Tag Archives: Embroidery

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui 10: stitching the lily on the right

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

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This week I have been stitching the large lily flower on the right hand side of the front heart panel.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

CHANGES TO THE THREADS USED

If you are stitching this along with me, using my substitute list of threads, then you need to be aware that I am already deviating from the list! I found that this flower needed more pinks, and fewer orangey-pinks (and I hate orange with pink anyway, so I can hardly bring myself to stitch with orange and pink together!).

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?

Several people have mentioned that they aren’t stitching this project at the same speed as me – that’s fine though! Some people have stitched waaaay ahead of me already, and some people don’t have the time at the moment to keep up with what I’m doing. Just do it at your own pace, really, and check out my blog posts when you want to read how I did things. As I said at the beginning, this is supposed to be fun!

STITCHING THE LILY PETALS

The lily flower is the large pink one on the right of the front panel. The first pair of petals at the top of the flower are stitched in Vandyke stitch, using two strands of Anchor 55 substitute, and a tapestry needle (I used a size 26). You need a needle with a blunt tip for this stitch, so that you don’t pierce the fabric when you take the scooping stitch from right to left. See this video for Vandyke Stitch from Mary Corbet’s Needle ‘N Thread website for how to do the stitch.

How to do vandyke stitch

When it’s completed, it looks like a row of chain stitches with lines out each side. It’s a simple and quick stitch to do. Although I used two strands, I think it might have looked better with just one.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

The next pair of petals are first covered with Satin stitch using two strands of Anchor 62 substitute and a betweens needle, ‘worked down the length of the petal’ as the instructions said, which I took to mean like this:

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

Then, five Fly stitches are worked over the top of the Satin stitch, adding a size 15 bead (1606 Dyed semi-transparent rose, from Spellbound Beads) each time, just before you complete the vertical tying down stitch. I used a paler bead than the design calls for, as I wanted a more subtle look.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

The third pair of petals also are covered with Satin stitch, but this time the direction of the stitches follows the curve of the petal. As this is quite a sharp angle at times, I found I needed to make four or five ‘compensation stitches’ (three quarters the width, rather than the whole width) on each petal, to fill in on the wider curves.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

Then the pretty bit – Latttice couching on top of the Satin stitch, with two strands of Anchor 77 substitute in one direction, and one strand of the metallic copper in the other direction, held down with one strand of Anchor 62 pink.  To do this neatly, it helps to place the threads that cross over at the most crucial point *first*, and then work out from there – on these petals, that’s the innermost part of the tight inner curves, where the lattice threads only just touch. And make sure that the angles of the couching threads mirror each other, as far as possible, on each side. This is where I noticed that the design was badly drawn (again), and the inner curve of these two petals varies on either side.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

With the next part, I hit a problem. The Instructions call for Cable Plait stitch, but when I read up on how to do it in the magazine, it didn’t seem as if that was going to work, as it is a kind of wide braided stitch, and the area to be covered is just a line, and a thin line at that. So, I decided to use Coral stitch instead, which kind of looks the same, but is far easier to do, and fits the space!

This is how to do Coral Stitch.

How to do Coral stitch

I used a darker pink than the instructions said to use, as I felt my flower was becoming too insipid (Anchor 1028 substitute). At this point, I also filled in, with the metallic copper using Straight stitch, on the upper petals.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

STITCHING THE CALYX

The calyx is stitched in just two colours: Anchor 265 substitute first, by outlining in Split stitch in one strand, then padding using Chain stitches laid head to tail within the Split stitch outline, and then covering all of that with Satin stitch in one strand. Then Lattice couching, tying down threads and outlining all in Oliver Twists Fine Cotton, shade 004 substitute. I was more pleased with how this calyx turned out than I was for the one for the carnation flower.

