Monday, 12 May 2014

Fun With Florentines

Down the years, I have accumulated a box of ‘cover kits’ – the things that come stuck to the front of craft magazines. Back in London, we had a friend who worked for the Railways and his job was to collect and return all unsold magazines from WHS– but the ‘freebies’ had to be removed an discarded. So he would bring round bags of bits and pieces – toys for the girls, floppy discs [remember them?] for Bob, and stitch kits for me.

52 projects

I decided one of my 52 projects should be to stitch them up, and find creative uses for them. I had a set of three tapestry kits – canvas, yarn and needle which were landscapes. But no charts to work from.


The pictures of the packets were really too small to decipher – but then I had an idea. I downloaded a Florentine chart from the internet [that is the stitch pattern, not the gorgeous chocolate biscuit!]


Because the threads were all nature/earth colours, they went really well together and I stitched a little rectangle in the pattern [in America this pattern is often called Bargello, after the Florentine Palace where chairs are stitched with this pattern]Then I stitched up two more – and pondered on what to do with them.


I don’t have a needlecase at Cornerstones – I realised at Easter that the needles there are just stuck through a remnant of felt. So I found some suitable fabric in an old book of sample swatches


I sewed a little book, with an inside pocket, and fastened it with a bit of slim leather thong, wrapped round a vintage brass button which I thought looked suitably Italian.


I put a little pocket inside too, to hold a needle threader. A quick and easy project which has made something useful from something otherwise neglected.

florence view

Steph and I had a wonderful Citybreak in Florence in 2003. So much art and culture to see and enjoy. It now appears that the pounding feet of the tourists may be damaging David’s ankles. Oh dear!


If you do feel the need of the biscuits, here is the recipe from Ocado.

Allegedly they were created in Renaissance Florence by the cook of the Medici family.


  1. What an imaginative use of the little kits. How nice that the freebies were put to good use & not discarded when the mags were returned. Well done on tackling your 52 projects. Perhaps I should look at my little kits that are just languishing in the back of a cupboard. Have a good day, Vee x

  2. Oooh I like your re-cycling!
    Must admit, my first thought was the biscuits but, thankfully I don't like them, they are sickly sweet! So won't be rushing out to buy any lol!
    By the way, do you want some black cotton border fabric with red 'flames' / zig-zag border on? it's possibly suitable for a beach wrap/sarong or whatever your creative mind can come up with! Let me know if you do.

    1. Yes please! I will contact you to arrange collection

  3. Charming little needlecase. Thanks for recipe too. x

  4. My mum did (and sold) a lot of Florentine embroidery in the 1970s, so this really took me back! The needle case is great.

  5. What a good use of the little kits, better than having them hanging about unused :)


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