Tag Archives: Embroidery

Carolyn pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui 22: stitching the heart shaped pockets

I am currently stitching the Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui as a stitchalong project. I am now up to the point where I am stitching the heart shaped pockets of the etui. See the end of this post for all the information you’ll need to join in!

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There are two of these heart-shaped pockets to stitch, both exactly the same. One of them is for a pair of scissors, and one is for a bodkin. Here’s an image from the project in the Inspirations magazine:

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui scissor pocket

They are stitched using mainly the same stitches and threads as the front of the heart etui, so there isn’t much that’s ‘new’ to stitch on these – in one sense, that could be seen as not so interesting, but at least it means I can do them quicker, as I’m getting much more used to each element now, and how it should be stitched!

The curving stems are stitched in Chain Stitch using two strands of Anchor stranded cotton 266 (substitute), which is then whipped with one strand of Silk ‘n’ Color Pond Scum (substitute) – remember to always slide the needle from the inner area to the outer edge of the pocket when doing the whipping, so that the direction of your stitches matches on each side. Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

Then work Stem stitch in  Anchor 269 (substitute) along the inner edge of the stem, and another line of Stem stitch in Pond Scum round the outer edge. The little stems to the forget-me-nots are also stitched in Stem stitch with one strand of Pond Scum, too.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

The primrose flower and the forget-me-nots are stitched as on the front of the heart etui (see the blog posts for the front for videos on how to do the different stitches). I still adapted the yellow petal stitches, and worked an outer line of Stem stitch to finish the flower, rather than doing what the instructions said (a kind of buttonhole edging stitch), as I didn’t think the magazine’s instructions would work!

The leaves beneath the primrose are worked in Tied wheatear stitch for the filling, using Anchor 267 and tied with Oliver Twists shade 004, then outlined with more Oliver Twists 004. In a slight variation from the leaves on the front of the heart etui, these leaves are then outlined a second time with the fine metallic copper thread. I liked this effect more than without the copper, although it was quite fiddly to do, as these leaves are very small.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

My heart pockets are now finished, and I’m pleased with how they’ve turned out. However, I’m really looking forward to the next part, because it’s the heart-shaped pincushion, which isn’t based on something that I’ve already stitched, so it should have more novelty to it  🙂

For those of you who have been asking about my stitching set-up for working on this project, I thought I’d show you a quick picture of my floor standing Stitchmaster tapestry frame, which is set up in my conservatory at the moment (now that we have something like summer weather!).

I have to make sure that I cover up the magnifier lens if I leave the frame unattended for even a minute, so that the sun doesn’t shine through it and set my fabric on fire! You can see the magnifier, on the left, attached with a ring to the daylight lamp – the lens has a little fabric bag over it with a drawstring top, so that I can quickly cover the lens when I need to.

Instead of working from the whole Inspirations magazine issue, I have scanned just the pages for this project, printed them out, and then I clip only the relevant pages to my chart holder.

The hoop that holds my fabric is 12 inches diameter, and I find it much more comfortable (and quicker) to stitch several small pieces on one piece of fabric, then cut them apart later.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

So, my next bit of stitching is the heart near the centre of the hoop – the pincushion!

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~~~INFORMATION~~~

The Strawberry Fayre design, plus the complete list of materials, appears in Inspirations magazine number 95The publishers do sell a full materials pack  (not including the mother of pearl ruler though!), but it’s rather expensive, so if you can use your stash, and just fill in with bits and pieces, then so much the better! The magazine is published in Australia – if you live in the UK, as I do, it is cheaper to buy a back copy from Manor House Magazines, and save a lot on the shipping. 

EDIT: The materials pack from Inspirations, and the magazine from Manor House in the UK are not available any more as at March 2018 – I don’t know if any more stocks will be available now, unfortunately. The publishers may bring out a digital pattern pack later, which they sometimes do with popular projects from their magazines, but we’ll have to wait and see…..

To read about this project stitchalong from the beginning, start here. The post about which FABRIC to use is here. The post about the THREAD SUBSTITUTIONS that I made, plus WHERE TO BUY the threads and beads, etc., is here.

