Little House Needleworks ABC Samplers – a new set of nine smalls to stitch – 1

I’m starting to make the Little House Needleworks ABC Samplers – a set of nine smalls to stitch, which will look great as a collection when they’re done.

ABC sampler pincushions by Little House Needleworks

The fabric I chose to use for these is a 32 count evenweave from called Country French Mocha linen by Wichelt (part of my big stash haul from January 2019). It’s a lovely soft fabric in a warm beige – the called-for fabric for these designs. I also used the called-for threads – mainly Classic Colorworks overdyed threads, with a few DMC shades too. I bought the charts and threads from Peakside Needleworks in the UK.

These charts were the first ‘caving in’ of my New Year Resolution not to buy any more embroidery things in 2019 (it didn’t last long at all!!). I just couldn’t resist these, as I just love smalls anyway, and anything with little buildings on in particular. So, they’ve been sitting in my stash since then.

They have only a 4 x 4 inches stitched area, so they don’t take long to do – that’s my justification, anyway.

I decided to do this one first – the one featuring the letters LMN – so I sorted the threads and fabric, and then changed my mind! The tidy part of me just couldn’t start half way through the alphabet!

ABC sampler pincushions by Little House Needleworks

So, I began with the ABC one instead, and I’m now going to do them in the PROPER order!

I like to colour in black and white symbol charts with coloured pencils before I start stitching, as my brain can make more sense of colours than symbols.

ABC sampler pincushions by Little House Needleworks

I haven’t used Classic Colorworks threads before. They are nice to stitch with, but I found the gradations of shade changes a bit long and predictable (about half a metre each time), so I cut several pieces of varying lengths, and mixed them up when choosing each thread to use next, so that the gradations didn’t look so regular on my stitched piece.

I got this much stitched in about four hours:

ABC sampler pincushions by Little House Needleworks

But then I hit a snag. I really dislike stitching with white. It bores me to tears. So, having spent a while getting this far, I got really bored with it, and put it aside, avoiding continuing with it, even though by then I’d done all the white stitching. How stupid is that? Anyway, I eventually got over my stitching block, and finished it off in one long Sunday afternoon.

ABC sampler pincushions by Little House Needleworks

I decided not to stitch the outer row of crosses as a border that are shown on the chart, as I think that’s more necessary if you’re going to stitch these as one large design, in three rows of three, so that you can work out how to tile the individual houses. As I’m making mine into individual pincushions, I want them to look more like the image on the chart pack, without a border line round the edge.

Now I’ve just got to do the finishing. I’ve chosen a lovely cotton fabric for the backing, from my quilting stash, and a tiny pom pom trim for the edge.

ABC sampler pincushions by Little House Needleworks


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What I got for Christmas this year…..

In our house, so that we get what we’d really like, we tend to make use of ‘Christmas elves’, who get a note in November with a nice list of ‘possibles’ – sometimes with details of exactly where to get the actual product from, in case the elf isn’t exactly sure!

So, this year, I was delighted, but not altogether surprised, to get some really lovely things for Christmas…

Betsy Morgan Willing Hands embroidery book

This is a book that I’ve been wanting to own since it came out in the autumn – it’s ‘Willing Hands’, by Betsy Morgan. Betsy’s book has 8 projects in, all created in her really artistic style, using cross stitch and other stitches to make lovely etuis. I’ll be doing a proper book review of this one soon.

Lorna Bateman Embroidered Country Gardens embroidery book

This is another book that I’ve had my eye on for a few months – this pretty ‘Embroidered Country Gardens’ book by Lorna Bateman has lots of projects in her delicate surface embroidery style, to make sewing accessories. I can never have too many sewing accessories!! I’ve got the scissor case ready to make up in my stash, but these all co-ordinate with it, so it’s really tempting to get on with it and make them all. It’s obviously a very different embroidery style from Betsy Morgan’s book, but I love the differences between the styles. I’ll be doing a review of this book soon, too.

St Petersburg Fantasy set watercolour paints

This is something new for me – watercolour paints!! I’ve been using coloured pencils ever since Johanna Basford’s colouring books became popular a few years ago, but watercolours always seemed a bit scary. But I’ve decided that I’ll have a go, as these two brands seem really good, and the colours are just gorgeous – very tempting to try. The large palette is by a Russian company called St Petersburg. The brand is White Nights, and this set is their Fantasy Set, as it has lots of bright shades, and very few browns (I don’t like brown!). I’ve also got 12 extra colours added to the spaces that are usually left in the centre of the box, so that I can have more purples than are usually included (you can never have too many purples!).

Metallic paints set

This small tin is very special. These are 12 metallic mica paints from KJDesignByKaren on Etsy- these are really lovely colours, and I can’t wait to try them out. Many people use these for calligraphy, but I’m going to use them for details in my Johanna Basford colouring books.


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My dollhouse needlepoint kit and chart pack sale starts today!

My usual January Sale of doll’s house needlepoint kits and charts starts today – check out my website to see everything that’s in the sale, and grab yourself a bargain to give you something to stitch during the coldest time of the year!

Kits are available for the following miniature needlepoint items for 1:12 scale dollhouses, and they’re all in the sale! There are almost 300 kits to choose from altogether.

Carpets  ~~~ Staircarpets ~~~ Cushions ~~~ Bellpulls ~~~ Samplers

Wallhangings ~~~ Dining chairs ~~~ Needlework stands

Rectangular footstools ~~~ Firescreens ~~~ Christmas stockings

 Teacosies ~~~ Clutch  bags ~~~ Tray cloths ~~~ Handbags ~~~ Pole screens

Round footstools ~~~ Christmas tree mats ~~~ Bolster cushions

Table runners ~~~ Placemats


As well as all the dollhouse needlepoint kits and charts, there are also these cute little needle minders – great gadgets that mean you need never lose your needle down the side of the sofa again! These are also in the sale – there are six designs to choose from. They make fantastic little gifts for stitching friends, or just a treat for yourself  🙂

Cross stitch needle minders

So take a look now, and treat yourself to something tempting to stitch…..


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Gingerbread Christmas tree by Victoria Sampler 5: the finished Gingerbread tree

It’s finished! The little Gingerbread Christmas tree by Thea Dueck of Victoria Sampler has come out really well, and can now join the other Gingerbread buildings in my village. If you’d like to stitch this too, the chart pack is available from  here.

Gingerbread Christmas Tree assembly of cross stitch model

I’m so pleased with this – it’s a great addition to my slowly-growing Gingerbread Village from Victoria Sampler. This is how my little Gingerbread Village looks now.

Gingerbread Christmas Village cross stitch by Victoria Sampler

Thanks for reading my blog during the past year! I hope you’ve enjoyed what I have written about. Have a great Christmas  🙂


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