Each autumn, for the past three years or so, I have stitched a building from the range of Gingerbread-style cross stitch models that Thea Dueck of Victoria Sampler has designed, ready to display under my Christmas tree. They are available as chart pack booklets from her website, and they are just lovely to make! Here are the ones I have made so far – from the left is the Gingerbread Candy Cane Cottage, the Gingerbread Church, and the Gingerbread Stitching House (which is an etui set – the roof lifts off to show needle book pages, and the chimney is a pincushion).
This year, I am going to make the Gingerbread Tree Etui. It stands about nine inches high when finished – about the same height as the church. There are accessory packs available for these chart packs, but this time I’ve chosen to use stash threads, and some of the threads left over from previous packs that I bought for the other buildings.
EDIT: Thea recently said (November 2019) that materials packs are on their way for these, and will be in stock soon, if you’d like to buy the threads and beads, etc., rather than use your stash).
The fabric I am using is Zweigart’s Cashel 28 count linen, Cognac colour, which is a deep orangey rust. It’s darker than the fabric Thea uses, but that one, Antique Almond, is no longer available, and I love the deeper colour of the Cognac fabric. I bought a whole metre of it when I started making these buildings, and I should have enough to do seven or eight of them from the metre. I don’t think this fabric is available now either, though, so I hope I have enough to do all the Gingerbread buildings that I want to!
I am starting with the side that features a seascape in the snow. Each side has a treetop to stitch first (the same for each of the four sides), with a different scene at the bottom of each side of the tree. The treetop is quite random, so I needed a plan! I decided to stitch all the darkest green crosses first, as these mainly occur in more or less horizontal lines, so they are easy to see on the chart.
Then I filled in the medium green, doing one ‘band’ at a time.
The rest of the treetop is off-white, so I stitched all of the outlining stitches, and then simply filled in with white – like doing ‘flood fill’ in a design software program!
This is the treetop once completed.
Next is a ‘bargello wave’, stitched with one strand of fine gold thread (Thea suggest using Kreinik gold, #4 fine braid, but I used one strand of Splendor Petite Treasure Braid, shade PB2), and then one strand of DMC Perle 8 in white under the gold. This bargello wave looks good when it’s finished, but was a nightmare to do – I kept losing my place on the chart, and having to unpick it. In the end, I copied the chart page from the booklet, enlarged it, and coloured in each stitch as I made it, so I didn’t lose my place. The instructions are clear enough, but Bargello Stitch just does my head in!
Next, I need to do the cross stitch scene at the base of the tree…..