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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