Pincushion doll and thimble purse – 1

Having spent the best part of three months stitching the Lavender and Lace Celtic Autumn, I feel like doing a project which can be completed a little bit quicker, next.

I’ve decided on this pincushion doll project, worked in cross stitch with a little bit of beading, which is produced as a chart pack by GPA (Giulia Punti Antichi, run by Giulia Manfredini of Italy). When finished, it stands about 7 inches high.

Pincushion doll - 1

I bought the chart originally from the Stitch and Frame Shop in the USA, even though I’m in the UK, partly because they were doing an offer where they included the fabric recommended by Giulia, as a ‘bundle’. Giulia has her own website, here, where she sells all her designs – and very nice they are, too! But as I say, I was tempted by the offer….so, I ordered the pack and the fabric, but when it arrived, the fabric hadn’t been included. I contacted the shop, and they sent it on – but when it arrived, I was disappointed with the quality. In the chart pack, the recommended fabric is Cream Northen Cross 35 ct linen by Norden Crafts. But I found this fabric to be almost lemon, rather than cream, and quite stiff, too, so I didn’t think it would drape well to make the skirt. So, I ordered a piece of 35 ct Floba Superfine cream fabric (quite beige, actually)  by Zweigart, from Sew and So. A fat quarter cost £9.50, and I’ve only needed about a third of it for this project, so there’s still a lot of it in my stash for something else later  🙂

The threads Giulia recommends are Caron variegated Waterlilies silk threads – 101 Cherry, which has shades of deep plum, coffee, dusty pink, etc, and 112 Fir, which has shades of pale teal, lilac blue, pale grey green, etc. Both really lovely. Giulia says you could use DMC instead, which would obviously work out a lot cheaper (Waterlilies costs about £5 per skein, whereas DMC is 72p per skein), but I think the variegations in the Waterlilies threads are necessary to make this design ‘work’. About 100 seed beads are needed altogether for this project, so although Giulia recommends Mill Hill Petite beads 42012, I used 00367 Glass Seed Beads from my stash instead – they are both a deep maroon colour.

The porcelain half doll was bought from Belle Bambole Dolls, in Australia. This particular mould is called ‘Florence’. I’ve seen several other places where this same mould is used, but the painting on the dolls from this particular website is far better than anywhere else I’ve looked.

The version of 'Florence' on the front of the chart pack booklet
The version of ‘Florence’ on the front of the chart pack booklet
This is the one I have bought from Belle Bambole Dolls - isn't she pretty?
This is the one I have bought from Belle Bambole Dolls – isn’t she pretty?

I’ve spent one weekend of stitching on this so far (and yes, I am counting the hours again!). It ‘grows’ quite quickly, but I’ve already found that I have to keep switching from one area to another so that I don’t get bored, as this design, stitching-wise, is very repetitive, although the finished item is lovely, so it is thinking of it when it is finished which is keeping me motivated!

Pincushion doll - 2


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January Sale for miniature needlepoint kits for doll’s houses is still on!

The January sale on my website is still on, so make the most of being able to stock up on mini-stitching projects for collectors’ scale doll’s houses at bargain prices!

Group shot 2012 Oct

Everything on my doll’s house needlepoint kit website is in the January Sale – from needlepoint kits for doll’s house scale samplers, bolster cushions, wallhangings, etc., to supplies such as silk gauze in several different counts (from 32 up to 60 count).

Chart packs (available for the carpets and wallhangings) as well as all the kits are in the Sale.

There are almost 200 kits for you to choose from – for beginners, how about a cushion kit or a round footstool?



For more experienced stitchers, why not try a larger project such as a carpet or wallhanging? Even newly-released kits, such as the handbags, are in the sale.



If you haven’t tried miniature needlepoint before, have a look at the Tutorials page of the website, where everything you need to know to get started is explained in detail, as well as instructions on how to finish each type of kit. Everything is in stock and ready to go, so why not treat yourself with a stitching project to keep you busy during the coldest part of the winter?

Shipping charges are kept to a minimum –  for items ordered via the website, p&p is free, worldwide, on orders of £40 or over (under £40, there is a flat rate charge of £1.50 per order).

