There were 34 people at November’s meeting to see Louise Burns’ Boxes of Delight. It was a friendly meeting as we all know Louise as a member of the branch and leader of the Avoncroft Young Embroiderer’s Group.
Louise explained how old etuis- boxes for small sewing supplies had inspired her to make her own themed etui style boxes. A number of years ago at Art in Action, she had seen a box made by a silversmith with pieces attached to chains inside it. She had wanted such a box and not being able to have one, she made her own in fabric and card.
Louise used box templates from Dilys Designs for her first etui. It was a Christmas box with a miniature Nativity scene in the centre. The fabric has panels of nativity characters and these decorate the sides of the box, inside and out.
Louise is also a miniaturist and dolls’ house enthusiast.
Her next box was inspired by gardens and gardeners and has an insects made at a Heidi Jenkins workshop.
All Louises’ boxes have a surprise in the lid.
Louise incorporated machine embroidery using hot water soluble fabric. Each box takes a number of weeks to make.
The 12 Days of Christmas box has a stumpwork partridge in the lid and a machine embroidered pear tree at its heart.
The music box has embroidered musicians and conductors, whose coats were embroidered separately. It is in the shape of a metronome and has a miniature music stand, music and cello at its heart.
Royal Flush has fabric panels of cards from a pack and a white rabbit. In the centre is a group of sailors playing cards round a table on a mat made for a motif from a beer can.
It was 7 years since Louise made her last box. In preparation for her talk, Louise had made two more.
One of these was a box of drawers using Noah’s Ark fabrics to hold animals made by Joanne Woollard.
Using book fabric along with fabric with text, Louise crafted an attic containing a book press and a bookshelf of books.
Louise also showed us some of her stumpwork- a wooden box with Father Christmas and a child with toys, her ‘And So ToBed’ casket and her stumpwork cockerel in a walled garden.
Louise ended her talk with tips for making your own box.
At the end of the meeting we were all able to get a close look at the boxes on our own tables and by moving round the room.
Everyone enjoyed stroking and buying the fabric Louise had brought.
I think everyone was inspired and wanted to go away and make a box!