CQ Victorian Box

Julia Camilleri © 2004

Home - Articles  - Readers' Showcase  - Novices - Search-

Supplies Needed:

  • 36" x 7" Muslin
  • Thin cardboard (I used cereal boxes)
  • Assortment of Velvets, brocades, Duponi Silk,
  • Pinwale cord for the crazy patchwork.
  • 6" x 6" piece of feature fabric for inside lid
  • 8" x 36" of cotton lining fabric
  • Assortment of embroidery threads: silk and rayon threads
  • Silk ribbons in 4 and 7mm widths
  • Hand dyed lace motifs
  • Assortment of beads
  • 1 inch wide satin edged organza ribbon for folded roses
  • 1 Tassel
  • No. 9 crewel needle for the thread work
  • No. 20 and 22 Chenille needles for the ribbon work.
  • Quick clear drying craft glue.


Make cardboard templates for the side pieces and the Pentagon base and lid to the sizes given with the instructions. Using these templates, cut out 10 shapes from the cardboard for the side panels.

Also from the cardboard, cut out 2 Pentagon shapes for the base and 2 pentagon shapes for the lid.

  1. Crazy patchwork the 36" x 7" piece of muslin with the assortment of fabric pieces using the stitch and flip method.
  2.  Using the template, trace around 5 shapes onto the pieced patchwork with a pencil, making sure to leave enough space (approximately 1") between each piece to allow for cutting around and turning under.

  1. Stitch a running stitch on the pencil line to outline the shape. This will be pulled out later.
  2.  Embellish all the 5 pieces with SRE, lace motifs and beading to your personal taste. Keep the embroidery within the outline.
  3. Remeasure and check the shapes for any shrinkage due to the embellishing. Cut around each piece allowing an extra Ĺ in for turning under. Apply a little glue to around the edge of the cardboard, place the embroidered fabric piece onto card centering the design, stretch and turn the fabric edges over onto the glue. Hold for a few seconds.

  1. Cover another 4 cardboard shapes with the embroidered fabric pieces in the same manner.
  2. From the lining fabric, and using the template as a guide, cut out 5 shapes with Ĺ in extra as before. Glue fabric lining to cardboard as before.
  3. Place an embroidered panel piece and a lining panel piece back to back Featherstitch together along the edge with Number 8 crochet cotton or EdMar Iris thread in your choice of coordinating colour. Repeat for the other 4 pieces.
  4.  Join all panel pieces together to form the pentagon shape. Whip stitch the panels together, catching in the stitches along the edge from one panel to the other.

  1. For the base, cut 1 pentagon shape in a plain fabric (I used the pinwale cord) for the outside bottom. Cut 1 in lining fabric allowing extra for turning under.
  2. Glue the fabric to the pentagon shape cards as before, featherstitch the two shapes together around the edges. Attach to the bottom of the box with whipstitch
  3. Cut out the pentagon shape from the pieced patchwork fabric. Allowing extra for turning under, Cut the pentagon shape from feature fabric for the lid, make sure you have the fabric the right way up when lid is opened

  1.  Make three folded ribbon roses and stitch onto the centre of the lid fabric. Add decorative stitches beads and more ribbon embroidery to your own personal taste. Glue the fabric to the pentagon shape card as before.  Place top and inside of lid back to back and featherstitch the two together around the edges, tucking in the tassel at the front edge and secure in place with the stitching.

  1. Whip stitch the lid to the back panel.

Your beautiful Victorian Box is finished for you to enjoy. A special gift for someone.


Julia Camilleri Sewing has been my life. My mother never sewed, so I donít know where I got my love of sewing.

I first tinkered with sewing in primary school when I was about 11 years old and I havenít stopped since.

My best friends mother had a singer treadle sewing machine, and I used to love going over to her place to sew up dolls clothes. My friend and I would make up aprons, potholders and anything else we could for the annual school fair.

My first job at 15 was in a dressmaking factory, on the finishing table as it was called then,

Cutting off threads, sewing on hooks and eyes and making folded fabric roses for the ball gowns. We would get paid on Friday and on the way home I would buy fabric and spend all day Saturday making a new dress to wear out that night.

I have been married to my very supportive husband for 42 years and have three adult children, and five grand children.

We retired in the beachside town of Rockingham, one hours drive south of the city in Western Australia, where itís quieter and a more relaxed lifestyle. At last I had the time to pursue my love of craft, but for a while I didnít know which craft I liked the best. I had a go at everything from cross stitch, ceramics, folk art painting, teddy bear making, patchwork you name it I have tried it, my sewing room is filled with all the remnants from each craft. Then one day I was shown how to do a silk ribbon spider web rose and that was it, I just loved it.

The folded ribbon roses were easy for me to do. All the folded fabric roses I made years ago paid off. These days I would rather do craft than dress make, and SRE is my passion.

Ribbon embroidery to me is like ďplantingĒ a garden full of flowers to be enjoyed forever and that will never wilt and die.

While surfing the net I came across some crazy patchwork and just had to have a go at making something. I enjoyed it so much and wanted to do more. The CQ, dyed laces, beading and ribbon embroidery are all the things I love to do and they compliment each other just beautifully.

My method of designing, one could say is back to front; something will trigger an idea and I set about putting it together. Making it up as I go adding a flower here or there, beading and what ever else I think the design needs. Then when I am happy with the design, I go over it step by step writing it all down on paper, arranging it in the correct order to be stitched and put together.

I have been teaching SRE at my local craft shop and have had a few designs published in the Australian Embroidery and Cross Stitch magazine

Happy Stitching, Julia

Home - Articles  - Readers' Showcase  - Novices - Search-
[an error occurred while processing this directive]