Carolyn Pearce Home Sweet Home workbox 32: thread cutter cover assembly

Now that I’ve completed the stitching for the thread-cutter cover from Carolyn Pearce’s book ‘Home Sweet Home: an embroidered workbox’, I need to assemble it – not my favourite occupation! I always think I’m going to ruin things at this point!

I apologise in advance for the quality of the images in this blog post – I was doing all this late at night, and the photos needed to be taken as I went along, to try to show the stages, but it’s not been very successful  😦

Anyway, here are all the pieces, cut out and ready to assemble. Stitched pieces (front and back) striped cotton for the lining, fine wadding (Pellon) to back the embroidery with, and two pieces of acetate to stiffen the front and back pieces (which you can hardly see in the photo).

Cutter 6

Each embroidered piece is first attached along what will be the bottom edge of the cutter cover to the relevant lining piece.

Cutter 7

A gathering stitch, using quilting cotton (the white thread in the photo) is made in the seam allowance of each joined piece. The piece of acetate is put behind the embroidered side, and the thread is gathered up, pulling the seam allowance over the acetate. The rest of the gathering thread, around the edge of the lining side, is supposed to help pull it into a curved shape so that it backs the acetate/embroidered side piece. This didn’t work too well!

Cutter 8

But with a bit of fiddling, I managed to get the lining to fit the shape of the front piece, and slip-stitch the lining to the front around the edge, angling the stitches so that the lining piece was just a tiny bit smaller than the front. This way, the lining won’t show around the edges when I do the next bit.

Cutter 9

The two embroidered/lining pieces are then put lining sides together, and slip-stitched all around the curved edge, leaving a half inch gap at the very top, for the hanging cord to go through later.

Next morning, I carried on with the assembly, the sun came out, and my photos were a lot better!

This is the thread-cutter cover once I had worked Knotted pearl stitch all around the curved edge, over the slip-stitches. Around the gap at the top, I worked the Knotted pearl stitch on both edges.

Cutter 10

So, this is the front of the thread-cutter cover itself, once completed except for the decorative edging along the bottom edge, which I’m hoping to do next, before going on to making the hanging cord.

Cutter 11

It’s coming out really nicely, isn’t it?!


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Carolyn Pearce Home Sweet Home workbox 31: the beehive thread cutter cover embroidery

This next sewing accessory that I am making from Carolyn Pearce’s book ‘Home Sweet Home: an embroidered workbox’ is a very unusual one. It’s a thread-cutter cover, for one of those round cutters, such as Clover make, for instance. They are the sort of cutter that you can sometimes take onto planes, because the blade is protected, so it can’t be used as a weapon!

This cover is made to be worn as a necklace, so that you always have the thread-cutter to hand as you’re stitching. It features a little beehive and some bees among the flowers.

I started by tracing the design onto the fabric using a sharp pencil and my light box to help me, then I cut out the small pieces of beige felt, to pad the beehive shape with. It needs three layers to pad it enough, starting with the smallest piece being stitched down first.

Cutter 1

The beehive itself is embroidered by laying an uneven number of long vertical threads across the shape (avoiding the doorway), then two passes of the same shade of wool are woven backwards and forwards horizontally, to make the beehive look realistic. It was fiddly to do this bit, but I like how it’s come out, The doorway itself is black satin stitch, worked after all the weaving stitches are finished.

The tiny little bees (they’re only about a quarter of an inch long) are made by stitching three French knots in a line – yellow, black, then yellow again – with two tiny lazy daisy stitches in Kreinik gold thread for the wings.

Cutter 2

The blades of grass are straight stitches in two shades of very fine wool. This is the reverse side of the thread cutter cover, which has flowers, bees and grass, but no beehive.

Cutter 3

The flowers on both front and back are stitched next. The anemones are raised cross stitches, woven in three shades of red, with a French knot in black in the centre. This knot is helpful, as it stops the flower shape from ‘untwiddling’ itself!

Cutter 4

The blue flowers are a gold French knot surrounded by five blue ones, and the daisies are three individual lazy daisy stitches stitched in a curve, with a gold French knot at the centre of the curve.

