Thank you very much to Norah for leading us through an exercise in how to make embroidered boxes. The link here: Embroidered Box Instructions contains Norah’s instructions along with other information.
Although some of the members have experience in making these boxes, there are several of our members who have limited, or non-existent, experience. Below are pictures of completed boxes, along with stories from the creators, as a result of this Workshop.
Cynthia – My first finished box. Not much detail with beads, buttons or fancy stitches. I didn’t want to be overwhelmed. I trudged ahead to have it completed as a Christmas gift for our daughter.
I had the crazy patch made sometime ago which I used for the lid. The Japanese fabric for the inner and outer box I had in my stash. I embellished the fabric with minimal stitching as it was pretty to stand alone. I used such tiny whip stitches to piece the sides together it took forever!
The outer corners I used a couching stitch as I didn’t know how else to fill in the narrow gap. The button I got in a gift shop in PEI and it is looped with stretchy face mask elastic!
Thanks Nora and all who provided incentive to complete this project.
Jan – My box is a hybrid memory box of the pandemic. I started with the idea of piecing together the base fabric, as we are piecing together altered lives in these times of restrictions. I added a bit of crazy quilting along the seams to represent how hard we are all working to make sense of these challenging times, using primarily cretan, herringbone, chevron and feather stitches.
Then I switched environments to the Nova Scotia shores near Halifax, for a 2 week quarantine with my daughter who attends school there. We travelled to NS, directly to our quarantine AirBnB along the shore, and enjoyed the gorgeous views of sea and sky. We were able to go outdoors to a small beach where we collected seaglass, shells and stones… and the plan to complete my box emerged.
I embellished with bits of shells, and seaglass, embroidered starfish, seaweed, shells, sand dollars, and even a few waves. Some shiny beads reflect the treasures found along the ocean shores after each high tide. The lid sports a stylized version of the Golden Mean, in shells and seaglass. “The Golden Mean is the desirable middle between two extremes, one of excess and the other of deficiency”, a fitting symbol for the pandemic.
I attached the lid with a loose cretan stitch, both inside and out, to enable it to sit open if needed. The inside is embellished with embroidered sea grasses and weeds.
All in all, this was an interesting project with good learning along the way, and a tangible memory of both challenging and lovely times.
Suz – My sewing box is finally finished. Yay! I decided to add a trim around the outside, and found the perfect green trim in one of my stash boxes. I think it frames the Celtic designs beautifully. It also shows that I have (ahem!) a slight problem with centering………..so I have a quirky sewing box. I’m a little quirky, so we go together. lol
Tina – This is the first Embroidered Box I ever made. A challenging project for me, and in particular, with the sewing of the sides together. I used the “Mary Sleigh” stitch for that portion of the project.
I used linen for the outside of the box embellished with surface embroidery. The surface embroidery is from a mini embroidery pattern series called Bitty Blooms from the Art of Home site by Jacquelynne Steves.
The inside of the box is made with Dupioni with the inside top using a combination of the linen and the Dupioni. I made a small “oopsy” and didn’t make the linen square large enough. So, I added a border of Dupioni. It all worked out since the Dupioni is on the inside of the box anyway. You would almost think I planned it that way! And now – on to the next project ….
Mary Anne – With family roots in Zimbabwe my project became a Zimbabwe Box. Before getting started the question of what to put in this box came up several times a week but after the tidying up of my husband’s sock drawer which produced sentimental WW2 memorabilia, coins, stamps and a small brass Zimbabwe bird ornament, suddenly I had the answer.
This symbolic bird, together with a scrap of wallpaper, became the focus and gave me the colour palette. The design was stitched on to the lid on a natural linen background using cotton floss, perle cotton and beads and framed in a teal-coloured linen. A handmade cord is attached around the lid and the lining is a plain teal cotton. I buried a small magnet in the tab behind an orphaned earring and it keeps the lid firmly down by another magnet stitched in between the lining and the front panel.
Now, what to do with the “Stuff”. I made a coin purse, a mini stamp album, a concertina book of indigenous flowers and a pouch to hold the buttons and medals mounted on round cards. I think it still has room to hold some old photographs so another mini-album is called for…… ooh and maybe a map!
Norah – Parts of this box were shown as the demonstration pieces in Norah’s instructions: Hand Make a Fabric and Embroidery Embellished Boxes.
Norah has now completed the 4″ x 4″ box using a combination of several different techniques but mainly coloured black work.