Finished embroidery – an unusual thimble holder

A thimble holder called a pipkin, about two inches long

This unusual item is called a pipkin. It’s made from three leaf-shaped pieces of fabric, gathered over cardboard formers and laced across the back, then backed with felt (cut a tiny bit smaller than the outer pieces). The three shapes are then stitched together using Palestrina knot stitch (a bit like an overcast stitch, but after each overcast stitch you then go back and loop the needle twice through the stitch you’ve just made, without piercing the fabric, and so making a line of  evenly spaced knots along the line of stitching – a very useful stitch to master!).

This shows how the pipkin opens

It opens by you squeezing the two ends, and so forcing the open side to gape, so that the thimble can be taken out. I don’t actually use a thimble when I’m stitching, but I just couldn’t resist making this, as it’s such a different kind of sewing accessory to own!

The cute hedgehog’s spines are worked in various shades of brown, randomly, until it just ‘looks right’! In front of the hedgehog is the most tiny bee, made from very small satin stitches worked in stripes of yellow and black, with wings in silver blending filament added last. The other two sides feature a silver spider’s web with a minute spider, and my initials.

Jane Nicholas’ Stumpwork Embroidery

The design is from Jane Nicholas’ wonderful book  ‘Stumpwork Embroidery – Designs and Projects’, published in 1998 by Sally Milner Publishing.

In the book, there are co-ordinating sewing accessories to make – a needlebook with a squirrel on it, a scissors scabbard, and a pinwheel, along with a drawstring bag to keep them all in.

Although this style of embroidery is very different from the doll’s house needlepoint  that I sell as kits, I really enjoy the change of technique that’s needed to make this kind of item.

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Finished embroidery – more beautiful doll’s house rooms

Here are some views of rooms in a doll’s house by a customer of mine called Susan. She has two beautiful doll’s houses, both made by her father, and she has gradually been buying miniature embroidery kits from me for several years, as she completes her houses.

An elegant doll’s house dining room

This smart dining suite stands on an ELEANOR carpet. It is stitched on 18 count canvas, in needlepoint, using one strand of Appleton’s crewel wool. The finished carpet measures just over 9 inches by 6 inches. In the background, on the chaise longue, is a CAROLE PASTEL cushion , which is worked on 22 count canvas, using Anchor stranded cotton.

A pretty rug in green and peach on the landing of a doll’s house

A BARBARA SMALL (GREEN) carpet fits neatly on the landing on the first floor. This small carpet is one of my best-sellers, as it is so versatile. The fringing is much easier to do than it looks, too!

The William Morris sitting room, with a carpet called ‘Elizabeth’ taking pride of place

The ELIZABETH carpet, a square William Morris ‘Hammersmith’ design, looks stunning in this living room, papered with authentic twelfth scale William Morris wallpaper. There is a BELLA cushion on the armchair to the left (with another one just peeping over the sofa), and a LITTLE OWL firescreen on the hearth. The firescreen kits are worked on 32 count silk gauze, and the kits come with a simple-to-assemble metal firescreen.

A round rug in the doll’s house music room

A BELLA carpet takes pride of place in Sue’s music room, with a matching cushion on the armchair. A Bella footstool also looks good in this room, but is no longer available as a kit.

These images are examples from the Customers’ Gallery pages of my website. For more inspirational pictures, sent in by my clever customers, go to the Gallery index page. If you have any images yourself, of stitching that you have made from kits designed by me, please let me know by sending an email to janet@janetgranger.co.uk !

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Last Posting Dates for Christmas 2009

A selection of stitched samples of the kind of miniature needlepoint kits that are available from my website

For customers  of my miniature needlepoint kits worldwide, here are the Last Posting Dates for Christmas, for parcels sent from the UK:
Australasia, Africa, Far East and Middle East – Friday 4th December.
Eastern Europe, USA, Canada and Japan – Thursday 10th December.
Western Europe – Friday 11th December.
UK – Monday 21st December.

I get parcels out within 48 hours of you placing your order on the website, so please allow for that when calculating how much time is needed.

I’ve also got an update ‘Newsflash’ about payment methods: We now take PAYPAL, in addition to Visa, Mastercard, Solo and UK Maestro. This means that you now have more options when you are going through the checkout process. You can choose to use the credit card that you have previously registered with Paypal, or you can choose to have payments debited directly from your bank account. This last option is useful for people who do not have a credit card, but still wish to buy online.

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More thoughts on doodle embroidery

Since my previous post, it’s been bugging me as to why the interest in doodle embroidery has caught on. Partly, it’s due to a couple of authors bringing out books featuring that style of embroidery, so that it’s been put in the public eye. I think at least one of them has a business selling the designs featured in the book she’s published.

My book ‘Miniature Needlepoint Carpets’, published in 1996, which is now only available second-hand

I’ve no problem with that – I did the same when my book ‘Miniature Needlepoint Carpets’ came out in 1996. Now, it’s only available second-hand, though – it’s been out of print for over five years. Blame Guild of Master Craftsman Publications – they decided to remainder it, not me! Most of the designs from the book are still available individually as chart packs from my website, though.

What interests me, in particular, is what grabs the imagination of the public and makes them think ‘Mmm, I’d like to do that’, once they see a certain style appearing, that’s new to them. Is it really the idea that they want to stitch something, but think that, as they’ve got very little time (apparently – see the previous post on this subject!), they choose a project from the perspective of the time it will take to finish, rather than the enjoyment they will have while they are creating it?

When I used to sell my miniature needlepoint kits at needlecraft shows around the country (I don’t attend shows any more, I sell only from my website), people would sometimes ask, ‘How long will this one take to complete?’, and that always bemused me, as I’d never think of the ‘time cost’ when I’m considering buying a kit. What’s more important to me is the aesthetic look of the finished item, the interest I’ll get from doing (learning to do?) the various stitching or other techniques needed, the colour scheme and where I’ll put the finished item, etc. etc. Possibly the cost is a factor. But the number of hours it’ll take is virtually irrelevant – I’ll stitch it till it’s finished.

It would be like asking in a restaurant ‘How long does it take to eat that?’, and if you’re told ‘twenty minutes’, then you’d choose something smaller/easier to chew up. Doesn’t make sense, does it? You’d choose your food, hopefully, on how it tastes, not on how quickly you can stuff it down your throat.

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