Carolyn Pearce Home Sweet Home workbox 17: assembling the scissor keeper

I’ve finished embroidering the scissor keeper from Carolyn Pearce’s book ‘Home Sweet Home Workbox‘, and now I’m assembling it. Carolyn’s instructions are very clear for this item.

I cut a piece of thin wadding to back the embroidery with, and a piece of stiff interlining, both 6cm x 3cm. The two pence piece is to use as a weight inside the scissor keeper. I pressed the seam allowances over the piece of interlining, including the corners, to make it easier to get a nice tight finish.

Scissor 6

I folded in the corners and slip stitched them together. Notice that I didn’t stitch right up to the corner point – otherwise I’d pull the piece out of shape.

Scissor 7

Here are all four corners mitred. I also slip stitched the straight sides to the interlining, but I didn’t photograph that.

Scissor 8

I made a fine cord from 30 inches of 10 strand silk, doubled to be 15 inches long, and then twisted up, and folded back on itself so that I had a finished cord around 7 inches long. Then I knotted the ends together to make a loop about three inches long, and stitched it together through the ends to make it secure, then attached it to the scissor keeper in the centre of one side (making sure that that was the top edge!).

Scissor 9

I threaded some beads onto quilting thread, doubling it back around the end bead, then attached the  length of beads to the bottom edge of the scissor keeper.

Scissor 10

I slip stitched around the three open sides with beige sewing thread, pushing the coin in as I started to stitch along the final side. Finally, I worked Knotted pearl stitch around the edge.

Scissor 11

Here is the finished scissor keeper. It’s come out really neat, and I can see me using this before the rest of the project is finished :-)

Scissor 12

Carolyn Pearce Home Sweet Home workbox 16: embroidering the scissor keeper

The next item I’ve decided to make from the Carolyn Pearce ‘Home Sweet Home Workbox’ book is the scissor keeper. The pattern in the book has a strawberry flower on the front, and an initial on the back. I’ve decided to stitch a group of 3 anemones instead of the initial, as my initial is J. In fancy fonts like the one Carolyn suggests, the letter J often ends up looking like an I, or an F, or even a T. So, I’m having flowers instead!

Scissor 1

Here are the three anemones stitched (using raised cross stitch), and the strawberry flower started. I outlined the flower in split stitch, and then worked two layers of satin stitch padding before working the top layer of long and short stitch for the petals.

Scissor 2

These are the petals, once complete.

Scissor 3

Here are the anemones once they have had their middles stitched in a French knot with one strand of Anchor cotton. The strawberry flower has straight stitch highlights in pale green, and leaves in fishbone stitch. Three French knots finish off the flower in the centre.

Scissor 4

Each panel is outlined with tiny chain stitches. Carolyn suggested whipping the chain stitch with gold thread, but I liked the look of the chain stitch as it was, so I left it without the gold highlights.

Scissor 5

Now it just needs assembing.


Carolyn Pearce Home Sweet Home workbox 15: assembling the emery block

Today I have been assembling the little emery block from Carolyn Pearce’s book ‘Home Sweet Home Workbox’. Amazingly, here is the amount of equipment I gathered together, in order to do that:

Block 4

I didn’t actually use *everything* in the picture, but I did need most of it!! Here is the embroidery ready to be assembled (the piece with the bee on is upside down – only just noticed that!). Also, for those who read my last post about this project, I decided to take some advice and added a few yellow stitches to the bee, to stop him looking more like a vine weevil than a bee  :-)  I’m happier with him now. The rectangles at the bottom of the picture are of thick plastic cut from a ring binder, and quilting wadding.

Block 5

I stuck the wadding to the plastic with pieces of double sided tape, and then laced each embroidered piece over the plastic, using Perle cotton number 12, as it is really strong.

Block 6

Here are the pieces finished, with one showing the lacing across the back.

Block 7

Now the two pieces are ready to be made into the block. Isn’t the bee looking better, now?

Block 8

The cotton fabric I’ve chosen to line the house box, and some of the ‘smalls’ with, is this pretty green floral quilting fabric. Carolyn’s instructions suggested using green ribbon for the gusset of the emery block, but I couldn’t find any that I liked, so I decided to make a kind of bias binding strip from the green floral fabric (only it is cut straight, to follow the pattern).

Block 9

Starting at one corner, with 3/8 inch turned under first, I attached the ribbon piece to the front panel (with the bee on it), using glove stitch. It’s sort of like an overcast stitch, but has an  upright stitch and then a slanting stitch in the same position, making it very secure.

Block 10

This is how it looked when I had attached it all the way round, and slipstitched the short ends together where they overlapped.

Block 11

Then I attached the back panel in the same way. If you plan to make one of these, I’d suggest attaching the front panel first and then the back one, as I did, as it was much more  difficult to make the stitching on the back panel neat, as the block became rather stiff the more complete it became! I left a small opening on the fourth side, to add the emery powder. It would have been easier if I’d have left a rather larger gap, actually. As you can see from the picture, I left the thread attached at this stage.

Block 12

As I didn’t quite trust the emery powder to stay inside the block and not work its way out of the seams, I poked in a little bit of quilting wadding first, in tiny pieces, to line the cavity. I pushed it in using an empty biro case (note the EMPTY bit – you don’t want to inadvertantly draw on the embroidered panel by mistake!).

Then comes the messy bit – I made a funnel from paper, and taped it together. Then I poked the tip onto the opening, and tipped the emery powder in, a small bit at a time, and tapped the block on the table to make it go into the cavity. Then I stitched the opening closed, with more glove stitch.

Block 13

This is the block completed, next to my 3 inch stork scissors, to show how tiny this is when it’s finished.

Block 14

I’m very pleased with how this has turned out. The emery powder seems to be behaving itself and staying inside the block, even though I have tested it by squeezing it, throwing it and generally asking for trouble! And it really does work to help keep my needles clean and free of burrs, when I poke them in and out of the ribbon gusset.

Block 15

Now on to the scissor keeper……

Inspirational photos of doll’s house interiors to see on my website

Have you seen the ‘Customers’ Stitching‘ page of inspirational images on my website, sent in by other stitchers who have made beautiful things for their dollhouses? There are dozens of images, on lots of different themes, featuring all kinds of mini stitching that people have made from my needlepoint kits and charts. If you’re stuck for ideas, or just want to spend a while looking at beautiful mini interiors, this is the place to look!

Two new groups of photos have just been added this week. The first is of an amazingly detailed Georgian style room by Deborah, who liked the ‘Carole pastel’ carpet design, but her room was very large and the carpet size wasn’t right for her room, so she adapted the design and repeated the central area four times to make it suitable for the size of her room. She also changed the colour scheme slightly. The results are fantastic! Here’s a sneak preview of her page:


Natalia is from Russia, and has sent in several images before, so she already has her own page on my website. Her latest images show the stitching she has done for a friend of hers, who loves floral interiors. Here’s one of them:


Don’t forget that all the carpets, staircarpets and wallhangings in my range are available as chart packs as well as full kits, so if you like the challenge of adapting designs, then this is the ideal way to go. Project-sized pieces of canvas and gauze are available.

Of course, if you just like to stitch using kits, there are over 250 of those to choose from, too!