Laundry Tales – a new Workshop in a Box

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!

 

 

Workshop in a Box – Patchwood Tenements

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

Aimed at stitchers who have a love of making.

I’m really delighted to be offering these gorgeous Patchwood Tenements as a Workshop in a Box – everything you need to make this wee ‘Tenement Close’.

I first designed them for a workshop that was being held at Edinburgh City Art Centre a few years ago. The brief was ‘iconic Edinburgh’ so I decided to create these rather lovely little rows of tenements. It was rather perfect as we looked out the windows of our workshop right over the roofs of Edinburgh Auld Toun.

Everything you need to make a wee ‘Tenement Close’ made from hand stitched wooden patches

My aim for these boxes is for them to fall somewhere between an inspiration pack (where materials are provided with no guidance for using them) and a kit (where there are step-by-step instructions and everyone makes the same). Because of the nature of this one – it definitely falls nearer the ‘kit’ form but you will find that I have included suggestions for how you can change things around a bit and make it your own. Not least you will start off personalising it by choosing your own colours.

Please note that PAINT IS NOT INCLUDED in the box.

I thought you would want to choose your own paint to co-ordinate with your own colour schemes. I use matt emulsion ‘Match Pots’ from the DIY store, available very cheaply in every colour imaginable! You can also use acrylic craft paint.

A delicious collection of vintage ephemera

The Materials

In my own art practice I love using old, collected, washed & worn. I’m in love with vintage materials and papers, wondering about the lives they lived before coming to me. I’ve had great fun collecting together this little collection of papers & ephemera for you to use in this project.

I’ve included some vintage newspaper & book cuttings for you to cut out letters for your ‘Ransom Note’ words. I’ve cut numbers from magazine & book pages, maps and a gorgeous 1930s ledger book.

Papers include old music papers bought from flea markets, maps old & not so old that I can’t quite resist but seldom personally use. I’ve included an old knitting pattern (these somehow just find their way to me), a dictionary page  and an old recipe and other bits & pieces. These can be used for windows, doors & roofs.

I’ve rummaged around and included a scrap of old tape measure, an old bus ticket –oh how these bring back memories, not only of shopping trips to Dundee but of playing bus conductors, ½ a postcard (sorry I didn’t have enough for a whole one)  and other bits for you to use as doors and roofs. The snap fastener card is a copy I’m afraid – but it’s so gorgeous for roofs that I wanted to include. The snap fasteners are vintage though from an old brown cardboard box full of them.

The floral fabric is 1940s – French or German and the tweed is from my mother in law’s stash. Cutting that up actually brought a wee tear to my eye, not in the cutting but in the memories. She had A LOT of tweed and now it’s mine and I’m happy to share!

Windows made from maps, numbers from an old ledger

I have prepared everything in the box myself, as I would for a workshop and I’m really excited at the thought of people rummaging through it! I had such wonderful feedback on the presentation of previous Workshops in a Box, this is SO important to me. My aim is to delight & inspire, to keep packaging simple and re-usable…. but also gorgeously beautiful!

A vintage bus ticket door & lolly stick roof

You’ll receive four wooden ‘patches’, Making Notes and all the materials & tools required to make your  Patchwood Tenements with the exception of paint. The stitching holes are pre-drilled, ready for you to start assembling.

Now there’s a story behind the drilling – my husband took early retirement this summer and as he’s a bit blimmin brilliant he’s made me a drilling machine. So for the first time the holes will be drilled, not by me, but by my wonderful little machine. That’s what’s made this Workshop in a Box possible actually – I’d never have attempted to drill these by hand. It’s still not fast mind you, each wee ‘Tenement Close’ takes an hour to drill!

Before you can stitch through the wooden patches, tiny holes must be drilled.

There is, of course, a story behind why I wanted to stitch wood in the first place, a bit long to tell here, but it’s to do with mixing up some of the stereotypical domestic roles – taking a traditionally ‘female’ role of sewing and working it in a traditionally ‘male’ material. My workshops are always developments from my own personal art practice – read more about my series of Patchwood Samplers.

