Finished embroidery – an unusual thimble holder

A thimble holder called a pipkin, about two inches long

This unusual item is called a pipkin. It’s made from three leaf-shaped pieces of fabric, gathered over cardboard formers and laced across the back, then backed with felt (cut a tiny bit smaller than the outer pieces). The three shapes are then stitched together using Palestrina knot stitch (a bit like an overcast stitch, but after each overcast stitch you then go back and loop the needle twice through the stitch you’ve just made, without piercing the fabric, and so making a line of  evenly spaced knots along the line of stitching – a very useful stitch to master!).

This shows how the pipkin opens

It opens by you squeezing the two ends, and so forcing the open side to gape, so that the thimble can be taken out. I don’t actually use a thimble when I’m stitching, but I just couldn’t resist making this, as it’s such a different kind of sewing accessory to own!

The cute hedgehog’s spines are worked in various shades of brown, randomly, until it just ‘looks right’! In front of the hedgehog is the most tiny bee, made from very small satin stitches worked in stripes of yellow and black, with wings in silver blending filament added last. The other two sides feature a silver spider’s web with a minute spider, and my initials.

Jane Nicholas’ Stumpwork Embroidery

The design is from Jane Nicholas’ wonderful book  ‘Stumpwork Embroidery – Designs and Projects’, published in 1998 by Sally Milner Publishing.

In the book, there are co-ordinating sewing accessories to make – a needlebook with a squirrel on it, a scissors scabbard, and a pinwheel, along with a drawstring bag to keep them all in.

Although this style of embroidery is very different from the doll’s house needlepoint  that I sell as kits, I really enjoy the change of technique that’s needed to make this kind of item.


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5 thoughts on “Finished embroidery – an unusual thimble holder”

  1. Janet, lovely work. I am a fantasy fiction writer who just happens to be a stumpworker as well. Attended Jane’s classes and made the full chatelaine kit in black silk and ended up using the squirrel and hive for binding a miniature book.
    Jane’s stumpwork inspired me to write two fiction books in which the heroine is an embroiderer who creates a mysterious stumpwork robe.
    I have been doing her master-classes on the medieval illuminated panels but the work is so detailed, I have had to take a break and do some large wool embroidery on a baby rug.
    Wonderful to see stumpwork from others.

    1. Ah! I’ve come across ‘The Stumpwork Robe’ before – I saw it mentioned on someone else’s blog, and the title intrigued me then! I’m quite envious about you having attended Jane Nicholas’s classes….I’ve not bought her latest book yet, but it’s definitely on my wish list.

  2. I love it! I have a pet hedgehog & collect anything hedgie. Have a lot of needlework designs for them but not this one. I will get the book!

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