STITCHING THE LARGE CENTRE STAMEN

The centre large stamen is supposed to be made from looped bullion knots. For these, you need a Milliners needle (but not a really long one, as that makes the bullions more difficult to complete) – these are almost the same diameter from eye to point, so they are really good for making even, tightly wrapped bullions. It helps to stitch each bullion, then finish off your thread, and start again for the next one. That seems unnecessary, until one of them goes wrong…..you don’t want the previous bullion thread to not be anchored properly on the back of your work in that case, so it’s worth working each one individually. Note: these bullions are looonngg!! Practice first, so that you can make them neatly. They need to stand proud of the fabric, in a small loop, so the ‘bite’ of fabric that you take needs to be small. Also, remove the fabric from the hoop while you make these bullions, as it helps to be able to manipulate the fabric a bit while you push the needle upwards while you wrap the thread around the needle. Mary Corbet has a good written description, and then a video tutorial, here on her Needle ‘N Thread website.

However….I absolutely LOATHE doing bullion knots. I have a phobia about maggots, and to me, bullions look just like maggots. So, I decided to do the centre stamen like this: I stitched one chain stitch at the very top of the lily in Anchor 55 substitute, then four loose Fly stitches in a line above it, quite tightly placed above the previous stitches, curving to the left. Then I whipped the outside edges of the line of stitches with a pale pink Anchor 73, to make it all look a bit more solid. Much easier, and less maggot-like!!

The remaining stamens are in Pistil stitch (like a French knot on a stick), using the metallic copper thread. Mary Corbet has a good tutorial here.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

That’s it! Finished the lily! How did your one go?

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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!).

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

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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Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui 7: Let’s get started!!

OK, so back in the autumn, I promised you that in January 2018, we would start a stitchalong of the Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui. And now it’s January, and I’m ready (just!!), so let’s get started! This is what we’re going to be making:

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

I haven’t had a stitchalong on my blog before, so it’s going to be slightly different from the other projects that I have written about as I’ve been stitching them – with this one, hopefully there will be more interaction from all you lovely people, and I can respond to questions, etc., if you post comments each time. Occasionally, I’ll be asking you to send me images of your progress, so that we can all have a look!

Before we actually get started, I want to explain something:

THE RULES!!

Yes, there are rules! But only a few…

  1. It’s supposed to be fun! This is not a test, so whatever skill level you are at, just relax into it, and have a go, and enjoy the process.
  2. I am not selling anything here! This is not my design – it’s by the very talented Australian designer, Carolyn Pearce. The design appeared in Inspirations magazine number 95, in Autumn 2017, and I am simply stitching that design and sharing how I do that, as I love it. I do not sell the magazines, the materials packs, the fabric, or anything else, so please don’t ask me  🙂  See the end of this post for where to buy the stuff.
  3.  Although I will try to post regularly, this blog is more for me to write about stitching as my hobby rather than a business (although I do sell dollhouse needlepoint kits, if you’re interested in those), so if there is a break of a couple of weeks, or I post about something else sometimes, don’t be grumpy with me – we’ll get back on track soon, honest.
  4.  I have no idea how long this project will take – but I estimate it will be several months. If you can’t keep up in ‘real time’, don’t worry – the posts will be here as an archive for you to come back to and work through at your own pace later.
  5.  PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, if you decide to participate in the stitchalong (even if you start later than January 2018), comment below and tell me your name and which country you are from, and a bit about yourself. I would love to know how many people are stitching this, and where you are all from!

ORDER OF STITCHING

I’ll be stitching the etui in the order that it’s set out in Inspirations magazine, as Carolyn’s instructions are so well-organised, it wouldn’t make sense to do it differently.  I’ll try to list my variations / substitutions as I go. So, I’ll be stitching the front and back hearts, then the inside pockets and smalls, then what I call the ‘dangleys’ – the three 3D items that hang from the bottom of the heart – then the assembly.

BEFORE YOU BEGIN

This project is not particularly difficult, but it is detailed, so make sure you read through all of the project information in the magazine, as well as on the pullout sheet, before you begin, so that you are familiar with what will be needed, and the order of stitching and assembly.