And of course there’s a washing line strung between temenents

 

Stands on a shelf or can hang on the wall

To Order

There are a limited number of 20 Patchwood Tenement boxes available before Christmas and most of these have been pre-ordered but there are a very few still available if you are quick off the mark! Don’t despair though I will be offering more of these at the end of Jan 2021. The cost of the box is £55 plus UK postage of £3.00.

You can order a box now by contacting me by email. As always, it’s on a first come first served basis and payment will be by by Paypal or Bank transfer. I hope to have these posted out by 2nd December so plenty of time if you are thinking of Christmas pressies! The finished ‘Tenement Close’ measures 28 x 20cm.

So sorry but I’m not sending these overseas!

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

 

 

A Wonderfully Festive Workshop in a Box 2020

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

Aimed at stitchers who have a love of making.

Especially for those who missed out last year – another chance to order this beautifully festive Patchwood Christmas Tree Workshop in a Box. I’m now taking pre-orders but be warned and be super quick because initially there will only be eighteen boxes available

I LOVE the idea of you creating this lovely seasonal wall piece that you will enjoy bringing out year after year!

All the materials & help you need to create a gorgeous Patchwood Christmas Tree

My aim for these boxes is for them to fall somewhere between an inspiration pack (where materials are provided with no guidance for using them) and a kit (where there are step-by-step instructions and everyone makes the same). Because of the nature of this one – it definitely falls nearer the ‘kit’ form but you will find that I have included suggestions for how you can change things around a bit and make it your own. Not least you will start off personalising it by choosing your own colours.

Please note that PAINT IS NOT INCLUDED in the box.

I thought you would want to choose your own paint to co-ordinate with your own colour schemes. I use matt emulsion ‘Match Pots’ from the DIY store, available very cheaply in every colour imaginable!

You could even go metallic & glittery if you wish… just don’t tell me! Rumour has it that every December I frisk my workshop participants  to make sure they’re not trying to smuggle glitter into my class!! (Oh to have the opportunity to do that this year!) This may or may not be true but I do have a serious ‘bling’ phobia. However even I will make an exception for this and admit that a wee bit of added shimmer might not be a bad thing! (Not included in the box though because I just can’t!)

I use emulsion match pots from the DIY store. Cheap to buy in every colour imaginable.

The Materials

In my own art practice the theme of my work always suggests the materials that I use. These are generally old, collected, washed & worn. I have an absolute passion for vintage materials so this project is highly unusual for me in that it mostly uses ‘new’.

Why?

Because I’ve taken my favourite patches from four years of making Patchwood Christmas Trees and brought them altogether in the design of this tree. Although I prefer to use vintage treasures wherever I possibly can, it dawned on me that my favourite Christmas Tree patches were actually made from new bits from craft stores. Yikes I never thought I would utter these words – but in this instance it’s absolutely true!

But true to form, I have  managed to include some vintage treasures such as: Vintage text – an old book page, newspaper & magazine cuttings for you to cut out letters to use ‘Ransom Note’ style, vintage fabric scraps and other little bits & pieces.

Christmas stocking buttons, the cutest little envelope. brown luggage labels, cinnamon sticks and ‘Ransom Style’ lettering – love, love, love!

I have prepared everything in the box myself, as I would for a workshop and I’m really excited at the thought of people rummaging through it! I had such wonderful feedback on the presentation of last year’s Christmas Tree Workshop in a Box, this is SO important to me. My aim is to delight & inspire, to keep packaging simple and re-usable…. but also gorgeously beautiful!

Gorgeous vintage fabric tied up in string.

You’ll receive seven wooden ‘patches’ and all the materials and tools required to make your  Patchwood Christmas Tree with, as I said earlier, the exception of paint. The stitching holes are pre-drilled, ready for you to start assembling. I don’t pretend for a minute that they are perfect. Participants in my workshops always think that I drill perfectly uniform holes and I am very happy to point out the wonky bits. Wood doesn’t always behave exactly as you wish and the grain means that sometimes the drill is pushed out of line. To me this is the point of it – part of the anomaly of trying to ‘sew’ wood. But be reassured – they are drilled to the same standard as I would when working on pieces for selling or commission.

