What Are You Stitching?

4th November 2022

Is there anything more covetable than a stitching accessory that’s equal parts form and function? We think not! This week’s What Are You Stitching? projects are the epitome of such items, and we think they might just have you adding them to your stitching wish list.

Jacqueline Wright

‘I just had to send in pictures of my Home Sweet Home Embroidered Workbox that was stitched for me by my incredibly talented sister, Helen, for my 60th birthday.’

‘She has personalised every side with memories of the garden we grew up in, our big vegetable patch, our cat and the lupins she used to grow.’

‘The back shows me picking oranges and includes my toy pram and our dog. It is something I will always love and treasure. Being an embroiderer myself, I appreciate the work and effort Helen put into it’

Jacqueline, we too appreciate the work and effort Helen put into designing a very personal version of Home Sweet Home. Not only is your Home Sweet Home equal parts form and function but it is also equal parts work box and memory box.

Margaret Cobleigh

‘I recently completed a little pincushion. The original pattern was designed by Mary Corbet of Needle ‘n Thread, but I made a few changes so I could experiment. The original was covered in beads, but I didn’t really have any beads in my stash. I did, however, have quite a lot of threads so I decided to decorate the pincushion using only thread. I also wanted to see if I could figure out how to stitch tiny cats and do some freehand stitching.’

‘I drew some simple outlines for the bee on the top, along with the honeycomb, and the two kittens on the sides, the rest was almost entirely stitched without benefit of lines.’

‘I used all sorts of cotton and silk threads, mostly variegated. The flowers are primarily various types of silks, and the foliage is assorted cottons. The pincushion is tiny, about 1″ (2.5 cm) high. It was a good challenge and I’m happy with the results, but I don’t know if I can bring myself to stick pins in it and actually use it!’

Margaret, what a delight to see so much detail on such a small scale! You’ve taken Mary’s design and truly made it your own. It’s certainly been a most successful experiment that will inform your time with needle and thread going forward. Whilst you’re not able to bring yourself to make use of it as a pincushion, it’s an enchanting item to have on display until you’re ready to ‘risk’ using it!

Marla Redding

‘My first introduction to Inspirations magazine was issue #96. I was on a trip to England, from the US, when I discovered your magazine and I think I read it, cover to cover, several times before I got home! Right from the start, The Bobbin Tree was a pattern I knew I wanted to try.’

‘Now I must confess, I made some alterations and I hope no one will be offended, but I tend to make do with what I have or can easily get. I loved the polka dot linen, but couldn’t find any, so I painted my own polka dots after completing my stitching. 

I didn’t have all the different kinds of thread, but I did have DMC stranded cotton in about every colour imaginable, so I did the entire piece in that, choosing my own colours as I went.’  

‘There were a lot of learning experiences in this project for me. It has been a long time since I transferred a design onto water soluble stabilizer, and I forgot what a great method this is. I had only tried a detached stitch once before, so I enjoyed incorporating the detached blanket stitch in the project. 

I haven’t done a lot of blending of colours either and I was really anxious about that bunny – she is so adorable, I didn’t want to mess her up.

It was such a good design though, she couldn’t help but be cute!

I altered the bag construction, sewing the bottom on by machine in lieu of by hand as I felt it needed the extra sturdiness.’

Marla, we love The Bobbin Tree! In fact, Jenny McWhinney has graciously loaned us her original to have on display in store at The Bobbin Tree by Inspirations. Your version is every bit as delightful and whimsical as her original. We know Jenny will be delighted to see how you adapted what you had to hand to complete the project. And you’re right, Jenny’s designs are such that cute will always be the result!

Do you create items that are equal parts form and function? Or do you tend to lean towards one or the other? Whatever you stitch, we’d love to see it!

Simply email photos of what you’ve created with needle and thread along with a few details about your stitching journey to news@inspirationsstudios.com

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