Author Archives: Janet Granger

Christmas in July in the doll’s house!

The summer is actually a good time to start planning your Christmas-themed stitching, as it gives you plenty of time to get things finished, so I’m having a ‘Christmas in July in the doll’s house’ sale. You can get several mini needlepoint kits for your twelfth scale dollhouse at special offer prices this week – there’s 10% off all kits from my range that feature anything to do with Christmas, such as Christmas stocking kits (11 designs) ……

Christmas tree mat kits (3 designs)……

a Christmas table runner kit……

and a kit to make 4 Christmas placemats or one to make a round table centre!

Just use the code CHRISTMAS IN JULY at the checkout on my website when you buy any of these Christmas-themed kits, and save 10% on the usual prices. The offer ends midnight Sunday 23rd July.

Enjoy your Christmassy stitching!

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Are you interested in doll’s houses and stitching? Then why not visit my website, where you can buy doll’s house needlepoint kits to make all kinds of soft furnishings for one-twelfth scale dollhouses. There are over 280 kits to choose from, plus chart packs, fabric project packs, tutorials, and lots of eye candy to inspire you! Kits are available on 18 and 22 count canvas, 28 and 32 count evenweave, and 32 and 40 count silk gauze, so there’s something for everyone – from beginners to experts.

As a special offer for new customers on my website, use the code FIRST TIME 10 at the checkout to receive 10% off your first order!

Dollhouse needlepoint kits

Dollhouse scale William Morris ‘Orange Tree’ wallhanging challenge!

Do you sometimes feel that you’d like to have a go at an embroidery kit of some kind, but feel that maybe it’s beyond your capabilities?  I was talking with Sally Watson, the editor of the fabulous free online magazine ‘Artisans in Miniature’ recently, and she told me that she’d never felt she would be able to tackle mini needlepoint  – but then she said that she finds knitting Kaffe Fassett designs simple!!! I can’t knit at all, so I issued her with the William Morris ‘Orange Tree’ wallhanging challenge!

I told her that she could try stitching the kit for free, if she’d publish her results in the AIM magazine, to show others how she got on. She was up for it, so if you have a look at Issue 63 of the online Artisans in Miniature magazine , which has just been published, you can see how she got on.

I was really impressed by how methodical she was, and how it turned out in the end, despite her emailing me several times saying she wondered if she was doing OK.

Here’s the original version that I stitched, based on William Morris’s late Nineteenth Century wallhanging, that has been photographed for the front of the kit packet. The finished dollhouse wallhanging measures 3.5 inches square, and is stitched on 22 count canvas with two strands of Anchor stranded cotton floss. Everything you need is included in the kit, such as a colour block chart and detailed instructions, plenty of thread, a generous piece of canvas, the wooden pole, and ribbon to make the hanging tabs, backing fabric and a tapestry needle, so you can be stitching within minutes of receiving this kit in the post.

As a special offer, until midnight this Sunday, 16th July, you can order the kit for this William Morris wallhanging from my website, and when you use the code ORANGETREE10 at the checkout, you get 10% off the usual price. So, be like Sally, and give it a go  🙂

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Are you interested in doll’s houses and stitching? Then why not visit my website, where you can buy doll’s house needlepoint kits to make all kinds of soft furnishings for one-twelfth scale dollhouses. There are over 280 kits to choose from, plus chart packs, fabric project packs, tutorials, and lots of eye candy to inspire you! Kits are available on 18 and 22 count canvas, 28 and 32 count evenweave, and 32 and 40 count silk gauze, so there’s something for everyone – from beginners to experts.

As a special offer for new customers on my website, use the code FIRST TIME 10 at the checkout to receive 10% off your first order!

Dollhouse needlepoint kits

Book review: ‘Raised Embroidery: techniques, projects and pure inspiration’, by Kelley Aldridge

I love stumpwork , as regular readers of this blog will know, so I was really looking forward to getting a copy of this book, ‘Raised embroidery: techniques, projects and pure inspiration’, by Kelley Aldridge.

Raised embroidery Kelley Aldridge

There aren’t that many good stumpwork books on the market, but if you’re even remotely interest in this type of embroidery, you just have to get this – it’s wonderful!

Raised embroidery Kelley Aldridge

It’s a 140-page book, about A4 size, that’s full to bursting with wonderful colour photos, some in incredible close-up, that covers everything you need to know to do this embroidery technique. As the title suggests, it doesn’t only cover projects – this book has quite a few pages of ‘pure inspiration’ – there’s a gallery section at the back of over a dozen pages with the most gorgeous examples of stumpwork by various embroiderers, not just by Kelley herself, plus interspersed examples of stumpwork, all in a modern style.

Raised embroidery Kelley Aldridge

The book starts with a very comprehensive section explaining all about the history of stumpwork, and then moving on to materials to use, plus various techniques such as padding shapes and using wire. The stitches you need are covered in detail, including needlelace stitches. That all takes up nearly half of the book – there’s a lot of information in here, apart from the pretty pictures!