There is, of course, a story behind why I wanted to stitch wood in the first place, a bit long to tell here, but it’s to do with mixing up some of the stereotypical domestic roles – taking a traditionally ‘female’ role of sewing and working it in a traditionally ‘male’ material. My workshops are always developments from my own personal art practice – read more about my series of Patchwood Samplers.

Before you can stitch through the wooden patches, tiny holes must be drilled. I’ve drilled A LOT of holes!

 

You’ll stitch your patches of wood together (they are glued first) and then embellish each patch. You will actually stitch this little christmas tree through the wood.

 

A most glorious wreath made from scrippy scraps of gingham attached to the patch by French Knots…actually stitched through the wood! Oh and a page from a vintage copy of A Christmas Carol.

To Order

There will be a limited number of 18 Patchwood Christmas Tree boxes available and I will start posting them out on Monday 9th November and will post throughout that week. They won’t take too long to make so there will be plenty of time for you to complete and get them hanging on your wall for Christmas.

You can pre-order a box now by contacting me by email. It will be on a first come first served basis but depending on the response I may open a waiting list and make more available. I’m not taking payment just yet but it will be by by Paypal or Bank transfer.

The cost of the box is £55 plus UK postage of £3.00

I can ship overseas at cost but personally I think postal rates are pretty prohibitive. Also if a parcel does get ‘lost’ on it’s way overseas then I will reimburse the cost of the box but sorry I can’t reimburse the postage.

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

 

 

Summer Stitching – a new Workshop in a Box

SO SORRY (except I’m kinda delighted) BUT THESE ARE NOW SOLD OUT

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

Aimed at stitchers who have a love of making.

So at long last it’s time (or some would say way past time) to launch my third Workshop in a Box and I’m rather hoping that you’re going to love it. Pre-orders open on Tuesday 21st July for this beautifully uplifting Floral Summer Sampler.

Those of you who have already bought one of my boxes will know that they fall somewhere between an inspiration pack (where materials are provided with no guidance for using them) and a kit (where there are step-by-step instructions and everyone makes the same). I provide all the materials for making this sampler along with ‘Making Notes’, a chart and photographs but I also encourage you to go ‘off piste’, to change things around and make it your own.

 

Available August 2020 – Floral Summer Sampler

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 people rummaging through it!

‘Omg I’ve just opened your workshop in a box, which arrived this morning
I cried
It is quite possibly the most beautiful and beautifully packed box of bits that I’ve ever received
I spent ages looking at everything, and then carefully packed it all up again
And later I’m going to unpack it a second time’
A message from a happy customer who made me smile (you know who you are!)
 
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.

Used, washed & worn

If you know anything about me, you will know that my passion is in using materials that are used, washed & worn.  There is an energy & vibrancy in old textiles, we may never know where they came from, we may never know their stories but they capture our imagination and conjure up pictures in our minds and stir up emotions in our heart.

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!

The materials in this box include a piece of hand stitched vintage quilt to use as your background – this is well washed and worn and the filling is gloriously uneven! There are some beautiful 1940s French (or maybe German) floral fabric washed so often that it’s the softest of soft and beautiful vintage floral linen that was gifted to me by Linnies Pinnies & Bags. Scraps left over from her makes because she shares my belief that nothing should be wasted. There are fragments of ribbon made from remnants from Indian sari manufacture and vintage mother of pearl buttons, some a bit bashed, but all the more beautiful for it. Other little bits & pieces are there to make you smile.

 

Inspired by a collection of Kensitas silk flowers

Inspiration

This sampler was inspired by a small collection of Kensitas silk flowers that have been in my possession for a few years. Although I regularly admire them and fondly stroke them I’d never quite got round to actually using them (sound familiar?). I came across them during an early lockdown clear out (again sound familiar?) and decided that they were far too beautiful and colourful to stay hidden away and that it was time to bring them to life once more.

What are Kensitas silks?