To look up all the posts in this series in the sidebar, see under the CATEGORIES list, under: Embroidery / Full size (others’ designs) / Strawberry Fayre heart etui, or use the SEARCH BOX at the top of the blog, and search for ‘Strawberry Fayre’ to get a list of all the posts (but it’s in reverse order, sorry!).

I’d be interested to see images of how your project is progressing – please email large, clear, well-focused images to mail@janetgranger.co.uk  Please bear in mind that any images sent may be used in this blog and/or social media such as Facebook or Pinterest.

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Are you interested in doll’s houses and stitching? Then why not visit my website, where you can buy doll’s house needlepoint kits to make all kinds of soft furnishings for one-twelfth scale dollhouses. There are over 280 kits to choose from, plus chart packs, fabric project packs, tutorials, and lots of eye candy to inspire you! Kits are available on 18 and 22 count canvas, 28 and 32 count evenweave, and 32 and 40 count silk gauze, so there’s something for everyone – from beginners to experts.

As a special offer for new customers on my website, use the code FIRST TIME 10 at the checkout to receive 10% off your first order!

Dollhouse needlepoint kits

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Miniature needlepoint for you to drool over!

Dorthe lives in Denmark, and has been a customer of my dollshouse scale needlepoint kits for many years. She often sends me pictures of her stitching progress. Here’s her latest offering, which is just gorgeous:

Needlepoint dollhouse rug design by Janet Granger

This little garden room has this ‘Prudence’ carpet centre stage, surrounded by 1:12 potted plants and cane furniture:

Needlepoint dollhouse rug design by Janet Granger

This is a room setting picture that I took a few years ago, of the same design, that I stitched when I first designed it (I always stitch one to make sure that the design ‘works’, and to check how much wool is needed for the kit packet).

Needlepoint dollhouse rug design by Janet Granger

This ‘Prudence’ rug design in 1:12 scale is available as a kit for £19.95 from my website. The kit has everything you need to make this dollhouse scale carpet  – 18 count canvas, Appleton’s crewel wool, a tapestry needle, colour block chart to count the design from (the design isn’t printed on the canvas), fine thread for the fringe, and detailed instructions. It measures 6 1/4 x 4 1/2 inches when finished. I based the design on a William Morris carpet that I saw in the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow a few years ago. The miniature needlepoint kit would make a great gift for someone who loves the miniatures hobby (whether that’s a friend, or yourself!).

I always love seeing what my customers have stitched, so if you have any pictures of the stitching you have done for your dollhouse, please send me .jpg images to janet@janetgranger.co.uk, and I could well feature them here!

There is also a section on my website where I showcase customers’ stitching, if you’d like to see more inspirational pictures of mini rooms.

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Are you interested in doll’s houses and stitching? Then why not visit my website, where you can buy doll’s house needlepoint kits to make all kinds of soft furnishings for one-twelfth scale dollhouses. There are over 280 kits to choose from, plus chart packs, fabric project packs, tutorials, and lots of eye candy to inspire you! Kits are available on 18 and 22 count canvas, 28 and 32 count evenweave, and 32 and 40 count silk gauze, so there’s something for everyone – from beginners to experts.

As a special offer for new customers on my website, use the code FIRST TIME 10 at the checkout to receive 10% off your first order!

Dollhouse needlepoint kits

Book review: A Flower Alphabet by Elisabetta Sforza

I’ve been collecting embroidery books for over 40 years. Once in a while, a really good one comes along, but not very often, these days. But this week I’m going to do a book review of a really fantastic book called ‘A Flower Alphabet’, by Elisabetta Sforza. This is one embroidery book that you’ve really just got to have!!

A Flower Alphabet by Elizabetta Sforza book review

If you have ever seen the book ‘Embroidery for all Seasons’ by Diana Lampe (published by Milner Craft in 2006), you might recognise Elisabetta’s style – she has taken Diana’s little floral motifs (with Diana’s permission), and really made them into something very different. This book is the result of many many hours of stitching, where Elisabetta has created all the letters of the alphabet in this gorgeous floral look, in so many pretty colourways that you just don’t know which one to stitch first.

