It’s World Book Day and a wip

Today is World Book Day.  I didn’t know this until I switched on Breakfast TV this morning, and although it’s primarily aimed at children (I LOVED the school where all the pupils dressed up as Wally from the “Where’s Wally?” series) I don’t see why adults can’t join in too.  So I thought I’d share my current bedtime reading with you …


“The Button Box” by Lynn Knight.  The contents of her box, mostly inherited from earlier generations of women within her family, tell so many stories.  A humble linen button makes her think of the working-class matrons who once patronised her great grandparents’ corner shop in Chesterfield (linen buttons were made to survive the mangle), then the sight of a chunky turquoise number recalls the 1960s, when her mother bought the boxy suit it once adorned – and so on. In all, she pulls from her box 28 buttons, buckles and clasps, writing a brief chapter based on the tale of each one.

It’s a fascinating book, and I love the starting point of the button box, having inherited one of my own.  I chose to purchase the “real” book rather than read on my iPad or Kindle as I have discovered the truth of the theory, ie reading on a device at bedtime really does stop me going to sleep.  But this book is available from Amazon in both hardback and digital forms and if, like me, you’re interested in how womens’ lives have changed over the last century or so, and love rummaging through your own button box, then I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

And finally … a quick peek at the first project for the April Magazine.  The March issue featured my first ever Bustle & Sew cross stitch pattern – a leaping bunny ….


And now, as promised, I have grown more ambitious and am combining cross stitch with freehand embroidery….


At the moment it’s still very much a wip – but you can see how it’s taking shape.  I’ve worked it on a lovely duck egg blue linen, using waste canvas for the cross stitch deer (if you’re not a cross stitcher then I am also including templates to applique the deer shapes instead).  Now I’m working the floral and script elements before dissolving away the Fabri Solvy.  So far all seems to be going well and I’m very excited by the possibilities for the future using these techniques.  Hope you like it too!


Wow! I didn’t expect to find a book review when I opened your note, but I am so glad you are sharing this book, it sounds very good. Now I shall look forward to more recommendations, in books as well as stitchery!


Hi Helen,

Just to say I love your new patterns incorporating cross-stitching and other forms of embroidery. The way you put them together with such harmony makes for beautiful pictures. Very inspiring! Thank you.



Aw, thanks so much Diana – I haven’t seen anyone else doing this and wasn’t sure if that was because it was a silly idea! But like you, I’m pleased with the way it’s working out so far. Next month brings the Queen’s 90th birthday and so I was wondering about a commemorative hoop featuring both techniques – watch this space!


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