The Embroiderer’s Workbox by Jenny Adin-Christie
25th November 2022
As one of the leading ladies of needlework the world over, Jenny Adin-Christie is in high demand.
So much so, even we struggle to garnish enough of her attention to publish her projects, and after being absent from our pages for so long that there has been audible wailing and visible flailing by all and sundry, she is finally back!
Ladies and Gentlemen, it gives us great pleasure to present to you The Embroiderer’s Workbox by Jenny Adin-Christie as featured in Inspirations issue #116.
There is so much to unpack here, we’re giddy just thinking about it!
Let’s start with an overview. Created from five different types of white threads using the elegant technique of whitework, this is a timeless design depicting a collection of needlework tools shown here as an inset for a workbox that can also be finished as a framed piece.
Now that all sounds like standard fare, until you begin to study the intricacies and nuances of how these elements have been created.
Consider this, if you stitch a design on white fabric using white thread, what is it that makes it visible?
This is one of the beautiful mysteries of whitework in that the entire premise of the technique relies on accentuating the play of light across both the fabric and the needlework.
With The Embroiderer’s Workbox Jenny has such control over the light, it is practically dancing to her tune.
She achieves this through masterful restraint and purposeful placement of elements created from padding, withdrawn thread and lace techniques. These in turn deliver peaks and valleys and a variety of textures, some of the key elements light needs to perform its dance.
Again, this sounds straight forward enough, yet there is such mastery and complexity in this piece, we have been of two minds as to how to describe it to you.
On one hand we never want to scare anyone away from trying their hand at a project.
In our experience 9 times out of 10 if you think you can’t do something, by just trying you will almost always prove yourself wrong!
At the same time, we don’t want to set you up for failure either.
Therefore, the best way we can explain this project is for you to think about it as an incredibly fine whitework sampler that incorporates 18 different stitches and a range of needlework processes that may require several passes to perfect.
Ayrshire Needlelace Filling
After all, this project has been designed and stitched by one of the most accomplished and talented whitework artisans of our generation. Even the RSN itself entrusted Jenny with the daunting task of single-handedly documenting the technique for prosperity as we read about earlier in the book review for Fine Whitework.
Jenny is at the top of her game here and she holds nothing back. It’s a synchronicity of design, art and technique at the highest level.
Ok – so there you have it. We’ve laid down the gauntlet. This project is not for the faint-hearted.
If you’re still reading, you may just be the person who relishes a good challenge and loves to ply your talent at something worthy of your own mastery. This is for you.
If there was more time, we would love to explain how each of the different elements are created and then converge to give this piece its brilliance. For that you’ll have to read the article in issue #116.
Behind the Scenes | Photo Shoot for The Embroiderer’s Workbox
However, to offer some insight as to the scope of work involved, this is one of the largest projects by page count we have ever published occupying 15 in total, contrasting with the relatively diminutive finished diameter for the piece itself of just 9cm (3 ½”). That equates to a lot of technique per finished square inch!
Whether you examine The Embroiderer’s Workbox as a voyeur and appreciate its beauty and associated work from afar, or dive headfirst into what could well be one of your most intense and immensely satisfying stitching journeys yet, there is something for us all here.
Make Your Own | The Embroiderer’s Workbox
Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions
The Embroiderer’s Workbox by Jenny Adin-Christie showcases exquisite whitework textures and techniques in a circular design.
Inspirations Issue 116
The Embroiderer’s Workbox – i116 Digital
Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit
The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for The Embroiderer’s Workbox includes everything* you need to re-create this superb box lid insert: Fabrics (with pre-printed design), embroidery threads and needles. NOTE: Kit does not include display box.
*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.