These woven silk flowers were given away free in the 1930s with Kensitas cigarettes. There were three sizes apparently the small ones being given away with packs of 10 cigarettes, medium (that I have used here) with packs of 20 and there were also larger postcard sized ones given away with boxes of 50 though I’ve never seen any of these. One silk flower is included in each box – it’ll be a random selection of reds or blues – all of them very beautiful.

 

The Kensitas silk gave me my starting point and then flowers just started popping up everywhere!

I’m so hoping that you’ll enjoy using bits & pieces that I’ve lovingly hoarded over the years but I also that you’ll personalise your own sampler by adding bits from your own stash and using some of your favourite stitches. The possibilities are endless.

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.

 

Flowers made from old sari silk

The finished dimensions are around 22 x 32cm – don’t expect straight edges! The picture shows mine on an A4 clipboard (a favourite and very easy way to display) but please note that the clipboard is NOT INCLUDED ( mainly because it won’t fit in the box!) I have included two small bulldog clips for hanging – genuinely another favourite method of mine!

 

I share my designs and stitches used in the making notes

To Order

There will be a limited number of 40 Floral Summer Sampler boxes available and I will be posting them out in small batches from 3rd August and throughout that week. You can pre-order a box from today Tuesday 21st July by contacting me by email. Payment will be by Paypal or BACS.

The cost of the box is £45 plus UK postage of £3.00

I am so sorry but I am currently not posting overseas. I know this will disappoint but I’ve had a couple of parcels go missing over the last few months so I’m afraid UK only this time around.

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

 

 

A Wonderfully Festive Workshop in a Box

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

Aimed at stitchers who have a love of making.

ALL SOLD OUT I’M AFRAID – well actually I’m delighted!

I was completely overwhelmed by the popularity of my first Workshop in a Box and just thrilled by people’s responses as they received their gorgeous packages through the post. So I’m totally excited to announce that pre-orders are will open on Friday 1st November for my  second: my beautifully festive Patchwood Christmas Tree.

I LOVE the idea of you creating this lovely seasonal wall piece that you will enjoy bringing out year after year!

All the materials & help you need to create a gorgeous Patchwood Christmas Tree

My aim for these boxes is for them to fall somewhere between an inspiration pack (where materials are provided with no guidance for using them) and a kit (where there are step-by-step instructions and everyone makes the same). Because of the nature of this one – it definitely falls nearer the ‘kit’ form but you will find that I have included suggestions for how you can change things around a bit and make it your own. Not least you will start off personalising it by choosing your own colours.

Please note that PAINT IS NOT INCLUDED in the box.

This was to help keep costs down (this box is already more expensive because of the sheer amount of time involved in preparation & some of the tools needed) but also because I thought you would want to choose your own colours. I use matt emulsion ‘Match Pots’ from the DIY store, available very cheaply in every colour imaginable.

You could even go metallic & glittery if you wish… just don’t tell me! Rumour has it that in December I frisk my workshop participants  to make sure they’re not trying to smuggle glitter into my class!! This may or may not be true but I do have a serious ‘bling’ phobia. However even I will make an exception for this and admit that a wee bit of added shimmer might not be a bad thing! (Not included in the box though because I just can’t!)

I use emulsion match pots from the DIY store. Cheap to buy in every colour imaginable.

The Materials

In my own art practice the theme of my work always suggests the materials that I use. These are generally old, collected, washed & worn. I have an absolute passion for vintage materials so this project is highly unusual for me in that it mostly uses ‘new’.

Why?

Because I’ve taken my favourite patches from four years of making Patchwood Christmas Trees and brought them altogether in the design of this tree. Although I prefer to use vintage treasures wherever I possibly can, it dawned on me that my favourite Christmas Tree patches were actually made from new bits from craft stores. Yikes I never thought I would utter these words – but in this instance it’s absolutely true!

But true to form, I have  managed to include some vintage treasures such as: Vintage text – an old book page, newspaper & magazine cuttings for you to cut out letters to use ‘Ransom Note’ style, vintage fabric scraps and other little bits & pieces.

Christmas stocking buttons, the cutest little envelope. brown luggage labels, cinnamon sticks and ‘Ransom Style’ lettering – love, love, love!

