Carolyn Peace Strawberry Fayre heart etui 2: collecting the materials together

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I’m going to start stitching the amazing Strawberry Fayre heart etui design by Carolyn Pearce, which has just appeared in Inspirations magazine issue 95 (September 2017) , and that I had the idea of doing it as a stitch-along, for anyone who’s interested – and quite a lot of you are!

I’m thinking of starting the stitching on this after Christmas – towards the end of January, probably. But that doesn’t mean that I’ll leave it till then to start collecting the materials together – in fact, I’m doing that bit now!

This project has quite a lot of threads and beads in it. Inspirations magazine is selling a materials pack for the project, so you could simply buy that….but it’ a bit pricey! It’s 241 Australian dollars / £142 / US$193, plus shipping. However, that does mean that you would get absolutely EVERYTHING that you need (except the ruler) – even after just a quick scan through the list of what’s required, I realised that some of the items would be difficult for me to get here in the UK, as our needlework industry has virtually collapsed these days, and we don’t have much choice here. Buying things from overseas can work out very expensive, shipping-wise.

Anyway, I’ll go through the process that I have followed to start collecting the materials up – you might want to use my checklist, or make your own. Let me know in the comments if you have a different system!

What I do first with a detailed project like this one, is to scan the Requirements page from the magazine. Then I print it out, cut it up, and tape each column of materials to a sheet of paper so that I have one column of materials to match to at a time, and I can make comments alongside. This is easier than keying it all into Excel, and means I don’t make any mistakes and leave something crucial out!

 

Then, the time-consuming part is that I read through all of the instructions for the project, and mark on my list where each colour of thread, type of bead or construction material is used in the project, as the requirements list itself doesn’t tell you. This took me several hours. It’s then much easier to see if, for instance, a colour is used for just a tiny detail, or if it’s used for major design elements (you might even need to buy multiples skeins of one colour, if that is the case). I don’t list EVERY instance of where a thread is used, just the first time I come across it, so that I can look at the magazine images and gauge what the shade actually is, and estimate how often it’s used. One person’s ‘avocado’ is another person’s ‘moss green’, for instance!

Then I go through my stash, to see what I can substitute with. I love this bit. I don’t mind spending ages on this stage. I took a whole Sunday choosing the threads and beads for this. Mostly, I chose Anchor stranded cotton, as I use that for my dollhouse needlepoint kits, so I have the whole range of skeins already. The magazine article suggests DMC for much of it, so if you have that in your stash, you can easily use those threads. I keep all my Anchor skeins in shallow trays, stored in a vintage wooden cabinet, so when I’m choosing threads for a project, I get all the trays out and spread them around – here they are, on the rebounder in my conservatory. The rebounder makes a good table for these, and at least it’s getting some use doing this, as it certainly doesn’t get me jumping up and down on it much!!!

The article gives a list of which types and sizes of needles you’ll need, but bear in mind that if you substitute threads, you might need different sizes of needle.

I’ve decided already that I won’t make the beaded ‘dangles’ for the scissors and ruler in this project, so I’m not collecting materials for those (which are listed separately in the materials list, fortunately, so they are easy to spot if you also want to leave those out).

Although this project has a three inch mother of pearl ruler as one of the sewing items in the etui, I have found it impossible to buy one in the UK so far. Inspirations magazine must also be having trouble sourcing these, as their materials pack doesn’t include one. If anyone knows of a website or shop that actually has one (rather than saying they do, but they are actually out of stock with no hope of ever having any again!), please let me know. Otherwise, I think I might substitute a bodkin for the ruler, or maybe a laying tool of some kind.

I also read through all of the construction/assembly instructions (including the pullout sheet) at this stage, so that I am really clear about how all the construction materials are used. Sometimes, you can make simple substitutions here, such as using cardboard, which is easily available, instead of acetate sheet, which maybe isn’t.

From reading through the instructions, I have already decided that I’ll probably slice the acetate stiffener for the inner heart shapes in two, and join them with masking tape or something, to make a flexible hinge, as I don’t like the suggestion in the instructions of IRONING the fold of the fabric/acetate sandwich. Ironing acetate, sandwiched between embroidered fabric that took you hours to stitch?! Wouldn’t that melt it? Too risky for me! That’s why it is so helpful to read everything now – it gives you time to work out solutions to possible problems.

