The Dowager’s Box

The only tangible Christmas gift I’m giving this year is something I’ll have made with my needle.

You may remember a while ago I tested a box pattern for Lynn at Tialys, who is a bit of a demon at cartonnage, or the gentle art of making exquisite fabric boxes for sewing materials, holding treasures, etc. She sells the pattern as well as finished boxes, in case you’re interested; click on this link to go to her Etsy shop. You’ll find the post about my finished box here. It appears the Dowager has been secretly coveting it ever since.

This emerged at last Saturday’s family dinner, when we had the annual discussion about Christmas. Where, what, who and when were all tidied up, and we progressed to gifts. Generally, the adults don’t give each other stuff. None of us needs more stuff. The Husband and I make a substantial donation to charity in the name of all our friends and family, and we give the youngsters money or gift vouchers, or help towards things they’re saving for. This year, the Dowager insinuated that she ‘wouldn’t mind’ a sewing box just like mine. Prising a bit more information out of her, I established that she didn’t care what colour it was, so long as it wasn’t blue. She doesn’t ‘do’ blue. It takes all sorts to make a world, you know…

Pull for the Dowager's BoxSo this is the fabric pull.  The outer body and rim of the lid will be in that gorgeous shot green fabric. The top of the lid will be in the yellow/orange/pink/green Philip Jacobs print, the inside will be mainly the pale yellow with white spot, more of the floral inside the the lid and the pink inside the base and for the pockets. I might make her a matching pincushion, I’ll see how I get on. I’ve got plenty of time, and apart from the big quilt project, I don’t have much else on.

My box gets a regular workout, and I suspect once she has hers, this’ll be one of the more useful Christmas gifts I’ll ever have made.

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44 thoughts on “The Dowager’s Box

  1. gorgeous choice of colours. it’s going to be amazing 🙂

  2. tialys says:

    I’m glad you liked the pattern enough to ‘get sticky with it’ again and that colour combination will be very striking. I might use your idea of making the top of the lid different from the rim and sides because sometimes I have some small pieces of really nice ‘feature fabric’ sufficient for the top but nowhere else, especially if I fussy cut it. I sometimes save on the ‘special’ fabric by covering the exterior base in a toning plain one. I’m looking forward to seeing the Dowager’s finished box – or does she read your blog and you don’t want to spoil the surprise?.

    • katechiconi says:

      No, she doesn’t read the blog, so I’m going to gloat freely when it’s done. The pattern is a great one, and I don’t think it’ll be the last time I use it, either.

  3. claire93 says:

    lovely bright colours – the Dowager is in for a treat!

  4. The Dowager will love it!
    I have been trying to borrow cartonnage books from the public library. No luck, so I will eventually take to my Spotlight readymade cardboard box with just optimism, fabric and glue.

  5. Grannymar says:

    A gift full of sunshine that I am sure she will use and treasure.

  6. Wow – fabulous colour combination!

  7. Great gift and especially nice that you know she wants one! Presents, truly, the worst part of Christmastime for me. We have 7 grandchildren and … I could write an essay on present-giving issues. This year I decided to make each a bed pillowcase and we’ll also get them each a couple of books. We’re also considering (for the kids) a gift through Heifer International of “a goat” and “a heifer” or something similar, to give them a tangible notion of helping to feed and support other people. As to adults, ?? we all have everything we could possibly need!

  8. EllaDee says:

    I’ve been known to utter “any colour except red” and while blue is one of my favourite colours I get it if for The Dowager it’s not. But your fabric/colour selection is very appealing to the eye, and will be a very special Christmas gift indeed. I expect when she shows it to her friends more requests will emerge 🙂

    • katechiconi says:

      For me it’s yellow. But that doesn’t stop me using it in quilts! Is it going to be a problem for you that there’s a reasonable amount of red in the postage stamp quilt? It adds a necessary impact to the balance of the blocks, and I’d find it quite hard to manipulate the colour scheme to do without it…

      • EllaDee says:

        I quite like bits of red but unlike my best friend solid and true red is not my go-to for clothing, shoes, handbags, accessories or homewares. But I quite like touches. I have a beautiful carnelian pendant, a gift from the G.O. I also have a few red items but they were gifts or found items. I’m truly not that fussy. And as a teenager red was my favourite colour 🙂

      • katechiconi says:

        Phew! I wasn’t going to take the red out, but I’m glad it isn’t going to annoy you every time you look at it!

  9. the colours really are very pretty, it will be stunning ! it’s fresh and sunny !

  10. Lovely colors, Kate! I’m sure she will love it.

  11. I LOVE the colors of the fabric and I love the box. I’ve popped over to have a look and I’m probably going to order the pattern. One more project on my list 😦 but I love making practical things. Especially when they are pleasing to the eye. I loved the material in your blue one as well. Very folk art. What a wonderful gift that will be. But, because I’m not up to speed here, who is the Dowager? 🙂

  12. Magpie Sue says:

    I hope when I’m a dowager I have someone to make special things like this box for me! This is going to be exquisite. I don’t do blue either in general (as I sit here in my navy sweatshirt and jeans). I love the prints you’ve chosen for the Dowager’s box. I think we’ve arrived at a point where charitable donations will be the order of the day for Christmas too. Only the little grands left to actually have fun shopping for.

  13. Oh my, this will be gorgeous! (I remember your test run of Tialys’s box, it was lovely [and not too blue for me] and I’m determined to either make one or buy one from her site.) The colors you’re using here are really wonderful, looking forward to seeing it in “real life”.

  14. Those fabrics are gorgeous! Once one gets one, they all want one LOL.

    • katechiconi says:

      They are pretty time consuming and you have to work carefully, so I’m not going to start cranking them out in bulk, but as a special gift, they’re lovely. I’ll finish this one today and post about it later

  15. rutigt says:

    Love your choise of fabrics. The colours go so well together!

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