I have prepared everything in the box myself, as I would for a workshop and I’m really excited at the thought of people rummaging through it! I had such wonderful feedback on the presentation of my first Workshop in a Box, this is SO important to me. My aim is to keep packaging simple and re-usable…. but also rather beautiful!

Gorgeous vintage fabric tied up in string.

You’ll receive seven wooden ‘patches’ and all the materials and tools required to make your gorgeous Patchwood Christmas Tree with, as I said earlier, the exception of paint. I have pre-drilled all the stitching holes, ready for you to start assembling. These are done by hand and I don’t pretend for a minute that they are perfect. Participants in my workshops always think that I drill perfectly uniform holes and I am very happy to point out the wonky bits. Wood doesn’t always behave exactly as you wish and the grain means that sometimes the drill is pushed out of line. To me this is the point of it – part of the anomaly of trying to ‘sew’ wood. They are drilled as I would when working on pieces for selling or commission.

There is, of course, a story behind why I wanted to stitch wood in the first place, a bit long to tell here, but it’s to do with mixing up some of the stereotypical domestic roles – taking a traditionally ‘female’ role of sewing and working it in a traditionally ‘male’ material. My workshops are always developments from my own personal art practice – read more about my series of Patchwood Samplers.

Before you can stitch through the wooden patches, tiny holes must be drilled. I’ve drilled A LOT of holes!

 

You’ll stitch your patches of wood together (they are glued first) and then embellish each patch. You will actually stitch this little christmas tree through the wood.

 

A most glorious wreath made from scrippy scraps of gingham attached to the patch by French Knots…actually stitched through the wood! Oh and a page from a vintage copy of A Christmas Carol.

To Order

There will be a limited number of 30 Patchwood Christmas Tree boxes available and I will start posting them out on Monday 11th November and will post throughout that week. They won’t take too long to make so there will be plenty of time for you to complete and get them hanging on your wall for Christmas.

You can pre-order a box from Friday 1st November by contacting me by email. Payment will be by Paypal or Bank transfer.

The cost of the box is £45 plus UK postage of £3.00

I can ship overseas but the following postal rates will be added:

United States £9.10/ Europe £6.65 / Australia £9.80 / New Zealand £9.80

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

 

 

Workshop in a Box

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

Aimed at stitchers who have a love of making.

I first had the idea for my Workshop in a Box during a wonderfully relaxed holiday in Rome earlier this year. Within a few hours of first expressing the tiniest glimmer of an idea to my husband, I found myself with a list of month by month projects that I could develop. Three months down the line I have experimented and played and come up with my first gorgeous little package.

Ta dah – I’d love to introduce you to my first Workshop in a Box my – Scrappy Hand Stitch Sampler

My first Workshop in a Box – Scrappy Hand Stitch Sampler

My aim for these boxes is for them to fall somewhere between an inspiration pack (where materials are provided with no guidance for using them) and a kit (where there are step-by-step instructions and everyone makes the same). I have provided all the materials for making my sampler along with ‘Making Notes’, a chart and photographs. Many of my followers on social media and in person by attending my workshops 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. There are some really lovely books, vintage & new around.

I used some of my favourite vintage needlework books for reference

Everyone who knows me will know that I have a love of vintage, a love of using materials that are used, washed & worn. In so doing, we are not only preventing these beautiful treasures from ending up in landfill but we are also bringing their stories to our work. There is an energy & vibrancy in old textiles, we may never know where they came from, we may never know their stories but they capture our imagination and conjure up pictures in our minds and emotions in our heart. Wherever possible I will be using vintage materials in all of my Workshops in a Box, which is both challenging and exciting. Because of this there may be marks, or some of the fabrics may be faded or slightly damaged. I’ll be including the pieces that I would choose to work with myself – I usually make a bee line for the damaged bits as I know many of you do too!

I have prepared everything in the box myself, as I would for a workshop and I’m really excited at the thought of people rummaging through it!

There will be a limited number of 30 of this workshop available for now.

The Story of the materials in this box

Woollen Blanket

The sampler is worked on a woollen blanket ground. Found as a friend cleared out her mother’s cupboards. I’ve also included a spare bitty blanket to test out your stitching if you wish.

