My oak sewing box

I was going to do a blog post this week about all my favourites doll’s house and miniatures websites, so that you can use it as a ‘basic resource’ when making and collecting for your own doll’s houses, but I have realised that that’s quite a mammoth task (as I have dozens of ‘favourite websites’), so rather than rush to get that one ready (I want it to be good!!), I’m going to give you a ‘stitchy blog post’ this week:

People have asked me what kind of tools and equipment I use day-to-day when I am doing my embroidery, so this week I’m going to talk about one of my favourite things. Whenever I start a new project, I collect together the threads and so on that I’m going to use, and put them in my project box. This is what it looks like:

Box 1

This is a box lid design by Sheila Marshall that I stitched about ten years ago, with goldwork highlights and some beads. I love it!

Most of the embroidery is long and short stitch, with some needlelace filling stitches for textural interest. Many of the shapes are outlined in various thicknesses of gold thread, couched in place with silk thread. Tiny gold seed beads are scattered over the background to fill the spaces.

Box 2

When I saw the design in the book ‘Elizabethan Needlework Accessories’ by Sheila Marshall, I really wanted to make it, but the box she had used for the version in her book had been specially made for her. So, I asked my husband to make me a similar sized box with an aperture lid for my birthday, to put the stitching into.

The box is beautifully made out of oak. It measures 10 inches by 6 by 3 high.

Box 3

I specifically asked him not to make the interior into lots of little compartments, as I find that although they look useful, nothing ever really fits properly. I’d rather have just one compartment.

Box 4

This is the book that the design is from. It was published in New Zealand in 1998. For several years it was out of print, but you can now get it on Amazon again here for around £13.  There are several other books in the series by the same publisher (Dick Georgeson), and they’re all very good. I’ve made several things from all the books, and they’re gorgeous. The stumpwork petal bag on the cover of the book is something I loved making a few years back.

Box 5

One small change that I made to the design was that I added a little bee from a companion piece in the book (to make a pinwheel), which was just too cute to leave out.

Here’s a picture of my box, alongside the picture from the book of Sheila’s one. Similar, aren’t they?!

Box 6

It’s one of my favourite things that I have ever made  🙂



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13 thoughts on “My oak sewing box”

  1. What a beautiful box. And such a good idea to use something wonderful to contain current projects. I tend to use any old box/tray/containter but I can see that having something gorgeous might encourage me to complete them!

  2. Beautiful work! I have a copy of Ms. Marshall’s book….must pull it out for some inspiration! Thank you for posting this project!

  3. I Love your box. I recently embroidered a Jane Nicholas design (Turkish Tile from her book) and installed it into a box lid–it is one of my favorites also! Thank you for sharing it. I look forward to your list–we are researching our roombox right now. Lots to learn.

  4. Oh this is gorgeous! I do remember that design as I bought the book when it was first published and it’s good to hear that it is available again. Your version looks lovely set in the box your husband made. What a handy chap he is! And I love the bee. 🙂

  5. Beautiful design! I love how you changed it to make it your own! I work at a craft store and most customers insist they make the project exactly the same as their instructions. I try to get them to personalize their project. I can hardly wait for your next post!

  6. What a lovely box and I love that pattern! I’m going to see if I can get a copy of that book. I love the idea of having a special box for all your current project’s supplies. I batch everything up into bags but this is much nicer!

  7. I have this booklet and love it. I am making the sewing pouch but I love little boxes, so maybe this one will be Next! You did a fine job and so did your husband, thanks for sharing, it encourages me to keep on.

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