I find that it’s easier to scan in the relevant project pages from the magazine and print them out in colour, then use them a page at a time as I’m stitching, rather than trying to manhandle the whole magazine all the time.

CUTTING OUT THE FABRIC

The instructions say to cut out all the fabric pieces from the 20 x 55 inch piece of cotton/linen blend fabric before you begin. (My fabric was 20 x 45 instead, and yet I had just about enough.)  There are 8 heart-shaped pieces in total to make up the etui, and six of them have embroidery on. The pockets and ‘smalls’ are made from the same fabric as the outside of the etui, and the pull-out instruction sheet has a cutting layout guide for each type of fabric used in this project (including wadding, template plastic, etc.).

The only change I’ll be making to the cotton/linen blend fabric cutting layout is that they suggest stitching several of the smallest pieces on one piece of fabric measuring 10 x 14 inches. I don’t like doing it this way on such a large rectangular piece of fabric, as it means moving my hoop around on stitching I’ve already worked, which can crush stitches. So, instead, I cut templates for each of the pieces from interlining as Carolyn suggests, then laid them on a piece of fabric that would definitely fit in one hoop (my largest hoop is 12 inches diameter), making sure that I left enough of a seam allowance around each template. That meant that the ‘cutting layout’ ended up being a bit of a different shape to the one on the pullout sheet, but everything fitted, eventually.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

I then tacked around each template to transfer the shape outline, then removed the templates.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

There are a few pieces that need to be cut from the embroidery fabric to make the linings and so on for the pockets – the patterns for these can be transferred using the same interlining template pieces, but using just scraps of fabric, as they are not embroidered later, so the fabric doesn’t need to be large enough to fit in a hoop. Just make sure that you leave about 5/8 inch seam allowance between pieces.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

The instructions suggest using quilter’s muslin to back each of the cotton/linen blend pieces in the hoop that you will be embroidering later – polycotton sheeting is a good alternative, if you don’t have the muslin.

THE ‘WINDOW METHOD’

I mount most of my fabrics in hoops, in what I call cotton fabric ‘windows’, to save wasting the cotton/linen blend fabric, and so that I can use large hoops to do the embroidery, as that is more comfortable for me. To do this, I cut a paper template first to the size of the fabric for what I’m going to stitch, then place it on my embroidery fabric and allow about an inch all round, then cut the fabric out in a square or rectangular shape. Then I take a large piece of cotton fabric (leftover from my dressmaking stash, or old sheeting – anything strong but non-stretchy will do. Men’s handkerchiefs are good!), and centring the embroidery fabric on the cotton one, tack the embroidery fabric half an inch in from its edge, matching grain lines of both fabrics.

Then I carefully cut away the cotton fabric from the centre (from the reverse side), leaving the embroidery fabric with a ‘window frame ‘ of cotton around it. This makes it much easier to mount in the hoop, and saves wasting a lot of the ‘posh’ fabric. The ‘windows’ can be used indefinitely – I have a huge stash of them of various sizes, from previous projects, with the dimensions marked in the top right-hand corners, to make finding one of the correct size quicker! For this project, I cut the window fabric 16 by 16 inches, as I’ll be using a 10 inch hoop.

With this project, the fabric we’ll be embroidering is actually two layers each time, due to the backing of quilter’s muslin. To deal with two layers with this method, I simply tack the backing fabric to the embroidery fabric after having transferred the design, and before I fix it into its ‘window’, and proceed with the double layered fabrics being treated as one. It’s simpler to do than to explain, honest!!

