Handmade Catherine Archer Workbox & Accessories

Out of stock

Inspired by my extraordinary Catherine Archer sampler, I have worked the outside of the box in counted cross stitch using alphabets and motifs from her sampler on a glorious dual coloured linen band. The gingham section creates the pocket in which I have added four faux ivory thread winders, wound with useful sampler colours. The box and lid are lined in dark red silk.

All the accessories are made from my printed Catherine fabric and I have included a strip of this fabric 3 x 19in (7.5 x 48cm) so that you can add to the contents of the box if you wish to.

The box includes vintage red scissors with scissor keeper, buttoned pincushion, needlebook including two gold-plated needles with a silk ribbon and wax strawberry closure. This is a definite one-off treasure and cannot be repeated.

The workbox measures 3.5in square 5in tall (9 x 12.5cm).


Out of stock

Out of stock


The story of this little treasure

This stitched treasure was inspired by my sampler worked whilst Catherine was in the Ashley Down House orphanage, in Bristol, England. Catherine worked her sampler on ecru non-evenweave linen in one strand of red thread. The design was worked over one thread of the fabric: equivalent to 45 stitches to the inch! This is even more amazing when you consider that Catherine had no electric light or magnifier. In 1836, Müller opened his first house for thirty girls and over the next thirty-five years, he opened five orphanages on Ashley Down, Bristol, housing more than 2,000 children altogether.

All Müller children were smartly dressed, well fed and educated. (Müller was accused of robbing the mills by educating the poor above their station.) Boys stayed in the orphanages until they were 14, girls until they were 17. When they left the orphanage, all children were found employment, and given clothing and a Bible.