Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Inspirations and an Embroidered Box. Hey. It isn’t Just Me!


Amazon Books

Needlework magazines are a great source of inspiration, but there are only a few that I subscribe to faithfully. Among them is Inspirations Magazine, “The World’s Most Beautiful Embroidery Book,” to which I’ve subscribed for quite a long time now. Well, when the current Inspirations hit my mailbox, I was glad to see I wasn’t the only one on an embroidered box kick. And hey, if Inspirations can feature an embroidered box, then I suppose I’m in pretty darned good company!

Inspirations is published by Country Bumpkin in Australia.

Now, it’s true. It’s not an inexpensive magazine. In fact, it’s an expensive magazine, as magazines go. But for me, it’s worth it! Take Inspirations Issue #65 that just came out. It’s packed with twenty beautiful projects. Each project comes with photos of the finished piece (the photos in their magazines are stunning!), complete patterns, materials lists, and step-by-step (illustrated) instructions for completing the project. Twenty! Although each issue doesn’t always feature a full twenty projects, they do feature many projects from start to finish – enough that they call the magazine a book rather than a magazine.

Inspirations Magazine Issue #65 featuring an embroidered box

Ok, enough slathering over the magazine itself. What I wanted to get at is this: I’m not the only one with my mind bent on embroidered boxes. Perhaps there’s a trend here! On the cover of Inspirations #65, there’s a wonderful little embroidered box – an etui – with lots of little needlework accessories that match. The style of the embroidery is definitely Quaker, and the box is really beautiful!

Inspirations Magazine Issue #65 featuring an embroidered box

Inside, there are step-by-step illustrated instructions for completing the box, as well as the embroidery pattern and materials lists. I love it! I want to make it! Or… I want to make something similar, anyway.

Of course, there are other projects in the magazine that bear mentioning, so what the heck? I might as well mention some of them!

Inspirations Magazine Issue #65 featuring an embroidered box

There’s a crewel work project that’s very pretty, while at the same time being small and manageable.

Inspirations Magazine Issue #65 featuring an embroidered box

There are some other needlework accessories to make – this scissor case and fob feature a small needlepainting design that is quite striking.

Inspirations Magazine Issue #65 featuring an embroidered box

There are a couple leeeeetle stumpwork projects that are manageable in size – perfect for trying out stumpwork without launching into a complicated design. The ladybug above is just that – a ladybug on a leaf.

Inspirations Magazine Issue #65 featuring an embroidered box

There are several designs to stitch and use in paperweights, like the little goldfish in the photo above. Instructions for finishing the project – installing it in the paperweight – are thorough and clear. The larger goldfish on the left is a promised project for an embroidered blanket in the next issue.

Aside from these projects, there’s a darling embroidered crib set, an embroidered doll with heaps of curly hair, an appliquéd and embroidered quilt, and on and on!

This was a great issue of the magazine – I don’t think there’s anything in it that I don’t like! And so many ideas for projects!

But back to the box – I was happy to see the box on the cover, and even if I don’t stitch that exact pattern in that exact style, the instructions are really helpful.

If you’re looking for some project inspiration, you might consider purchasing an individual copy of the magazine if you aren’t up to subscribing. Individual copies can be had through various local outlets – check your local needlework shop to see if they carry the magazine, or maybe call a nearby bookstore that might carry it. In the US, Wooly Thread carries individual copies. And, of course, you can always order straight from Country Bumpkin (to which I have no affiliation, beyond being a fan!)

Now, back to my needle ‘n thread, because guess what? I’ve started a new project….


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(8) Comments

  1. Yes, Mary,

    I too am a subscriber to Inspirations and have now got together the whole set from #1. I just love browsing them.

    "…because guess what? I've started a new project…." Oh Mary, your a tease!
    All the same, how lovely. Roll on tomorrow night (for Down Under). You will tell / show us then won't you?
    When your post comes in I know it's well and truely time for bed! so…

    Bye for now, Kath

  2. I have become obsessed with making an embroidered box ever since your first post about them a few weeks ago (especially obsessing about an etui). While surfing the net I found this beautiful box – http://swappons.kazeo.com/?page=article&ida;=391883 covered with a Lone Dog design stitched on 40 ct linen! I really love how the numbers and letters in the design are stitched with flax colored thread. Not sure my eyes could work on 40 count fabric though! And yet, I can't stop thinking about it. This would no doubt be a big project and I think I should start with something smaller.

    In the meantime, I can't wait to hear about your new project!!

  3. Oh I can't wait! This will be the first issue of my new Inspirations subscription. I am hoping that it will be in my mail box here in Germany today! Please! And a new project from you Mary is always inspirational too!

  4. Mary, you are a tease.

    The paperweights in that issue of Inspirations are perfect gifts for men–what a great idea!

    Just wondering–have you ever tried embroidering on velvet? Is there a good book on it (I figured you would know)?

  5. Hi Mary,
    You tempted me into subscribing to Inspirations, and, yes it is well worth the money. I love the magazine. Issue 65 is my third one and I started straight away on the crib set (this project being more within my reach), as my niece is expecting a baby soon.
    I am looking forward to seeing what you make in the way of embroidered box.

  6. Hi, All – isn't it a nice looking issue? I like the paperweights, too – I've never made a paperweight with needlework, but I like the simple patterns in there (like the dots), and the stumpwork one, too.

    Maryvonne, the crib set is so cute. It's something I'd like to make, too.

    Tania, thanks for the link to that box – it looks really nice! I like the idea of the 40 ct.

    Kathy – I hope you get it soon.

    Carol – velvet: I don't actually know of any good books specifically on embroidering velvet. I know it's mentioned in several books I have, but off the top of my head, I'm not sure which books! I suspect some goldwork books may discuss it. The thing about embroidering on velvet is that your threads sink into the nap. To avoid this, you can lay down a loose weave or very light fabric, like an organza or a sheer, loose-weave silk or even a very light, fine batiste or something similar, do the embroidery, and then cut away the fabric. I'd back the velvet with a muslin when mounting it on the frame. And using a hoop is pretty much out of the question, unless your finished area fits inside the hoop.

    Kath – you're lucky to have the whole set! I don't have it, but I'd like to. I pick up missing copies now and then, when I can find a good deal on them. I need to go through and make a list of the ones I don't have – it's only about 6 now, I think!


  7. I agree, 'Inspirations' is almost as good as a book each time.

    Speaking of expensive, I don't know how much you have to pay for yours normally, but the cover price for the UK says £5.75 at the mo, but I have to pay NT$500 at the moment, (that's New Taiwan Dollars at just under NT$50:£1), so almost double. Worth it though.

    I'm delighted at the magazines I can get in Taiwan, but not so hot on the books. Most of the stitching books here are, of course, in Chinese and are mostly translated from Japanese. Still waiting for CB books to appear in any language here.

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