Catherine Archer Needlebooks
How special is this? The little books are supplied in their own perfect box and each miniature book includes a tiny pencil with a vintage button on the end, making it easy to extract from its home in the spine. There are assorted pages for notes and a needle paper at the back, folded to hold three size-26 gold-plated needles (sourced from The Cross Stitch Guild). Each one of these little books does vary in detail like the spine colour – all are made to the same simply perfect standard. Tucked into its protective matchbox, it measures 2.75 x 3.5in (7 x 9cm).
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The story of this little treasure
This limited edition, hand-crafted needlebook is the brainchild of Kate Bowles who even crafts the little box to fit the book perfectly. She also found us the very tiny pencil and covered it in hand printed pieces of Catherine Archer’s sampler.
If you are wondering about the name, Catherine Archer was the little girl who stitched the sampler with which the book is covered (I am the very proud owner of the original sampler). An orphan, she stitched this sampler while she was living at Ashley Down Orphanage, one of the Müller orphanages in Bristol, UK. As was often the case with the alphabet samplers stitched by Müller children, Catherine’s design includes dozens of complete alphabets, her classmates’ initials, border motifs, keys and a Bible. The stitching is quite breath-taking, with around 45 stitches to every inch. If you feel like a challenge, the complete original design can be downloaded from The Cross Stitch Guild. I have also charted some of the alphabets and border designs if you would like to create your own new Müller.