first things first... i need more cute knick-knacky things like i need a freaking hole in the head. and things in which to place cute knick-knacky things... well, i have a lot of those too. and my husband laughs at me every time i make one of these boxes (because he knows they'll be stolen by the cats and hidden in their secret basement hoarding lair). despite all of this, i can't stop making these boxes. i may or may not have made three sets already. maybe. or maybe not? only my cats know for sure...
as suggested in the book, i used a heavy-weight canvas for this set of nesting boxes. starting with the smaller two boxes, K and i sat down with our Ed Emberley's Drawing Book: Make a World and found what we wanted to draw and embroider, a bird for her and an elephant for me. (sadly, i couldn't quite get the sewing machine to look right. boo.)
our bird and elephant were drawn on with a water-soluble marker and then stitched by hand with my newest fun thread, aurifil 12wt wool. that's right! wool thread. it kind of makes me want to knit a little tiny sweater. ok, that's never happening. but this thread is seriously dreamy. it has a beautiful texture, is stronger than i expected, and is a nice weight for hand embroidery (stitching shown here uses two strands).
after K stitched her bird (didn't she do a fabulous job?? i love that kiddo!), i backstitched around the base (with right side of stitches on the exterior), whipstitched the top edge, and then added just a few running stitches on the corners.
after backstitching my elephant, i wanted to try something different for the stitches around the base. i stitched the "grass" around the base and then backstitched in a lighter blue just inside those lines. i whipstitched in white where the flaps overlap on the sides and backstitched in the corners.
for the third and largest nesting box, i couldn't resist this fun retro tv. i decided to stitch this one by machine, and used aurifil 28wt cotton thread in gray and blue.
first i stitched the outlines of the base and the tv. for the tv screen, i fussy cut from a scrap of kokka i've been holding on to for possibly years, and used a plain section of the same fabric for the knobs.
i tried a new fusible web for this project, Fusi-Bond by Lazy Girls, and i have mixed feelings about it. the sticking power of this stuff is great, but it did impart an unwanted texture on the fabric. i'll be sticking with my tried and true Wonder-Under from now on.
after fusing the screen to the canvas, i stitched sketchy lines around the frame. around the top of the box, i used a stretch zigzag stitch as recommended in the book. i used my overlock foot so that i could get the zigzag stitch right on the edge and i was happy with how that worked. also as recommended, i used a straight stitch in the corners. i've found that this stitch makes a big difference in the structure of the box.
what do you think? inspired to stitch up your own canvas nesting boxes?? we would love for you to sew along with us (merrily, even).
but before you start stitching, a bit more inspiration to share. i'm excited to announce that this month's fabulous guest poster in our merrily we sew along series is...
Jessica of a little gray!
so, stitch up yourself a set of canvas nesting boxes and share a picture in the merrily we sew along flickr group for a chance to win a super fabulous prize!!
speaking of prizes, episode three: canvas nesting baskets is sponsored by the very wonderful Aurifil Thread and Storey Publishing!
the winner of the merrily we sew along episode three challenge will receive a Folk Art Aurifil 12wt wool 12 spool large collection case, as well as a package of these five sewing books from Storey Publishing: Improv Sewing, One-Yard Wonders Fabric by Fabric, Mend It Better, Grow Your Handmade Business, and Sew Up a Home Makeover. how great is that??
so get improv-ing... i can't wait to see what you stitch up! just upload a picture of your canvas nesting boxes to the merrily we sew along flickr group by february 28 to be entered to win!!
good luck and happy stitching :)