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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Gingerbread Christmas tree by Victoria Sampler 2: the cross stitch scene on side one

I am currently stitching the Gingerbread Christmas tree by Thea Dueck of Victoria Sampler from her chart pack booklet. I am up to the cross stitch scene on side one of the tree.

The chart pack is available from  here. The tree stands about nine inches high when finished.

Gingerbread Christmas Tree santa sleigh scene

This lovely part of the design in the centre is of Santa racing across the sky in his sleigh, pulled by the reindeer. To get the detail in, it’s stitched over one thread, with one strand. That part of the chart booklet is reproduced LARGE, so that it’s easier to see, but even so, this part was quite taxing! I needed good light to stitch it, as I’m using darker fabric than Thea recommends, so the contrast was a bit less than if I’d stitched it on the suggested paler almond fabric.

This is the panel once all the cross stitch and surface embroidery is completed.

Gingerbread Christmas Tree beads in bags ready to attach

There’s beading along the lower vine and flowers band on each side of the tree, and buttons and beads on the top part. As I’m using my stash rather than Thea’s materials pack, to make sure that I shared out the available beads evenly, I divided them up into four groups and stored them into little resealable bags, to be on the safe side!

For each side, I used 12 mixed colour seed beads, 8 buttons, 3 silvery white number 11 beads, 4 gold balls about 3mm, and 5 stripy number 6 size beads.

Gingerbread Christmas Tree flower border at base of tree

I only realised after I’d stitched it, but I had used the wrong shade of green for the Lazy Daisy leaves on this bottom band – it should have been a yellower green. Never mind, it still looks pretty! I’ll just have to remember to be consistent on the other three sides. The white backstitched outline, as well as defining the shape, will be used later when I lace each panel to its neighbour, so it is important when doing this bit to start and end the threads very securely on the back, as the backstitching will be pulled on to lace the panels close to each other.

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Gingerbread Christmas tree by Victoria Sampler 1: starting the seascape side

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).

church-42

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!

tree-1

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.

tree-2

 

Then  I filled in the medium green, doing one ‘band’ at a time.

tree-3

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!

tree-4

This is the treetop once completed.

Gingerbread Christmas tree top with cross stitch 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…..

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