Handmade Needlepoint Boxes: Harbor and Nest Eggs

I woke with a vision of masts against the sky, geometric, more of a watercolor I thought, but suited for stitching. Harbor has strong black sashiko thread verticals with one metallic silver one, and many triangles to suggest boats and sails. Hand-dyed blue and gray threads, with a little white overstitching. The lip was dyed with one of the blue threads, and the dark gray velvet inside was hand-dyed with one of the gray threads.

We say "safe harbor," when "harbor" by itself suggest a safe place, a shelter, if we must say, "from the storm." Clink, clink, go the masts in the marina as the boats bob up and down. The dark gray velvet inside also reminds me of a cat I once knew.

Curious, I checked out some needlepoint books from the library. The first one was quite a heavy tome, with mostly black and white images and very kitschy examples. Even just looking at the stitches themselves I felt I wanted to focus on my own designs rather than elaborate stitchwork. While it is true it is not the stitches, it is what you do with them, I did not feel inspired to try.

The second book, A-Z of Needlepoint: The ultimate resource for beginners and experienced embroiderers (A-Z of Needlecraft), was in color and completely spare: just a dictionary of stitches, very clear and step by step, one photo for each step. When there was room for a paragraph or image, the pictures or words referenced historical work and practices, which I liked. Mary, Queen of Scots, for example, did quite a lot of needlepoint locked up there in The Tower. This book felt practical and just what I needed if I were to explore new textures. One stitch in particular caught my attention, and urged me on in a geometric direction. The name of the stitch is "Eggs-in-a-Basket," and so my box is called Nest Eggs.

Most of the threads are hand-dyed, with the exception of the metallics and a little bit of embroidery thread. I was interested in how changing colors can show movement. The baskets, or nests, are stitched with thicker thread and so have a raised feel. The little yellow/gold and golden eggs, made of thinner threads, sit lower on the canvas and seem so tiny in comparison. Black book cloth lid, shimmering copper base with shiny gold lip and black velvet inner lining.

Available boxes at nevermindtheart.

Photos of all boxes at my website.