A Slice of Life by Denise Forsyth

2nd December 2022

Imitation is the greatest form of flattery. It means you have created something so wonderful, others want a slice of the action.

That is exactly what Denise Forsyth has done with her latest project A Slice of Life from Inspirations issue #116.

Imagine that you’re at a stitch and chat and it’s time for morning or afternoon tea. All the usual goodies are laid out on the treat table and there is even a delicious pavlova topped with a decadent smattering of fresh fruit.

One of your fellow stitches leans over and reaches for a slice of pav, puts it on their plate but instead of eating it, they proceed to loosen a button hiding on the side of the slice.

Then, as if by magic, the piece of pavlova unfurls to reveal a needle page and scissor holder hiding inside the cake!

The room erupts in applause at the sight of such a clever visual illusion and everyone now expects David Copperfield himself to step out and start sawing people in half.

How did that happen?

Ah, Denise… the master illusionist strikes again.

Cast your mind back to Inspirations issue #96 when we first discovered how clever Denise Forsyth is at using her needle and thread to craft such trickery. Right there on the cover is a punnet of strawberries leaving some to think Inspirations was a cooking magazine or gardening periodical.

In fact, it was Festive Fruit, a group of fabulous strawberries made from linen textured with pulled thread embroidery.

And now Denise is up to her old tricks, creating another mouth-watering project that is actually an incredibly useful and practical pocket etui masquerading as a slice of the sweetest dessert.

It’s such a fun piece, don’t you think? We love how cleverly crafted not just the construction is, but how Denise has emulated all the different pieces of fruit synonymous with a classic pavlova cake.

Now, before we continue there may be some readers who are unfamiliar with what a pavlova is, so let’s quickly bring you up to speed…

Both Australia and New Zealand claim it was they who invented this delicious dessert and continue to argue about the origins to this day. Both countries agree, however, that it was named after the famous Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova.

A pavlova is a crunchy meringue base with a soft centre in the shape of a circular cake topped with cream and fruit, with the NZ version typically favouring kiwi fruit and the Australian version using predominately passion fruit. There is more to this story, but as this is a needlework newsletter and not a culinary history publication, let’s move on…

For your stitching delight, A Slice of Life is topped with a slice of banana, kiwi fruit, strawberry, blackberry and raspberry along with a smattering of blueberries. All of this is achieved through felt padding, needlelace, colonial and French knots and the wrapping of small beads, just to give you the highlights.

Overall, this is a fun and enjoyable project to stitch where you can finish it quickly or tackle one element at a time at your leisure – the fruit on this one won’t spoil anytime soon!

Once complete, you’ll have a cleverly disguised home for a collection of needles and your favourite embroidery scissors that is guaranteed to get everyone talking.

PS – if you are yet to taste this delicacy or make your own pavlova, it too is quick and enjoyable to create (see recipe HERE) and you can then discover what all the fuss from we Aussies and our Kiwi cousins, is all about.

Make Your Own | A Slice of Life

Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions

A Slice of Life by Denise Forsyth is a cute pocket etui using stumpwork to recreate a slice of delicious dessert.

Printed Magazines

Inspirations Issue 116

Digital Patterns

A Slice of Life – i116 Digital

Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit

The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for A Slice of Life includes everything* you need to re-create this playful pocket etui: Fabrics (unprinted), wool felts, wadding, fusible webbing, firm card, ribbon, buttons, embroidery threads, beads and needles. 


A Slice of Life – i116 Kit

*Please Note: To cater for flexibility of purchase, instructions are not included with our kits. For step-by-step directions on how to create this project, please refer to the magazine/digital pattern.

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