Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui 21: Stitching for the inner pockets

I am currently stitching the Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui as a stitchalong project. I’m just beginning the stitching for the inner pockets and smalls for this project now. See the end of this post for all the information you’ll need to join in!

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Now that the outer heart shape of the etui itself is completed, I’ve started stitching the inner pockets for the sewing tools. Each one is stitched in a similar manner.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

This is one of the pockets close up – the little pink flower, stems and leaves are stitched in a similar way to the front panel of the etui, so refer back to the blog post about the front panel for detailed descriptions of how to do the relevant stitches. These didn’t take long to do, but, as I mentioned before, I think the leaf shapes in particular are very small for the detailed stitches that are supposed to fit in the spaces! If I wasn’t doing this for a stitchalong, and trying to follow the Inspirations magazines instructions as far as possible, I think I’d have done the leaves in Satin Stitch – partly to make them easier to do, but mainly to make them stand out more. I think that doing them with fiddly filling stitches doesn’t really work. These leaves are filled with Vandyke Stitch, but you can hardly see that that is the stitch that’s been used, as these leaves are barely a centimetre long. As before, the stems are worked in Chain Stitch and then whipped with a contrasting thread. The pink flower is stitched with Buttonhole stitch, then outlined with Coral Stitch, all using one strand of Anchor.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

I’m working these pockets and smalls all on one piece of fabric, using a 12 inch hoop, which means that I can work similar design pieces in one go without having to re-thread my needle. It also means I use far less fabric, as I don’t need to allow space around each piece to hoop them up separately. As long as I leave at least half an inch of fabric between each element, I’ll be able to stitch them all and then cut them apart later, still leaving a quarter of an inch seam allowance for each one.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

I’m starting to think about what items I’ll put in the pockets, when the etui is finished. Of course, I’ll be using one of the pockets for the very elusive mother of pearl ruler, that was almost impossible to buy, until I received a tip-off from one of this blog’s readers (thanks, Jeanette!!).

I’ve had a really cute, solid silver needle holder tube for about thirty years, which I might put in one of the smaller pockets. I’ve also got a wooden half cone stick for making stumpwork flowers  such as foxgloves, which would fit as well. I also came across some lovely vintage mother of pearl ‘gaming chips’ on Ebay, so I’m planning to use one as a thread-winder for one of the pockets. They are very finely carved, and quite delicate. There are loads of these on Ebay, with many different designs. Each one costs about £10 though, so they’re not cheap, but they’re very pretty, and continue the mother of pearl theme.

Sewing tools for Strawberry Fayre heart etui

Now I’m moving on to stitching the heart-shaped pockets for the scissors and bodkin…..

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The Strawberry Fayre design, plus the complete list of materials, appears in Inspirations magazine number 95The publishers do sell a full materials pack  (not including the mother of pearl ruler though!), but it’s rather expensive, so if you can use your stash, and just fill in with bits and pieces, then so much the better! The magazine is published in Australia – if you live in the UK, as I do, it is cheaper to buy a back copy from Manor House Magazines, and save a lot on the shipping. 

EDIT: The materials pack from Inspirations, and the magazine from Manor House in the UK are not available any more as at March 2018 – I don’t know if any more stocks will be available now, unfortunately. The publishers may bring out a digital pattern pack later, which they sometimes do with popular projects from their magazines, but we’ll have to wait and see…..

To read about this project stitchalong from the beginning, start here. The post about which FABRIC to use is here. The post about the THREAD SUBSTITUTIONS that I made, plus WHERE TO BUY the threads and beads, etc., is here.

To look up all the posts in this series in the sidebar, see under the CATEGORIES list, under: Embroidery / Full size (others’ designs) / Strawberry Fayre heart etui, or use the SEARCH BOX at the top of the blog, and search for ‘Strawberry Fayre’ to get a list of all the posts (but it’s in reverse order, sorry!).

I’d be interested to see images of how your project is progressing – please email large, clear, well-focused images to  Please bear in mind that any images sent may be used in this blog and/or social media such as Facebook or Pinterest.


Are you interested in doll’s houses and stitching? Then why not visit my website, where you can buy doll’s house needlepoint kits to make all kinds of soft furnishings for one-twelfth scale dollhouses. There are over 280 kits to choose from, plus chart packs, fabric project packs, tutorials, and lots of eye candy to inspire you! Kits are available on 18 and 22 count canvas, 28 and 32 count evenweave, and 32 and 40 count silk gauze, so there’s something for everyone – from beginners to experts.


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4 thoughts on “Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui 21: Stitching for the inner pockets”

  1. Wow I like your wood stump work cone. I have never tried stump work and just recently ordered a book on this. I must say I didn’t follow the pattern much. I made my Etui about 20% larger and then made most of the pockets the same. I ended up using the 4 inch brass ruler and that was the only way I could get it in. I also change the embroidery motif around the top of the inside hearts to better accommodate the ruler.
    I have just finished the beaded edges of the hearts and I couldn’t figure out how to keep the braided pearl stitch neat, so I opted for a coral stitch.
    Another problem I had was with the cords on the smalls, I bought all kinds of beads but none had a large enough hole to work with this cord. I may have done this wrong but it’s too late now.

    1. Well, you’re a long way ahead of me! I’ve just been reading up on how to make the three smalls with the cords attached, and I couldn’t work out how to get a thick cord through the beads that I’ve got either, so I might have to adapt the instructions (again) for that bit 🙂

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