When I first challenged myself to complete a needlecase each month for the whole year, I began searching my stitch dictionaries in order to determine a starting point for each of said projects. From very early in my search, I decided I'd love to try Norwich stitch for November. You can see how it is worked on this site: http://www.artsanddesigns.com/cgi-bin/makeGlossary.pl?category=embroidery§ion=N It seemed traditionally a canvas stitch, but I don't really have the time at the moment to stitch enough to cover the whole background area of a needlecase in canvas, so I decided I'd use the stitch on evenweave fabric, trying a linear design. I settled on this interlocking squares design, using Lugana fabric which I had in my cupboard. The colour choice was simple - what threads did I have, did I have a suitable lining fabric in my stash, and was there a matching piece of wool felt hidden somewhere here..................... As you can see, I managed to scrape together something suitable. I have stated many times how I like yellow. Well, it has to be a strong golden yellow, something akin to what I term pumpkin.
After I'd finished the interlocking squares, I marked the perimeter with some running stitches and finished the edges with plaited buttonhole stitch. I don't seem to be able to find a suitable link with a simple drawing, so hopefully my photo and explanation will be of some help. It is worked by making the stitch as one would a satin stitch [first movement], and follow up by taking the needle under that stitch and catch the working thread as you would in a normal buttonhole stitch, pull and neaten before moving on. It makes a firm, decorative edge.
Since making so many of these needlecases, I've found I like using pelmet vilene as a firm interlining. I first determined lining and interlining measurements, then cut the vilene in half at the postion that would be the needlecase fold, and fused to the wrong side of the lining fabric. Next the wool felt pages were stitched by machine to the lining [down the centre fold line]. The raw edges were pressed to the wrong side, ready to be handstitched to the back of the buttonholed edge, using the blind applique method. This takes only a small amount of time, and gives a finish I'm happy with. I hope my photos and explanations are of interest to some.
The inside lining fabric is one I have had for a number of years. It is a simple mottled patchwork cotton, with some gold overpainting. And, yes, you guessed it, I have quite a bit of it!!! You will also see the golden yellow wool felt I've used for the 'pages'.
I hope this closeup of the Norwich stitching will allow everyone to see it's wonderful texture. It looks complicated, but once you have your mind set on it's method, there is nothing to it. I'm really pleased to have November's needlecase finished so early in the month, as I am hoping to make some Christmas decorations.