A stitch grid pattern

Printed on a page from a 1950s Woman magazine. It tears easily and is so much more pleasing than anything else!

A fragment of lace

From a big tangled box of tatting, crochet and lace pieces that I bought as a job lot from the Textile Tent at the Newark show ground. I’ve also included a few tiny scraps extra for you to use (or not) in this project. Just patch them on wherever you fancy!

 

A scrap of tape measure, an old Cash’s name tape, a fragment of lace & linen button – or use treasured ‘bits’ from your personal stash.

A scrap of tape measure

Also from an antique fair at Newark. I have a THING for tape measures, ever since I was tiny and called them ‘mithers’. This is slightly ironic as I can’t measure for toffee! You’ll have to excuse wonky lines!

Cash’s Name Tape

An Ebay treasure. Little bundles of tape in the original box. I have a fascination for Cash’s name tapes – I love that this one belonged to a stranger but you might have one of your own that you wish to use or substitute it for something from your stash!

A gorgeous fragment of quilt

Another find on Ebay – this is a phrase you will see a lot in future boxes! It’s a little scrap from a hand stitched antique Durham quilt. It was very scrappy so perfect for sharing.

Fabric patches

Now these are very special pieces. Antique Japanese scraps bought in the wonderfully amazing Asia Gallery in Aukland, New Zealand. This beautiful antique fabric, was found while rummaging amongst kimono, wonderful boro pieces and other most gorgeously special antique Asian treasures. This very special place may be on the other side of the world but I’d love to think I’ll return there sometime!

Fifteen boxes have blue fabric patches included & fifteen have a gorgeous green  & cream stripe – I honestly can’t tell you which I like best. Tell me which colour is your first choice and whether you are willing to accept the alternative when you order.

Two different but equally gorgeous striped antique Japanese fabric patches – blue or green

Buttons

I’ve absolutely no idea where these have come from. They’ve been collected over time, vintage mother of pearl as these are my favourite, especially when they are a bit bashed and marked through use. I also love and covet linen buttons but I never quite knew what to do with the ones with no holes in them until I came across instructions in a vintage book so I’ve popped one in!

Suffolk puffs

These are  from a hand stitched vintage bed cover made in old batik fabric. These are little extras that I have popped in – I didn’t include them in mine but you may wish to swap around a couple of patches to include one.

Stitch names

These are typed on bias binding. The tape is new but I’ve typed them myself using my mother in law’s old typewriter. I always love how some letters don’t quite come out right so no apologies that they may not be 100% perfect!

Tape typed with my mother in laws typewriter and a heading stitched with words by ‘The Lady Wolverton’

Calico patches

New fabric printed on my inkjet printer. There’s a choice of headings for the sampler including a little line that tickled me from the introduction of one of my vintage needlework books ‘Needlework For Student Teachers’ by Amy K Smith. the introduction is written by ‘The Lady Wolverton’ and is one of my favourite parts of the book. My copy of this gorgeous book belonged to Maria Davies of Taff’s Well near Cardiff and she has handwritten the date 1895 inside.

Threads

DMC Cotton Perle no 8 in numbers 413 (Grey), 321 (Red) and Ecru. The stranded cotton is also DMC number 321.

I’m so hoping that people will enjoy using all these bits & pieces that I have hoarded over the years but I also that they’ll personalise their samplers by adding bits from their own stash and by using their own favourite stitches. The possibilities are endless.

Follow my suggestions for gorgeous stitches or stitch your own favourites.

To Order

There will be a limited number of 30 Scrappy Hand Stitch Sampler boxes available and I will be posting them out from 1st October. You can pre-order a box from today Tuesday 24th September by contacting me by email. Payment will be by Paypal. If you do not have a Paypal account then let me know and we can arrange another method. Remember to tell me whether you would prefer blue or green antique fabric patches and whether you are willing to accept the other if your first choice is no longer available.

The cost of the box is £35 plus UK postage of £3.00

I can ship overseas but the following postal rates will be added:

United States £9.10/ Europe £6.65 / Australia £9.80 / New Zealand £9.80

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