Stumpwork Casket Project FAQ

I will be doing a stumpwork casket class in the future as the Cabinet of Curiosities course is being shut down.  This will allow me to keep production of only the short flat casket for a little while and a tight group of materials as the thread makers start to retire.  I am not sure how many spots I will have over the next few years - but we will see.

In June 2017, I will be starting this course in a special way and at this point it will only be open to students who have been in the Cabinet of Curiosities Part I or Part II Stumpwork.  It will be run as a Stitch-Along with paid instruction and materials will be ala carte.  There are answers to what might be the most frequently asked questions below:

Why only instructions and no materials kit?

The first running of this course will be while the embroidery is in process.  You know it takes a long time to do these projects!  So the materials kit will have uncertainty at the beginning.  That is why it is restricted to the former and current students of COC - you know more about what you are getting into and this is just a nice way to get stitching on a casket.

Why are the materials ala carte?

If you have been in COC courses, why pay twice for the same threads if they are already in your
Front and right sides have a lion and unicorn in the oval
hands?  This way you can use what you have to drive down the cost of the casket by using what you have already invested in - just as if you grabbed the design and worked it.  You are only paying for the instructional material to be led through the stitch choices and problem solving on a monthly basis.

I also don't know if you have COC1, COC2, the Frostings boxes, etc.  So I will work from materials that are in them (and have a continual supply) and if you are lucky - that tube will be sitting in your stash already.  There are a few materials that are being custom made for this box - they will become available while we are stitching.  But if I waited until they were done and I was done doing the box - this wouldn't get off the ground for another two years, getting us too close to the end of the boxes.

How much will it cost?

I can't say yet on the materials and not exactly on the instructions yet - but I am aiming for something 18-months long and around $25-$30 per month for the instructions.

What is the design?

Back and left side with a stag and leopard in the ovals
The design will be posted in full on the Cabinet of Curiosities Part I class web page in November 2016.  You can download it and if you want, go ahead and stitch it however you want.  My goal here is to aid the current and former students of COC to get a casket done!  If you want the instruction on working it - that will be available starting June 2017 as the instruction only course.  After that course is done, it will become available for those who have never been in COC as a full blown instruction/kit course; but always available as an ala-carte option for those who already took COC I or II.

The design is also going to be available for download and construction as a mini-casket in November 2016 for you to look at.  Pictures of it are shown here.

There are two options for the top - the lady with the lute will be in the instructions.  For the few who want to branch out on their own, they can stitch the lady with the stitching frame instead in her place.  The background will be the same and it is just a few independent choices to stitch the alternative design.  Again, all these will be placed on the COC Part I web page for you to download in case you like a frieze or side or the whole thing and want to skip the step-by-step instructions and get going on your own.

Why is part of the top in grey vs black in the picture? 
The lady with the stitching is a choice that can be made but
full instructions will only be available for the lady and lute

That was a way for me to work with the design to show what will be in higher relief so I could visualize.  The center is going to be highly raised with the woman having clothing that can be folded back, etc. and that amazing lute in three dimension.  The oval around her will be worked in high relief too.

What casket is this?

This is the $375 short flat casket.  It will have a lid insert kit that will be available later to make the lid have compartments too.  I will be using the fancy feet and you can choose brass or tinned brass (silver) for the hardware.

Will there be a lock and key for the casket?

No the design has a high relief area in the middle front that would be disrupted by a lock and key.  That also keeps the cost down.

What fabric will you be doing?

I am going to recommend and stitch the design on the Old White 40 count linen.  It is the most forgiving of the choices.  Since this is aka-carte, if you prefer the satin you can do that.  If you have something in your stash that is cream colored and very tight weave, go ahead.

Can I change the colors?

You can certainly do that!  Since this is ala carte on its first running, you are free to change a thread if you have one in the stash that you like its color better or even substitute with something that works for that technique.

Do I need to buy the casket now?  

I would suggest that you get the box when you can.  The production of the casket maker does have limits so if you can, get it when you can and don't wait until the end.  He has an assistant at the moment and between runs of double caskets (our most popular choice), he tries to make more of these simpler less expensive caskets.

What will the inside look like?

Well, I will be working that up soon and I am excited about it.  I have had Richard make me lid inserts that will be available as an extra to add secret panels/doors to the inside lid.  There will also be a single embroidered insert in the lid.  The interior that I am working for the class is in blues.  But for the ala-carte version, any color you want is possible.

If you have more questions that aren't answered - please email me at and I will post questions that seem to be asked by more than one person.  Also email me if you are interested so I can make sure to make good estimates to the cabinet maker and thread makers too.

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