needlepoint sampler #2

Yesterday I finished the needlepoint sampler, added a fabric border and attached it to the footstool. Taa Daa! I’m not sure how well it might wear but it adds a nice splash of colour to an otherwise plain carpeted floor. I deliberately aimed for a different stitch in each of the forty areas but as I was typing the stitch list I noticed that I’d used Tent stitch in two sections. Too late now to unpick one of them but I won’t lose any sleep over it. I quite enjoyed doing this but it might be a while before I attempt any of the projects in the charity shop book that got me started on this in the first instance. Stitches used are listed below with the name that was given in the source I found it in but you may know some stitches by other names. If you spot any glaring errors between what stitch I claim to have used and what I actually stitched, please let me know!


needlepoint sampler

I bought twenty Appleton’s crewel wool hanks in a sale a few years ago and acquired a book or two on crewel embroidery with the intention of stitching up some fabulous work but nothing fabulous has yet materialised. However, finding two bags stuffed with crewel wool in one of my favourite charity shops was too good an opportunity to pass up and when less than an hour later I spotted a book* on needlepoint in another charity shop and liked one or two of the projects shown using crewel wool, I had to buy that too.

It took me an afternoon to sort through the new hoard and bag them up into colour groups as per Appleton’s chart. Before starting any project from the book, I’m stitching a sampler and when it’s finished I plan to upholster my workroom footstool with it. I’m keeping a note of which stitches I’m using and where and I’ll show that when I’ve finished. As you can see in the sampler image, I’m not too fussy about which colours go where – this piece is mainly about the stitches.

*The book is simply titled Needlepoint and the author is Sarah Windrum.

workbox #3 base

I haven’t done much on the workbox recently except prepare fabric for the accessories and embroider this frame on the base. Something like “Workbox made and embroidered in 2018” will be stitched within the frame but I can’t decide whether to stitch upper or lower case letters so I’ll put it aside for now and get started on the accessories.

In the image you can also see my new needle minder. I was lucky enough to be chosen recently to road test it by Marlous, who writes the blog The Stitching Sheep.  The needle minder is a sweet little wooden one with an extremely powerful magnet and easily holds my embroidery scissors as well as needles. I believe Marlous will be selling the needle minders later this year but even if you’re not in the market for one, her blog is worth a long browse.

workbox #2 roof panel

I’ve been stitching a roof panel for a couple of hours each day for nearly a week but just another hour or so of stitching today will complete the satin stitching. The honeycomb effect appears once the tiles are linked together by weaving a thread from one tile to another. I didn’t have the YLI Embellishment Yarn or the Permin linen suggested in the book so I opted for a variegated 6 stranded embroidery cotton and some Brittney evenweave fabric which I coloured with wax crayons. The book doesn’t specify the linen count but from the number of roof ’tiles’ specified to be stitched, together with the roof panel dimensions, I calculated that 28 count was correct but I have  more tiles than I should have. I have no intention of starting again and really, will it matter that my tiles are just a tad smaller than Ms Pearce’s?

workbox project #1

I hope you all had an enjoyable festive season and are ready to dive into 2018 with some new projects or finish those bothersome WIPs. I was looking forward to beginning Carolyn Pearce’s Home Sweet Home workbox but the book, due to drop through my letterbox on December 21st didn’t arrive. In the meantime, I’ve been reading Janet Granger’s blog which has excellent posts about this very workbox. It took Janet a year to complete the box and accessories and it may well take me longer but I’m in no hurry and expect to stitch other things in between.

A skim through old Inspirations magazines after Christmas revealed an article in issue 81 by Carolyn Pearce on how to make the thimble case, tape measure cover, and thread cutter cover, which are some of the accessories to the workbox so while I’m waiting for the book to arrive (replacement copy due later this week) I thought I would embroider the thimble case. I can see already that the workbox and accessories project will require mega concentration and precision in all areas, for example, my vines on the trellis of the thimble case are more overgrown than Ms Pearce’s and definitely in need of pruning.


box of birds final

At last, the box is finished and the construction of it was more challenging than the embroidery. It’s taken me several hours every day for a week to put it together and add feet and a padded lining. More than once I had to unpick stitching and start again when things didn’t line up as I thought they should have, or wait until the blood stopped flowing after I’d pricked my finger yet again with the point or eye of the curved needle. I used Jane Lemon’s Embroidered Boxes book for the basic box construction but after countless failed attempts to get the lid to lie flat after employing her hinged lid method, I resorted to a method of my own devising which was more successful.


While making this box I realised the following: the more I sew, the more interested I am in achieving a higher standard of work than I am in reaching the finish line; that I really enjoy making three dimensional items; that being able to use a curved needle is challenging but not as difficult to do as I once thought; and that using my own solution to a problem can be very satisfying.

The completed box is approximately 15 cm wide, 10 cm deep, and 11.5 cm high. As usual, apologies for the poor lighting in the images!


box of birds lid 2

Much happier with the latest attempt at the fat balls and have now completed the box lid. The rest of today will be spent watching old sci-fi movies while I lace the embroideries onto card.