What is a hussif?

If you look up the word Hussif you will find that it is described as an alternative form of hussy which originally meant a sewing-case and that is our clue. Traditional hussifs were a long strip of fabric pockets that can rolled or folded to be stored. They contained sewing items such needles pins, small sewing tools such scissors etc. In other words a hussif is a basic sewing kit. The word itself is old and simple sewing kits used to be given to soldiers as their “housewife”.

hussif sewing kit closedToday we would call them sewing kits or craft organiser. When I said that I wanted a cross between a traditional hussif and modern organiser I meant that I wanted the design to be big enough to hold the hand sewing needs of a contemporary embroiderer. I wanted pockets enough to fit my needs yet not so large that I did not use it.

I have made one hussif before above is what it looks like closed and below is the interior.

hussif sewing kit open

I like some aspects to it, but to be honest it not big enough to be of practical use. So my next hussif will be larger. I will do some things the same however such as using the press stud popper tape to secure the plastic zip lock bags only this time around the stud will be more heavy duty! I will also include more elastic straps to hole marking pencils and of course a pocket for my CQ templates.

I have done a scout around the net to find a few links for folks to explore. Do follow them as there is lots of eyecandy

Carol Lindberg made a wonderful hussif and bag. I have always wanted to set aside some time to design and make another hussif but I am sure seeing Carols Lindberg’s hussif inside a bag was the germ of the idea to make a matching workbag.
Lynn Majidimehr steps us through her process of making a hussif in the article My creative journey

Here are a number of hussifs made by CQ Mag online readers and a there is a second batch here.

They are great to make as you can keep it small and simple or make them very complex with all sorts of pockets to store sewing tools. They make great gifts and yet are not a huge project like a quilt.

This post is in response to readers question about my post written with much excitement last Wednesday. I have since started piecing my hussif so stay tuned as I will try and write  a work in progress report each Wednesday.

Have you made a hussif?

If so let us know in the comments. If you have a photo online, leave a link (add the http bit to your address and it becomes a live link people can click and see what you have done)

I just know I am going to get side tracked with this …

Yes this is a definite derailing moment. Look what arrived in the post the other day.

colour streams packageHere is the back story. I was asked to review some of the Colourstreams products and agreed, thinking I work a little a sample, review their threads and move on. It is not going to work out like that.

As soon as I saw what tumbled out of the packet my mind started to race as the colours of the fabrics are inspirational. I like to stay on track and I have a a large project (the lace quilt) nearly finished so I was trying to be disciplined and not start a new project. Then when I dug deep into the pack these little cupped sequins were hiding and I was done for. They are cupped flower shaped sequins – ideal for any crazy quilt project. Take a look at their store and you will see what I mean.

colour streams sequinsI have been itching to take a break from my quilt blocks and I am in the mood to work in brighter colours and the colour streams silk threads look wonderful. So I have decided to work a project using these products and I will share what I am doing in a series of posts. It means it will be a longer review rather than quick little sample stitched and written up, but it will be more fun to make something.

I received in my packet some silk rayon velvet which is to die for (no pun intended) , Hand dyed crinkle silk chiffon, hand dyed habotai silk and some silk organza. I will add to these fabrics to make a crazy quilt project I have been thinking about a long time.

So far, I am impressed as obviously the colours are inspiring. The quality both fabric and threads looks top notch and I have no hesitation in investing time in this.

For this project I am currently designing a cross between a modern sewing organiser and a traditional hussif. I have been wanting to make this for a while and hoarding little sewing related charms for a while and have decided to combine them with what has been sent.

Apart from the free samples I do not gain financially from this review or the ones I will write over the next few weeks. In other words I am not paid to write them. I am not affiliated in any way with Colourstreams.

Well I am off to have fun and to piece myself a sewing organiser and start stitching with these lovely threads.

Mmmm… now lets see I need a scissor keep, a needlecase, a pocket for my stencils, and something to hold treads… thinks to self  …do a I need a bag to keep this hussif in? This project is going to be fun! Watch it grow… Oh I could have a little extra pouch for goodies to go in …. NO! please people dont let it grow…  well maybe a little bit

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Crazy quilt supplies

screenshotHeads up for all those folks enrolled in my Crazy quilting class. I am receiving emails about where to buy supplies and particularly lace etc. I noticed that Cathy’s Crazy by Design Etsy shop has been restocked with some really nice stuff so I thought I would share it here.

I am NOT affiliated in any way and get no kick back – not even a discount in her shop and feel I can recommend her honestly. I know Cathy as I met her when I taught in the States and as a customer have found her service is good.

So if you are in the shopping mood do check out Cathy’s Crazy by Design Etsy shop. Her hand dyed laces caught my eye but browse the other areas too. I loved the swan and Carousel horse on this page.

If you have forgotten where the list of supplies needed, you can find it  here below the description of the class.

Constance Howard samplers online

Constance Howard, was a inspiring teacher and author who pioneered embroidery in textile design and made a colossal impact on contemporary embroidery. Her books were published in the 60′s and 70′s and you spot them I am sure a contemporary embroiderer would still learn from them.

Make a cuppa and browse the Constance Howard Resource and Research Centre in Textiles which is hosted by Goldsmiths College, University of London. This is one of those online resources which become more enjoyable the more you poke about. You need to use the search box however. I typed “samplers” into the image search box and discovered lots of interesting textiles to browse and learn from.

Constance Howard samplerConstance Howard worked this stitch sampler in black and white in the late 1970′s or early 1980s. It consists of rows of black and white stitching on a grey linen. Constance Howard is demonstrating working one stitch in 2 colours. Follow the link for close ups and details.

Constance Howard samplerIn this sample we can see Constance Howard experimenting with raised chain band.

Constance Howard samplerThis small sampler of multi-coloured, raised chain band is worked on red wool fabric by Constance Howard for one of her books

Constance Howard samplerThis sample worked by Constance Howard to illustrate the design process explained in her book ‘Inspiration for Embroidery’. The design is based on the two halves of a circle and realised in stiffened appliqué fabric.

Constance Howard samplerThis experimental sampler of free surface stitches is described as ‘Nets made with stitches, spots made with stitches‘ written on the mount by Constance Howard.

As I said all of these samples were worked between the 60′s to the 80′s and contemporary embroiderers owe her much as her creativity and emphasis on design pushed embroidery into a direction that many today do not venture! She was the first to say “it’s Ok to explore a stitch” and saw stitches as making graphic  marks.

The Constance Howard sampler Resource and Research Centre in Textiles collection held by the  University of London at Goldsmiths, pay the site a visit and learn a bit about contemporary embroidery too!