Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui 24: stitching the needle pages

I am currently stitching the Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui as a stitchalong project. This week, I’ve been stitching the needle pages on doctor flannel. See the end of this post for all the information you’ll need to join in!

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This is the project I’m stitching, as shown in Inspirations magazine issue 95. I’m stitching the heart-shaped flannel pieces to be used as a needle holder (it’s on the left of the image below, next to the scissor pocket).

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

I had a lot of trouble getting ‘real’ doctor flannel. I bought the piece that I’ve used in this project a couple of years ago, from Australia (the shipping to the UK was eye-watering!), as I’d tried to buy it here and had no luck at all – everywhere was sold out. In the end, I contacted an Australian shop, and bought a whole yard of the stuff, which I expect to last me the rest of my life. After all, how many needle books can you make, that need doctor flannel for the pages?! I’ve tried substituting felt before, but it’s just not the same.

[EDIT: One of my blog readers, called Louise, found it available in the UK from Viking Loom, here:  , so I’d recommend that you buy some from there if you’re in the UK.]

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

To transfer the shape onto the flannel, I cut out the two different sizes of heart from interfacing, pinned those to the flannel, then tacked around the outside of each shape to transfer the outline. Then I trimmed each heart shape down to the actual stitching line, re-pinned the heart to the flannel and stitched another, smaller heart. This will be the line that I actually embroider along, unpicking the tacking as I go.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

Starting at the top point of the heart, I stitched Fly Stitch down each side, with one strand of Anchor stranded cotton 266 (substitute) ending at the tip each time.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

The instructions in the magazine say to stitch a one-wrap French knot into the ‘cup’ of each fly Stitch, using the pink variegated thread. But I’m using two separate shades of Anchor instead – 1028 and 50 – so I had to stitch mine in two ’rounds’, trying to make it look ‘random’. Have you ever had to *decide* on a ‘random’ pattern?! It’s not easy!

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

But it came out really well, in the end!

The final, scary, bit, was cutting out each heart shape with pinking shears, and trying to get the points of the triangles to end neatly and evenly at the top and bottom of the heart.

These pages will be secured in the centre with just one little button, when the etui is assembled, so that needles can be attached on both layers.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

Isn’t it pretty?

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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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15 thoughts on “Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui 24: stitching the needle pages”

  1. Such sweet little hearts! I’m an Australian, and when we were living in the UK, there were a few different supplies that I could really only get from Australia. Most odd, but any type of wool fabric was one of them!

    1. That’s interesting! Yes, we used to have a good wool industry in the UK, but it’s been going downhill for years. Even when knitting as a hobby picked up a few years ago, most of the wool that is being used is being imported.

  2. It really is incredibly pretty Janet, and I know exactly what you mean about trying to stitch a random pattern. It always makes me realise how ‘plan-bound’ I am most of the time, as it’s quite a mental test to achieve the right effect! I love how you have used the two shades of thread so effectively and your two little hearts look absolutely adorable together. 🙂

    1. Doctor flannel is a fairly loosely woven wool fabric, which is very soft, and is a bit thinner than craft felt (but quite a bit more expensive!). It’s usually used, in needlework, to make the pages of needlebooks. It often comes from Australia, as they have a wool industry still!

  3. Interesting to see comment on Doctor Flannel. I have a needlebook I made in class at school in the 1950’s. It was made to learn all the different stitches. The cover is in very good condition but the pages have deteriorated. Would you be interested in selling a small piece. I did not know what the flannel was called and have not seen anything to replace here in the States.

    1. Access Commodities sell it in America. Try googling scottish needlebook pages – and you should be able to find it. I found some at
      under Misc accessories.

      In Canada you can get it from

      I haven’t dealt with either of these shops so cannot recommend them.

      Interesting that they call it ‘Scottish’ wool pages when you can’t buy it from Scotland, just as you cant buy Londonderry linen thread from Ireland. A marketing thing maybe?

      1. I used to sell my dollhouse needlepoint kits to Viking Loom, when I used to supply the trade. They are lovely people to do business with, and they know exactly what people want to stitch! Always have interesting things in their shop.

  4. I had no idea what Dr.’s flannel was but Amazon US had it and it was in the healthcare department. I even came with instructions on how to use. It was enough for a lot of needle pages.

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