaze slightly outward and demurely down. This was at DH's suggestion. He told me that Catherine's direct gaze came in the 18th century, not before.


From the first time I thought of Eleanor of Aquitaine, DH's suggested that I refer to Books of Hours for inspiration. I have saved the page I posted on April 29 and 30 and you will fine it under Eleanor of Aquitaine on my yellow navigation bar. Now that you have seen Eleanor, I hope you will revisit the page, or visit it for the first time, to see the influences on my portrait.


DH has written a very brief history of Eleanor of Aquitaine and I will post it in two or three parts in the coming weeks. Eventually I will move it to our classroom.


I am also hoping that DH will do a bibliography for the bibliophiles among us, including the only 'romance novel' author I've ever known him to recommend.


My Inspiration for Eleanor of Aquitaine


I had the idea of stitching Eleanor of Aquitaine for a long time but wasn't near starting Eleanor; it was Judy Souliotis who inspired me to start. My last conversation with Judy was about my queens and who was next, and the whole  time I worked on Eleanor, Judy sat on my shoulder. Every time I look at the finished Eleanor, I hope Judy would have liked her.

Eleanor of Aquitaine


My third portrait of history's powerful women is here.


This is the directory page for Eleanor of Aquitaine and will remain for the month of May or until I run out of kits.


Below are links to special pages about Eleanor


Click here A Brief History of Eleanor , Part 1