Friday, 11 March 2016

Embroidery, Cross Stitch Project Organiser

... A parting gift for Nanny London ...

I'm one of the rare few that absolutely loves their Mother in Law.  We share a common love of crafting ... she enjoys knitting and cross stitch.  I enjoy quilting and cross stitch.  We will sit for many a night, needle and thread in hand, chatting away.  My husband has definitely married his mother!

We've just enjoyed a 2 month stay from Nanny.  She travels all the way from London (in her late 80's) to visit us here in Perth, Western Australia.  Today, as we popped her on the plane home (sob) I gave her this organiser that I thought might come in handy for storing her latest cross stitch project.

It wasn't a surprise ... I did consult her along the way ... after-all it had to suit her needs and she is a very practical lady.

I trawled the internet for days trying to find just the right pattern, but with no luck.  The closest I got was this little gem ... so that was my starting point.

The fabrics were chosen by Nanny London ...

Nanny London - "the grey won't show up the dirt from use"
Me - "but it's a bit boring"
Nanny London - "well, yes, but we must be practical"
Me - "ok, but if it's going to be grey you at least need diamonds and a sweet little bird ... oh! and a gold metal zip!"
Nanny London - "if you say so dear ..." ...continues sipping her tea
Me - skips off to my sewing room with glee

Nanny London's cross stitch works are never small pieces ... they are always great works of art.  Her projects hang above fireplaces like oil paintings and the detail is minute.  Which usually means a large number of different shades of DMC or Anchor threads must be used.  With that in mind, I set to increasing the number of pockets for the thread bobbins to 48.  This wouldn't satisfy the entire project, but it would do for pages or sections of the pattern she is working on, then she could switch the bobbins out to her large plastic bobbin organiser when required.

Next a space for her highlighter pen was needed ... she highlights or marks off the counted cross stitch as she completes a section.

A home for her scissors and a few spare needles.

Psst - I got her onto the Merchant & Mills Baby Bow scissors ... she hasn't looked back!

A large pocket for her pattern pieces and notes ...

and of course, a pocket for her work so it could be safely folded and neatly tucked away.

Overall the organiser ended up being 18" x 12" ... a good size, but not too big to handle.

As you'll notice from the pictures, this organiser is not perfectly sewn.

I have a lot of room for growth in regards to installing zips, top stitching and binding those tight curves (yes, yes, shoulda, coulda, woulda used bias binding if I had enough of the fabric I wanted to use!) ... but I'm pretty chuffed with my effort and Nanny London was pleased too.

Designing something on the fly is not easy ... there was the odd casualty ...

RIP Walking Foot

... but overall I feel proud of my little success.

Lets hope Nanny London in as good body and mind to visit us again next year!

I'd like to thank for her tips and getting me started on this project.  She is the zipper-pouch queen in my book!


Linking up with TGIFF and Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday



  1. What a beautiful relationship you have, Serena. I, too, am lucky to have fabulous in-laws (we are going to have a long weekend with them starting tonight in fact)! This is a lovely parting gift, and I hope that it is both practical and full of fond memories for her when she uses it. <3

  2. What a lovely thing to have made - great that you had good input from her too to make it so useful. What happened to the walking foot?

  3. I bet Nanny London was thrilled with it!!

  4. A lovely thought and massive effort was sewn into this gift ☺ awesome ☺

  5. Such a lovely thoughtful and practical gift. Plus sewn with love. I am sure Nanny London will feel all your love evety time she uses it.

  6. What a lovely gift! You are so fortunate to have such a lovely relationship with your MIL!

  7. This is super cute! Love all the little details! :)



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