Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui 23: stitching the pincushion top

I am currently stitching the Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui as a stitchalong project. I have been stitching the pincushion top this week. See the end of this post for all the information you’ll need to join in!

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I’ve been looking forward to stitching this piece, as it’s ‘unique’ in this project – that is, it isn’t just a repeat of another part! And it’s so pretty, too. This is the pincushion, as shown in Inspirations magazine, in their instructions:

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre pincushion

The stems are stitched in Stem Stitch in Anchor stranded cotton 266 (substitute). The three trailing stems in the centre on my version are longer than those in the photos in the magazine, as my pencil lines still showed at the ends of the lines where spaced out Colonial knots should have been – but if I’d have stopped as short as those in the photo above, the pencil lines would have been visible, so I extended the lines of Stem Stitch and then put the knots even further out. This makes the centre of my pincushion more ‘full’ with stitching, but I like it like that!

The forget-me-not flowers are made with beads again, the same as in the rest of this project. I’m getting quicker at making these, now  🙂

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

In between the forget-me-nots are little pink flowers. These are made from French knots. The magazine instructions say to use various light and dark pieces from a variegated thread, but as I’m not using that, I used Anchor stranded cotton in two pink shades – 1028 and 50. The knots in the centre of each flower were stitched first, using the pale lemon thread from House of Embroidery. Each beaded flower has two of the French knot flowers placed near to it, but kind of randomly.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

To make the petals for the flowers, I stitched three French knots around the central yellow one, in a vaguely Y-shape, and then filled in with two more to make a circle of knots.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

Sort of like this (only this one isn’t actually a good example, but you get the idea!).

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

The two tones of pink that I used for the flowers worked really well to make a soft and feminine-looking pincushion. When all the flowers were stitched, I filled in around them with tiny Lazy Daisy leaves, stitched in copper metallic thread and Anchor 267 dark green.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

I really enjoyed the randomness of this piece – it appeals to my sense of freedom! It’s so different to doing the little regimented filling stitches on some of the other bits of this project, like the tiny leaves for the primrose. I suspect that those of you stitching along with me will enjoy doing this part, too!

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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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2 thoughts on “Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui 23: stitching the pincushion top”

  1. This is such a pretty little piece in the Strawberry Fayre project Janet, and I love the little sprays of flowers. It’s interesting seeing how you have approached each part and customised it slightly to your own preference. It’s beautiful and unique to you! 🙂

    1. Thank you! Sometimes the ‘uniqueness’ is due to lack of access to the right materials, though 🙂 Or misreading the instructions…… But I am really pleased with how it’s turning out.

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