Kitting up for my Gingerbread Village set

My fabric has arrived now for the three Gingerbread Village buildings that I am going to make – all from Victoria Sampler. The Victoria sampler website has suggested fabric layouts for each of the chart packs, so I printed those out, worked out how much I’d need altogether, and ordered the 28 count Cashel linen from Sew and So. I chose to have ‘Cognac’ shade, as the ‘Antique Almond’ shade suggested in the chart booklets is no longer available from Zweigart. I did wonder if  ‘Cognac’ might be too dark a shade, but when it arrived I was really pleased with it. Maybe in Canada their ‘real’ gingerbread (the edible type) is made paler than the English type, but I would expect gingerbread to be quite dark in colour, so the fabric I have chosen is ideal for an *English* gingerbread village! I have checked the shades of thread supplied in the Accessory Packs with the fabric I’m going to use, and nothing looks like it won’t work with the new fabric, so hopefully it will all go together well.

Village 6

The suggested fabric layouts said to tack the outline of each side or roof piece of each building on one piece of fabric in a long strip, and then attach the large piece of fabric in one go to a roller frame, then do all the stitching, before cutting the pieces apart at the end. I prefer to tack each small panel individually to a piece of cotton fabric, cut away the cotton from the back to reveal the linen, and then mount the cotton in a hoop, as I feel this gives me better access to do the stitching when I rest the hoop on my floor frame. So, I spent about an hour cutting up all my fabrics (Cognac, black for the church roof, and a deep blue for the Candy Cane Cottage roof), labelling them, then bagging them up.

Village 7

I have made thread sorters for each of the packs, by making slits spaced 3/4 of an inch apart horizontally on a strip of card, and labelling above each pair of slits – the relevant threads can then be stored on the card, and not get mixed up.

Village 8

All I’ve got to do now is decide which one I’ll make first.


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These will take a while….

Just before Christmas, I blogged about the Gingerbread Village series of 3D buildings that Thea Dueck has created for her business, Victoria Sampler (in CANADA – I won’t get it wrong and claim she’s in the USA, this time  🙂  ). Back then, I was just drooling over the series of village buildings, and saying how good they looked, and that one day….

The Gingerbread Stitching House, Gingerbread Church and Candy Cane Cottage chart booklets - all from Victoria Sampler
The Gingerbread Stitching House, Gingerbread Church and Candy Cane Cottage chart booklets – all from Victoria Sampler

I gave in a few days ago, and ordered the chart booklets and accessory packs for the three buildings that are available so far – the Gingerbread Stitching House, the Gingerbread Church, and Candy Cane Cottage.

Rather than order them direct from Victoria Sampler (and have to wait ages for them to get here because of Airmail, and pay huge shipping fees, and Customs Duty), I ordered them from Sew and So, and they came within two days, by courier, for just £1.99 p&p. That’s the kind of company I like buying from!

I have several of the Victoria Sampler chart booklets, and they’re always very well produced, using glossy paper, with large scale black and white symbol charts, detailed assembly instructions, and lots of photos. The spelling is sometimes a bit sloppy, but I can put up with that. It’s the designs that I love.

Assembly instructions are very detailed
Assembly instructions are very detailed

There are clear diagrams for all the stitches used in the projects
There are clear diagrams for all the stitches used in the projects

These are more than just cross stitch designs. They are part of what Thea calls her ‘Beyond Cross Stitch’ range, meaning that they are suitable for people who have done some cross stitch, and would like to move on a little with their stitching skills, using other counted thread stitches alongside the cross stitch. All the stitches are clearly explained. It just makes these lovely buildings even more interesting to make.

The Stitching House is an etui – the roof lifts off, so that a biscornu can be stored inside, along with scissors on a fob. The underside of the roof has felt pages to store needles, and the chimney is a pincushion. The other two buildings are just models, which don’t ‘do’ anything (except look cute).

The Gingerbread Stitching House is a lovely little etui
The Gingerbread Stitching House is a lovely little etui

The thing that attracts me the most with these projects, though, is the ‘accessory packs’, that are sold alongside the chart booklets. You don’t have to buy them, but they have such yummy things in them, that they are hard to resist. For these three projects, each pack has tiny seed beads (size 11’s as well as weeny little 15’s), cute buttons, gold charms, silk ribbon, and any threads that you need to complete each project – and these are high end threads, too, such as Gloriana and Needlepoint Inc. silk.

This is the accessory pack for the Gingerbread Stitching House - look at all those tiny little beads & buttons!
This is the accessory pack for the Gingerbread Stitching House – look at all those tiny little beads & buttons!

Suggested fabrics are listed in the chart booklets, but, annoyingly, in the UK at least, the recommended ‘Antique Almond’ (a kind of medium brown) 28 count linen evenweave fabric has been discontinued by Zweigart. Sew and So say on their website that Zweigart’s ‘Dirty Linen’ shade  is a ‘close match’ to use instead, but I’ve already got some of that, and I reckon it’s completely different! Much greyer, and very drab-looking. Not gingerbready at all. So, I’ve chosen to use Zweigart’s 28 count linen shade ‘Cognac’, which is a strong rust brown shade. I’ve ordered a metre of the stuff now (enough for all three buildings), so if it’s the wrong colour when I get it, I’ll have a lot of it to use up in other projects.

I’ve got several things on the go at the moment, so these will have to wait a while, but I don’t think it’ll be long before I’ll start on them.


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Planning ahead….. more cross stitch for my wishlist

There are some websites that I just can’t help returning to again and again. Victoria Sampler, from the USA [EDIT 14th Dec 2012: Canada! It’s in Canada! ], is one of them. Thea Dueck is an amazing cross stitch designer, who designs projects (often 3D ones, which I love) which are really interesting, and often feature hardanger and beading accents. I haven’t ever tried hardanger yet, but when I get around to doing these projects shown below, I hope to try it out.

On my very long wishlist, I’ve had this cute Gingerbread Stitching House etui for a couple of years:

Then I found out that there is also a Gingerbread Church that goes with it. This is just a model – it isn’t an etui. But it is a lovely addition to the village:

Then I found out about the scissors case that was offered as a Christmas project stand-alone in the Just Cross Stitch Special Christmas Issue 2009 (the issue that has 75 Christmas ornaments from different designers). I’ve bought the magazine now, via Ebay, but not had time to stitch the scissors case yet. It would fit inside the Stitching House etui, if you wanted to store it there:

Then, frustratingly, Thea brought out the Gingerbread Christmas tree etui, but it was only offered as a ‘Stitcherama’ project (in Autumn 2012). A stitcherama is like an online class which starts on a specific date for a couple of weeks, with live video interaction with Thea at various times during the making of the class project. Nice idea, but pricey  😦  Apparently, she is planning to bring the design out as a chart booklet sometime in 2013, so then it will be generally available to buy, like the other designs [EDIT: It’s available as a chart pack now – Autumn 2013]:

Now, she has released this year’s addition to the Gingerbread village – a little Candy Cane Cottage, with a pinwheel accessory:

The only problem is, I want to make all of them now! As if I haven’t got enough on my wishlist  🙂

Don’t they look good together? All I need to do now is stitch my own ones!!

By the way, if you want to buy any of the generally available Victoria Sampler charts or accessory packs, and you live in the UK, don’t order them direct from Victoria Sampler, as the postage from America to the UK is horrendous – get them from Sew and So, who are based in the UK, as they have the whole range in stock (including the accessory packs), and their postage charges are very reasonable.


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