Little House Needleworks ABC Samplers – a new set of nine smalls to stitch – 1

I’m starting to make the Little House Needleworks ABC Samplers – a set of nine smalls to stitch, which will look great as a collection when they’re done.

ABC sampler pincushions by Little House Needleworks

The fabric I chose to use for these is a 32 count evenweave from 123stitch.com called Country French Mocha linen by Wichelt (part of my big stash haul from January 2019). It’s a lovely soft fabric in a warm beige – the called-for fabric for these designs. I also used the called-for threads – mainly Classic Colorworks overdyed threads, with a few DMC shades too. I bought the charts and threads from Peakside Needleworks in the UK.

These charts were the first ‘caving in’ of my New Year Resolution not to buy any more embroidery things in 2019 (it didn’t last long at all!!). I just couldn’t resist these, as I just love smalls anyway, and anything with little buildings on in particular. So, they’ve been sitting in my stash since then.

They have only a 4 x 4 inches stitched area, so they don’t take long to do – that’s my justification, anyway.

I decided to do this one first – the one featuring the letters LMN – so I sorted the threads and fabric, and then changed my mind! The tidy part of me just couldn’t start half way through the alphabet!

ABC sampler pincushions by Little House Needleworks

So, I began with the ABC one instead, and I’m now going to do them in the PROPER order!

I like to colour in black and white symbol charts with coloured pencils before I start stitching, as my brain can make more sense of colours than symbols.

ABC sampler pincushions by Little House Needleworks

I haven’t used Classic Colorworks threads before. They are nice to stitch with, but I found the gradations of shade changes a bit long and predictable (about half a metre each time), so I cut several pieces of varying lengths, and mixed them up when choosing each thread to use next, so that the gradations didn’t look so regular on my stitched piece.

I got this much stitched in about four hours:

ABC sampler pincushions by Little House Needleworks

But then I hit a snag. I really dislike stitching with white. It bores me to tears. So, having spent a while getting this far, I got really bored with it, and put it aside, avoiding continuing with it, even though by then I’d done all the white stitching. How stupid is that? Anyway, I eventually got over my stitching block, and finished it off in one long Sunday afternoon.

ABC sampler pincushions by Little House Needleworks

I decided not to stitch the outer row of crosses as a border that are shown on the chart, as I think that’s more necessary if you’re going to stitch these as one large design, in three rows of three, so that you can work out how to tile the individual houses. As I’m making mine into individual pincushions, I want them to look more like the image on the chart pack, without a border line round the edge.

Now I’ve just got to do the finishing. I’ve chosen a lovely cotton fabric for the backing, from my quilting stash, and a tiny pom pom trim for the edge.

ABC sampler pincushions by Little House Needleworks

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Gingerbread Christmas tree by Victoria Sampler 5: the finished Gingerbread tree

It’s finished! The little Gingerbread Christmas tree by Thea Dueck of Victoria Sampler has come out really well, and can now join the other Gingerbread buildings in my village. If you’d like to stitch this too, the chart pack is available from  here.

Gingerbread Christmas Tree assembly of cross stitch model

I’m so pleased with this – it’s a great addition to my slowly-growing Gingerbread Village from Victoria Sampler. This is how my little Gingerbread Village looks now.

Gingerbread Christmas Village cross stitch by Victoria Sampler

Thanks for reading my blog during the past year! I hope you’ve enjoyed what I have written about. Have a great Christmas  🙂

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Gingerbread Christmas tree by Victoria Sampler 4: how to assemble the tree

I am making the Gingerbread Christmas tree by Thea Dueck of Victoria Sampler at the moment from her chart pack booklet. The chart pack is available from  here. I’ve now completed all the cross stitch, and added all the beads, so now it’s time to assemble the tree.

Here’s my four completed panels:

Gingerbread Christmas Tree assembly of cross stitch model

I backstitched a base piece (this is optional if you’re not going to make this design as an etui, but I felt it would feel more substantial with a closed off base).

Gingerbread Christmas Tree assembly of cross stitch model

Then I made paper templates of the shapes, that fit just inside the backstitched lines.