(If the floral letters seem familiar, that might be because Elisabetta had an article published in Inspirations magazine in 2016, in issue 89, so if you’ve got that issue, dig it out and see what I mean about how lovely her embroidery is!)

I first heard about her book when Mary Corbet reviewed it on her Needle ‘n Thread website. Elisabetta is Italian, so Mary recommended that people in Europe contacted Elisabetta direct to purchase the book. But when I did, she said that she didn’t actually sell the book herself outside of Italy, but that it was available from Tombolo Disegni – if you’ve never visited this website (and I hadn’t), it is an amazing site, full of the most wonderful needlework threads, tools, and books.

So, I was able to order this book through them, and indulge myself a bit with some of the other things that they sold, at the same time.

You need to be aware if you’re buying from the UK, though, that shipping from italy to the UK is VERY EXPENSIVE!! It cost me 24 euros for the book, and 19 euros for the shipping. But it was worth it…..

The book is A4 sized, softback, and has 68 pages. The text is in Italian and English throughout, which is very helpful for people like me who know absolutely no Italian! The photos are gorgeous. There’s several pages explaining the stitches that Elisabetta uses to create the floral letters, general instructions, information about the threads used (mainly DMC using two strands), how to stitch particular types of flowers, and details of the two sizes of alphabet that the designs come in.

A Flower Alphabet by Elizabetta Sforza book review

Throughout the book, each double page spread has a different overall colourway, with various letters shown in close up.

A Flower Alphabet by Elizabetta Sforza book review

I love this blue and green colourway!

A Flower Alphabet by Elizabetta Sforza book review

The book is very inspirational, with many images of the letters used on various household items. There are close-up photos showing how different fabrics affect the way the finished embroideries would look, too.

A Flower Alphabet by Elizabetta Sforza book review

As well as being suitable for embroidery stitches, the floral alphabet letters can be stitched in beads, whitework, and even ribbon embroidery. Isn’t this one lovely?

A Flower Alphabet by Elizabetta Sforza book review

The last few pages of the book have line drawings of all the letters of the alphabet for you to trace off and use, in two sizes (11cm high, and 7cm high), although I reckon a tiny version about 3cm high would look good, if you stitched it in one strand of thread – but that’s just me, miniaturising everything! There are also a few shapes such as hearts done in the floral style, for more options.

This book is so unusual, that even if you never get round to stitching anything from it, it would just be good to look at. But I am already planning what I can make from it, in several colourways, types of thread, and different sizes. It’s that kind of book  🙂

Title: A Flower Alphabet by Elisabetta Sforza.

Published: October 2017.

24 euros from Tombolo Disegni in Italy.

Elisabetta’s blog is at:  elisabettaricami.blogspot.com and is well worth a visit.

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Are you interested in doll’s houses and stitching? Then why not visit my website, where you can buy doll’s house needlepoint kits to make all kinds of soft furnishings for one-twelfth scale dollhouses. There are over 280 kits to choose from, plus chart packs, fabric project packs, tutorials, and lots of eye candy to inspire you! Kits are available on 18 and 22 count canvas, 28 and 32 count evenweave, and 32 and 40 count silk gauze, so there’s something for everyone – from beginners to experts.

As a special offer for new customers on my website, use the code FIRST TIME 10 at the checkout to receive 10% off your first order!

Dollhouse needlepoint kits

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui 16: stitching the berries on the front panel

I am currently stitching the Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui as a stitchalong project. This week, I am stitching the berries on the front panel.  See the end of this post for all the information you’ll need to join in!

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

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HOW TO STITCH THE BEADED BERRIES

These gorgeous chunky little berries really make this project into something special – I’ve been looking forward to stitching these since I started making this etui! However, from the emails and comments on this blog that I’ve had over the past few weeks, these berries have caused people the most problems with this project out of all the elements, so I’ll try to address some of the issues with this blog post.

There is a slight problem with what these berries are called, for one thing. They are described as ‘strawberries’ in the Inspirations magazine’s instructions. But until I read that, I’d always thought they were raspberries. So, make your own mind up on that one!! I think that, with hindsight, the project itself was named after the ‘dangleys’ – there is definitely a strawberry on one of the cords hanging from the base of the heart. But these berries on the front panel are not like that!

