So sorry – though I’m actually delighted – but these went super fast! Orders halted for now!

A gorgeous box of goodies that will arrive through the post!

Aimed at stitchers with a love of vintage

At long last I’m ready to launch my latest Workshop in a Box and I’m keeping everything crossed that you’re going to love it! Pre-orders open on Monday 3rd May for ‘Laundry Tales’ – a rather lovely Story Collage.

I aim for these boxes to fall somewhere between an inspiration pack and a kit, so my expectation isn’t for you to make an exact replica of the piece pictured below, though by using the materials provided, working through the Making Notes and referring to the diagram and picture you can, of course, do so.

I absolutely encourage you to personalise my design and I’ll offer suggestions along the way.

Available May 2021 – Laundry Tales Story Collage

To inspire & delight

The aim of these boxes is a simple one – to inspire & delight – in fact it’s become a bit of a mission statement.

I prepare everything in the box myself, as I would for a workshop and I love the thought of you rummaging through it!

The prep is completely ‘low tech‘, with everything done by hand which is incredibly time consuming, intensely satisfying and, in my opinion, rather beautiful. This is just one of the reasons why numbers are limited.
Tapes are typed by hand on my vintage typewriter that belonged to my mother-in-law.

The story behind

The inspiration behind Laundry Tales is an old domestic science jotter that a very lovely workshop friend found in her local charity shop and then very kindly gifted to me. I know –  I’m afraid I would never part with it, if it were me that had found it!!

Anyway it belonged to a girl named Patsy. I don’t know her age, but she did have the most beautiful handwriting so I’m guessing she was almost old enough to step out into the big wide world of starching and ironing frilled pillow cases, stiffening and polishing shirt collars and calculating the weeks food budget for a family of five consisting of an active man, a woman doing house work, a boy of 14, girl of 12 and boy of 8. I’m hoping that the woman doing the housework was on double rations if this book is anything to go by, but sadly I suspect not!

However, the jotter pages are in pretty good condition, they don’t look well thumbed so maybe she tossed the jotter and escaped this life for something more exciting! The very last page contains some intriguing and totally unrelated notes. I’m guessing that Patsy consulted a fortune teller – how daring!! So maybe Dame Fortune did indeed cross her path  leading to a life of Travel, following a legal or medical path, maybe the young blond gent did bring pleasant news. Lets hope she did beware of the middle aged woman (the domestic science teacher perhaps) and the insincere relative! 

But we’ll never know if she did or not, that’s the beauty of these wonderful old treasures, I never find out the real story, but they spark such a lively picture in my own mind that I have no need or wish to!

The inspiration came from an old domestic science jotter belonging to a girl named Patsy

Used, washed & worn, ripped & torn…and new?!

If you know anything about me, you’ll know that my passion is in using materials that are used, washed & worn.  There’s an energy & vibrancy in old textiles, we may never know where they came from, and just like Patsy’s story, we may never know their real stories but they prick at our memories, capture our imaginations and stir our emotions.

Wherever possible I use vintage materials in all of my Workshops in a Box.  However this does mean that there may be marks on some of the fabrics, or they may be faded or slightly damaged. I only include pieces that I would choose to work with myself – but be warned, I make a bee-line for the wonky and imperfect!

However, I realised that by only using old, I am really restricting the designs that I’m able to offer for my Workshops in a Box. So I am also now embracing the new!! The printed fabrics are therefore new – chosen specially for their vintage style and because they sit so beautifully alongside the old. I’ve also included a page of my treasured jotter, digitally printed onto organic calico, providing a lovely piece of fabric text for you to work with.

Old, new, washed & worn, ripped & torn

But of course there are also scraps of gorgeous old fabrics. The background to your Story Collage is a piece of vintage mangle cloth with that oh so gorgeous red stripe. I have a bit of a ‘thing’ for these lovely long lengths of linen. I’m using three different pieces of cloth in these boxes so your background may not be exactly the same as the one pictured, but I can promise you that they’re all equally delicious! And just like any Wash Day you have whites as well as coloureds so you’ll  find a selection of vintage whites – shirting fabric and  old table linens.

Your finished Story Collage hangs from two vintage clothes pegs, echoing beautifully the stitched clothes peg outlines in the design, or you could also mount and frame it in your own way.

A page from the jotter is digitally printed onto organic calico

I’m so hoping that you’ll enjoy using bits & pieces that I’ve collected together for you but also hope that you’ll personalise your own story collage by adding wonderful stuff from your own stash!

Many of my followers on social media and in person are already enthusiastic and often experienced stitchers so this box is aimed at them. Anyone who is not familiar with any of the stitches used can look for online tutorials, or even better in my opinion, invest in an embroidery stitch book. I love collecting vintage of course and still use my very first sewing book “Embroidery Stitches’ by Barbara Snook. But the stitches used are simple and I very much encourage an intuitive approach.

Stand with back to the wind

The finished dimensions are around 22 x 32cm – but don’t expect straight edges! Also please note that my style of stitching (and therefore teaching) uses torn, unfinished edges so if you embrace the perfectly turned edge then this one probably isn’t for you!

This Laundry Tales Workshop in a Box is the first in a series – there will be more to follow at some point – because I just love to work in a series!

Hang colours & woollens in the shade

To Order

There will initially be a limited number of 30 Laundry Tales boxes available (although I will be offering 20 more later) and I will be posting them out in small batches from 10th May and throughout that week. You can pre-order a box from today Monday 3rd May by contacting me by email. Payment will be by Paypal or BACS.

The cost of the box is £45 plus UK postage of £4.00

I am so sorry but I am currently not posting to Europe. I know this will disappoint and I truly apologise.

I may be able to post to other countries at cost but be warned it can be crazy expensive – just drop me a line!

I hope you love it and I can’t wait to see pictures of the results!



Laundry Tales – a new Workshop in a Box