Willing Hands Needlework Design

"She seeketh wool and flax and worketh willingly with her hands"
Proverbs 31:13

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works in progress and other stitching related activities. From time to time I'll also be adding extra info about goings-on in my life.

To see my current teaching schedule, teaching pieces and retired designs, click on "older posts" at the bottom of each page.

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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Edinburgh Designs

No, I promise that I did not drop off the face of the earth.  I've just been super busy with travel, classes, surgery and designing.

Last fall I taught in England for the Sampler Guild of the UK.  It was a lovely long weekend in a very quaint town at a centuries old hotel with a thatched roof.  The ladies who attended were tremendous fun and wonderful stitchers.

When the weekend was over, my sister flew in to join me and we spent 10 days touring London and Edinburgh.  A day spent at Edinburgh Castle and Holyroodhouse Palace inspired two new designs.  The first ( above ) is the Edinburgh Etui which was inspired by a piece of china, some needlework tools and some embroidery by Mary Queen of Scots in the palace and by embroidered regimental flags, carved woodwork and military uniform decorations in the castle.

The box has two compartments - one in the top section with the swags and tassels and the other and larger one in the bottom section with the crown and branches.  The branches are adorned with Tudor roses, thistles and shamrocks, all of which are worked in surface embroidery.  However, the kit will also contain charts to work those motifs in counted thread for students who aren't comfortable with surface work.  The box is lined with a green/aqua two way silk Dupioni and the lid has a turned wooden thistle finial as its handle. 

The "smalls" are, left to right, a folding needle purse with bead and loop closure, a scissor fob on a tasseled cord, a crown thimble box and a pin pillow with beaded edges and beaded cord.  The back of the pin pillow is embroidered in a tartan plaid and embellished with a silver thistle charm.

The finial and charm are included in the kit.  This design will be available as a two day workshop in 2014.

The second design is the Edinburgh Reticule pictured below.

This design was done especially for Just CrossStitch Magazine's Christmas in Williamsburg seminar 2013.  The reticule shape was inspired by a tiny purse at Holyroodhouse Palace.  Its intertwining branches on the front are home to a Tudor rose, thistles and shamrocks, all worked in counted thread.  The back side ( see below ) has motifs taken from woodwork in the Castle and adapted into blackwork patterns.  The purse is lined in green silk Dupioni, the edges are embellished with beads and the closure is made from Hedebo buttonhole loops and a tasseled cord.

The "smalls" are a needle book and scissor fob.  The needle book has wool felt pages and a silk ribbon spine and the scissor fob slides on a tasseled cord.

Hope that you like them!


  1. You know we do--they are both wonderful!!!

  2. Oh, wow. Having signed up for your Williamsburg class without seeing the project, I'm not only thrilled but hoping I can join someone for the 2014 2-day class project box. They are gorgeous.

  3. Beautiful designs Betsy! We thought you were fabulous too and loved the way you teach;)

  4. Thanks, everyone! They were so much fun to design and stitch. And a major learning experience too - it took three tries to get the box and the crown right.

    It's great to check out the comments and realize that I know all of you. Looking forward to seeing Viv in Williamsburg!

  5. LOVE THEM BOTH!!!!!!!

    Can't wait for the "top" set. Oh my gosh, I'm so excited. lol

  6. Beautiful & beyond as always!
    Sending you photos soon Betsy, Marezie is on the finishing table now:)

    Wish all you stitchers fabulous fun at Betsy´s classes, hope to hear more later on:)

  7. Hi Betsy -

    I love them both! I am already signed up for the reticule class at Christmas in Williamsburg. I also just spoke with Salty Yarns and will be in both of your classes in June! Really looking forward to it!

    Carol B.

  8. I just love the piece for Christmas in Williamsburg! also, I'll see you in Sept for the Elegant Stitch workshop. Love the new pieces...do you know where you will teach the project coming out in 2014?

  9. I like this design. Please tell me who the author or the name of the manufacturer of (Tudor Rose)

  10. Your designs absolutely thrill me. I've always had a passion for pieces like these. Is there any way a kit for this set could be purchased today? Along with needlework, Scotland is my second passion in life.