Having selected all the threads and beads that I could from my stash (and written my choices in the left hand column on my sheets), I was left with some things that I need to buy – these are marked with an arrow in the left hand margin on my sheets, as soon as I realise that my huge stash has failed me! I can then search online for the products, and make substitutions again if things aren’t available. With the beads, I found it impossible to find a supplier of the Matsuno size 15 beads in the correct colours, for instance.

This is how far I’ve got with the threads and beads from my stash:

At the moment, I’m waiting for interesting little parcels to arrive from various suppliers, so I’ll show you what I’ve ordered once they have arrived.

And I still need to decide on the fabric – probably a back to front way of doing things, but I’m only after a cream cotton-linen blend, which should be quite easy to co-ordinate things with. I need a trip to a fabric shop for that….

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3 thoughts on “Carolyn Peace Strawberry Fayre heart etui 2: collecting the materials together

  1. Barbara Hepburn

    If you are still adding people to the stitch~a~long for the etui, I would love to be included.

    Thank you, Barbara

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    1. Janet Granger Post author

      Great – just keep an eye on my blog for the updates on what we’ll be doing 🙂 It’s due to start after Christmas, but I’m getting all the materials together now.

      Reply
  2. Janet Granger Post author

    Here is a (very long!!) archive of the comments previously posted on this blog post, before they were deleted in error on 19.10.17:

    51 thoughts on “Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui 2: collecting the materials together”

    Dragonflies Studio
    October 5, 2017 at 5:43 pm
    Ah, I am thrilled you are doing this project. I laughed at how organized your threads and supplies are! Mine are a tangled mess in comparison and I took note of your organization posting. I am inspired to do this along with you! You helped me ever so much with the House project. I am forever grateful to you for that. I get the magazine electronically and was wondering where the template for the heart is. Cheers.

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    Janet Granger Post author
    October 5, 2017 at 7:03 pm
    I’m really looking forward to starting this one, as the Home Sweet Home etui was a lot of fun, wasn’t it? How do you get access to the fold-out sheet templates if you buy the digital version of the magazine? Does it have pdfs you can print off, or something? I get the paper versions of the magazine still.

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    Sara Wilson
    October 5, 2017 at 9:20 pm
    There is a clickable link to download and print off the pattern in the digital magazine. Glad you are doing this, I would like to limp along in your wake! I’ll start gathering supplies!

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    Dima
    October 5, 2017 at 6:29 pm
    This looks like a huge undertaking. I like to redraw the pattern in a sketchbook, then using the instructions I color where each material is used. This makes it easier to pinpoint where things are used (and how much of it) and I end up using it as a visual guide with the written instructions when I start stitching.

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    Janet Granger Post author
    October 5, 2017 at 7:01 pm
    That’s a good idea – I hadn’t thought of doing that.

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    Beth Pinterich
    October 5, 2017 at 7:05 pm
    Working toward collecting threads and beads for the project. Curious to find out what you are substituting for some of the threads. Thank you for sharing with us. I cannot find much of Carolyn’s supplies here in the US.

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    Janet Granger Post author
    October 5, 2017 at 7:12 pm
    It’s hard to find some of the more specialist threads in the UK too, but it’s quite easy to find different threads to use for this project. And there isn’t a huge amount of threads used, either – Carolyn sometimes uses dozens in one project!

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    Elaine Ransom
    October 5, 2017 at 7:27 pm
    For the acetate sheet,substitute heat resistant quilters template material.it is stiff enough to use as a backing as well.

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    Janet Granger Post author
    October 5, 2017 at 7:39 pm
    That’s a good idea, thanks.

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    Elizabeth Braun
    October 5, 2017 at 8:52 pm
    If I decide to work this project, I too will be using my own stash (mostly Anchor too) and changing things and materials left, right and centre! 🙂

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    Janet Granger Post author
    October 5, 2017 at 8:56 pm
    Well, I suppose that’s what a stash is for! Helps us justify having one……

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    chillyhollowneedlepointadventure
    October 5, 2017 at 9:28 pm
    Etsy has one ruler.https://www.etsy.com/listing/485959884/mother-of-pearl-ruler-sewing-tools-gift

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    Janet Granger Post author
    October 5, 2017 at 9:36 pm
    I didn’t get to this listing fast enough! She’s sold out! I’ve messaged her, in case she can get more, but I doubt it, as Kelmscott don’t make them now.

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    Oriole
    October 8, 2017 at 8:44 pm
    I have given the tools in this kit a lot of thought and some of them I know I won’t use. The ruler has been a sticking point because I do think it would be nice. I found a 5 inch brass one and think it could fit, I can saw part of it off to make it shorter. I almost bought it when it dawned on me I could make my own ruler by printing it out on card stock and then sealing it in one of those laminaters. Using a paper cutter to trim it up. So I think I will buy the laminater instead of buying a lot of rulers that may or may not work.

