Posh by Barbara Roberts and Margaret Lee

24th May 2024

Within the pages of The Art of Bead Embroidery Japanese-Style 2, you will find a superb collection of projects designed and created by Margaret Lee – all of which goes without saying really, as it is her book!

However, you will also find a superb collection of projects created by other artisans either in collaboration with, or under the tutorage of, Margaret. Not afraid to share the spotlight, Margaret frequently invites others to put forth their own interpretation of her designs, or, in the case of this week’s featured project Posh, take the lead in creating an original project for inclusion in the book, from the ground up.

Barbara Roberts is a fibre specialist with expertise in spinning, weaving, and knitting and when Margaret approached Barbara with some proposed line drawings she had sketched and an invitation to her to turn her creativity towards beading, Posh was born!

Posh is a silk project bag with a hexagonal box base embellished with repeating geometric and floral motifs.

Here is an extract from Barbara’s own story as to how she created Posh…   

‘I wanted my project to be something I would use frequently, be elegant and practical. The concept of a workbag started to germinate. In discussion with Margaret, we both liked the idea of repeating two panels three times around the bag bottom – a Japanese kikko feature and a floral feature.’

‘The colour palette had to be rich. Teal, purple, aqua… I chose the beautiful blue Indian taffeta silk, a particularly fine fabric.

With such a heavily decorated base section of the workbag it seemed I must do something other than a perfectly plain silk bag at the top. I like simplicity. Margaret mentioned that she had ordered some crystals 

that may match the silk colour well. I thought they would perhaps look good ‘raining’ down the sides of the bag onto the panels.’

‘As I was creating this project, people would often see my work in progress and ask what I was stitching. I would let them know it’s going to be a ‘knitting bag’.

Everyone kept telling me that it was too nice and too fancy for a knitting bag. One day I responded with, ‘Well it’s a POSH knitting bag!’ and that is how the name Posh came about.

I am super pleased to have had this opportunity to share my work. The time I spend with Margaret as a tutor and friend is incredibly valuable to me and I do believe it shows in the finished work.’

Once Posh had been finished, Margaret then approached Jacqueline Poirier, a certified Japanese embroidery teacher whose work is always meticulous, to see if she would be interested in creating an alternate version of the design as a case study for the book.

Jacqueline jumped at the chance and ended up creating her own version that features a spectacular lid.

You can read Barbara’s complete story about Posh and all the design notes from Jacqueline’s interpretation on pages 95 through 97 in The Art of Bead Embroidery Japanese-Style 2.

Complete step-by-step instructions for Posh, including all the construction information is available in the book and we even have a limited number of Posh Ready-to-Stitch kits available as well.

Make Your Own Posh

All the materials you need to re-create this project have been sourced for you in our Ready-to-Stitch kit, with the instructions available separately in the book The Art of Bead Embroidery Japanese-Style 2.

Printed Books

The Art of Bead Embroidery Japanese-Style 2


Posh – BEJS2 Kit

More from this designer

Barbara Dowling

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