TRANSFERRING THE DESIGN

So, using one of the 10 x 10 inch fabric pieces,  and before backing it with muslin or placing it in its ‘window’, I traced a heart shape from the pullout sheet onto medium interfacing, pinned it to the fabric, and tacked around the edge to transfer the shape without having to draw on the fabric.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

Six of the eight heart shaped pieces will be embroidered, so I made six of these.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

To transfer the details of the design of the heart and the smaller pieces, I used a light box, and first traced the design from the pullout sheet onto dressmaker’s tracing paper with a Staedtler Triplus Fineliner in black.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

Then I taped the tracing to the light box, placed the fabric on top and taped it in place with masking tape, and drew over the tracing lines with a sharp pencil (not a permanent brown pen, as they suggest in the magazine, as that’s far too scary!! As long as the fabric doesn’t get rubbed too much while you’re stitching, pencil will be fine).

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

As you’re transferring the design, occasionally turn the light of the light box off, and check that you have transferred every line, and that your tracing lines are showing up properly. It’s easy to miss one, and better to correct it now, while the fabric is on the light box. Place the pullout sheet with the tracing designs next to the light box as you trace, so that if you’re not sure where a line should go, you can check the original without lifting the fabric off the light box.

Note: On the main front heart design, there is a stem line missing on the lower left hand side, but it’s easy to see where it should be, as it mirrors the one on the right!

[EDIT: I noticed, after starting to stitch the carnation on the left, that the design on the pullout sheet doesn’t have the carnation placed correctly – it is too far over to the right, so it is too close to the swirling stem. Try to adjust for this as you make your tracing!! ]

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

Once the design was transferred, I could then back it with the muslin, tacking around the previous line of tacking half an inch away to prevent the two fabrics slipping/bagging, and also around the very edges of the fabric ‘sandwich’. It’s helpful to use a different shade of sewing thread to do this, so that it’s clear which is the heart outline, and which is the tacking thread for the two fabrics, to prevent nasty cutting mistakes later on….

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

Then it could be mounted in its ‘window’, and the cotton backing carefully cut away from the reverse side. Then the whole lot could be mounted in a hoop. I’m using a ten inch hoop for the large hearts, and a twelve inch hoop for the fabric piece with all the smalls on.

OTHER FABRIC PREPARATION

Although it can seem tedious, I find it is better to cut out all of the fabric, interlining, wadding and plastic stiffener pieces now, at the beginning, and store them in resealable plastic bags, with a note on to identify things. This took me all of one Saturday….!

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

There are cutting layouts on the pullout sheet for the interlining, quilters template plastic and wadding which can all be cut now and stored. It will make the assembly later a much less messy process, and far quicker. OK, so it’s boring. But you know it makes sense  🙂

After all that, we should be ready to start stitching…. with these!!!!!

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry fayre heart etui

Now, that’s much more interesting, isn’t it? Lovely colourful threads, dinky little beads, grosgrain ribbon, metallics….. now we can actually get started!!

