Helix Etui by Betsy Morgan

3rd July 2020

Every now and then, a project will come along which jumps out at you. It might be because of its completely unexpected colour scheme. It might be because of its unique and creative shape and form. It even might be because it requires you to stop and think about how exactly it is made.

Or it might be all of these things, as in the case of Betsy Morgan’s Helix Etui, featured in the book, Willing Hands.

Most of us will be familiar with the term ‘helix’ due to its association with DNA. A strand of DNA actually appears as a naturally formed double helix. But the term itself relates to any spiral form, whether created in nature or by hand.

The eye is both soothed and delighted by the smooth, almost endless twists of a helix which appear everywhere, from a grand, spiral staircase to a new tendril on a climbing ivy.

It has been determined that there is a reason the helix is so ubiquitous in nature. In fact, it is the optimum shape to offer the greatest surface area in the smallest place. 

This is why nature tends towards it, but also why humans have adopted the form for a multitude of items. But, because the shape originates in nature, the organic feel of it offers a pleasing harmony unattainable by many other shapes.

Betsy Morgan has embraced the shape of the helix in this unusual etui. The shape of the container is mirrored by the pincushion and tool pouch which fit snugly inside, all consisting of an infinite twist which delights at every turn.

Betsy has chosen a brilliant palette of jewel-like colours for this etui, to really project its uniqueness in every way. However, nature’s understanding of how to fit a large area into a small space is demonstrated when you see how the etui is created.

The body of the container, opened out, seems impossibly large, packed as it is with an array of different stitches. 

Working the body is akin to working a full-sized sampler, with woven double cross stitch, half Rhodes stitch and a fascinating twist on rice stitch to master.

The piece is highlighted with bold, satin stitch hearts, straight stitch fans and a traditional alphabet in a delicious array of colours. But completing the stitching is only half the fun. It’s the construction which makes this etui unlike any other you’ve worked.

Accompanied by Betsy’s characteristic accessories – the pincushion and tool pouch, as well as a scissor sheath, fob and needlebook, the Helix Etui is a practical and beautiful project which will invite no end of comments.

We’ve no doubt that anyone who sees it won’t be able to stop themselves from picking it up and turning it in their hands, appreciating not just the stitching, but the flowing, organic helix design taken straight from the clever hands of nature itself.

Make Your Own Helix Etui

Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions

Helix Etui by Betsy Morgan is a vibrant etui pouch with unique spiral construction and matching accessories.

Printed Books

Willing Hands

Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit

The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for Helix Etui includes everything* you need to re-create this unique etui: Fabrics (unprinted), interfacings, interlining, felt, beads, embroidery threads, ribbon and needles.


Helix Etui – Willing Hands Kit

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