Cutter 5

The embroidery for both the front and back panels only took me two evenings to stitch – not long at all. The assembly will probably take longer than that.


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Etui chart pack from Just a Thought – a not-so-new addition to my stash!

Have you ever bought some embroidery supplies and ‘put them away for now’….and then ages later, found them again? I did that this week with a chart pack that I bought a few years ago. As it’s very flat, I put it on my bookshelf…and promptly forgot all about it!

It’s a chart pack from Just a Thought. Judy Odell used to design these little folding etui sets – her website seems to be empty of kits and charts now though. I remember seeing this design first on Pinterest, and as I love etui sets, I found out who the chart was by, and sent off for the chart pack. Good thing I did, if they’re not available any more  🙂

Etui 3

This is an image from the chart pack, showing how the etui looks when it’s unfolded. The design uses only three colours, and various counted stitches as well as cross stitch.

Etui 2

The inside has pockets for scissors, threads and a pincushion. I’ve bought some variegated thread in similar shades to those shown in the photo below, as I just love this colourway.

Etui 1

I won’t be doing a stitchalong with this one, as Judy discourages that, as she’s a finisher herself. But when I get it completed, I’ll show you then  🙂


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What I got for Christmas this year…..

Santa always brings me something for my hobby each Christmas. That’s because I always help Santa out by leaving little hints around the place about what I’d like  🙂

Xmas 1

This year, I got this wonderful table lamp. Well, this is the box it came in, obviously! But I thought it might help to show the box, as there are several lamps on the market that look similar.

Xmas 2

I wanted a lamp with an attached magnifier, and this was about the only affordable one I could find. The magnifier can be removed if required.

Xmas 3

The part with the fluorescent tube in unfolds from the upright housing (and that’s what makes the light come on – there is no on/off switch), and can be tilted to shine the daylight bulb in exactly the direction that you need.

Xmas 4

There’s an attachment for keeping scissors, pens, etc., that hooks onto the back of the lamp – or rather it should, only on the one that I have, the lugs are too big, so it doesn’t quite fit properly yet, and so the lugs will need a bit of filing down!

Xmas 5

The lamp costs between £32 and £40, depending where you buy it from. My one came from Siesta’s own website.

It’s really lovely to use, and the light is a good bright ‘cool’ / daylight one, so I can now easily stitch in the evening, when I don’t want to use my tapestry frame with attached light by Stitchmaster.

My other present on an embroidery theme is this beautiful book by Jane Nicholas, called ‘Stumpwork butterflies and moths’. It’s the third in the series (the previous ones were on beetles and dragonflies). I’m usually not that keen on insects, but butterflies are so pretty, I can *almost* forget that they’re insects!

Xmas 6

The book covers the background of butterflies in art and science, including explaining how people used to collect them for displaying in glass cases. Most of the book is given over to how to make an embroidered version of  such a case. There are 18 different butterflies to make, using many different techniques.

Xmas 7

The beginning of the book features images taken from old books, jewellery, etc.

Xmas 8

As well as the butterfly display case project, there are four smaller projects using butterflies taken from the earlier part of the book, and used in other ways, such as this pretty ceramic jar lid.

Xmas 9

As usual. Jane’s instructions are really good, and very detailed, with dozens and dozens of line drawings and photos.

Xmas 10

I was so taken with the book, that I spent a good part of Christmas Day afternoon online, sourcing the fine wires (33 gauge, usually used in sugarcraft) and chenille thread that I’ll need in order to make these. This particular butterfly is my favourite, and I want to make this first:

Xmas 11

I’m quite tempted to make all 18 butterflies eventually, but I think I’ll start with just the one, and work out what to do with it once it’s made!

This book is well worth buying – it’s so beautiful to look at, even if you never make anything from it. If you have a little embroidery experience you would have no trouble making the projects in the book. It’s available from Amazon, etc., and costs around £19 hardback. Published by Sally Milner Publishing. ISBN 978-1863514521


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