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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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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A quick cross stitch project: 1. The Spirit of Holiday Baking (a gingerbread style angel by Brookes Books)

Now that I’ve completed the Strawberry Fayre etui (which has taken me almost all of this year to complete – I started it at the end of January 2018!!), I am feeling the need to do some ‘easy ‘stitching’ for a while. So, a quick cross stitch project like this  ‘Spirit of Holiday Baking’ fits the bill perfectly, as it’s festive, and doesn’t take long to make, so it should be finished in time for Christmas.

This is a cross stitch 3D ‘angel’ type design, by Brooke Nolan of Brooke’s Books. Brooke sells an amazing range of charts for all kinds of things – many 3D, which I love to stitch. I got a set of 14 chart packs of her gorgeous figures for Christmas last year (the Christmas pixie sent good ‘prompting’ emails to my husband, in plenty of time  🙂  )

This is the haul that I got:

Brookes Books Spirit of Holiday Baking cross stitch

I’ve decided to make the one in the centre first. It has the ‘gingerbread’ theme that I like to do at Christmas. For the past few years I have been making Thea Dueck’s little buildings from her Gingerbread Village range, but this year I fancied a change.

The design is to be stitched on 14 count perforated paper – this is more like thin cardboard, and is actually quite robust. It comes in lots of colours, although for this design I only need the brown one, which is a warm gingerbready colour, fortunately!

Brookes Books Spirit of Holiday Baking cross stitch

The chart pack lists DMC thread suggestions, but I converted these to Anchor colours, as I already have a full set of Anchor threads in my stash which I use in the dollhouse needlepoint kits that I produce. I used a size 24 tapestry needle for the stitching.

Here’s my materials, ready to start (the chart itself  I have coloured in with coloured pencils, as my brain can read that better than when it’s just in black and white symbols).

I taped masking tape around the edge of the perforated paper to stop the thread from catching on the rough edges. I don’t need any kind of frame for this, so I’ll just hold it in my hand to stitch.

Brookes Books Spirit of Holiday Baking cross stitch

The instructions said to use three strands of stranded cotton when stitching. I tried a tiny sample area, and immediately decided that two strands would be OK- I really don’t like stitching with an odd number of strands for embroidery, as it means I can’t double the thread through the needle and knot it, which I prefer.

Brookes Books Spirit of Holiday Baking cross stitch

The completed figure will be about 7.5 inches high, so it’s important to start at one end of the chart, not the centre, so that the design will fit on the paper properly – this is stitched on a half sheet of the perforated paper, which is only just a bit over 8.5 inches top to bottom. When allowing a bit for the masking tape border, that doesn’t leave much leeway!

Brookes Books 7

When it’s completed, I’ll have the scary task of cutting it out right up to the stitching (cutting along the next row of holes from the stitches), but for now, it’s just easy cross stitch, which makes a drastic change from the previous  project!

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Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui 40: attaching the 3 smalls to the etui, and making beaded cords

I am currently stitching the Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui as a stitchalong project. This week, I have been attaching the 3 smalls to the etui, and making beaded cords for the scissors and ruler. See the end of this post for all the information you’ll need to join in!

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When I started this project, months ago, I read through all the instructions in the magazine itself, and on the pullout sheet, to get my head around what was needed to make this gorgeous project. But how to attach these three ‘dangleys’ had me stumped for ages, and yet they are crucial to the finished look of it. If I left them off, it would have really detracted from it. But the magazine instructions seemed really unclear to me, so I devised my own way of doing it.

I made a separate cord for each dangley, and now I’m at the part where I could join them all to the bottom tip of the etui.

I had bought a large cloisonne bead on Ebay specially, with a diameter of about 12mm, and a large hole of around 3mm, to use as the decorative feature bead at the tip of the heart etui. The large hole is really helpful now! First, thread all three cords through the cloisonne bead. Securely attach a length of green quilting thread to the bottom tip of the back heart panel, then take the needle through the neat ends of all three cords. Then secure the thread to the tip of the front heart panel and pull quite tight. Go back round – back heart, 3 cords, front heart – several times, to make sure the three cords are securely attached.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre etui

Lastly, make one knot in all three cords together, under the cloisonne bead, to hold the bead close up to the tip of the heart etui. For added security, I put a drop of Superglue inside the hole of the cloisonne bead and held the cords against it for a couple of minutes to make sure it was all held as one, just before I made the knot.

I hadn’t planned to make beaded chains for the scissors and ruler, when I first started to make the etui. I’d planned to just use twisted thread cords. But as I kept looking at the magazine’s pictures, I felt I wanted to do it like the one in the magazine! So, I bought some gold beads from Spellbound Beads, and made my own beaded chains, as per the instructions on page 57 of the magazine (more or less – I couldn’t get exactly the same beads).

I adapted it though (again!) so that I used gold coloured quilting thread instead of tiger tail for the threading, as it’s easier to manipulate, and these beaded chains don’t need to be particularly strong. I started by threading on a bead and tying a knot in the thread, then threading on the calotte crimp. This bead on the end stops the thread from slipping out of the hooked calotte crimp. Then I threaded on gold ball beads, green hex beads, and feature beads, until I’d made  a length about two inches long.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre etui

Then I looped the thread through the handle of the scissors, and, leaving a small loop of beads, went back through most of them to the hooked calotte crimp, and knotted the thread to the starting thread. I put a large drop of Superglue on the knot before cutting the thread ends short, then I closed up the calotte crimp with jewellery pliers, slipping a jump ring in the loop with  a lobster claw attached, just before closing it.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre etui

I worked out where the chain would come to on the etui once the scissors are in the pocket, and stitched another jump ring to the heart panel fabric alongside the scissor pocket, so that the lobster claw can attach there.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre etui

Then I made another beaded chain for the ruler. With this one, I attached it on the right hand side of the pocket as you look at it (rather than on the left, as the instructions suggest), as I had more space there to do it.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre etui

So, that’s it! Finished! There’ll be lots of images, and a list of Hints and Tips for doing the whole project, plus a comparison with the ‘Home Sweet Home’ project of Carolyn’s that I previously made, coming up next week…..

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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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