Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Cottage Needlecase (JETS April and May)

Over the last two JETS (Junior Embroiderers' and Textile Students) sessions in April and May we have been making a Cottage Needlecase. Normally I create a project that can be achieved in the two hours we meet each month. The students had asked if we could make a Needlecase and I'm afraid I got rather carried away. Determined not to recreate the binka and blanket Needlecase of my school days, I wanted something that would appeal to the 12 year olds as well as the 5 year olds. Not that there is anything wrong with binka needlecases. There are a lot of treasured pieces of binka out there with first attempts at stitch.

There was a lovely pattern in the book Stitch at Home by Mandy Shaw, which looked suitable for adaption. Our Needlecase would be made from felt as we do not have a sewing machine. (Although I am working on that one!) Problem was there was no way we would achieve all the work in one session. We needed to make a decorative outside, useful inside and join the two pieces together. I worried that the children would loose interest with a month gap between sessions.
The wonderful JETS volunteers were right behind me and thought we should give it a go.
So that is exactly what we did.

Stitching the windows and door in over stitch or running stitch.

Adding decoration and embellishments.
Although it did not look much like a cottage at this stage!

All comes clear when the cottage is folded, particularly with pretty flowers by the front door.

The first stage was completed and the students were ready to go onto the next phase.
Creating the inside pockets with needle and pin keeps.

Some students chose over stitch again, while others preferred running stitch.
Try to keep those stitches small and neat!

Attaching the roof was a little tricky so it did not cover the windows and door.

Don't forget the press stud to fasten the needlecase with.

Finally, carefully stitch the two parts together. 
This cottage roof has been beautifully edged with blanket stitch.

This cottage belongs to our most experienced stitcher. 
There are candles in the front windows and the silhouette of a family in the rear window. 
Also lovely chain stitch and french knot climbing rose and daisy decorations.

The first two completed cottages. 
I. created stain glass windows at the front and stitched ivy over the rear window.

While L. who is our youngest stitcher, created daisies and climbing plants in pots.
They both went home happy with their Cottage needlecases.

The remaining cottages will be completed next month and all my concern about a long running project was unfounded. All the students are enthusiastic and looking forward to finishing off in June. When given the choice for the next project, either a woven butterfly or mini cottage scissor keep they all wanted to make a mini cottage. 
We will have to rename the group - Cottages 'r' us! 

 I am so proud of them all, their creativity, determination and enthusiasm for learning.
They are a really inspiring group of children.

(Not forgetting the wonderful volunteer helpers too!)


  1. Aw they look FANTASTIC Anne - well done you and all the JETS : )

    1. Thanks Steph, it has been a real pleasure.

  2. They are all so creative and wonderful. Well done by your students.

    1. Thanks Meredith. I love the way they are all different.


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