Carolyn Pearce Home Sweet Home workbox 24: ladybird and small flowers on the needlebook

I’m not usually very keen on embroidering insects. After all, they’re, well….INSECTS!!! Yuck!!  But somehow ladybirds don’t seem to be quite so ‘insect-like’, so I’m OK with embroidering them, which is just as well, really, as Carolyn Pearce loves to scatter ladybirds among her designs. This one shown below features on the back of the needlebook which forms part of the Home Sweet Home Workbox etui set (described in Carolyn’s book).

Needlebook 14

To make this specimen (which is only about half an inch across in real life), I first worked split stitch around the edge of the round body shape. Then I worked two layers of satin stitch padding (each layer at right angles to the one beneath), then finished with a final layer of satin stitch – all worked in Gloriana silk. The head is four straight stitches. The legs are straight stitches too. I think I made these a little bit too long for a ladybird, but never mind. The little dots on the ladybird’s back are tiny seed stitches.

Needlebook 15

The ladybird hovers above wild flowers worked in granitos stitch for the blue flower at far left, lazy daisy stitches for the daisies, raised cross stitch for the anemones, French knots for the blue flower buds and straight stitches for the grass.

Needlebook 16

This is the whole needlebook panel (front and back), with the main embroidery finished.

Needlebook 17


To complete the embroidery, I worked a border of chain stitch in dark green Anchor stranded cotton (two strands). Carolyn explains that to have the chains going in the right direction, you need to start at the bottom left corner and work along the bottom and up the right hand side, then start again at the bottom left and work up the left hand side and along the top to the right hand corner again. She recommends whipping the chain stitches, but I didn’t bother to do that bit. Finally, I edged the chain stitch with stem stitch worked in Kreinik Very Fine Braid.

I’m really pleased with this so far. Now I just need to assemble the needlebook.


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Carolyn Pearce Home Sweet Home workbox 23: pea flower, leaf and snail on the needlebook

Now that the pea pod on the needlebook that I’m making from Carolyn Pearce’s book ‘Home Sweet Home: an embroidered workbox’ is complete, I have moved on to stitching the pea flower.

Needlebook 8

I stitched this in long and short stitch, in three pale shades of Anchor standed cotton, with dark pink highlights. The subtle shading doesn’t really show up in the pictures, unfortunately, but it’s very pretty.

Needlebook 9

The sepals behind the flower itself are stitched in two shades of green.

Needlebook 10

The pea leaf is stitched in two shades of variegated green silk from Gloriana – the outer edge having first been defined in split back stitch in one strand of Anchor cotton, and then the pale shade worked first, with the darker inner shade worked next, leaving a tiny gap along the central vein line of the leaf, for stem stitch in pale tan to be worked. Straight stitches, also in pale tan, define the diagonal leaf veins. Finally, gold highlights using one strand of Kreinik Very Fine Braid alongside of the pale tan stitches are worked.

Needlebook 11

The instructions for working the snail seemed OK in Carolyn’s book, until I saw the scale at which they were to be done….absolutely tiny! This snail shell is only about 5/8 of an inch across. So, I simplified it a bit, and decided to stitch the snail shell in buttonhole stitch over the felt padding, rather than the much more complicated ladder stitch that Carolyn recommends.

Needlebook 12

Several rounds of decreasing size made a very successful snail shell, if I do say so myself! A single row of stem stitch in Kreinik braid along the underside of the shell completed this section.

Needlebook 13

To finish off my snail, I worked the body in raised stem stitch band, and then made two straight stitches for his eye stalks, with tiny size 15 bronze colour beads for the eyes. In real life, I loathe snails, but I actually quite like this one!


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Carolyn Pearce Home Sweet Home workbox 22: starting the needlebook

I’m moving on to making the needlebook from Carolyn Pearce’s book ‘Home Sweet Home: an embroidered workbox’ now.

Needlebook 1

Here is the design drawn out on the fabric using fine pencil. The first piece of padding for the snail has been stitched in place.

Needlebook 2

I stitched the stems using whipped chain stitch and knotted pearl stitch.

Needlebook 3

The curlicues of the pea stems were stitched using stem stitch, and the centre of the pea pod using large chain stitches.

Needlebook 4

This looks a bit messy, close up! The chain stitches have been interlaced each side with Kreinik Very Fine Braid, with the loops couched down on the outside edges.

Needlebook 5

Then I added a tiny cupped sequin , attached with a seed bead number 11 on top of each one, to each chain stitch.

Needlebook 6

Then I stitched whipped chain stitch round the outline of the pea pod itself.

Needlebook 7

The sepals of the pea pod were covered in long and short stitch shading, using two shades of variegated thread.

It all looks a bit coarse at this magnification – the real thing is very small….the pea pod is barely an inch long in real life!


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See this month’s Doll’s House Magazine for an article about my mini needlepoint business (and much more stuff, too!)

In this month’s Doll’s House Magazine (August 2015, issue 207), I have a feature in the ‘Maker Profile’ section. If you’d like to know how I design the miniature needlepoint kits for doll’s houses that I sell on my website, what inspires me, and what I would really love to have in my own doll’s house, then get yourself a copy  🙂


The magazine is published in the UK by the Guild of Master Craftsmen, and has been going for years – it’s one of my favourite miniatures magazines.




This month’s issue also features a lovely miniature garden centre in-depth article, a ‘how-to’ on making a bird of paradise plant, crochet designs for scatter cushions, a kit review of a wisteria flower kit, and lots more!


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