Monthly Archives: December 2015

January sale offers on dollhouse needlepoint kits !

It’s that time of year again – time to stock up on miniature needlepoint kits to keep you busy during the coldest part of the year. The January Sale over on my website janetgranger.co.uk is just starting – everything on the website is in the sale, so go and have a browse…..

Here are some ideas for what you could make –

These little cushion kits are £4.45 each in the sale. They are to be stitched in needlepoint on 22 count canvas, with Anchor stranded cotton. They’re each 1 1/4 inches square when completed.

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There are lots of tiny sampler kits to choose from. This one is called ‘Hearts and Flowers’, and is £8.95 in the sale. It’s to be stitched on 32 count eveneweave fabric. The varnished wooden frame is included in the kit. The teacosy and tray cloth matching designs are called ‘Crinoline Lady’. The teacosy kits are £12.55 and the tray cloth kits (including the mahogany pieces to make the tray) are £10.75 during the sale.

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This Summer roses design is one of the most popular in my whole range. It appears on over a dozen different kits. These latest two are for a pole screen kit (£17.95 in the sale) and firescreen kit (£18.85 in the sale).

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These little handbag kits come with either 32 count or 40 count silk gauze, depending on the design. They are £9.85 each in the sale.

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Even if you’ve never made anything in this scale before, you’ll find it’s much easier than you thought. There are tutorials on my website showing you how to do the stitches and make up each type of kit. And if you need inspiration for how to use the different kits when they’re finished, you really must see the Customers’ Stitching pages, where my talented customers show off the stitching they have done, in their doll’s houses. Here are a couple:

This one is by a long-term customer of mine called Margaret, who has several houses, and she fills them all with beautiful stitching.

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This is a doll’s house room by Dorthe. She has filled this gorgeous room with stitching using the green and peach ‘Barbara’ range.

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Tempted? Go and have a look – there’s over 270 kits to choose from, dozens of chart packs, and lots of eye candy!

 

 

Have a stitchy Christmas!!

I want to thank all those of you who follow my blog, and who keep me motivated throughout the year to keep embroidering. If I didn’t have this blog to post on, I’m sure I wouldn’t get half the needlepoint and stumpwork stitching done that I do! I love reading your comments about the things I post here – keep them coming in 2016!

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I hope you all have a great Christmas, and that Santa brings you lots of stitchy things  🙂

Victoria Sampler Candy Cane Cottage (Gingerbread Village series) 6: finished!

I’m now at the exciting part with the Gingerbread Candy Cane Cottage project that I’m making, which was designed by Thea Dueck of Victoria Sampler. I have now laced each panel onto mount board padded with a thin layer of wadding, mitring the corners to make each panel lie as flat as possible. The instructions then say to lace the panels for the walls together, to make one long piece. This is where it shows that neat back stitching around each panel earlier on pays off, as the lacing is very easy to do if your back stitching is definitely over four fabric threads each time – then you only need to match up the back stitches, and pass the needle once through each pair of stitches to hold everything securely.

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The slightly more tricky part was attaching the base, as that bit was an addition of my own, so it wasn’t in the instructions. I folded the four-sided piece of stitching around the base, and started lacing from one corner, and laced up the final wall side last. That seemed the simplest way to do it, anyway! Lastly, I laced the two roof sections together loosely (to allow the whole roof piece to bend in the centre), and then laced it onto the wall sections. This last part was a bit dodgy, and one of my walls apparently had ended up being longer than the opposite one (due to not lacing it tightly enough over the mount board), but I persevered and squished it into position!

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This, then, is my finished Candy Cane Cottage, and I love it!

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It’s quite a small cottage – it measures 3 x 4 x 4 inches high.

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This shows the base adaptation that I did.

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Here’s the finished cottage under my Christmas tree, alongside the Gingerbread Stitching House etui that I completed last year. I’m planning to make another building from this series, but I haven’t decided which one just yet – I’ve got several more of the chart booklets in my stash!

Here is my verdict on the Gingerbread Candy Cane Cottage project as a whole:

The chart pack booklet, as with all projects from this series, is very well produced on quality shiny thick paper. The charts themselves are clear and large, using black and white symbols. The instructions are detailed, and written so that you do everything in a sensible order. The finishing instructions are very detailed, with lots of process photos to show you exactly what to do. Unfortunately, sloppy editing means that there are several spelling mistakes in the text, but that’s a minor niggle really – just a shame that it lets the whole booklet down a bit, when it could have easily been rectified at the proofreading stage.

The chart booklet also contains instructions to make a little pinkeep, which is a sweet little design, but I didn’t make it this time. Maybe later though, as I like pinkeeps.

As I’ve mentioned before, these chart booklets are available from the Victoria Sampler  website, based in Canada, but if you’re in the UK, then buy them from the UK company Sew and So, and save hugely on shipping/Customs charges.

The cottage itself is great fun to stitch. It doesn’t take too long, but is not a ‘quick and easy’ kind of design. There are parts of the project that are meant to challenge you just a bit – such as the hardanger windows, and some of the counted thread stitches. These add interest, both in the stitching, and in the finished look of the project, so don’t shy away from this project just because it isn’t just cross stitch on its own.

The chart booklet costs CAN$16 (£11) in 2015. There are accessory packs available, with all the necessary threads, beads, feature buttons/sequins, etc. This is priced quite high, I feel, at CAN$ 36 for the coloured threads and beads (£24), plus another CAN$ 15 for the 2 white thread packs (£10). The coloured thread/bead pack doesn’t contain full skeins, either – just cut one metre lengths of the shades that you’ll need. If you have a reasonable size stash (and who hasn’t?), you can probably find enough in that to make this. The speciality buttons, etc, can easily be substituted – try looking on Ebay for cheap alternatives. Having said that, you could decide to treat yourself and go for the accessory pack along with the chart booklet, as it is very nicely put together, if you don’t mind the cost.

I stitched my cottage on 28 count Cashel evenweave linen, in ‘Cognac’ shade, with ‘Blue Spruce’ for the roof. I cannot find the shade recommended in the booklet (Antique Almond Cashel linen) in the UK, and suspect it may have been discontinued. Cognac is a slightly darker orange shade than the one featured on the cover of the chart booklet, but I really like the colour.

I love this series of Gingerbread buildings, and I’ll definitely be making more of them!

 

Victoria Sampler Candy Cane Cottage (Gingerbread Village series) 5: completing the windows

I’ve completed all of the cross stitch and beading on the Gingerbread Candy Cane Cottage from Victoria Sampler now, so I just need to complete the windows, then I can assemble it. This cottage, unlike the Gingerbread Stitching House etui that I made last year, is made as a closed model, and is not made to be ‘opened’, so the construction is much simpler.

Here are all the panels, ready to be assembled:

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Before I can put the house together, I need to fill in the windows. This is done by cutting out small pieces of yellow cotton fabric, and fixing them behind each of the windows with pieces of iron-on interfacing, cut about 1/4 of an inch larger all round than the yellow fabric.

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When that was done, I pressed the seam allowances down close to the edges of the backstitched outlines of each piece, and also at 45 degrees across all the corners. Then I trimmed the seam allowances to half an inch all round. Pressing before trimming makes the job far easier to do!

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Now I just need to assemble each panel, and my cottage will be finished!