Virgin Queen’s Stitching Wallet by Betsy Morgan

17th July 2020

Most people are aware that Queen Elizabeth I was also known as the Virgin Queen. During her reign, the exquisiteness of her taste gave rise to a characteristic Elizabethan style. Unfortunately for her contemporaries, the Queen enacted a series of sumptuary laws dictating who could wear or display particular colours, patterns and fabrics. It is very likely that the best of Elizabethan style was reserved for the most privileged.

Fortunately, no such rules apply today. We have full access to all of the colours, designs and motifs, many of which have been translated into embroidery using those precious remaining samplers and items of clothing which remain from the period. 

It’s lucky for us that not only can we stitch them, but we can display them without any fear of Royal punishment!

Betsy Morgan has utilised that wonderful Elizabethan style in her beautiful etui, named for Elizabeth, the Virgin Queen. She’s taken all of the motifs familiar to us – the borders bursting with strawberries and strawberry blossoms, the intricate twists and repeating shapes, and the cornucopia of leaves, flowers and acorns, and combined them into another of her beautiful and practical stitching accessories.

The Virgin Queen’s Stitching Wallet from the book ‘Willing Hands’, when folded up, is both compact and neat. The tops and sides are adorned with colour and the elegant twists and turns of Betsy’s interesting floral combinations.

And then, thanks to Betsy’s characteristic clever construction, the wallet opens out displaying an array of stitching accessories designed to fit neatly within.

Matching perfectly, the set contains a needlebook decorated with blackwork, a scissor fob and two useful hexagonal thread winders. 

The needlebook is secured with a ribbon, and the thread winders are perfectly sized to fit into the hidden side pockets of the etui all ensuring that when the wallet is closed, nothing will fall out.

As well as the included accessories, the wallet also has pockets for other important items, all of which will fit snugly inside.

Despite Elizabeth’s draconian fashion decrees, the period also produced fascinating ways to carry essential items. Hidden pockets in voluminous skirts, discrete bags designed to be read as allegories and tiny coin purses were all created to allow the wearer to carry fragranced objects, hidden treasures and secret things. 

It is in this very tradition, steeped as it was with both elegance and function, that the Virgin Queen’s stitching wallet can be placed.

As a place to store treasured things, as well as an object to admire, we can’t help but be grateful to Elizabeth for inspiring such precious, stitched delights.

Make Your Own Virgin Queen’s Stitching Wallet

Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions

Virgin Queen’s Stitching Wallet is a stylish folding wallet etui decorated with abundant floral and fruit designs.

Printed Books

Willing Hands

Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit

The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for Virgin Queen’s Stitching Wallet

includes everything* you need to re-create this delightful etui: Fabrics (unprinted), interfacings, interlining, felt, buttons embroidery threads, ribbon and needles.


Virgin Queen’s Stitching Wallet – Willing Hands Kit

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