Where Stitchers Gather etui by Victoria Sampler: 3 – stitching the hardanger heart and the pulled thread work

I’ve stitched quite a lot of the ‘Where Stitchers Gather‘ etui pocket by Thea Dueck of Victoria Sampler now, and I’m up to the scary part – the drawn thread and hardanger section!

For this bit, I made good use of Thea’s YouTube videos, which clearly explain how to do basic hardanger stitches. If you’re going to attempt this design, I’d strongly recommend watching these videos first, as Thea covers a lot of hints and tips while she’s explaining how to do it. Her YouTube channel is amazing – dozens of really useful videos on many techniques, and types of kit that she produces. Well worth a look!

First, I worked the drawn thread sections on either side of the heart shape, then I stitched the main shape of the heart in Kloster blocks.

Hardanger heart on Where stitchers gather etui by Victoria Sampler

Once I’d got the nerve to cut the threads, it was simple to do, and looks very pretty.

Hardanger heart on Where stitchers gather etui by Victoria Sampler

 

These sections, along with the heart once the hardanger is done, will be backed with maroon dupion silk, so the silk will show through and highlight the stitching.

Hardanger heart on Where stitchers gather etui by Victoria Sampler

The actual hardanger heart stitching took me ages, as it’s not a technique I am skilled at. Some of my stitches came out a bit messy, but if you don’t look too closely, it’s OK!

Hardanger heart on Where stitchers gather etui by Victoria Sampler

I was really pleased to have finished it without cutting any wrong threads! The materials pack contained the cute little gold scissor charm, which really finished it off  🙂

Hardanger heart on Where stitchers gather etui by Victoria Sampler

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Where Stitchers Gather etui by Victoria Sampler: 2 – starting to stitch the design of the etui

This is my progress on the ‘Where Stitchers Gather‘ etui pocket and smalls, by Thea Dueck of Victoria Sampler in Canada.

Where stitchers gather etui by Victoria Sampler

Thea’s instructions in the chart booklet are really clear – the rows of the design are numbered, and there are lots of written instructions for each section, plus diagrams.

Where stitchers gather etui by Victoria Sampler

What I like about Thea’s designs is that they are not simply cross stitch – she is always challenging you with new stitches to learn! Look at this panel, for instance – the background is plain green crosses, but then the flowers in pink are each a different stitch!

Where stitchers gather etui by Victoria Sampler

And then, if you look closely in the bottom right hand corner, there’s the date I started this written in cross stitch in one strand over one thread, too (upside down, on purpose, but the reason for that will become clearer later).

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Where Stitchers Gather etui by Victoria Sampler: 1 – getting started

Here’s the progress I’ve been making on one of my favourite types of stitching project – a sewing set, or etui. This one is called ‘Where Stitchers Gather‘, and is another design by a really talented designer, Thea Dueck of Victoria Sampler in Canada. This lovely pocket is made to contain a scissor fob, a needlebook and a scissor case. It’s mainly cross stitch, with some drawn thread work, some specialty stitches, and some scary hardanger! (Hardanger is not my best technique, as I find cutting fabric threads after I’ve spent ages embroidering around them kind of scary!)

Where stitchers gather etui by Victoria Sampler

I’m going to use the suggested fabric, which is 28ct evenweave Zweigart ‘Raw Linen’ shade, along with burgundy  dupion silk for the lining, and thin wadding to give it a bit of body.

Where stitchers gather etui by Victoria Sampler

I also bought the materials pack when I bought the chart booklet from Victoria Sampler, as, although my stash is huge, and I could probably have found similar threads somewhere, I’ve found that it’s much more pleasant to just get the materials pack and be done with it. That way, I know it’s going to come out just like in the photos, and I won’t get any nasty surprises later.

When I started to stitch this etui pocket, I was in the middle of a solo retreat in a little cottage in the Peak District, in the English countryside (a few months back, now, before lockdown was imposed!!). This was where I set up my floor frame, to start stitching. The view of the garden was lovely!

Where stitchers gather etui by Victoria Sampler

This picture didn’t come out too clearly, as I took it at night, but it’s the first row of cross stitch on the pocket.

Where stitchers gather etui by Victoria Sampler

As I was on retreat, I planned to get a lot of stitching done….

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How to make a 1:12 scale display shelf from a bookcase for a dollhouse toy shop

I haven’t made any dollhouse scale furniture for years, but I recently saw this bookcase kit by Mini Mundus, and felt that it would be just right in my Edwardian toy shop, if I kitbashed it a bit, to put my tiny doll collection on!

Mini Mundus bookcase kit

Of course, once I opened the box, I kind of had second thoughts, as this was what was inside:

Mini Mundus bookcase kit

Hmm. Bit scary! So many little pieces! Still the instructions were good, so I checked that everything was included, and got assembling…

What I knew I needed to do was to leave out alternate shelves on this bookcase, as I wanted it to be used for displaying my ever-growing collection of tiny dolls for dollhouse dolls (most of these little tiny dolls are under two inches high). So, the shelves needed to be just over two inches apart – which would work OK if I left alternate shelves out.

This is what it looked like part-way through the assembly:

Mini Mundus bookcase kit

The part I had trouble with was putting the doors on the little cupboards in the base of the bookcase. They don’t have ‘real’ hinges – the doors are held in place with pins. Really small pins. The holes for the pins had been pre-drilled, but not quite deep enough, so I needed to use a small drill bit to drill them out a bit more. Not easy, as I has assembled the bookcase by then, so access to the top and bottom of the door frames wasn’t that good.

Dollhouse scale drill bits

So, what do you do in times like these? Get a man to do it! Fortunately, my husband likes a challenge, especially a woodworking one. He trimmed the frame so that the doors would fit properly (Mrs Slapdash hadn’t been all that careful about that bit), and drilled out the holes for the pins.

Mini Mundus bookcase kit

Then he put the pins in place and attached the doors. He’s got a lot more patience than me!

Mini Mundus bookcase kit

Doesn’t it look fantastic in my dollhouse toy shop though? This takes up most of the back wall, and really dominates the room, which is what I wanted it to do. The dolls on it fit perfectly, and I’m so pleased with it  🙂

Mini Mundus bookcase with 1:12 dollhouse dolls

This toy shop room isn’t finished yet…but I’m getting there! For one thing, it needs a shop assistant. And the small glass-fronted display cases need some contents. And I want some 144th scale dollhouses in there too…

Mini Mundus bookcase with 1:12 dollhouse dolls

Making and collecting for a dollhouse never ends!

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