Christmas mini-stitching ideas

If you own a twelfth scale doll’s house, or know someone who does, then here are some ideas for mini-stitching kits that you could either make yourself in the run-up to Christmas, buy to give as kits for loved ones, or drop subtle hints about so that someone else buys them for you! All these miniature needlepoint kits are available now on my website.

3 stockings small

Firstly, some Christmas stockings. These are stitched on 40 count silk gauze, and when finished, they’re 1 1/4 inches high. They are £9.95 each, available from here.

Christmas placemats Janet Granger for AIM

Then there’s placemats (£14.95 for a kit to make four), a long table runner (£12.95), and a round table centre (£8.95) – all on 32 count silk gauze.


Then there’s Christmas tree mats (£20.95) on 32 count silk gauze, to stand your tree on.

There are also lots of little kits that make good stocking fillers, that aren’t Christmas-themed, but will make any doll’s house stitcher squeal with delight on Christmas morning!!


Some of the kits featured above are bolster cushions, round footstools, wallhangings, teacosies and firescreens. There are over 280 different kits to choose from – there’s bound to be something suitable to ask Santa for!

Home Sweet Home Workbox 47: special offer and book reprint announcement!!!

A while back, I wrote a long series of blog posts about the Home Sweet Home embroidered workbox etui set, which I made from the wonderful book by Carolyn Pearce. The book had originally been published in 2012, but within a couple of years it went out of print – just as I was starting my blog post series. So, I was very aware at the time that if people became interested enough in the project that they’d like to make their own, they wouldn’t be able to, as the book was unavailable!


However, there is now some good news! The book is being published again, and copies will be in the UK shortly.

This is the version of the house that I made:


This is the inside, showing the inner tray and some of the smalls:


This shows the inside, once the inner tray has been removed:


And here’s all the smalls I made, set out on their own:


The book will be available from Fobbles in Cumbria, for one, and Beverley, who runs the Fobbles shop, has kindly agreed to offer readers of this blog 10% off the usual price that she will be selling the book for (usually £19.99), if they email her to pre-order and mention that they saw the offer here. You’ll then get 10% off the retail price when the book is in stock at Fobbles, towards the end of October. Just email Beverley at  The offer is valid until 31st October 2016.

It’s well worth getting the book – it has fantastically detailed instructions, and beautiful pictures throughout.


Carolyn Pearce

Home Sweet Home: an embroidered workbox

ISBN 13:   978-0980876703

Publisher: Country Bumpkin (Australia)

Gingerbread Church by Victoria Sampler 2: the roof, and stitching on black fabric

I’m stitching all the roof pieces for the Gingerbread Church design by Thea Dueck of Victoria Sampler  this week. I’m not that keen to stitch on black fabric usually, as I find it makes me tense up, and gives me headaches. So I reckoned I would get them all out of the way now.

So, if you want to have the black roof on this project (like I do), you’ll have to put up with the issues, and make it as painless as possible! The main problem is making the holes in the black fabric show up as clearly as possible.

Church 4

When I started on the first roof panel, I was stitching in my conservatory, in bright sunlight. You can see from this photo above that there was just too much light around! It was quite difficult to count the fabric threads accurately.

Church 5

So I turned the tapestry stand so that the fabric was as much in the shade as I could manage, and I also put a piece of white fabric on my lap, so that the holes of the black fabric showed up clearer and more consistently.

The roof panels don’t have all that much stitching on them, but they do have quite a few beads. Here’s the first piece finished:

Church 6

I found that I needed guidelines in white thread placed first, to make it obvious where I would be attaching the small pearl beads, because if I’d just stitched on the snowflake ones first, the snowflakes themselves would be obscuring the fabric too much, and make it impossible to count accurately from their placement point to the three points above them.

Church 7

So I stitched this temporary line horizontally, on the line where the snowflakes would eventually go.

Church 8

From there. I could count up much more easily, and attach the lines of three pearl beads each time, and the individual ones in between the snowflakes.

Church 9

Lastly, I attached the snowflakes, unpicking the guideline thread as I went. Here’s both roof pieces finished.

Church 10

Then I stitched the steeple roof in the same way.

Church 11

The steeple has four small triangles for the roof pieces. I tacked one guideline stitch where the snowflake would go, rather than a line.

Church 12

These small roof pieces were very quick to do – only taking 45 minutes each!

That’s all the black fabric pieces finished – all the rest are to be stitched on the Zweigart 28 count evenweave ‘Cognac’ shade fabric.


Gingerbread Church by Victoria Sampler 1: Getting started

I’ve decided to start on the third of the Gingerbread Village cross stitch buildings, designed by Thea Dueck of Victoria Sampler in Canada. These are cute little buildings, made from the chart booklets that Thea sells – last year, I had the two I’d completed taking pride of place under my Christmas tree. This year, I want to get a third one completed in time for Christmas, to make the display look more balanced, and to give it some height. So, I’ve decided to do the Gingerbread Church, which stands about 10 inches high when finished, and has a striking black roof, so it will look quite different from the other two buildings. Eventually, I’m hoping to do virtually all of the buildings in the series, but I think I’ll need to stitch quicker, as Thea is bringing out new ones faster than I am stitching them!

Here are the two that I had finished by last Christmas – the Gingerbread Stitching House, and the Gingerbread Candy Cane cottage:

Candy 22

Each panel is stitched separately, and then put together by lacing each panel over card, and lacing up through the backstitched edges. This is the far end wall of the Gingerbread church, showing just the main sections of the design, and not the outline of the walls:

Church 1

The bit I like about these buildings is that they all have lots of beads and buttons attached to them after the cross stitch is done, which really finishes them off nicely. The packs of threads and beads are available to buy separately from the chart booklets. I think the accessory packs are quite expensive, but if you need to buy almost any of the items in them from scratch, it’s going to work out quite pricey anyway, especially when you add on shipping. I did buy the accessory pack for this project, along with the chart booklet, from Sew and So in the UK. The speciality beads really make a difference:

Church 2

This is the ‘steeple end’, with the space where the steeple will be attached left blank, except for the backstitching, which will be used to lace each section together with Perle thread later:

Church 13

After stitching both of the end walls, I thought I’d ‘save time’ by stitching the two base pieces (just the outlines), so that when it came to assembly, these bits would already be finished. However, I found after bothering to stitch these to the dimensions given in the booklet, that the larger base piece was drawn wrongly, and was actually one stitch out on the long side….so I had to unpick it and stitch it again, so it saved me no time at all. Hopefully, later editions of the booklet will have that corrected (I bought my booklet as soon as this design was for sale, about three years ago, now).

Church 3

Still, that’s four pieces finished in a week, which can’t be bad!