Celeste Fig by Christine Burton

5th November 2021

The humble pincushion is by its very definition an item created for a specific use, yet sometimes we discover a pincushion so exquisite it almost seems a shame to push a pin into it.

Celeste Fig by Christine Burton is one such project. This magnificent, 3-dimensional fruit has most definitely been designed to store your highest quality pins but would also stand alone as a project to be admired just as it is.

Christine is well known for her intricate blackwork projects and this one is yet another of her masterpieces.

It represents a ripe, juicy fig cut open to reveal the jewel-like, red heart of the fruit. The outside is worked in a delicate combination of blackwork and beads to achieve both colour and texture. And the inside is created through a careful combination of colour, stitches and beadwork resulting in a finish so wonderfully lifelike, it could sit in a fruit bowl and be mistaken for the real thing.

This level of verisimilitude has been achieved through countless hours of trial and error by Christine. She says that she made a number of prototypes before finally succeeding with the correct shape and size of Celeste Fig. 

To get it absolutely right, she had to visit her greengrocer on several occasions in order to really study the shape and size of an actual fig.

Of course, she then had to ‘eat the evidence’ just to make sure that it was a perfect fig she’d been studying!

Christine’s style of blackwork takes the traditional technique and embellishes it with all of the modern threads and beads available. The magnificent colours, both on the outer and inner, are achieved through a combination of multi-coloured beads, variegated threads and careful shading of stitches.

Because of this, no two figs will ever be exactly alike and Christine assures the stitcher that ‘the art is in the hands of each embroiderer’.

This means you should spend less time worrying whether it looks precisely like Christine’s, and more time enjoying the colour process to make Celeste Fig truly your own.

Like her other 3-dimensional projects, Celeste Fig is worked in panels that are then carefully stitched together. Because this is a pincushion, it is important to stuff it firmly with top quality stuffing to keep the structure upright.

Even if you choose not to use Celeste Fig to hold pins but rather keep as an object to admire, it really is a project worth pursuing. Christine’s designs allow you to play with colour and shading whilst still having the comfort of knowing you’ve got the counted stitches just right, which means your patterns will be perfect. It will be a joy to stitch and a true pleasure to admire afterwards.

Make Your Own Celeste Fig

Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions

Celeste Fig by Christine Burton from the book The Design Collective | Pincushions is a three-dimensional fig with beaded blackwork designs creating texture and shading.

Printed Books

The Design Collective – Pincushions

Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit

The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for Celeste Fig includes everything* you need to re-create this stunning pincushion: Fabrics (unprinted), wool felt, bag batting, beading thread, green sewing thread, fibre-fill, embroidery threads, beads and needles.


Celeste Fig – TDCP 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 book.

Join our FREE weekly newsletter All Stitched Up!

Back to top