Little House Needleworks ABC Samplers – 3 – finishing the other 8 pincushions in the series

These little cross stitch pincushion ‘smalls’ from Little House Needleworks are so sweet, and were really fun to do! They are a great project for when I’m travelling about, as each one is small and portable, and I can stitch them using just an eight inch hoop to put the fabric in, rather than a rectangular frame. There’s nine in the series, covering the whole alphabet.

ABC samplers - Little House Needleworks pincushions

This is the first one that I completed a couple of months ago. It’s four inches square, when finished.

ABC samplers Little House Needleworks pincushion

I’ve been stitching these in a hoop, using cotton sheeting to make the fabric piece large enough to hoop up, without wasting the 32 count linen fabric.

ABC samplers Little House Needleworks pincushion

I think I like these three designs the best:

ABC samplers Little House Needleworks pincushion

When they were all stitched, I raided my patchwork fabric stash to choose cotton for the back of each pincushion, and co-ordinated mini pom pom trim that I bought from xJudesign on Etsy.

ABC samplers Little House Needleworks pincushion

Once they were all finished, I decided to display them in this little wicker basket with a cotton lining, that I found in a charity shop:

ABC samplers Little House Needleworks pincushion

I love stitching little houses, so this was kind of ‘binge overload’ – I need to stitch something completely different, now, I think!

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Hands to work, hearts to God: 2 – finishing the cross stitch design as a ‘stand-up’

This is the small cross stitch design ‘Hands to work, hearts to God’ which I’m stitching from a Little House Needleworks chart.

Now that I’ve completed the stitching, I’m finishing it as a ‘stand-up’. I bought some Oasis floral foam to make the block. I couldn’t get one block large enough, so I bought two, cut them down to make the correct size of 7 x 7 x 2.5 inches in total (with a bread knife – easy!) and taped them together to make one piece.

To make the front and back look very flat, I cut two pieces of mount board, 7 x 7 inches, and stuck a piece of 2 ounce wadding on each board with double sided tape, to make the front and back of the stand-up slightly padded, and also to disguise the join in the floral foam. I won’t be sticking any pins into the front or back panels, so that works!

Hands to work hearts to God stand up cross stitch

I did take process photos of the next few stages, but unfortunately my camera and my computer had an argument, and the photos got deleted in the process of uploading them 😦

Anyway, what I did was to use dressmaking pins to pin the cross stitched piece, trimmed one inch larger all round than the foam block, to the sides of the block, folding the corners neatly to reduce bulk, and pulling the fabric square and taut as I went.

I found that it was easier to use quilting pins with a pearlised bead top to them first, so that they were very visible and easy to re-position, and then once the fabric was exactly how I wanted it, I replaced those with small dressmaking pins.

Hands to work hearts to God stand up cross stitch

I chose a pretty red cotton fabric from my patchwork stash for the sides and back of the block. The back piece I cut to the same size as the cross stitched front, and pinned it on in the same way.

Hands to work hearts to God stand up cross stitch

The sides were covered by cutting a long strip of the red fabric, the width of the block plus two inches, and the total length of the four sides plus two inches. I ironed the excess to the back of the strip, so that when pinned onto the block, the red fabric comes just up to the edges both back and front. The overlap (about half an inch when trimmed) is at the centre bottom.

Hands to work hearts to God stand up cross stitch

Then I pinned on a long length of organza ribbon with a wired edge, making sure there was enough left to manipulate it into a double bow shape at the top. I didn’t use many pins here – just enough to stop it slipping on the block. The pins all blended in to the fabric, so they hardly showed when it was finished. Using wire edge ribbon meant that I could manipulate the ribbon to look ‘larger’ than if I’d just used ordinary ribbon, which might have sagged, with time.

Hands to work hearts to God stand up cross stitch

I’d planned to add large buttons or beads for feet, and pin those on too, but once I got it to this stage, it looked finished to me, so I left it at that. I’m really pleased with this! Nice, isn’t it?

Hands to work hearts to God stand up cross stitch

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Hands to work, hearts to God: 1 – a small cross stitch project from Little House Needleworks

I’ve been hunting for a nice cross stitch version of the phrase ‘Hands to work, hearts to God’ for ages. Recently, I came across this one from Little House Needleworks. It’s a chart (not a full kit), and I bought mine from Peakside Needleworks in the UK. It’s about seven inches square when completed.

