Tesoritos: A Petite Project in Wool Appliqué

Posted by Deborah Gale Tirico on Aug 8th 2019

Tesoritos means “tiny treasure” in Spanish, and the needle worker's tools are her treasures. This miniature sewing box is aptly named, as it was inspired by the colorful Mexican art of San Antonio, Texas. The bright colors and spirals arranged in fantasy flower combinations made this project fun to stitch, and a perfect gift for a stitching friend. We stitchers love our fun little stuff.

This project, featured in my newest book, Celebrate Wool Appliqué, includes procedures and techniques for felted wool appliqué: the tack stitch, needle-slanting techniques, surface embroidery tips (including embroidery guides), and easy and accurate buttonhole stitching. Creating twisted cord with a mini tassel, mastering the colonial knot, cutting small pieces, and methods for accuracy in surface embroidery are also covered.

The four-inch covered and lined papier-­mâché box includes a pincushion inside a tart tin, a mini needle roll, and a scissors sheath and fob.

Create the appliqué for the top of the box by beginning with a placement guide in clear vinyl for perfect placement. Comprehensive directions include a running stitch guide for the live appliqué area, as well as an embroidery guide for chain-stitching the spirals. The embroidery guide is stitched in bright chartreuse cotton thread and completely covered with two lengths of chartreuse Weeks Dye Works wool thread in a chain stitch. Easy methods for producing these guides make this project successful and fun!

Basting at an angle using no knots and keeping the bulk of the thread on top makes appliqué easy, since the piece will never move; the outer edge is completely free for appliqué, and the basting thread is easily removed.

The book includes stitching diagrams for the perfect embroidery of leaves and flowers using simple surface stitches in specific order and using unique methods.

Veins in the leaf are completed one side at a time using the specific diagram, which makes the embroidery symmetrical and fun! Colonial knots finish off the magic of the spirals. Check out a video about this specific knot below.  

Learn finishing techniques like the twisted cord for the preemie scissor fob and the ladder stitch to sew the lid to the box top. Celebrate your success with my latest book, Celebrate Wool Appliqué.

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