Carolyn Pearce Home Sweet Home workbox 25: assembling the needlebook

Now that the embroidery on the needlebook from Carolyn Pearce’s book ‘Home Sweet Home: an embroidered workbox’ is complete, I just need to assemble it. Here are the materials I need, all gathered together:

Needlebook 18

I’ve found, over the years, that it saves me loads of time if I get everything ready, cut out, and put out neatly before I begin, rather than have to leave something half way through assembling it to go and rummage for the next item. In this picture above, you can see the card shape (scored for the spine), the interlining to back the embroidery, the striped lining cotton fabric, and the doctor flannel for the needle pages.

Needlebook 19

I stuck the interlining to the cardboard with double sided tape.

Needlebook 20

The interlining was deliberately cut too large at first, and then trimmed down, leaving about an eighth of an inch overhang, to allow for a bit of padding around the very edges of the needlebook.

Needlebook 21

The interlining for the cotton fabric was iron-on. After attaching it to the cotton, I pressed the seam allowances over, including the corners (ironed at a 45 degree angle).

Needlebook 22

Then I tacked them down.

Needlebook 23

The embroidery was laced over the card shape with Perle cotton number 12 – I find that this is very strong , thin thread, and perfect for doing this.

Needlebook 24

I stopped lacing each side about 3/4 of an inch from each corner, to give me enough to fold in each corner and mitre it after doing the lacing.

Needlebook 25

Carolyn Pearce suggests stitching the doctor flannel pages to the cotton lining fabric using a sewing machine, but I couldn’t be bothered to get mine out for such a small bit of stitching, so I did mine with hand-sewn backstitch. The doctor flannel is carefully cut with the inner pages a little bit smaller than the outer one along the short sides, so that when the needlebook is finally closed, the pages line up neatly.

Needlebook 26

To disguise the central line of backstitch, I worked a line of Coral stitch along the centre.

Needlebook 27

Then I placed the lining wrong sides together with the embroidery on its card, and slipstitched around the edge.

Needlebook 28

Finally, I worked a buttonhole stitch loop at the centre of the front right hand edge of the needlebook, and attached an 8mm cloisonne bead to the centre of the back edge.

Needlebook 29

This is the back of the needlebook, once finished.

Needlebook 30

Above, you can see the needlebook standing open, to show the pages for the needles, and below, you can see how trimming the doctor flannel to slightly different sizes works – when closed, the edges match up really well.

Needlebook 31

Lovely, isn’t it?

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12 thoughts on “Carolyn Pearce Home Sweet Home workbox 25: assembling the needlebook

    1. Pam Lightfoot

      Your needle book came together so well and looks beautiful! I am slowly getting together the various bits and pieces to get started on my sewing box but seeing what you do has been inspirational! Thank you so much for all the time you spend putting the various stages into photographs. Much appreciated.

      Reply
  1. Joanna

    Hi, Janet, I have been following your blog because my chapter, Houston, of the Embroiderers’ Guild of America has had a two year project of making this set. They are featured in the Needle Arts magazine of EGA this month as they finished a set to be auctioned at the national seminar in San Antonio. I haven’t participated as I couldn’t make the time commitment. Your pieces are beautiful.

    Reply
      1. Isabel Taylorson

        Is this card bought in frameshops or will a place like Hobbycraft have this thickness of 2mm? Where did you get yours?
        I was reading last night about the construction in the book, and did not understand the bit re-card “score along these lines, cutting through the paper layer only (diag 1).” page 55 bottom left. Score? Which paper? I am really confused. The needlecases I normally do and assemble have instead just two square bits of card, one on the front and one on the back and nothing on the spine.
        Looking at your project again, I again thought how well and efficiently you assemble things. I like doing the embroidery bit only and then seeing the finished product. I have another needlebook to assemble of an easier kind which I finished last week, but have been avoiding it.

      2. Janet Granger Post author

        Hobbycraft would definitely have it. Any art shop would have it. It usually comes in large sheets, sized either A2 or A1 size. It’s what card mounts around artwork is made from, when pictures are framed. It is white cardboard with a paper layer stuck onto one side, which is the coloured side (as it comes in a huge range of colours). So, when you score it, if you do it lightly, from the coloured side, you are then cutting through the paper first, and then the cardboard. If you fold back the cardboard away from you along the scored line, the cardboard thickness will then act as a ‘hinge’, but the cut paper side will allow it to be folded, if you see what I mean.

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