Raised embroidery Kelley Aldridge

The section on how to set up a floor frame to stitch stumpwork on is really detailed, with loads of pictures to show exactly how to do it.

Raised embroidery Kelley Aldridge

The projects section then follows – here there are three main projects explained in detail – a brooch, a phone sleeve, and a biscornu. Each has a modern look, although elements from the past are used too. At the end of each project, there are several pages of related items shown in gallery format – for instance, after the brooch project there are examples of other wearable stumpwork, such as a fascinator and a beaded cuff.

Raised embroidery Kelley Aldridge

Although this one isn’t a project, it’s my favourite item in the whole book – it’s a half scale dress with trim around the bustline made to look like old-fashioned sweets!

Raised embroidery Kelley Aldridge

Pros: I really liked this book. It’s colourful, the photography is amazing, and the projects are different from many stumpwork projects I’ve seen before. If you’ve done a bit of stumpwork already, this book will really spark your imagination. It’s certainly given me some ideas of things to make. The early sections on materials, frames, transferring designs, etc., are very well done – Kelley was trained at the Royal School of Needlework, and that really shows in her skill at explaining the best techniques to use for stumpwork. I love the fact that there are so many 3D examples of stumpwork in this book. I’m not really one for pictures, and I particularly like bags and boxes, but having seen this book, I might start making embroidered jewellery, now!

Cons: One thing I wasn’t sure of was the balance between ‘projects’ and ‘inspiration’. I felt that the book was maybe a bit too  ‘padded out’ with pictures just for inspiration, however lovely, that someone with not much experience of doing stumpwork would feel frustrated by. Very nice to look at, but how would you go about making your own version? If you picked this up in a bookshop and flicked through it quickly, you might be forgiven for thinking that you’d be able to make more than just three items from all those showcased in this book – sometimes the ‘inspirational images’ are a bit too blended in for my liking. I know ‘inspiration’ is in the title, but I feel the balance is just a bit too much in the direction of ‘coffee-table book just to look at’ rather than ‘book to make things from’ for me.

Also, there is no list of suppliers, bibliography, or list of websites at the end of the book, which I feel lets it down. I know that sometimes publishers don’t like to include things that make a book obviously ‘English’ when they want it to sell internationally, so maybe that’s why, but I think it’s a pity. I’m sure Kelley knows some good stockists, books and websites!!

Verdict: If you like embroidery and books, get this one  🙂  It’s a no-brainer!

Title: ‘Raised Embroidery: Techniques, projects and pure inspiration’ by Kelley Aldridge

Publisher: Search Press

Price: £17.99

ISBN: 978 1 78221 189 1

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Are you interested in doll’s houses and stitching? Then why not visit my website, where you can buy doll’s house needlepoint kits to make all kinds of soft furnishings for one-twelfth scale dollhouses. There are over 280 kits to choose from, plus chart packs, fabric project packs, tutorials, and lots of eye candy to inspire you! Kits are available on 18 and 22 count canvas, 28 and 32 count evenweave, and 32 and 40 count silk gauze, so there’s something for everyone – from beginners to experts.

As a special offer for new customers on my website, use the code FIRST TIME 10 at the checkout to receive 10% off your first order!

Dollhouse needlepoint kits

A blackwork dollhouse miniature sampler and other special offers!

Here’s a quick heads-up on a couple of offers for mini sampler kits available right now, including my blackwork dollhouse miniature sampler design:

Dolls House and Miniature Scene magazine has a blackwork sampler design of mine featured this month on page 36 (in Issue 278 – the July issue). The article has the chart and detailed instructions for how to complete the miniature sampler. All you need to provide is listed in the article – it’s to be stitched on 28 count evenweave fabric, and you’d need a frame with an aperture of 1 1/2 x 1 3/4 inches. Alternatively, if you’d prefer to make it from a kit which contains everything you need (including the wooden frame), it’s available in my online shop HERE.

Blackwork dollhouse sampler

 

If you would like to stitch a sampler, but the blackwork one isn’t your cup of tea, then have a look through my full range of sampler kits for a different one that might suit you better. There are 12 designs to choose from, and they cover many eras and styles, including a ‘Home Sweet Home‘ one that is always popular!

Home Sweet Home dollhouse sampler

Count your blessings dollhouse sampler

As a special offer, you can choose any sampler kits and then get 10% discount off the usual price from now until midnight on Sunday 2nd July when you use the code SAMPLER10 at the checkout – this offer includes the blackwork one  🙂

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Are you interested in doll’s houses and stitching? Then why not visit my website, where you can buy doll’s house needlepoint kits to make all kinds of soft furnishings for one-twelfth scale dollhouses. There are over 280 kits to choose from, plus chart packs, fabric project packs, tutorials, and lots of eye candy to inspire you! Kits are available on 18 and 22 count canvas, 28 and 32 count evenweave, and 32 and 40 count silk gauze, so there’s something for everyone – from beginners to experts.

As a special offer for new customers on my website, use the code FIRST TIME 10 at the checkout to receive 10% off your first order!

Dollhouse needlepoint kits