Comment below if you’re going to be joining in with this…..

~~~~~~~~~~~~~  ***  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~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!).

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

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

Dollhouse inspiration – stitching in miniature to see!

I often get customers of mine emailing me with photos of the stitching that they have made from my miniature needlepoint kits for 1:12 scale dollhouses and room settings. I love to see what people do with the kits that they buy from me! Before Christmas, I had several people send me pictures, and I didn’t get time to feature them here, so this blog post is a bit of a round-up of wonderful dollhouse inspiration – both the stitching, and the incredibly creative ways that they have decorated their dollhouses. Have a look at these!

Susan E. sent me this image of six copies of the blackwork sampler design which was featured in Dolls House and Miniature Scene magazine as a project (that’s my article that you can see underneath her fabric!), back in the autumn of 2017. She was making multiples of the design in order to give them as gifts in a ‘swop’ that her craft club were going to have just before Christmas. The design itself is also available as a kit, to be stitched on 28 count evenweave fabric, with one strand of Anchor thread. I think she has a lot of patience to do so many multiples of the same design!

She then sent me another image nearer to Christmas, after she had framed ALL TEN of the samplers she had stitched by then! They look amazing once they’ve been framed, don’t they? I particularly like the ones with the gold frames.

Annette J. has been a customer of mine for years, and has stitched lots of my dollhouse needlepoint designs, but even I was surprised by this picture that she sent me – I hadn’t realised how many of my Christmas stocking designs she had previously bought! These are all stitched on 40 count silk gauze. Don’t they look great together?

Another customer, Zanna B., sent me this image of a stocking as well, but this one has been personalised by her – it’s the Snowy Village dollhouse stocking design, which she has added lettering to, across the top – not easy to do, at this scale, and still have it readable (as the stocking is only 1.25 inches high when finished), but Zanna has managed it! She used the alphabet provided in one of my sampler kits (very resourceful!) to add the name of her grand-daughter to the stocking.

Sylvia B. adapted the Two Owls firescreen design to suit her dollhouse, which she is decorating to resemble her full sized cottage. She framed her firescreen with a wooden frame (whereas the kit that I sell usually has a metal frame) so that it would be authentic for her dollhouse. The firescreen design is stitched on 32 count silk gauze. The little firescreen is standing on a Carole pastel carpet, and there are two cushions on the sofa which she has also stitched. It’s a very cosy room!

Finally, Kath C. sent me these images of her dollhouse. She first stitched a staircarpet (the Carole jade design), and then made a hall runner to match, using parts of that design in her own way, to make a really beautiful long thin carpet.

In her dollhouse nursery, she has a Carole pastel carpet. I love the jigsaw on the table in the foreground!

In the entrance hallway, she has also stitched the Alison (charcoal colourway) carpet, which looks really good on the tiled floor.

I really love seeing how people use my designs in their dollhouses, so if you have made something from a kit or chart of mine, please email me pictures to janet@janetgranger.co.uk , and I might feature it on my blog at some point  🙂

I also have a section on my website for inspirational pictures sent in by my customers, so take a look at that for lots more lovely mini rooms!

If you’re tempted to buy a kit or chart of a dollhouse needlepoint design, my January Sale is on at the moment, so you could save money whilst treating yourself to some stitching goodies!

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

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

Teeny Weeny Cross Stitch Cottage 3: It’s finished!

I’ve done all the stitching on my Teeny Weeny Cross Stitch Cottage by Sakoran now, and I’m up to the point where I need to assemble it. As with the rest of this project, the instructions in the booklet are very detailed.

The building is assembled by whip stitching through the back stitched outlines and pulling the shapes together. The roof was particularly fiddly to do, but looks good now! (I was quite prepared to throw it across the room at one point, though!!) The joins of the walls are oversewn through a two-block gap in the brown cross stitching, kind of ‘pinching’ the fabric together from the outside, and then oversewing across the unstitched Aida to make the white columns of stitching. Easier to do than to describe…..

Wadding isn’t included in the kit, but it’s easy to find some cotton wool to fill the little house with, and then stitch the base in place.

So, this is the little house now it’s completed:

 

 

Isn’t it lovely? It’s only about two and a half inches high – really small!

As I said earlier in this series, the instruction booklet for this project is really detailed. There are dozens of photos showing every stage, and clear charts too.

There’s a section at the back that explains how to do all the surface stitches that are needed, once the cross stitch has been done.

The DMC threads come pre-sorted, which is helpful. I did find, though, that with some colours I almost ran out, and with other colours (such as the white) there were yards left over. Here is the thread sorter when I’d finished the project, to show you how much was left over:

Also, I found the needles that were supplied with the kit to be a bit too big for 18 count Aida, so I changed them to smaller ones from my sewing box.

The instruction booklet is A5 size. This picture shows you just how tiny this cottage is! In the instructions, it’s suggested that the cottage would make a good tree decoration, with the addition of a hanging loop, and I might just do that.

And finally, for comparison, here is my new gingerbread cottage next to the Victoria Sampler Gingerbread Stitching House. Don’t they look sweet together?!

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

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