Catherine Archer Workbox

Out of stock

Now this is something special – I bought a few plain boxes from a well-known lifestyle department store some many months ago. I knew what I wanted to do with them but needed to cook the idea for a while. The arrival of my Catherine fabric cleared away the fog and so I have been beavering away in the background for some time and here they are transformed into luxurious workboxes.

Each box has a lid inset with a padded and lightly quilted pin pad in Catherine Archer fabric which is buttoned down with a shell button. It is trimmed with a twisted cord in matching ‘schoolhouse’ red. Inside, the lid and base are lined in red silky fabric with gold-plated lion’s tail scissors attached by a twisted cord.

In the box there is a piece of the red fabric, a piece of Catherine Archer fabric tied with a twisted cord and a faux ivory thread holder with two shades of stranded cotton (floss).

In addition, I have included three gold-plated needles in a tiny book hand-crafted by the wonderful Kate Bowles. She has included pages for notes, linen to store needles and envelopes to hold secrets! When closed the little book measures 2.75 x 3.5in (7 x 9cm).

The box measures 10in (25.5cm) across and stands 4in (10cm) high.


Out of stock

Out of stock


The story of this little treasure

Out and about with my grandson some time ago, we ventured to a well-known lifestyle store for entertainment. While there, I spotted some rather interesting wooden boxes. With my stitcher’s eye, I noticed that the boxes had an inset top which means there is space to add something decorative.

I have been a collector of boxes and baskets for years, always sure that something useful will fit inside. I remember a trip to Hancock Shaker Village, Massachusetts, USA, and watching the artisans create the iconic wooden Shaker boxes. I bought three and they still make me smile.

Now, I do not aspire to anything in that league with my purchases, but I am prepared to say they are something special. I knew they could be gorgeous needlework boxes, the kind of thing I would like to have – and I hope you will too.

I admit that they did languish under my desk for some time, reminding me they were there each time I stubbed my toe on them! Once my Catherine Archer printed fabric arrived and matched beautifully with some red silky fabric I had been hoarding, I could see the way forward.

There were a few trial runs with the lining, so I can claim that quite some hours of love have gone into making my boxes. I am particularly pleased with the lid – the padded top will take pins and is detailed with lines of stitching (My esteemed Editor Jenny, commented that it looks like a pre-portioned cake, but that is a compliment in her book!) The central button is attached through the wood, which let me add a novel place to secure scissors on the inside.

I could have stopped with the box itself, but it clearly needed to contain more treasures – the way the gift of a purse should always come with a coin for luck!

I hope the matching materials inspire you to create accessories for yourself and maybe you will cover the exclusive needlebook, or make it a little drawstring bag to live in. I would love to hear what you create.