This is what they start off as – little egg-shaped bits of dark red felt. I cut out 12, as eventually I’ll need twelve for the whole project, so I’ve bagged up the spares for later (when, hopefully, I’ll still be able to find them…). I had to adapt the shaping from the drawn outline of the design, as, on the drawing they have pointed tips, just like leaves.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

Then I stab-stitched three of the shapes into position on the design, using dark red sewing cotton. In the magazine instructions, people are advised to use a kind of adhesive webbing (like Bondaweb) on the TOP surface of the felt, and then, after attaching the felt to the base fabric, work Oyster Stitch through the felt and the webbing. The reasoning being, I think, that that will cut down on the ‘fluff’ of the felt getting drawn up through the Oyster stitches. But people have been telling me that that doesn’t work, and it just makes it really difficult to work the stitches through the almost ‘sticky’ layer of the webbing. I think that’s a rather strange use of a webbing fabric, and unnecessary, so I didn’t use it!

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

The surface texture of the berries is achieved by working Oyster Stitch with a bead added. I used size 11 Mill Hill seed beads 42012 dark red (substitute) while working the Oyster stitch all over the felt shapes with two strands of Silk ‘n’ Color 1055 dark red (substitute). This is a really good use of a stitch with beads added – it makes them look just like…..RASPBERRIES, NOT STRAWBERRIES!!

Mary Corbet has a video tutorial for Oyster stitch here.

How to do Oyster stitch

The only thing that I would change in her tutorial is that when making the first loop (that looks like a Twisted chain stitch), I wouldn’t try to do it in a ‘scooping motion’ with the needle – I do it in two stages, as a stabbed stitch, taking the needle to the back, and then bringing it up exactly where I want it to be and making a sort of twisted chain stitch. ‘Scooping’ the needle on the fabric at this point, when there is felt padding on the top of the fabric to get through as well means that you wouldn’t be able to take a very small ‘bite’ of the fabric, so your Oyster stitches would end up being too large for this berry. You need to make five complete stitches in a row down the length of the centre of the berry, so each Oyster stitch needs to be about 3/16 of an inch long in total to fit five in. That can only be achieved by stab stitching the first twisted chain stitch shape, IMO! That’s the secret to getting these small textural stitches to fill the space properly.

You also need to remember to thread the bead on before you start each stitch, and then after making the first twisted chain stitch shape, push the bead up to the top of the stitch with your needle, just about to the point where you are going to take the needle behind the loop from right to left, underneath where the bead now sits. This will make the bead sit high on the completed stitch. Then make the final ‘chain stitch’ shape around the outside of the twisted chain stitch and bead combination, and catch that loop down to finish the Oyster Stitch.

With the centre berry, I did the stitches as the instructions recommended – a row of five down the centre, then three each side at the edges (left side first), then filled in the spaces in between with more stitches. It came out like this:

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

With the berry on the left, I altered that slightly, and worked the row of three down the right hand edge first, then the centre row, then the left hand row, to see if it made it any easier to get the needle under the loops when completing the stitches, but it didn’t make much difference to the ease of completion, and I felt that this berry ended up looking too ‘regimented’, with the beads in obvious rows.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

So, with the berry on the right, I started filling in from the top of the berry, not doing any of it in rows, but just sort of ‘flood filling’ with stitches. Out of the three techniques, I think I like the centre berry the best, although it was tricky to do.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

HOW TO STITCH THE NEEDLELACE SEPALS FOR THE BERRIES

Each berry has three sepals made from needlewoven picots. One of my blog readers, called Jeanette, has given me a tip which would have made stitching these a lot easier – she said to fix a plastic A4 pocket tightly up to the base of the berry, and temporarily tape the plastic to the edge of your hoop before putting in the ‘locating pin’ for each picot, so that when you are stitching the picots, the needle has a shiny base to slide across, instead of the base fabric and surrounding stitches, which can easily get caught in your needle.

Another blog reader said that she had so much trouble stitching the picots *after* the berries, that she unpicked the berries, and then started again, stitching the picots first, and then re-stitching the berries! So, that’s another option.

