I’m now at the exciting part with the Gingerbread Candy Cane Cottage project that I’m making, which was designed by Thea Dueck of Victoria Sampler. I have now laced each panel onto mount board padded with a thin layer of wadding, mitring the corners to make each panel lie as flat as possible. The instructions then say to lace the panels for the walls together, to make one long piece. This is where it shows that neat back stitching around each panel earlier on pays off, as the lacing is very easy to do if your back stitching is definitely over four fabric threads each time – then you only need to match up the back stitches, and pass the needle once through each pair of stitches to hold everything securely.
The slightly more tricky part was attaching the base, as that bit was an addition of my own, so it wasn’t in the instructions. I folded the four-sided piece of stitching around the base, and started lacing from one corner, and laced up the final wall side last. That seemed the simplest way to do it, anyway! Lastly, I laced the two roof sections together loosely (to allow the whole roof piece to bend in the centre), and then laced it onto the wall sections. This last part was a bit dodgy, and one of my walls apparently had ended up being longer than the opposite one (due to not lacing it tightly enough over the mount board), but I persevered and squished it into position!
This, then, is my finished Candy Cane Cottage, and I love it!
It’s quite a small cottage – it measures 3 x 4 x 4 inches high.
This shows the base adaptation that I did.
Here’s the finished cottage under my Christmas tree, alongside the Gingerbread Stitching House etui that I completed last year. I’m planning to make another building from this series, but I haven’t decided which one just yet – I’ve got several more of the chart booklets in my stash!
Here is my verdict on the Gingerbread Candy Cane Cottage project as a whole:
The chart pack booklet, as with all projects from this series, is very well produced on quality shiny thick paper. The charts themselves are clear and large, using black and white symbols. The instructions are detailed, and written so that you do everything in a sensible order. The finishing instructions are very detailed, with lots of process photos to show you exactly what to do. Unfortunately, sloppy editing means that there are several spelling mistakes in the text, but that’s a minor niggle really – just a shame that it lets the whole booklet down a bit, when it could have easily been rectified at the proofreading stage.
The chart booklet also contains instructions to make a little pinkeep, which is a sweet little design, but I didn’t make it this time. Maybe later though, as I like pinkeeps.
As I’ve mentioned before, these chart booklets are available from the Victoria Sampler website, based in Canada, but if you’re in the UK, then buy them from the UK company Sew and So, and save hugely on shipping/Customs charges.
The cottage itself is great fun to stitch. It doesn’t take too long, but is not a ‘quick and easy’ kind of design. There are parts of the project that are meant to challenge you just a bit – such as the hardanger windows, and some of the counted thread stitches. These add interest, both in the stitching, and in the finished look of the project, so don’t shy away from this project just because it isn’t just cross stitch on its own.
The chart booklet costs CAN$16 (£11) in 2015. There are accessory packs available, with all the necessary threads, beads, feature buttons/sequins, etc. This is priced quite high, I feel, at CAN$ 36 for the coloured threads and beads (£24), plus another CAN$ 15 for the 2 white thread packs (£10). The coloured thread/bead pack doesn’t contain full skeins, either – just cut one metre lengths of the shades that you’ll need. If you have a reasonable size stash (and who hasn’t?), you can probably find enough in that to make this. The speciality buttons, etc, can easily be substituted – try looking on Ebay for cheap alternatives. Having said that, you could decide to treat yourself and go for the accessory pack along with the chart booklet, as it is very nicely put together, if you don’t mind the cost.
I stitched my cottage on 28 count Cashel evenweave linen, in ‘Cognac’ shade, with ‘Blue Spruce’ for the roof. I cannot find the shade recommended in the booklet (Antique Almond Cashel linen) in the UK, and suspect it may have been discontinued. Cognac is a slightly darker orange shade than the one featured on the cover of the chart booklet, but I really like the colour.
I love this series of Gingerbread buildings, and I’ll definitely be making more of them!