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    Janet Granger Post author
    October 8, 2017 at 8:57 pm
    I saw the five inch brass ruler too! But it’s too big to fit the pocket unless you cut it down, as you say – but at least it’s cheap, and available!

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    chillyhollowneedlepointadventure
    October 5, 2017 at 9:28 pm
    Stitcher’s Muse in Canada has one. http://thestitchersmuse.com/shop/en/home/6734-mother-of-pearl-ruler.html

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    Janet Granger Post author
    October 5, 2017 at 9:37 pm
    This has sold out now, too 😦

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    chillyhollowneedlepointadventure
    October 5, 2017 at 9:29 pm
    Gentle Pursuit has one. She appears to be an online store only but I can’t tell where she is located.
    https://www.gentlepursuitdesigns.com/product-page/kelmscott-3-inch-ruler

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    Janet Granger Post author
    October 5, 2017 at 9:35 pm
    Thanks, but she only seems to ship within the USA.

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    Jeanette
    October 6, 2017 at 2:34 am
    I’ll be stitching along with you, Janet! You are very organised! Just yesterday, coincidentally, I had the magazine out and ordered some of the Matsuno beads, and a month ago ordered the ruler, and a heart thread keeper which turned out to be rather large. I’d still Ike to order the (3) small heart thread keepers, a small MOP thread winder, and a bone bodkin. Very few retailers stock the Dinky Dye thread, and the one I found charges a ridiculous amount for postage even within Australia. I might order just the Cottage Garden Threads single Skein and the Gloriana one, but other than these two plan to use DMC. I have 30 cm of the linen and cotton fabric left over from HSH, so hope to squeeze this etui out of this amount.

    It will be a lot of fun to stitch along with you, and other stitchers world wide!

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    Janet Granger Post author
    October 6, 2017 at 12:21 pm
    Hi Jeanette, I’ve still to get my fabric for this, so I’m hoping it won’t be too tricky…. haven’t tracked down a ruler yet either.

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    Jeanette
    October 6, 2017 at 2:38 am
    I just checked, and the shop I bought the ruler from in Tasmania, which was one of only two left in stock, is now sold out, sorry.

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    Janet Granger Post author
    October 6, 2017 at 12:21 pm
    They’re like hens’ teeth, now!

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    Ann
    October 6, 2017 at 4:58 pm
    This looks absolutely gorgeous and I’m looking forward to following your progress.

    I found this link for rulers and other wonderful things, but there’s no price or indication of whether the ruler is in stock. The ruler is at the bottom of the page. http://www.thesamplerguild.co.uk/Kelmscott%20Designs%20ScissorsandOthers.htm

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    Janet Granger Post author
    October 6, 2017 at 5:55 pm
    Thanks for the link, but I’ve already contacted the Sampler Guild, and they have no stock left of the rulers, and haven’t got around to updating their page to say so yet!

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    Oriole
    October 6, 2017 at 9:11 pm
    Wow, I wonder if you would post your list of threads and trim. It is very hard to find anything in Nashville, TN. I am still trying to locate a fabric to go in the Home Sweet Home project.
    I did get my copy of the magazine and will be looking forward to stitching along with everyone.

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    Janet Granger Post author
    October 6, 2017 at 9:18 pm
    Most of my choices are scrawled on those three screenshots of the Materials Lists from the magazine – when I’ve received all the extras, though (beads, etc), I’ll see if I can type it all out neatly!

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    Magpie Stitcher
    October 6, 2017 at 10:00 pm
    Re: Ruler – does anyone do polymer clay? You can make a faux ivory by layering/jumbling small pieces various mixtures of cream/ivory color clay with the Translucent; I wonder if small sheets of that could be made into the rulers?
    I’ve been staring at the close-up you posted of the scissors-pocket. I think I may have to join you on this project!

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    Janet Granger Post author
    October 6, 2017 at 10:30 pm
    That’s an interesting idea for an alternative. It’s also possible to buy thin sheets of mother of pearl that are self-adhesive (my husband told me about this, as he plays guitar, and it’s used by luthiers!). But really I wish it was possible to just buy one of the things that Carolyn Pearce used for HER etui – that would be so much easier, wouldn’t it?!

