Friday, July 31, 2015

A Russian Fairy Tail Come to Life!

 For those who are starting to read with interest about the different designs students in the Cabinet of Curiosities have come up with, a very different piece to delight you today!  Jeri Zoubek has been delighting us on NING for six months with the designs and stitched versions of her vision for a Russian fairy tail casket.  The story of this stitched side of the casket is the Golden Bird.  A full recounting of the story can be found here and you can see how the embroidery translates the story.

Jeri Zoubek's amazing fairy tail embroidery for the side of her casket.
This side represents the story of the Golden Bird
Jeri says about her designs:  "The theme of my casket is my kids favorite Czech fairy tails.  I read these to them over and over every night for years.  They picked their favorite 5 to put on the casket, I love the traditional designs so I used those that Tricia provided and modified them as much as I could.  When nothing was suitable, I drew my own.  I had a lot of help from free images from Google.  I put in some personal "touches" that relate to my family.  For example  the crest of my hometown in the Czech republic and our dog on this [top] design.  I am doing the flat casket because I am afraid I would never finish the bigger one."
If you look carefully, Ralph the cat is behind the castle gate door.
It is fascinating to me to look back at her design drawings that she posted many months ago (she protests that they weren't finished and have a few changes that have been made - they look great to me!).  I am showing the one for this side and the top here.  So fun to see how the piece evolved.  I can't wait until she gets more of it finished!  But as you can see, the exquisite stumpwork she is doing is taking much careful consideration and work.

The design for the left side of the flat casket as published by Jeri late 2012 for comment on the student site. 
The design of the top circa late 2012, Jeri says a few changes have been made since this iteration.
The best part of all to me, is the poem that Jeri asked her daughter to write to explain what is on her casket.  She says she will stitch it to put inside the lid.  I am just over the moon by this collaboration between Jeri and her kids!  

Gathered around a treasured book,
Louis and Carolyn sneak a look,
What adventures will this next story hold?
Princes, dragons, a quest for gold?
With "Once upon a time," Mommy starts,
And they drift to sleep with the story forever in their hearts.

There is no bigger reward for all the effort running this course than the thought of an older Carolyn sharing that poem inside the treasure box with her grandchildren and telling the stories of her mother. In many ways, that is what this course is about; creating memories in thread.



  1. I cannot get over the exquisite work and the amazing sentiment behind this beautiful casket. Wow.


  2. This is truly wonderful! The mind boggles!

  3. This is the epitome of needle Art! And an incredible heirloom of a family's creativity. I'm looking forward to future installments of Jeri's progress. I have goose bumps!

  4. I so love seeing all the beautiful caskets but this one really caught my attention. If I could have one thing on my bucket list, it would be to create a needlework casket of this magnitude. Just breathtaking.

  5. Beautiful design and stitching!!