Hands to work hearts to God stand up cross stitch

As this is a small chart, I thought I’d raid my stash for suitable colours, as I wouldn’t need much of anything to be able to complete this. I used mainly Silk ‘n’ Colors and Cascade House threads. I chose Zweigart 28 count ‘Platinum’ shade for the fabric.

Hands to work hearts to God stand up cross stitch

This is how I work from a black and white symbol chart. I colour in the squares in very obvious colours (not necessarily realistic ones) so that it is easy to see shade differences between colours that are next to each other. I also stick pieces of the actual thread next to each symbol on the colour key, as a reminder of which thread to use, as well as writing the thread name on (especially when I am substituting colours).

Hands to work hearts to God stand up cross stitch

It’s a lovely early American ‘naive’ design, which doesn’t take long to stitch. Those little black and white blobs are surprisingly effective sheep!

Hands to work hearts to God stand up cross stitch

This took just a week – and it’s ALMOST complete! Just a little bit more of the bottom border to do.

Hands to work hearts to God stand up cross stitch

So, the next bit to do is to mount it – and this time, I want to make a ‘stand-up’ rather than frame it.

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Little House Needleworks ABC Samplers – 2 – how to finish a pincushion with pom pom trim

This little cross stitch pincushion ‘small’ from Little House Needleworks is so cute!

I decided to do the finishing for the pincushion with mini pom pom trim that I bought from xJudesign on Etsy. It comes in several colours, so I’ve bought a metre of half a dozen shades, to give me some choice as I make all nine in this series. The shade I’ve chosen for this one is ‘Dark Cocoa’. Each pincushion needs a bit less than half a metre to complete the pincushion as a 4 1/2 inch square.

ABC sampler pincushions by Little House Needleworks

I first trimmed  the evenweave fabric to 5 1/2 inches square (from 6 inches square originally). I made an interlining template that was 4 1/2 inches square, so that when I positioned it on the front of the stitching, I could just about see through it to check if I’d centred it on the stitching. Then I pinned it in place and tacked around the edge, to mark the stitching line, then removed the interlining template.

ABC sampler pincushions by Little House Needleworks

This shows the tacked line, once I’d removed the interlining template.

ABC sampler pincushions by Little House Needleworks

I pinned the braided side of the pom pom trim exactly along the stitching line, leaving about 1/8th of an inch of braid within the tacked line, so that the pom poms wouldn’t get caught in the seam when I stitched along it.

ABC sampler pincushions by Little House Needleworks

I also made curves at the corners with the trim rather than tight 90 degree angles. I overlapped the trim by one pom pom, and then trimmed one of the overlapped ones off at the end, after I’d stitched the pincushion seam completely. It helps to make sure that the overlap of the trim will not be in the gap where you will be turning the pincushion through, or at a corner, so I made my overlap about an inch away from one corner.

ABC sampler pincushions by Little House Needleworks

Then, right sides facing, I tacked the front and back pieces of the pincushion fabrics together, leaving a two inch gap along the bottom edge for turning.

ABC sampler pincushions by Little House Needleworks

I trimmed the seam allowances so that they were off-set a bit, to cut down on bulk, and cut diagonally across the corners too.

ABC sampler pincushions by Little House Needleworks

Then I backstitched round the edge along my tacked line. I did it all by hand because I don’t really like machine stitching, and I felt I could have easily ‘run over a bobble’ with a machine!!

Then I turned the pincushion right side out, and stuffed it with polyester wadding. I stuffed it quite hard, poking the stuffing into the corners with a pencil so that the corners didn’t crinkle up later.

When stitching the opening shut, I did it in two passes, stitching each fabric piece to the braid of the pom pom trim one at a time with a slip stitch, rather than trying to stitch the two fabrics together with a stab stitch through the pom pom braid.

I only removed tacking where it showed, which was only in one or two places, as it helps strengthen the seam.

This is the completed pincushion – I’m really thrilled with this!!

ABC sampler pincushions by Little House Needleworks

This is the back – the fabric looks great with this dark brown trim.

ABC sampler pincushions by Little House Needleworks

Now that I’ve completed the first one, I’ve just got the other eight to do  🙂  They are great projects to work on in between bigger ones, as I get something finished in just a few days.

Cute, isn’t it? And I don’t even use pincushions……

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