This is a project I finished a few years ago, but I thought I’d show you it, as I just love it! It’s a Pennsylvania toy chest etui, with the ‘toys’ being sewing accessories. The design is by Betsy Morgan of Willing Hands. She doesn’t sell these as kits, but you buy the project pack as part of the workshops which she offers, which last from a couple of days to a week, depending on the item being made (of course, you don’t *finish* the item in a few days, but Betsy shows you all the steps you’ll need to do, and you get the chance to practice, and ask questions, and get started at least!). Betsy is from the USA, but has been over to England a couple of times. If you get the chance, go and have a look at her other items, and list of course dates on her blog. In October 2016 she will be offering classes as part of the Beating Around the Bush stitching event in Adelaide, Australia, organised by Inspirations magazine.
The toy chest is about six inches long by four inches high. It’s stitched on 32 count evenweave fabric – mainly over two, but sometimes over one thread, depending on the part of the design. Most of it is stitched in cross stitch, but there are some counted stitches too. Often, the threads are variegated, and always very good quality. All the components that you need come in the project pack (such as the crystal beads for the closures, and the stiff lining fabrics).
To join the panels together, the edges of each piece have backstitch worked around them, so you mount each piece onto stiffener and then join the backstitching together with a ladder stitch. It’s a very neat way to finish off the edges.
This is the back of the toy chest, with the date I finished it embroidered on it – 2012.
Each end of the toy chest has a horse motif stitched on it.
The box is lined with fine silk, in a check pattern. I didn’t have to make it match, but being picky like that, I decided that I wanted to – not the easiest of things to do, but it came out OK in the end!
The toy chest is filled with all kinds of ‘toys’ – the sewing accessories. This is a hint of what I’ll show you next time….they only just fit!!
Isn’t it a lovely thing?!