Friday 13 May 2016

A home fit for a stitcher

Last September I joined an Embroidery Group, having been on the waiting list for over two years! With fellow stitchers who had been attending classes for, in some cases, 18 years the standard of the work being produced was intimidatingly high.

I decided to make a 3-D sewing box that would give me the chance to try out several New to Me techniques. The original plan was to make the box as a Christmas present for my daughter-in-law, but needless to say Christmas came and went without a finish in sight!

Each year the Group holds an exhibition of their work in the venue and this year's exhibition is taking place today (May 13th) and tomorrow in St Andrew's Cottage, Corbridge. So, the pressure was on to finish the box to have at least one thing to show in the exhibition, and here it is, my Stitchers House.

Each side of the cottage is a different technique, so you can see above lots of French Knots for the rambling roses and then ribbon embroidery for the apple tree.

You can see the apple tree better here. The grapes on the vine are all seed beads and the geraniums in the basket are more ribbon embroidery.

The fourth side has a removable pin cushion attached, which I filled with a metal scouring pad to help keep my pins sharp.

Of course, I made life more difficult for myself by following a French magazine for this project so when it came to putting the box together there was a fair amount of "winging it" involved :) The linen of the embroidered panels needed interfacing to stop it from fraying too much, but it was difficult to interface the beaded panel sufficiently so there was lots of finger crossing going on at that stage. If I was making another one I would tackle the construction slightly differently, but hindsight is a wonderful thing!

Inside the box contains a felt needle holder, gathered pocket (what a nightmare that was to do!), a ring to hold embroidery scissors and two rings for threads. The pincushion in the middle is the removable one from the fourth side.

Although I probably rushed the construction at the end to make it in time for the exhibition, it has been a very enjoyable project to do. You know me, I can never pass up the opportunity to try something new, so to have lots of new to me techniques in one project is most definitely up my street!

If you happen to be in the Corbridge area on May 13th or 14th, do pop in and have a look at the exhibition. Some of the pieces on display will blow you away.

Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts



  1. If I was in Corbridge I'd definitely go to the exhibition! Your house is AWESOME - you must have had weary eyes and fingers when you were done that gorgeous creation! To the others reading this post - make sure you open the photos in a separate screen so you can see them in their much larger glory - WOW @ the beading and the ribbon flowers and the different stitches (I have no idea what they're called, lol). This is an extraordinary New To You creation, Fiona!

  2. what a wonderful creation and as you say so nay technqiues learnt whilst making it, There will be plenty of compliments made at the exhibition I am sure. shame it is so far away hope you will share some photos with us of the other items on display

  3. Oh Fiona, I don't think I can go this weekend, so disappointing. Your sewing box looks lovely and it's so enjoyable to learn new skills.

  4. What a fabulous stitchers box, a really beautiful piece of work.

  5. This is fantastic - what fun!

  6. Truly BEAUTIFUL, Fiona!!! Your embroidery is exquisite. Seed beads are so fiddly, aren't they, but well worth it for your grapes. Will you still give it to your daughter-in-law?

    1. I've featured you amazing sewing box today, Fiona.

  7. Awesome sewing "house!" This is fantastic, and beautiful. Well done!

  8. Oh WOW!! It's beautiful and really useful - what higher praise could there be!

  9. This is incredible! It's real heirloom piece. The house pattern is very clever and it's a brilliant way to show all your techniques. I think it's the most masterly item I've ever seen on a blog :)

  10. What wonderful work Fiona, a labour of love. I envy you being part of the embroidery group but having seen the work ladies of these groups produce I can appreciate the pressure to achieve that you must now find yourself under. What an opportunity to learn new processes and techniques though - Chris :D

  11. Oh wow! What a lovely embroidery! Well done!

  12. This is just fabulous! Very handy and just beautiful!

  13. Your sewing box is beautiful, Fiona, and makes me wish I could do some sewing ... hopefully soon (I've just had surgery on my arm)

  14. Stunning work Fiona! If someone gave such an exquisite handstitched item I don't think I would use it - Instead I would spend hours upon hours staring at it and drinking in its glorious beauty xx

  15. It looks fantastic, the stitching is beautiful. I wish you'd come to me for help! I could have translated the instructions for you! Next time you make something from a french mag, remember i speak fluent french! Where is corbridge? I think you're near newcastle? I've just been to alnmouth for 4 days - i love northumberland

  16. Oh Fiona... your Stitcher's House is beautiful! I love that each side is different and uses different styles of embroidery.

    Thanks so much for linking up to last week's Stitchery Link Party! Aloha hugs!


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