Gingerbread Christmas Tree assembly of cross stitch model

From those, I made a mount board template for each piece of stitching (i.e. one base, and four tree sides). The square base has pieces of double sided tape on it already, to stick the felt padding onto.

Gingerbread Christmas Tree assembly of cross stitch model

For padding, I stuck a piece of oversized felt on each template piece with the double sided tape, then trimmed it down later with scissors:

Gingerbread Christmas Tree assembly of cross stitch model

The stitched pieces were trimmed to have seam allowances on each side of half an inch:

Gingerbread Christmas Tree assembly of cross stitch model

Then I laced the stitching over the mount board templates. The points of the tree sides are fiddly to do – the point has to be as neat as possible, so that these will all meet up together and not be bulky. I had to trim the fabric back quite hard, and keep making tacking stitches to hold it all down. I laced from side to side first.

Gingerbread Christmas Tree assembly of cross stitch model

The pointy bit at the top is stitched down last:

Gingerbread Christmas Tree assembly of cross stitch model

Make sure, as you’re stitching down the top, that the mount board template doesn’t get ‘pinched’ and push its way down – the board should stay within the backstitched outline.

Gingerbread Christmas Tree assembly of cross stitch model

The final lacing goes from top to bottom, after doing the sides, to hold it all together:

Gingerbread Christmas Tree assembly of cross stitch model

Then the corners are mitred:

Gingerbread Christmas Tree assembly of cross stitch model

Each panel then looks like this, with the backstitching just showing at the edges. Then each panel is laced to the adjoining one with Perle 12 white thread, and the base fitted into place last, using the same method:

Gingerbread Christmas Tree assembly of cross stitch model

Ta-da!!! Here’s my little gingerbread tree, all ready for Christmas!

Gingerbread Christmas Tree assembly of cross stitch model

And here’s the base of it, to show how the lacing of the panels is done:

Gingerbread Christmas Tree assembly of cross stitch model

Isn’t it pretty?! I want to get all my decorations out now, to display it with the other Gingerbread buildings that I’ve made.

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Gingerbread Christmas tree by Victoria Sampler 3: stitching sides two, three and four.

I am currently stitching the Gingerbread Christmas tree by Thea Dueck of Victoria Sampler from her chart pack booklet. I’ve completed side one, and now I have been stitching the other sides of this lovely cross stitch design. The chart pack is available from  here. It stands about nine inches high when finished.

The original chart pack instructions show you how to finish it as an opening etui, but I’ve decided that I want it finished NOW! So, I’m going to stitch up all four sides so that it is a closed shape instead, as I’ve seen it done like that on Pinterest, and it looks good. I’ve just got no patience….!

I’m finding it a lot easier to stitch all the white cross stitch for these panels first (whereas, on the first panel, I stitched the green, and then the white), as the white shows up better, so I can stitch it faster. Then I fill in with the two green shades.

The snowman panel has a lot of snow in white on it, obviously! So it was easier to place all the white on that part too, and then stitch the coloured buildings and details. That bargello wave still does my head in with the counting though!

I realised, halfway through doing this side, that I won’t have enough of the main green colour to do all four sides (as I’m using threads from my stash rather than the materials pack that can be bought), so I matched as closely as I could from my stash (Anchor 267). The lesson from this is to buy Thea’s materials packs! They seem expensive at first, but they’ve got lots of special threads in, and all the beads, and if you had to start from scratch it would cost a lot more.  I should take my own advice, really….

Here’s the first and second panels:

Gingerbread Christmas Tree two sides completed

The floral vine along the base of each side is a nice change of pace, after doing all that cross stitching. The panel up to this part is almost all cross stitch, with a little back stitch and some queen stitch for the tree on the left.

As I’d used the wrong green for this part on the first panel, I had to remember to keep on doing it ‘wrong’ for these other panels too!

I repeated the red flowers the same as for the first side…which is wrong too! They should be a different stitch. I must be going doolally, and not reading the chart correctly  🙂 Still, they look nice – you make a base of five spokes, coming out from one central point, and then start at the centre with another thread, and work a kind of stem stitch out along the spokes until they are full.

Gingerbread Christmas Tree wound rose stitch

The next panel was easy to do, as I’m getting in the swing of it now:

Gingerbread Christmas Tree wound rose stitch

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