Willing Hands Needlework Design

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

Welcome to my blog! I created this blog to keep you updated on my teaching schedule, designs, new designs, kit availability,
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.

Thank you for visiting!

Monday, May 16, 2016

The Virgin Queen's Stitching Wallet

Happy Spring and Happy belated 2016 stitching friends!

It has been a very long time since I posted anything here.  2015 was taken up with an insane travel schedule and this winter was taken up with travel and surgeries.  Happily, I'm fine and back to work - at the moment I'm putting together about 150 kits for a conference in Auckland, New Zealand this summer which will be followed by a 5 city teaching tour of that gorgeous country.  In between all of the above I've managed to produce a new design.

A bit of background...last spring I did a 5 city teaching tour of the South - Charlotte, NC, Athens, GA, Atlanta, GA, Hilton Head, SC and Richmond, VA.  Along the way I had a couple of days off and on one of them I stumbled on a small antique mall on a country road somewhere along the NC/SC border.  There I found a wonderful leather sewing kit which probably dates to the 1920's.  It had all of the original tools which were made of celluloid, as well as French cardboard thread winders, lots of cards of buttons and a packet of needles at a price of $25!  Needless to say, I snatched it up.  The inspiration for the new design began there with the leather folding wallet type format of the sewing kit.  But what to stitch on the outside?  What theme?

That problem was solved by a student, Lori Doty of Livermore, California.  She attended my annual classes at Elegant Stitch in Modesto and one of her stitching tools sitting on her table was a scissor sheath worked in multicolored black work on the front and white work on the back.  It was lovely and definitely Elizabethan in style.  Lori graciously allowed me to photograph it and it set my imagination on fire.  This was last October.

I spent months playing around with adapting traditional blackwork patterns and developing some of my own and the result is the design below.  A little Bargello found its way in as well with two very traditional patterns.

The photos below show the piece folded closed, the entire outside opened up and the entire inside opened up.  The silk lining fabric is my favorite acid green color but I will also have red and blue silk lining options for those who aren't fans of what my friend Lucy calls "slime green".  The design is worked on 32 count ivory linen with DMC Pearl cotton and Gloriana silk flosses.  The "smalls" are a scissor fob, two octagon shaped thread winders and a needle book with wool felt pages and silk satin ribbon spine.  The design is largely worked in my favorite stitch - double running (Holbein), but may also be worked in back stitch.

This will be a two day class and will be available as of January 2017.  The kit fee is $180.

I hope that you like it!


  1. Betsy--you have outdone yourself again!!!
    See you in a few!

  2. Love it, love it, LOVE IT!! This is on my Gotta-Have list.

  3. Wonderfull wallet!Can I stitch it without take a class, because I live in France, and all the classes are in de VS?

  4. I would also like the kit without the class, if possible. This is gorgeous!!!!!!

    1. Sorry ladies, I don't sell kits outside of class. You must attend to get a kit. But I'd be happy to come teach it in France! 😉

  5. Absolutely beautiful Betsy. I love it!

  6. Beautiful, Betsy! I think our guild (the Kindred Spirits Sampler Guild in Michigan)would love to have you come teach this!

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  11. Waouhhh !
    I just arrived on your blog and I discover that so gorgeous and delicate work. Bravo !... as we say in France !

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