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The second RSN short course that I had enrolled in – just for a little recreational holiday stitching – was Advanced Box Making with Heather Lewis. This 2 day course was conducted over a Saturday and Sunday in mid August at Hampton Court Palace.

Creating fabric covered boxes – usually incorporating embroidery – is one of the techniques that the RSN offers as an option on their Diploma. Heather Lewis, our tutor, has been working at the RSN for almost 20 years in a variety of roles across both Studio work and tutoring, and she has significant experience in box making. She is actually now in the final stages of preparing to release a book on Box Making, and she brought along a number of her beautiful boxes to inspire us.

Fabric hinge on Purple box by Heather Lewis.

This was my first attempt at making this type of stitched box and for this advanced class we were encouraged to design our own box that would incorporate both a drawer and a hinge. I decided that I would also like to incorporate the Whitework piece that I had worked earlier in the month. The little Ship motif in Rachel Doyle’s design led me to selecting a navy coloured outer fabric with small anchors printed on it.

My fabric choices

The fabrics we used for our boxes were standard quilting cottons, as these hold up well to being firmly pulled and stitched around the cardboard forms. There was a lot of curved needle stitching in this piece, and lots of math/calculations working out exactly how to make all the pieces fit together.

My box making in progress

I am happy with how the whole box eventually came together – though I do need to pay more attention to mitred corners and ensuring to that the drawer fabric pattern matches and fits seamlessly into the front.

I was really happy when I found these really cute little Anchor charms in a bead shop in Kingston to use as drawer pulls which I think helped to finish the piece off nicely.

The Future Tutor course starts this week – Can’t wait for the adventure to start!