I've been blabbing about this project for a while now and am happy to have completed it late last night. I wanted to make a special box with needlework on the box top. And, being somewhat of a minimalist, I wanted to veer off into something over the top - something covered with flowers and giving off a Grand Millennial vibe. I was thinking of my Grandmother's tea cup collection when I made this.
Here's the finished box:
From a slightly different angle:
This project took a little bit of practice (over a dozen other boxes leading up to this one) and quite a bit of puzzle solving. First, I had to land on the correct dimensions for the box. This one is just the right size to lay a chart on the bottom (yay, no folding!) and a decent sized embroidery hoop fits inside as well. Then I had to find the right embroidery design that would fit within the dimension of the top of the box. It only took a tiny bit of math to make this design work, and I was quite happy because Calliope's Meadow is Just. So. Pretty.
While I was working the embroidery, I scoured through my (admittedly massive) fabric stash and found a border print I liked for this project. It's an RJR reproduction print that must have been in my stash for, I dunno, twenty years? I'm always surprised about the things I find in there. The border of this fabric has little yellow flowers, which provided the inspiration to add the yellow flowers to the embroidery. The sides of the box are the same height as the border design on the fabric. The rest of the fabric covers the interior of the box.
Getting the border to align properly on the sides was a bit fussy. I elected to leave the border in place for the inside of the box lid. And, of course, being the super Avlea fan girl that I am, I had to find a way to incorporate a bit of that velvet ribbon that we all love so much. So it became a pull tab for the top.
Adding the embroidery to the top was the last step and so utterly nerve wracking, my heart was pounding!
Yes, that is a GALLON of Elmer's Glue-All. It takes a lot of glue for a good box. Back to the top - if you've ever framed needlework, you're familiar with the joys (ughmmm, not exactly) of centering the work. I cut some thin book board, covered it with very thin quilt batting and used archival double stick tape to affix the batting over the edge to the back side of the board, cutting away the corners to reduce bulk. Then I fiddled around with my calculator and a ruler to center the needlework over the batting-covered board. I used Wonder Clips to keep it in place while I tacked the mitered corners. Then I glued the edges of the groundcloth to the back of the board so it wouldn't shift. The idea of mixing glue and needlework is highly stressful, but I took some deep breaths and told myself I could do it. Then I glued this piece to the top of the otherwise finished box and used masking tape to hold it in place while the glue dried.
This project was a really fun puzzle to solve and, while it isn't perfect, nothing handmade is ever perfect.
While I was working through the box puzzle, I created another puzzle of sorts and started working on my accessories. My first one is a needle book, that was taken directly from the same design. I shorted the box top by 4 flowers, but got them all back here. Here's the front:
I have a little collection of vintage buttons and couldn't resist this little blue flower button from the 30's. I love the way it takes the piece back in time.
Here's the back:
Here it is, all opened up:
And here's the inside:
There's plenty of room in my box for everything, and I'm already filling it up with things that I love. I could hardly wait for the glue to dry.