Visit the online shop now to see what’s available!


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Celtic Autumn in alternative colours – 8 (the colour key)

Several people have emailed me for the full colour key list for stitching the Lavender and Lace Celtic Autumn in the alternative colours that I used. To make it clear, these colour choices weren’t my idea – I found the suggested colours on the Celtic Lady StitchA Long blog. If you’re interested in any of the five Celtic Ladies, this blog is wonderful, as it is a place for lots of stitchers to upload their progress photos. Sadly, the blog seems to have virtually ‘died’ now, but the images and text are still there as a really useful archive.

LL - 26 Celtic Autumn framed

The colourway I used was listed on 3 June 2010 by ‘Little Cat’, if you want to find it by date on the blog. The only amendments I made when I stitched mine was that I used Petite Treasure Braid in shade PB03 instead of the suggested PB01. I used it straight as it came off the card, and in total I needed 3 cards of it, with just about 1/3 card left at the end (which I can use when I stitch the others in the series)  🙂

Here is the conversion:

Celtic Autumn – Changed Colours (DMC stranded cotton)

We have changed the colour of Celtic Autumn to orange and greens. You use the original copyrighted chart that Marilyn Leavitt-Imblum has designed. The symbols remain the same as on the original chart but you stitch with different colours. You may find it helpful to write the symbols on your thread card

Ecru = this remains the same
300 = this remains the same
301 = this remains the same
356 = this remains the same
400 = this remains the same
402 = this remains the same
644 = this remains the same
754 = this remains the same
758 = this remains the same
780 = this remains the same
781 = this remains the same
783 = this remains the same
822 = this remains the same
829 = use 936 instead
830 = use 937 instead
831 = use 469 instead
832 = use 470 instead
833 = use 471 instead
834 = use 472 instead
924 = use 610 instead
926 = use 612 instead
948 = this remains the same
3371 = this remains the same
3768 = use 611 instead
3776 = this remains the same
3820 = this remains the same
3822 = this remains the same
3823 = this remains the same
B5200 = this remains the same
2001 = use 3825 instead
2002 = use 922 instead
2003 = use 921 instead
2004 = use 920 instead
2005 = use 919 instead
2006 = use 918 instead
PB01 = use two of the three strands of gold instead

BEADS (Mill Hill)

Some of these have also been changed
5 = 00557 this remains the same
9 = use 00221 instead of 02009 – 2pks
4 = 02034 this remains the same
2 = 02093 this remains the same
3 = use 62020 instead of 03024

I hope that if you choose to make this lovely cross stitch design, you enjoy it as much as I did!


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Celtic Autumn in alternative colours – 7

Over Christmas, my routine for stitching got a bit disrupted, not surprisingly.

LL - 24 Celtic Autumn beading

However, I pressed on with my Celtic Autumn when I could, and it’s now FINISHED!!!

In total, the cross stitching took me 72 hours, and the beading another 11 hours, so 83 hours altogether. I’d expected the beading to take a lot longer than it did, as people on various forums have complained about that part ‘taking years’, ‘putting them off finishing the design’, etc. But I got it all done in one concerted effort during a weekend where not much else got done!

LL - 25 Celtic Autumn beading round hem

Various threads had been suggested for attaching the beads, on the forums. I chose to use Anchor stranded cotton (one strand), in as close a shade as I could find, from the shades I’d already used for the cross stitch. I avoided the temptation to use ‘invisible thread’, as some had suggested on forums, as a wary stitcher had also posted that when you get to ironing your work when it’s all done, invisible thread might melt, as it did with her stitching, and all the beads will fall off! Incredibly disheartening, I should think, as there’s 1250 beads to stitch on in total.

I managed to find a lovely ‘walnut effect’ picture frame in a local shop, for only £8, so I got on with it and framed the piece quickly (see my previous post for how long I can sometimes take to get things framed).

LL - 26 Celtic Autumn framed

I’m really pleased with how this has come out. It was a big design to tackle, but after taking a short break to make a couple of  ‘sewing smalls’, I’m already eyeing up the other Celtic Lady designs, to see which one to make next.


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