This unusual item is called a pipkin. It’s made from three leaf-shaped pieces of fabric, gathered over cardboard formers and laced across the back, then backed with felt (cut a tiny bit smaller than the outer pieces). The three shapes are then stitched together using Palestrina knot stitch (a bit like an overcast stitch, but after each overcast stitch you then go back and loop the needle twice through the stitch you’ve just made, without piercing the fabric, and so making a line of evenly spaced knots along the line of stitching – a very useful stitch to master!).
It opens by you squeezing the two ends, and so forcing the open side to gape, so that the thimble can be taken out. I don’t actually use a thimble when I’m stitching, but I just couldn’t resist making this, as it’s such a different kind of sewing accessory to own!
The cute hedgehog’s spines are worked in various shades of brown, randomly, until it just ‘looks right’! In front of the hedgehog is the most tiny bee, made from very small satin stitches worked in stripes of yellow and black, with wings in silver blending filament added last. The other two sides feature a silver spider’s web with a minute spider, and my initials.
The design is from Jane Nicholas’ wonderful book ‘Stumpwork Embroidery – Designs and Projects’, published in 1998 by Sally Milner Publishing.
In the book, there are co-ordinating sewing accessories to make – a needlebook with a squirrel on it, a scissors scabbard, and a pinwheel, along with a drawstring bag to keep them all in.
Although this style of embroidery is very different from the doll’s house needlepoint that I sell as kits, I really enjoy the change of technique that’s needed to make this kind of item.