Carolyn Pearce Home Sweet Home workbox 32: thread cutter cover assembly

Now that I’ve completed the stitching for the thread-cutter cover from Carolyn Pearce’s book ‘Home Sweet Home: an embroidered workbox’, I need to assemble it – not my favourite occupation! I always think I’m going to ruin things at this point!

I apologise in advance for the quality of the images in this blog post – I was doing all this late at night, and the photos needed to be taken as I went along, to try to show the stages, but it’s not been very successful  😦

Anyway, here are all the pieces, cut out and ready to assemble. Stitched pieces (front and back) striped cotton for the lining, fine wadding (Pellon) to back the embroidery with, and two pieces of acetate to stiffen the front and back pieces (which you can hardly see in the photo).

Cutter 6

Each embroidered piece is first attached along what will be the bottom edge of the cutter cover to the relevant lining piece.

Cutter 7

A gathering stitch, using quilting cotton (the white thread in the photo) is made in the seam allowance of each joined piece. The piece of acetate is put behind the embroidered side, and the thread is gathered up, pulling the seam allowance over the acetate. The rest of the gathering thread, around the edge of the lining side, is supposed to help pull it into a curved shape so that it backs the acetate/embroidered side piece. This didn’t work too well!

Cutter 8

But with a bit of fiddling, I managed to get the lining to fit the shape of the front piece, and slip-stitch the lining to the front around the edge, angling the stitches so that the lining piece was just a tiny bit smaller than the front. This way, the lining won’t show around the edges when I do the next bit.

Cutter 9

The two embroidered/lining pieces are then put lining sides together, and slip-stitched all around the curved edge, leaving a half inch gap at the very top, for the hanging cord to go through later.

Next morning, I carried on with the assembly, the sun came out, and my photos were a lot better!

This is the thread-cutter cover once I had worked Knotted pearl stitch all around the curved edge, over the slip-stitches. Around the gap at the top, I worked the Knotted pearl stitch on both edges.

Cutter 10

So, this is the front of the thread-cutter cover itself, once completed except for the decorative edging along the bottom edge, which I’m hoping to do next, before going on to making the hanging cord.

Cutter 11

It’s coming out really nicely, isn’t it?!


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Carolyn Pearce Home Sweet Home workbox 31: the beehive thread cutter cover embroidery

This next sewing accessory that I am making from Carolyn Pearce’s book ‘Home Sweet Home: an embroidered workbox’ is a very unusual one. It’s a thread-cutter cover, for one of those round cutters, such as Clover make, for instance. They are the sort of cutter that you can sometimes take onto planes, because the blade is protected, so it can’t be used as a weapon!

This cover is made to be worn as a necklace, so that you always have the thread-cutter to hand as you’re stitching. It features a little beehive and some bees among the flowers.

I started by tracing the design onto the fabric using a sharp pencil and my light box to help me, then I cut out the small pieces of beige felt, to pad the beehive shape with. It needs three layers to pad it enough, starting with the smallest piece being stitched down first.

Cutter 1

The beehive itself is embroidered by laying an uneven number of long vertical threads across the shape (avoiding the doorway), then two passes of the same shade of wool are woven backwards and forwards horizontally, to make the beehive look realistic. It was fiddly to do this bit, but I like how it’s come out, The doorway itself is black satin stitch, worked after all the weaving stitches are finished.

The tiny little bees (they’re only about a quarter of an inch long) are made by stitching three French knots in a line – yellow, black, then yellow again – with two tiny lazy daisy stitches in Kreinik gold thread for the wings.

Cutter 2

The blades of grass are straight stitches in two shades of very fine wool. This is the reverse side of the thread cutter cover, which has flowers, bees and grass, but no beehive.

Cutter 3

The flowers on both front and back are stitched next. The anemones are raised cross stitches, woven in three shades of red, with a French knot in black in the centre. This knot is helpful, as it stops the flower shape from ‘untwiddling’ itself!

Cutter 4

The blue flowers are a gold French knot surrounded by five blue ones, and the daisies are three individual lazy daisy stitches stitched in a curve, with a gold French knot at the centre of the curve.

Cutter 5

The embroidery for both the front and back panels only took me two evenings to stitch – not long at all. The assembly will probably take longer than that.


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Carolyn Pearce Home Sweet Home workbox 9: daisies and forget-me-nots on the spoolholder

The flowers around the sides of the spoolholder that I am making from Carolyn Pearce’s ‘Home Sweet Home Workbox’ book are coming along nicely now. These daisies are stitched by working three lazy daisy stitches in a group, all starting from roughly the same point. The centre of each is a French knot, made with two strands and two wraps around a milliners needle.

Spoolholder 14

The forget-me-nots are worked by stitching four granitos stitches, leaving a tiny space in the centre for another French knot.

Spoolholder 15

Lastly, these little blue flowers are worked by stitching five French knots in a circle, and then filling the centre of the circle with a butter-coloured Mill Hill size 11 seed bead. In Carolyn’s book, she suggested using blue flower beads for these flowers. For one thing, I have found it impossible to buy anything remotely like the beads that Carolyn used. Also, I prefer the softer look of these flowers worked mainly in French knots, to possibly chunky-looking beads.

Spoolholder 16

The strange green thing on the left of the image above is the back end of the caterpillar!


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Carolyn Pearce Home Sweet Home workbox 8: embroidering the anemones on the spool holder

This week I’ve been filling in the flowers and leaves around the sides of the spoolholder that I am making from Carolyn Pearce’s ‘Home Sweet Home Workbox’ book.

The anemone flowers are stitched using raised cross stitches. This is a really successful stitch to use for these little flowers.

Spoolholder 9

I started by making a loose-ish cross stitch exactly over the pencilled circles I’d previously drawn, using two strands of red silk in a number 26 tapestry needle. Then, I brought the needle up near to the centre of the cross, and to the lower right.

Spoolholder 10

Without going down through the fabric, I threaded the needle under the right-hand arm of the cross, making sure that the thread laid under the needle, and pulled the thread through snugly, but not too tightly.

Spoolholder 11

Then I turned the fabric through 90 degrees clockwise, and threaded the needle under the next arm of the cross stitch (still making sure the thread was under the needle). I repeated that with the other two arms of the cross stitch to make one complete round – then carried on going, filling the cross until it was comfortably full, but not over-stuffed! The trick to getting this stitch right is to turn your work, rather than trying to thread the needle through at awkward angles.

Spoolholder 12

When the raised cross stitch for each flower was finished, they looked like this. Neat, eh?!

Spoolholder 13

To finish them off properly, I worked a tiny French knot in one strand of Anchor thread using two wraps round a milliners needle for the flower centres. This gave them ‘character’. I’ll work the stems later, when the other types of flowers are done, if there are gaps – otherwise, I might leave them as they are, kind of  ‘floating’ – not sure yet.


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