Carolyn Pearce Home Sweet Home workbox 7: embroidering the caterpillar on the spool holder

I had a bit of a hiccup as I started to embroider the caterpillar on the spoolholder from Carolyn Pearce’s ‘Home Sweet Home Workbox’ book this week. I started by putting in two full 12 – strand lengths of Gloriana silk as padding on the caterpillar’s body. Then I couched it down with a contrasting thread. Then I realised that I was supposed to work stem stitch filling using the couched threads as a base, and finally couch over the couched threads with another colour last. Are you still with me?! Anyway, I didn’t want to have to do stem stitch filling, as it isn’t one of my favourite stitches.

Spoolholder 4

So, I unpicked the couching threads, and did them again using one strand of the Gloriana thread (I also added a third 12 – strand length of’ laid thread to make the caterpillar’s body bigger).

Spoolholder 5

This is the caterpillar once completed – with stem stitch outlining, tiny legs and ‘horns’ stitched with one strand of metallic thread in Gunmetal grey, and two bronze Mill Hill beads for his eyes. I’m quite pleased with him now. He’s about an inch and a quarter long.

Spoolholder 6

Then I started to add the grass, in two shades of Medici wool.

Spoolholder 7

And I used Fly Stitch and little straight stitches to work the wheat and dill plants among the grass.

Spoolholder 8

The pencilled little circles are placement guidelines for the red and pink anemones, which I’m planning to stitch next.


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3 thoughts on “Carolyn Pearce Home Sweet Home workbox 7: embroidering the caterpillar on the spool holder”

  1. Our sewing group will be starting the Home Sweet Home work box in January. All your information on how to tackle this project is wonderful. I’ve only just found your blog.

    1. It’s a great project, and a good one for a group to do, as you can all help each other with the various ways of doing all the details! Also, you could share some of the threads needed, as, with some of the colours, only a tiny amount is necessary (likewise with the beads, etc.). I’d love to see the houses when they’re all done! Please send me some pictures (one day!!) to

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