Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui 25: stitching the thimble holder

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

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The thimble holder in this project is one of the three ‘dangleys’ (probably called ‘chatelaine pieces’ really!) that hang from the  centre point of the etui when it is closed. It’s the one on the right of the three shown below.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

The fabric that the main piece of the thimble holder is stitched on is quite large because it is both the inside and outside of the holder – it will be folded in half horizontally when it’s assembled. So, all the embroidery is done on the lower half.

The scallops are stitched in Hungarian Braided Chain Stitch, in a similar way to the stems on the front of the etui, except that these ones are stitched with just one strand of Anchor stranded cotton 268 instead of two, so the resulting line is finer when completed (and a bit more fiddly to stitch). See my blog post on how I stitched the front panel for details of how to do this stitch.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

Then the scallops are outlined with the copper metallic thread in Stem Stitch:

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

This gives a nice highlight to the scallops, which are tiny (each about half an inch across from point to point).

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

Groups of three Lazy Daisy stitches are placed along the scallops, on the points and the centre of the tops. Then the stems for the forget-me-nots are stitched in Chain Stitch in two strands of Anchor 267 (substitute) which is then whipped with one strand of the same thread.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

Copper metallic is then used to do Stem Stitch along both sides of the green stems, ending in a tight curl (keep your stitches short to make these neatly).

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

The usual forget-me-not flowers are added to the ends of the stems last.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

Once the main body of the thimble holder is stitched, the outer and inner lids are stitched. The outer lid needs five forget-me-not beaded flowers placed evenly around a circle of Hungarian Braided Chain Stitch. The dots are marked on the paper pattern as placement marks, but once you start doing the Hungarian Stitch, you’ll end up covering those up with your stitches, so I marked extra dots just outside the outer line of the circle, so that I could still tell where to put the flowers later.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

Once the green stem line has been stitched, then outlined on both sides with the copper metallic thread, the beaded flowers can be added, evenly spaced!! It’s worth spending the time to get this right, as it’s annoyingly obvious when they are not right (not that I’m picky or anything…).

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

The inner lid is then stitched in a similar way, except that as this embroidered circle is so small (barely 5/8 of an inch), the ‘flowers’ are just single beads. The addition of the copper metallic Lazy Daisy leaves makes it look very cute, though  🙂

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

This was lovely to stitch. But I suspect it’s going to be a nightmare to assemble. When I was making the Home Sweet Home workbox a couple of years ago (also by Carolyn Pearce), the thimble holder for that was really hard to put together, as the pieces were so tiny. It’s worth leaving your seam allowances as large as you can, for now, until you are sure of what you can trim off. Here’s the one I previously made:

Home Sweet home Thimble holder

On to the pinwheel next……

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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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