A quick cross stitch project: 3. The Spirit of Holiday Baking (a gingerbread style angel by Brookes Books)

I was determined to get this Spirit of Holiday Baking 3D figure from Brookes Books finished in time to display for Christmas (THIS Christmas, I mean!), and I’ve just about managed it.

This is the second half sheet of perforated paper with  the ‘accessories’ and wings for the angel cross stitched, back stitched, and all the beads sewn on.

Brookes Books Spirit of Holiday Baking cross stitch angel

Then comes the scary bit! You have to cut each piece out, one row of holes away from the stitching, all the way round. This is where you realise that it’s very important, if there is a part of the design where there is a ‘sharp angle’, that you didn’t take the thread across the back across the unstitched gap – because then, when you get to this stage, you’d be cutting through that long thread, and making your design unravel!

Brookes Books Spirit of Holiday Baking cross stitch angel

These are all the pieces, ready to assemble with glue dots and a few judicious stitches in a matching thread to hold everything together. This reminds me of those paper dolls that I had when I was little, with the little tabs on the edges so that you could ‘hang’ different items on the main doll to make different outfits.

Brookes Books Spirit of Holiday Baking cross stitch angel

Assembled!! Didn’t take long, as glue dots don’t need time to dry, unlike tacky glue, which can get a bit messy. From this angle, you can see that the beads really add interest. The layering of the pieces is a simple idea, but really clever, and adds to the cuteness of this project.

Brookes Books Spirit of Holiday Baking cross stitch angel

Finished (just)! I need to add a mount board bracket at the back so that she can stand up unaided, but she’s near enough finished  🙂

Brookes Books Spirit of Holiday Baking cross stitch angel

Isn’t she lovely? I’ll definitely be making more from this series, as I have a bundle of over a dozen chart packs for these ‘angels’. I find they are really good projects to take when I’m travelling, as they don’t need to be done in a hoop (in fact, they can’t be, as they are on paper), the holes in the 14 count paper are quite large, so I don’t need a magnifier, and there aren’t too many colours, so it’s easy to pick it up and put it down without getting confused about where I am in the design. Well worth having a go. Visit Brooke’s Etsy shop  if you’d like to buy any of her lovely chart packs.

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needle minders, needle holder, pin keep, sampler, cross stitch, magnetic needle holder

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A quick cross stitch project: 2. The Spirit of Holiday Baking (a gingerbread style angel by Brookes Books)

I’m trying to get this quick cross stitch project called ‘The Spirit of Holiday Baking’ by Brookes Books stitched in time for Christmas, as I want to display it along with the gingerbread village buildings from Victoria Sampler that I’ve made before (not that they’re in the same kind of scale, but I just like gingerbread things!).

The design itself is quite simple, but deceptively so – the shading is good, considering there aren’t a huge number of thread colours in the design. But the area to be stitched (in a couple of weeks. Yikes!) just for the main ‘angel’ is about three inches by eight, on 14 count perforated paper, and I’m really busy with posting out Christmas orders of my embroidery kits at this time of year, so I haven’t got much ‘free time’ for stitching.

Brookes Books Spirit of Holiday Baking cross stitch angel

But whenever I get a minute, I put a few stitches in, and it’s growing….

There are two main sheets of designs. One is the angel herself, with a few ‘accessories’ on the spare paper around her (which will be cut out later and assembled into one piece). I’ve finished that bit now – adding the beads really makes it look special. The bare patch on the front of her apron is for a pocket to be appliqued later. She has a cute beaded flower on her hat.

Brookes Books Spirit of Holiday Baking cross stitch angel

Now I’m doing the second sheet, which is for little gingerbread pieces, and the angels wings. Aren’t these looking great?

Brookes Books Spirit of Holiday Baking cross stitch angel

I’ve just got the wings to complete, then I can start to put it all together, so it should actually be finished in time for Christmas.

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needle minders, needle holder, pin keep, sampler, cross stitch, magnetic needle holder

What I got for Christmas 2017….. stitching goodies again!

I always ask ‘Santa’ for something stitching-related for Christmas, and this year was no exception. We have a very good system in our house, where ‘Christmas elves’ very helpfully email the present-buyer well in advance of Christmas, with a nice list of possibles that the recipient might like! That way, everyone’s happy on Christmas Day!

So, what I got this year was a fabulous set of 14 cross stitch charts to make stand-up Spirit Angels, designed by Brooke Nolan of Brooke’s Books Publishing. Her designs are gorgeous, and I’ve had my eye on them for ages. These are free-standing figures, about seven inches high, to be stitched on perforated paper in various colours, and then ‘accessories’ which have also been stitched on paper are attached afterwards, to make really interesting projects.

I found Brooke’s designs on Etsy.  She has a huge range of all kinds of designs – well worth a look. Some are hard copy charts, and some are digital downloads. Originally, I’d thought to have just a few of the Spirit Angels, but Brooke is currently running a bulk discount offer, where you can get all 14 designs in the series at nearly two thirds off! Who could resist that, even for a Christmas present?!

This is what you get in each chart pack – a large colour photo of the finished design, detailed instructions, and the chart to stitch from (including a version for if you wanted to just stitch it on normal fabric such as 14 count Aida, and not make one on perforated paper with the accessories added on afterwards as separate pieces). Materials needed are listed  – you’d need DMC stranded threads, and 14 count perforated paper, plus some seed beads and sometimes fine Kreinik braids or DMC Memory Thread. The materials are interesting, but not expensive, which I liked.

I also got some of the perforated paper packs. These are made by Mill Hill. Brown is used the most (for the bodies of the angels), plus gold, silver, white and cream for the accessories and wings. In the UK, Sew and So is the best place to buy this. Each pack contains two pieces of A4 sized sheets. Half a sheet is enough for the main body of each Spirit Angel, plus usually another half sheet of various colours in total for the accessories.

Although it’s called ‘paper’, it is quite thick – almost like a thin cardboard. And the holes are quite large and robust-looking, so as long as you don’t pull a thread through really hard and split the paper, it should be quite easy to stitch on (never stitched on perforated paper before though!).

Although they are all lovely, and hopefully I’ll stitch them all one day, after much deliberation I have narrowed it down to these three being my favourites:

I’m just finishing off another quick cross stitch project (more on that next week), but hopefully it won’t be too long before I can get stuck into making one of these beauties!

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