Little House Needleworks ABC Samplers – 2 – how to finish a pincushion with pom pom trim

This little cross stitch pincushion ‘small’ from Little House Needleworks is so cute!

I decided to do the finishing for the pincushion with mini pom pom trim that I bought from xJudesign on Etsy. It comes in several colours, so I’ve bought a metre of half a dozen shades, to give me some choice as I make all nine in this series. The shade I’ve chosen for this one is ‘Dark Cocoa’. Each pincushion needs a bit less than half a metre to complete the pincushion as a 4 1/2 inch square.

ABC sampler pincushions by Little House Needleworks

I first trimmed  the evenweave fabric to 5 1/2 inches square (from 6 inches square originally). I made an interlining template that was 4 1/2 inches square, so that when I positioned it on the front of the stitching, I could just about see through it to check if I’d centred it on the stitching. Then I pinned it in place and tacked around the edge, to mark the stitching line, then removed the interlining template.

ABC sampler pincushions by Little House Needleworks

This shows the tacked line, once I’d removed the interlining template.

ABC sampler pincushions by Little House Needleworks

I pinned the braided side of the pom pom trim exactly along the stitching line, leaving about 1/8th of an inch of braid within the tacked line, so that the pom poms wouldn’t get caught in the seam when I stitched along it.

ABC sampler pincushions by Little House Needleworks

I also made curves at the corners with the trim rather than tight 90 degree angles. I overlapped the trim by one pom pom, and then trimmed one of the overlapped ones off at the end, after I’d stitched the pincushion seam completely. It helps to make sure that the overlap of the trim will not be in the gap where you will be turning the pincushion through, or at a corner, so I made my overlap about an inch away from one corner.

ABC sampler pincushions by Little House Needleworks

Then, right sides facing, I tacked the front and back pieces of the pincushion fabrics together, leaving a two inch gap along the bottom edge for turning.

ABC sampler pincushions by Little House Needleworks

I trimmed the seam allowances so that they were off-set a bit, to cut down on bulk, and cut diagonally across the corners too.

ABC sampler pincushions by Little House Needleworks

Then I backstitched round the edge along my tacked line. I did it all by hand because I don’t really like machine stitching, and I felt I could have easily ‘run over a bobble’ with a machine!!

Then I turned the pincushion right side out, and stuffed it with polyester wadding. I stuffed it quite hard, poking the stuffing into the corners with a pencil so that the corners didn’t crinkle up later.

When stitching the opening shut, I did it in two passes, stitching each fabric piece to the braid of the pom pom trim one at a time with a slip stitch, rather than trying to stitch the two fabrics together with a stab stitch through the pom pom braid.

I only removed tacking where it showed, which was only in one or two places, as it helps strengthen the seam.

This is the completed pincushion – I’m really thrilled with this!!

ABC sampler pincushions by Little House Needleworks

This is the back – the fabric looks great with this dark brown trim.

ABC sampler pincushions by Little House Needleworks

Now that I’ve completed the first one, I’ve just got the other eight to do  🙂  They are great projects to work on in between bigger ones, as I get something finished in just a few days.

Cute, isn’t it? And I don’t even use pincushions……

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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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