Carolyn Pearce Home Sweet Home workbox 42: assembling the box

Now that I’ve stitched all the panels for the Home Sweet Home box by Carolyn Pearce itself, I’m ready to start assembling it.

Make 1

Each embroidered panel needs to be mounted on 2mm mount board, which is padded with felt first. Carolyn suggest gluing the felt on, but I find that using pieces of double-sided sticky tape in the corners of each panel is enough to hold the felt in place. The felt is cut oversized first.

Make 2

Then, once it’s fixed to the mount board, it is trimmed close to the edge of each piece of board.

Make 3

Each embroidered panel can then be laced onto the mount board, using number 12 Perle thread, as that is very strong. The corners of the fabric are mitred to reduce bulk, using quilting thread.

Make 4

This is the first panel finished, The felt gives a slightly padded look, without it being too much.

Make 5

When all the wall panels are mounted onto the relevant pieces of board, they can be joined together at the edges with strong thread. For this, you will need a small curved needle (as used in upholstery), and very strong cotton thread. I bought a pack of four in various sizes on Ebay. The needle I used was about 1 3/4 inches long in total, along the curve. Although it looks, from the image, as if I am stitching away from me, I found it much easier, once I got the hang of it, to always stitch towards me. I used Ladder stitch to join the panels – taking a stitch on one panel, then crossing to the other panel directly opposite and making a horizontal stitch there, alternating along the length of the join, pulling the stitches tightly as I went along. I found it helpful to rest the two panels on a heap of books as I stitched, to hold the panels in place.

Make 6

This is the first join completed.

Make 7

When all four walls had been joined, I measured the size of the space where the base panel would fit, before cutting the mount board for that piece and lacing the embroidery to the board. Then I attached the base panel by dropping it into position so that it was flush with the bottom edges of the four walls. Pins inserted in the edges of the fabric held the base panel in position while I Ladder stitched around the base, removing the pins as I went.

Make 8

I found it helpful to stand the shell of the house box on a tall plastic food container as I stitched, so that I didn’t inadvertently crush the gable ends while I had the box upside down!

Make 9

This is the completed outside of the box, showing the base once stitched into position.

Make 10

It only took a couple of evenings to get this far – but that’s the easy bit…….

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27 thoughts on “Carolyn Pearce Home Sweet Home workbox 42: assembling the box

  1. Kathryn J

    Oh it’s fantastic seeing the pieces assembled into the body of the box! I like the button feet you added – when you first showed us the base embroidery I was concerned it would get crushed, but now I see how it works. Looking lovely! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Janet Granger Post author

      The buttons I used were quite thick (deep? chunky?), so the embroidery won’t get crushed, hopefully.I can still see daylight under the box when it’s standing upright, anyway!

      Reply
  2. Isabel Taylorson

    So exciting to reach this point and I am so interested in its development from now on. To buy the curved needle, is there a thickness to look out for? And what about the cotton? Which one did you use? Finally, did you block the pieces? I thought it was quite a complicated process in the book.

    Reply
    1. Janet Granger Post author

      There’s hardly any choice in curved needles. I just bought a ‘mixed pack’on Ebay – and when it arrived, I tried the larger size first, and found it to be too thick to make neat small stitches. I don’t think they come in ‘gauges’ like tapestry and hand sewing needles do – at least, the ones in the packet I bought weren’t marked at all. I used Perle 12 thread to lace the embroidery over the mount board, and ecru quilting thread in the curved needle. Quilting thread is strong, and fine enough to make neat stitches. I didn’t block the embroidery – I hate doing that. I’d used a hoop for all the stitching, so none of it was out of shape.

      Reply
      1. Isabel Taylorson

        I have done blocking in very small pieces like pincushions, but reading the blocking in the book made me a little scared of doing it. Glad it is not necessary.

      2. Janet Granger Post author

        Yes, it really isn’t necessary. I’ve realised that what I replied to you earlier wasn’t quite right – I said that I laced the panels of the workbox together with Perle 12. I didn’t. It was ecru quilting thread. Oops! I’ll have to go back and edit that.

      3. Isabel Taylorson

        Are there different thicknesses for the quilting thread? Have you used Perle 12 for lacing smaller projects?

      4. Isabel Taylorson

        I had an idea you used Perle 12. Sorry to ask so many questions, but I am really interested in the practical aspect of this project. Did you choose the quilting thread because it is stronger than Perle 12 for this particular lacing?

      5. Janet Granger Post author

        I used Perle 12 to lace the fabric over the mount board pieces. But I used the quilting thread to lace the panels to each other, as I was constructing the box. The quilting thread is really strong, but it’s also quite fine (finer than Perle 12), so, once the panels have been laced together, the stitches are almost invisible.

    1. Janet Granger Post author

      Well actually, yes, it’s quite terrifying to start putting it all together, as it could so easily go wrong….but after all this work, I’ve got to try, haven’t I?!

      Reply
    1. Janet Granger Post author

      It was easy to cut the mount board. I used a steel ruler with a raised central grip bar. The ruler is 18 inches long. It’s best to draw accurately in pencil first, then make one light cut the full length, then go over it and over it until you’ve cut right through, rather than try to get through the board in one heavy cut – you’re more likely to slip then, and cut a wobbly line, or cut yourself in the process.

      Reply
  3. Janet

    HI
    Did you just use buttons for the feet on the bottom of the house? That seems simpler than what was suggested in the book.

    Reply
    1. Janet Granger Post author

      Yes, I used ordinary buttons – quite chunky ones, though, to give me the depth. Carolyn uses fabric covered buttons with shanks, that need sinking into holes made in the mount board. I thought that was too much work, and likely to go wrong, and I didn’t have four small cover buttons to use – but I’ve got a stash of thousands of ordinary buttons!

      Reply
  4. Kay M. Hahn

    I really like the way you put that together. You said you stitch towards yourself, I haven’t managed to make curved needles work so I need to try that.

    Reply
  5. Nicole McReavy

    Love to see how you have worked through this project and seeing it come to completion. Putting together a project like this would be intimidating to me, but with your photos and notes i think i could tackle it. Thanks !

    Reply
  6. Gita

    I bought the book when it came out and have looked at it many times. Your workbox looks magnificent so far. I can’t wait to see it fully assembled. This might be my next project. Thank you so much for sharing your journey.

    Reply
  7. Xanthe Meadows

    Your embroidered house looks so incredible! I love the small details on it everywhere, could study it for ages! Well done, not only is your embroidery wonderful, but an amazing step by step plan and photography too.

    Reply
    1. Janet Granger Post author

      Hi, It’s a solid cardboard, usually 2mm thick (but sometimes available as 4mm thick), with a coloured paper finish on one side. It doesn’t have a foam core centre – that kind of board is very unusual in the UK.

      Reply

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