This is Mary Corbet’s really good video on how to make the picots.

How to stitch a Needlewoven picot

I stitched mine using one strand of Anchor 268 Dark green. I used a dressmaking pin as a locating pin to set the length of the picot.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

With the centre berry, I found that once I’d worked the picots, the berry looked as if it was ‘floating’, as the design drawing didn’t have a stem to that berry. So I stitched one in the same style as the other two berries, but it was tricky to do after the picots had been stitched as they got in the way, and it looks a bit obvious now, I think.

Each berry has four Lazy daisy stitches worked underneath the needlewoven picots to give depth (make sure you stitch these after the picots, or you’ll keep catching your needle in them as you weave the picots), with one stitch in copper thread added too to give highlights. Then the picots are stitched down with a one strand of the same shade of green, with a bit of a twist to each one (not flat to the fabric). That bit made a lot of difference to the finished look.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

So, here’s my finished berries:

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

I’m really pleased with how these RASPBERRIES turned out!

THE COMPLETED FRONT PANEL

This is the panel, now it is completely stitched (except for the Dorset button, which will go in the space in the centre, once it’s all been assembled). Although I’ve had to fiddle with several design elements, I’m pleased with this. The back panel should be easy to do now, and a lot quicker, as it repeats many elements from this front one. I’m also pleased, on the whole, with my thread substitutions, despite some of the green shades looking too similar to each other. Mostly, this panel has been stitched with Anchor stranded cotton thread. The carnation flower on the left doesn’t look quite so out of position now that more embroidery around it distracts the  eye somewhat. But it is still in the wrong place, due to a badly drawn design, and I wish I’d noticed before I traced it like that!

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

Seen sideways on, you can appreciate the texture of this piece of embroidery, which I love  🙂

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

NOW IT’S OVER TO YOU!

I’d love to see pictures of your embroidered panels, so please send your images to janet@janetgranger.co.uk , before 11th April 2018. That’s not long!!

I’d really like next week’s blog post to feature some pictures of your Strawberry Fayre panels, even if you haven’t completed them yet! Just send me a clear image of the whole panel, or just a detail, or an angled side view. Images need to be in .jpg format, well lit and in focus, and as large as possible, file-size-wise, please! Please bear in mind that any images sent in might be used by me on Facebook or other social media. I’m sure other people would love to see your stitching  🙂  I’ll try to use as many as possible……

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~~~INFORMATION~~~

The Strawberry Fayre design, plus the complete list of materials, appears in Inspirations magazine number 95The publishers do sell a full materials pack  (not including the mother of pearl ruler though!), but it’s rather expensive, so if you can use your stash, and just fill in with bits and pieces, then so much the better! The magazine is published in Australia – if you live in the UK, as I do, it is cheaper to buy a back copy from Manor House Magazines, and save a lot on the shipping. 

To read about this project stitchalong from the beginning, start here. The post about which FABRIC to use is here. The post about the THREAD SUBSTITUTIONS that I made, plus WHERE TO BUY the threads and beads, etc., is here.

To look up all the posts in this series in the sidebar, see under the CATEGORIES list, under: Embroidery / Full size (others’ designs) / Strawberry Fayre heart etui, or use the SEARCH BOX at the top of the blog, and search for ‘Strawberry Fayre’ to get a list of all the posts (but it’s in reverse order, sorry!).

I’d be interested to see images of how your project is progressing – please email large, clear, well-focused images to mail@janetgranger.co.uk  Please bear in mind that any images sent may be used in this blog and/or social media such as Facebook or Pinterest.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Are you interested in doll’s houses and stitching? Then why not visit my website, where you can buy doll’s house needlepoint kits to make all kinds of soft furnishings for one-twelfth scale dollhouses. There are over 280 kits to choose from, plus chart packs, fabric project packs, tutorials, and lots of eye candy to inspire you! Kits are available on 18 and 22 count canvas, 28 and 32 count evenweave, and 32 and 40 count silk gauze, so there’s something for everyone – from beginners to experts.

As a special offer for new customers on my website, use the code FIRST TIME 10 at the checkout to receive 10% off your first order!

Dollhouse needlepoint kits