14th century projects,  14th century reliquary boxes,  Adornments,  Embroidery,  Finishing technique for borders,  Klosterstich,  Materials,  Medieval Embroidery,  Pearls,  Projects,  Reliquary box - "Rose"

14th century inspired Klosterstich rose – turning a medieval inspired embroidery into a lid for a reliquary box .1

2015-03 - Racaire - Klosterstich rose

I already prepared my rolling frame for a new medieval inspired embroidery project.
But before I tell you more about my new project, I would like to show you the small side project at which I was working during the last days… 🙂

You might remember the 14th century inspired Klosterstich rose embroidery which I  recently finished. I started this small project in order to take pictures for my “Klosterstich hands on tutorial” which you can find here:
– “…Part 1 – how to start your Klosterstich embroidery
– “…Part 2 – how I do my Klosterstich embroidery

Before I started working at this small 14th century inspired Klosterstich rose embroidery project, I already thought about what I could do with this Klosterstich rose as soon as the embroidery is finished. And one thought immediately came to my mind and refused to leave again – I could make another reliquary box! An awesome idea, isn’t it?! And reliquary boxes are so much fun to make… 🙂

Well, the Klosterstich rose embroidery was rather fast finished and I put it aside. But then – believe it or not – the project started haunting me. Though embroidery actually doesn’t have eyes, I could swear that it was starring at me – giving me a look of reproach. 😉

And what is the very best way to get rid of a haunting U.F.O. (UnFinished Object) project? Exactly – I had to finish it or at least to start working at it again! Therefore I decided to pick up the project again and to turn the Klosterstich rose embroidery into a nice lid for the reliquary box project.

I didn’t forget to take many pictures of the process for you and today I show you how I mounted the Klosterstich rose embroidery on the base for the reliquary box lid – enjoy! 😀


First I had to chose the material which I wanted to use for the lid. Unfortunately I don’t have access to a workshop which can make me the real “medieval” deal of two round wooden plates and a turned round and hollow middle part. Therefore I had to get creative and to work with the materials I had.

Though I am normally not a big fan of plastic, it seemed to be a rather easy solution for my problem. But not every type of plastic is suitable for this project. It needs to be easy to cut with a kitchen scissor, quite flexible so it can be slightly bent without showing any cracks and last but not least it still need some body to provide body to the lid or the base of the box.

beaded "Reliquary Pouch" - Medieval embroideryWhile living in Austria I discovered that some of the ice cream boxes from the grocery store “Hofer” not only contained very acceptable ice cream but besides that also the lids of the boxes where just perfect for my very first reliquary box project which you can see on the picture on the right.

As I am living in Southern Kentucky now and have no further access to the ice cream boxes from “Hofer”, I had to find a new accessible source of suitable plastic for my project. And what shall I say, it was found rather fast. The coffee intake in my household is rather high and the lids of the the coffee containers from the grocery store “Kroger” seemed very promising.


Fortunately I already put some of this lids away for other projects – they sometimes come in very handy for my painting projects like for mixing acrylic paint… I took one of this lids and the inside of the embroidery frame on which I embroidered the Klosterstich rose and used the inner ring to pre-draw the outlines I needed for the lid as you can see on the picture above.

At the early stage of my embroidery project I already used the inside of the embroidery frame to define the border of my embroidery. The wooden ring at the inside naturally restricts the space you can embroider if you are not willing to move the frame on the fabric. Therefore the inner ring of my embroidery frame seemed just perfect for pre-drawing the size for the lid base.

After I cut out the first piece I decided that it was actually too thin on its own. Now I had two possibilities – to find another source or to cut another one. Well, as you can see on the next picture – I’ve chosen option number two. And after I cut out the second piece I saw immediately that two pieces instead of one worked so much better.


Now I had to prepare the embroidery before I could mount it. For this purpose I cut away all excess fabric and left only some of the fabric as seam allowance. With one of my embroidery scissors I cut into this seam allowance about every 1.5 cm as you can see at the picture above.

Now I was ready to mount the fabric:


For this purpose I put the embroidery upside down and placed the two already pre-cut plastic discs on top of the backside of the embroidery. Then I threaded a needle with new sewing thread and finally started with one of this fabric cuts along the border. After I attached the sewing thread to the first fabric stripe, I made another stitch through one of the fabric stripes at the opposite side. Then I went back to the very first fabric stripe where I attached the thread and put another stitch at the top of this fabric stripe. Now I could carefully pull the thread tight.

After this first stitches I continued with the fabric stripes about halfway between the first two fabric stripes. As soon as the stitches are set and the thread pulled tight, the plastic disks are locked in space and won’t move much anymore. From this point on you can continue with your stitches in any order you wish – always connecting two fabric stripes from opposite sides – until all fabric stripes are pulled in tight and the fabric is tightly positioned on top of your lid base.


But I normally don’t stop at this point. In order to get the fabric stripes at the backside to lay down smoothly, I go over them with some extra back stitches as you can see on the picture underneath:

2015-05_Racaire_14th-century-Klosterstich-rose-reliquary-box_sewing-the-top-lid_05…and this way I get even the most reluctant fabric stripes to stay in place. 🙂

And voilà – a picture of the mounted Klosterstich rose embroidery:


…and a sneak peek at the finished back side:


The mounted Klosterstich rose embroidery looks lovely, doesn’t it? And in the next posting I’ll show you how I created a good looking backside too… 🙂

Best regards Racaire