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    gina
    October 7, 2017 at 3:20 am
    I’ve been stalking your page on your posts from the Home Sweet Home project wanting to do this. I’ve ordered the magazine for the Etui and hopefully I’ll be able to follow

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    Janet Granger Post author
    October 7, 2017 at 10:20 am
    Great! I hope you found the posts on Carolyn’s Home Sweet Home etui useful.

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    Jean Borman
    October 7, 2017 at 5:32 pm
    I have been gathering supplies for this project too. I decided to be practical and this item is supposed to be practical so my thinking is that the beaded strings will cause wear on the fabric as well as the embroidery, so I am doing thread cords instead. Also, silk and rayon do not wear as well as cotton does so I will be using all cotton threads. I am a neophyte embroiderer so we will see how this project goes but I think it is incredibly beautiful and clever!!

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    Janet Granger Post author
    October 7, 2017 at 5:44 pm
    There are lots of ways to adapt this project, and yours sound good! Yes, it’s incredibly beautiful and clever – Carolyn Pearce’s designs are always like that!!

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    Oriole
    October 8, 2017 at 1:58 am
    I have spent all day online trying to track down beads and floss. Hopeless. I have no idea how Carolyn has all this stuff. I almost wonder if the color numbers are different here because I can’t find any of the beads she is calling for by name and number, and only found one floss. Even something I thought would be simple has turned out not to be. Like Sulky and Maderia. I can find one thing at one store and so far I have only tracked down about 6 items and all at different online stores. Add in the shipping and this is silly.
    I guess tomorrow I will take the photo and see what I have in stash that will work with the non-dmc items.
    I think we should have started a group buy. Maybe for the next stitch along, it would be a lot easier than everyone buying a whole gross of beads for just 20.

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    Janet Granger Post author
    October 8, 2017 at 9:39 am
    Hi, I really sympathise with your frustration. Yes, it takes ages to source things that should be easy. And shipping from various suppliers makes it much more expensive than it needs to be. I don’t know which country you’re in, but in the UK, our needlework industry has really collapsed during the past 15 years – there was a time when I supplied my dollhouse needlepoint kits to around 100 needlework shops, plus around 80 dollhouse shops. Now, I supply one large shop, and that’s it! The rest of the time, I sell online direct to customers myself (and no, it’s not me doing that that has caused shops to close – it’s more complex than that!). There are only a handful of craft shops of any description still open. So, it’s very hard to find anything. Fortunately, for this project, it is possible to make substitutions, but that’s taking each stitcher time, and not all have the skill to do that – it’s necessary to know what kind of thread or bead size will work, for example. Maybe next time with a project I’ll consider making up some materials packs myself!!

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    Oriole
    October 9, 2017 at 1:33 am
    You are right. I have an online doll clothes business. Most of the doll companies have downsized or just gone under. I feel your pain. We still have hobby stores and they do sell some fabric but it is all about quilting or holidays. Same with the fabric stores it is all about crafting and fabric is so expensive. When we had two stores the prices were better but now they want $13 per yard for polar fleece.
    I did go ahead and buy the brass ruler because I can always make the pocket bigger. I don’t expect that a floss bobbin pocket will be useful to me or the cute but not useful heart floss holders. I also realized that that mother of pearl ruler would be really hard to read. I did buy a laminater and will give making my own ruler a try.
    Thanks for your list and comments on where the items are used in the project. I found that extremely helpful and hope to have made all my thread selections by the weekend.

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    Janet Granger Post author
    October 9, 2017 at 3:30 am
    I agree about the fabric shops! In the UK, it’a almost impossible to buy fabric that isn’t featuring Christmas, Halloween, or prints for children in bright colours. When I did dressmaking a few years ago, I used to buy my fabric online from a woman in New York, and get it sent to the UK! Pity that there’s so little choice these days 😦

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    Carolyn Houghton
    October 8, 2017 at 6:20 pm
    Whoops — where did my message go…
    I am currently gathering supplies for Strawberry Fayre as well. I am almost wishing I had just bought the kit although I prefer the fabric I found to what is now being supplied in the kit. It That said, putting my own kit together, even with what I already have in my stash, is not really proving much less expensive.

