Book review: Mon Journal au point de croix by Veronique Enginger

At the moment, I am having a bit of a ‘French phase’ in the embroidery projects that I choose to stitch. This book is the latest addition to my library of books, and it’s a beautiful one.

Mon Journal 1

It is in French, by Sophie Bester-Baque (who wrote the text) and Veronique Enginger (who created the cross stitch designs). It has the typically classy, soft and gentle look that all French cross stitch seems to have – I just love the look!

The book is unusual, in that it isn’t just a ‘how to’ – it takes the form of a kind of journal, as if written by a little French girl, so it’s like reading a simple story. The cross stitch designs throughout the book illustrate that story. So, when the little girl goes to visit her grandmother and reads in the garden, there is a design of the little girl reading a book….you see what I mean? The designs are a collection of images, some small and some more detailed, but all on this theme of the girl and her journal entries.

Mon Journal 2

The watercolours that Veronique created first, before turning them into cross stitch designs, are strewn throughout the book, along with pretty styleshots of the finished projects.

Mon Journal 3

The cross stitch colour block charts themselves are all grouped together towards the end of the book. The colour keys list DMC stranded threads.

Mon Journal 4

These are my favourites from the book – thread winders with little vignettes of a girl stitching, worked in several colourways.

Mon Journal 5

There are also a couple of ‘floral accent’ designs in the book, as Veronique is really good at creating designs of flowers, particularly roses (she has written several other books in her own right, featuring natural elements).

Mon Journal 6

I bought this book via the French Amazon website, as the shipping was cheaper that way than by buying it via the UK one, for some reason. The book cost me £17 (the cover price is listed as 18 euro). The book measures 10 inches square, and has 80 pages. With around 30 different designs in, this is a really good value book to add to your cross stitch library, with designs both small and large to use on all kinds of projects. The fact that the text is in French isn’t really a problem if you don’t speak the language, as the book can be enjoyed just for the illustrations alone….and cross stitch charts can be used by anyone, anywhere, fortunately!

Book: Mon Journal au point de croix by Sophie Bester-Baque and Veronique Enginger

ISBN: 978 2 299 00165 4

18 euro

Published 2012 by Le Temps Apprivoise

It is available from the UK Amazon,  or from the US Amazon.


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My new sewing pouch – 3

The sewing pouch that I have made from a demi kit for a lingerie bag from Les Brodeuses Parisiennes just needed a needle book to be complete. The scissor keeper (see the previous post on this project) came out very well, but I have got a lot of projects on the go at the moment, and I was getting a bit restless with this one – I wanted it finished!

I decided that a needle book would take too long, but a needle roll would be quicker, and still do the job. I wanted the needle roll to have a motif on it from the main sewing pouch, like the scissor keeper did, so I took a couple of flowers from the bottom edge of the flower border framing the little bird.

Parisiennes 05

I made the lining of the needle roll from a piece of doctor flannel. This is wonderful stuff, and much better than using felt. However, it’s not easy to buy any more. I bought mine a few years ago from Australia – half a yard – and it cost an arm and a leg for the postage to the UK! But it was worth it. I made a twisted cord to edge the roll with, and attached it in the same way as for the scissor keeper, leaving a long loop as before, to attach the roll to the sewing pouch loops.

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This is the finished project, with the scissor keeper on the left, and the needle roll on the right, tightly wound into a tube, and held closed with a green aventurine bead.

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They can both be held securely inside the sewing pouch by attaching each one via its loop to the loop on the lining.

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Now, I can add whichever project I am working on at any time to the pouch, and put it in my luggage when I’m travelling, knowing that I’ll definitely have both scissors and spare needles to hand to use when I need to.

I’ve really enjoyed making this project. It didn’t take too long, it’s really pretty, I will be able to use it rather than just look at it, and it was a great Christmas present from my husband.


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My new sewing pouch – 2

Now that I have finished the demi cross stitch kit for a lingerie bag from Les Brodeuses Parisiennes (which I am actually going to use as a sewing pouch), I have decided to make a scissor keeper and needle book to match.

Parisiennes 05

The bag instructions didn’t suggest any way to keep the bag closed, so I decided to stitch three press studs along the top edge – just enough to hold the bag closed without it being too heavy a closure. Then I made a fine twisted cord from two shades of thread left over from the embroidery, and made two short loops. I plan to attach the scissor keeper and needle book to these loops with longer loops stitched to their sides, to hold them in place inside the bag.

Parisiennes 06

I made a pattern for the scissor keeper from paper, and tacked around it onto a piece of 28 count linen to transfer the shape.

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I didn’t have a piece of linen exactly the same shade of cream as the flap of the sewing pouch, but it’s near enough.

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I used a piece of the design from the centre of the sewing pouch as the motif on the scissor keeper front.

Parisiennes 09

I found a pretty piece of printed cotton in my stash of doll’s house dress fabrics, which is about 15 years old, and has always been ‘too pretty to use’, up to now! It was ideal for the lining of the scissor keeper. I put the two fabrics right sides together and back stitched along the seam line, leaving a small gap along one of the straight sides for turning through. Then I made another piece of twisted cord, and attached it around the edge of the keeper, leaving a long loop on one side so that I could loop that piece through the other loop on the sewing pouch to keep the scissor keeper secure inside the bag.

Parisiennes 10

The closure is a green aventurine 8mm bead.

Now I need to make the needle book!


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My website has a brand new look!

During the last 5 months, we have been working on a complete overhaul of the Janet Granger Designs miniature needlepoint kit website. So now, when you visit it, you will find fresh new articles for you to read, a much-improved layout and simpler navigation, as well as clearer, bigger pictures. As many of you use your phone or iPad to shop online these days, the new website is designed to suit your smaller screen (as well as your bigger desktop screen, obviously!).

I’d be interested in hearing your opinion about the new website design. Do you like the style? Can you find what you are looking for? Does it display properly on the kind of device you use to view it?

When you visit the website you can see over 250 kits and charts for doll’s house needlepoint – everything from carpets, cushions and bellpulls, to chairs, handbags and wallhangings. The kits are to be stitched on fabrics in counts from 18 canvas to 40 count silk gauze, depending on the type of kit.


Barbara green range Jan 2015


One of the pages which was long overdue for an update was the page showing images of my own dollshouse. So, we’ve taken some new photos, and I’ve written in detail about every room in my Georgian style dollshouse. The full article can be seen here.


Janet Granger's doll's house
My Georgian style doll’s house – read about it on my website



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