How I made my Carolyn Pearce Home Sweet Home workbox 2: the pincushion

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I am attempting to make this wonderful Home Sweet Home workbox etui set by Carolyn Pearce of Australia. Her book is wonderful, and very clear, but the project is a big one! However, as several people commented after the previous post when I wrote about it, if I stitch it, they will try to stitch it along with me, so maybe we can all achieve it together!

Home 2

I’ve decided to make the contents before the box itself, which is not the way that Carolyn explains it in her book. Obviously, it would make more sense to make the box first, as then I’d have somewhere to keep the things I’ve made, but being awkward, I’ve decided to tackle the smallest things first, and work my way up to the biggest, as it’s less daunting that way.

So, I’m going to make the pincushion tuffet.  All the threads I’ve used for this project are from my stash, by the way, and not the ones that Carolyn lists in her book. I suggest trying to do the same yourself, as it would reduce the cost of this project enormously – Carolyn uses lovely threads, but LOTS OF DIFFERENT ONES, and sometimes only for one or two stitches.

So, I stem stitched the twisting stems first with fine Medici wool, and then stitched wound roses with French knot centres in a very pale peachy pink.

Home sweet home workbox pincushion 1

Then I stitched more roses using a deeper pink, and worked a few rosebuds in Vandyke stitch.

Home sweet home workbox pincushion 2

The sepals of each rosebud were worked by continuing the Vandyke stitch, but in deep green Medici wool.

Home sweet home workbox pincushion 3

Finally, I added the leaves in a bright green and more of the dark green Medici wool. The bright green really gave this a lift, as I was beginning to think I had chosen shades which were too dull. The pencil lines outside the tuffet edges, below, show where I will need to tie the tight threads around the assembled and stuffed pincushion, to pull it into shape. If I have stitched the roses in the correct places, then the tight threads won’t cut across any of the roses, but lie in the gaps in between.

Home sweet home workbox pincushion 4

Next part is to assemble the tuffet, then……


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15 thoughts on “How I made my Carolyn Pearce Home Sweet Home workbox 2: the pincushion”

  1. Hi Janet, I bought the book quite a while ago and keep reading and reading. I have some of the materials ready but I keep putting it off. I think you are on the right idea to tackle to small pieces inside. Thanks for sharing. I hope to follow your lead and start with the pincushion tuffet. I was talking with a woman that made the whole thing and she said to measure because her roof was off–just a bit. She suggested making the box’s roof last. Please keep us posted–I hope to follow along

    1. Thanks for the advice about the roof – I suspect getting the complete box to fit together perfectly is a little bit tricky, to put it mildly, and that’s possibly putting off a lot of people from even starting it!!

  2. There’s a group of us from an EGA chapter in Houston working on this project. The 2 members who are leading this also re-ordered the pieces so we are working a small item and then the wall with the same or similar motifs. We meet once a month with homework in between. We are 8 months in with 16 months to go. I’m also mostly stitching this from my stash as I wasn’t crazy about buying threads for only a little stitching. I also have nudged the colors away from the cool colors and more towards the warm side. I am having a great time with this project and think that I will actually finish it as it is great to have a group all working on the same thing.

  3. I am delighted to see you have started and to look at your pin cushion/pad.
    I am so grateful for your last post. It motivated me to start as well. I found your post useful, and also used just a pencil and lightpad to trace the design. So far I have only traced the needlebook and I have started it, as it is an accessory I have often made and assembled. As I have the full kit from the USA, it is easy and exciting to take out what I need. I have nevertheless added an extra green to the two-greened leaf and bean sepals. I found there was not a smooth progression between the two greens. I used a DMC cotton as a third in-between green, the only adequate green I had at home colour wise. This time I added it after the leaf was finished, but in future I will be doing it in the right order of long and short stitch. I have found it quite time consuming but very enjoyable. I will try and send you a photo to your site e-mail if that is possible.
    I look forward to continue seeing your progress. If it had not been for you, I would not have started yet. I had always planned to start with the accessories and then see how far I would go.

  4. I saw your completed pincushion but only realised today when I saw the start of your spool thingy that this was a big project and it comes from a book. I think this is lovely. I have been saying for a while I need to make myself a pin cushion etc but I hadn’t thought of embroidering them or making them as a set. I will have to investigate further. Did you buy a whole load of fabric in one go so it all matches?

    1. Yes, I bought a metre of 54 inch wide cotton/linen blend beige fabric, as I didn’t want to run out half way through and not be able to get any more! It’s loads too much, but never mind….

  5. I’m going to order the book I think, even if I never stitch it, it will be lovely bedtime reading!! I stitched a big project a while back with lots of smalls and I assembled the smallest and easiest piece first and worked my way up to the hardest part, and I think your idea of stitching in that order is a good one.

  6. I am so excited to find this site , thanks to Mary Corbett . I bought the kit from Country Bumpkin – monthly kits with the intention of making one item per month. That didn’t happen . I have done the embroidery on the pincushion , some of the embroidery on the needle case and have partly made the thread counter . You have motivated me to get this project out again .. As soon as I get home I am going to get it out and try to follow your lead . Thank you , Janet.

  7. Could you please tell me on which page I find the measurements for the inner tray as mentioned on page 41 inserting each base into itscompartment? Many thanks liz

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