    The size 15 Matsuno beads have been particularly problematic. We have several good bead stores in Toronto and yet they seem not to exist. I have found some but not all of the colours listed on at least one site in UK but I am wondering if actually if they are now discontinued. After studying the magazine pics and comparing to the listed threads I have on hand these are the substitutions I am making (and hoping I have chosen correctly):
    Matsuno 15 806 – Miyuki 15 355 Hot Pink ln crystal ab
    Matsuno 15 648 – Miyuki 15 311 topaz gold lustre
    Matsuno 15 641 – Miyuki 15 1520 silver-lined cobalt
    Matsuno 15 228 -Toho 15 2107 silver-lined fuchsia opal

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    Janet Granger Post author
    October 8, 2017 at 7:19 pm
    The Matsuno beads are hard to find here in the UK too. Anything that is a size 15 would do though – any brand should be the same size of bead – then it’s just down to personal choice as to which shade you substitute with. But I agree, all the hunting around does seem to make it quite an expensive project as every item has to come from a different supplier!

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    Jo
    October 9, 2017 at 8:50 am
    I would very much like to follow along with the sew-along, Janet & followers. I took the easy way out and bought the kit when I first saw it in Inspirations. Having a sew-along with you will motivate me to get it done!
    Thank you for all you’ve shared so far. Very useful!
    🙂

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    Janet Granger Post author
    October 9, 2017 at 10:56 am
    I bet the kit’s really lovely (and so much easier!!).

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    Jo
    October 9, 2017 at 2:06 pm
    I can photograph the kit along with close-ups of specific bits from the kit, if it would help. 😊

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    Janet Granger Post author
    October 10, 2017 at 9:59 am
    That would be really interesting to see, thanks! Would you email the image to mail@janetgranger.co.uk please? Thanks. I’d be particularly interested in the fabric, if you could get a close up of that.

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    Jessica Grimm
    October 9, 2017 at 11:52 am
    Hi Janet, I am stitching an blogging about Strawberry Fayre as well. I took the plunge and bought the kit as it is impossible to source the materials in Germany. And for us non-english speakers there is another problem: what are these materials? Threads are straight forward, but wadding, template plastic and the like are often not. Can’t wait to see how you get along on your version!

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    Janet Granger Post author
    October 9, 2017 at 12:49 pm
    Hi Jessica! That’s great that you’re blogging about this lovely project too! I think, though, that although the materials list is written in ‘English’, there is actually quite a lot of difference between Australian English and English English!! Especially where names of products are concerned! Like you, I don’t know what ‘template plastic’ is, for example, so I will be making substitutions for all those kinds of things 🙂

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    Jessica Grimm
    October 10, 2017 at 7:41 am
    Oh, of course! Mind you, I have all these ‘things’ in my kit, but do not know what is what :).

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    Kathryn J
    October 9, 2017 at 8:43 pm
    Oh this feels very familiar Janet! I have been gradually assembling the materials for Home Sweet Home over the last few months and it is rather an epic project in itself! It’s lovely that you have a big stash to draw from and it was interesting seeing how you approached the task of understanding the materials list and what is used where. Regarding one of your previous comments on Template Plastic … it is a quilting product used unsurprisingly to cut shape templates and you can buy it from quilting craft suppliers online. It’s a bit stiffer than acetate and you can draw on it. I bought some from The Cotton Patch in the UK. Not sure if you accept links in comments but if I can I will add the link below. Hope that helps! 🙂
    https://www.cottonpatch.co.uk/cgi-bin/sh000001.cgi?WD=plastic%20template&PN=Template%2dPlastic%2d%2d%2dPlain%2d%2d2%2dsheets%2d%2d11%2d%2dx%2d8%2d1%2d2%2d%2d8878%2ehtml#SID=426

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    Janet Granger Post author
    October 10, 2017 at 9:57 am
    Great, thanks for the link. I’ve bought from the Cotton Patch before – lovely shop – but I’m not familiar with a lot of quilting products, even though I dabble with quilting.

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    Anna Zont
    October 12, 2017 at 10:49 am
    Hi Janet,
    I am going to stitch Strawberry Fayre as well.
    But i bought the kit. Because there is no needlework shops in Finland (((only for knitting), and i am not sure in my stash.
    But i am going to change the main fabric into the silk (beige color).
    For templates i usually use simple plastic clerical folders. And I cut what i like.
    Good luck with such beautiful project!
    I will follow your process (i am afraid a little bit, this project is so big and quite difficult for me:)
    Anna

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    Janet Granger Post author
    October 12, 2017 at 11:05 am
    Hi Anna,
    Glad you’re going to be stitching this too! Hopefully, I’ll be able to clearly explain each stage for you, so it will be easy to make 🙂

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    Anna Zont
    October 12, 2017 at 11:11 am
    I hope so 🙂
    (sorry for my ‘funny’ English)

    Reply

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