Gingerbread Stitching House 5: the finished house

Now that Christmas is out of the way, I can show off the completed Gingerbread Stitching House which I made from a chart booklet from Victoria Sampler. The first image shows it assembled as far as the main house goes. The second image shows the hardanger window, lined with yellow cotton fabric. With hindsight, I think red would have shown up better, but I thought red would clash with the orangey colour of the evenweave fabric.

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The panels are attached to each other by working slip-stitches through the back stitches that are worked around all edges of the main pieces, lacing them together. I found this to be very neat and successful.

This view shows how the sides and base are slip-stitched together through the backstitches around the edge of each piece
This view shows how the sides and base are slip-stitched together through the backstitches around the edge of each piece

The lining worked out very neatly in the end, although I did have to trim all edges of the card pieces several times to make them small enough to work, and not buckle. The instructions given in the chart pack didn’t quite work for me.

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The roof lining contains this needlebook, with white felt pages. The instructions suggested making a felt pocket for one side of the roof, to store scissors in, but I preferred to have needle storage on both sides. The chart book’s instructions suggested making a fine cording (although it didn’t say *how* to make the cord, just to make one!). I didn’t feel mine needed a corded edge, so I left it plain.

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Here is the completely finished house. It measures about five inches by four, and about four inches high. Isn’t it wonderful?! I’m so pleased with it!

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Just as I get that one finished, and feel that I’m getting somewhere with my backlog of ‘things I must make in this lifetime’, I found out that Victoria Sampler have brought out a Gingerbread Bakery, and a Gingerbread Needlework Shop (which is a box with a lift-off lid, not just a model, as the bakery is). Oh dear, I feel more purchases coming on!

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This is the rest of the Gingerbread Village series. They are all so tempting:

GingerbreadVillage2012 on Strawberry Sampler site

So, having made the Gingerbread Stitching House, these are my thoughts on it, as a project to spend time on:

The design itself is cute, with lots of areas of interest. It’s been well thought out. However, the production of the chart booklet lets it down somewhat. The booklet contains several spelling mistakes, including one regarding the size of backstitch outlining to work for the base. This is quite annoying! I contacted the customer services person at Victoria Sampler, and she said I must have an early version of the chart booklet, as that has been corrected in later versions. The chart pack is reasonably priced, and it is printed on good quality paper. I scanned the charts and printed them out so that I could colour in some areas as I stitched them, as the paper in the booklet is too glossy to use coloured pencils on. Although the chart pack is reasonably priced, the Accessory Packs are quite expensive – the main one doesn’t contain the DMC 12 or 8 Perle thread balls, or the Kreinik Mori thread – you need to buy a second accessory pack for those. Kreinik Mori is an expensive thread, and no quantities are given as to how much you might need, if you wanted to buy your own, which I found unhelpful. But it is easy to buy your own supplies instead of the Accessory Packs, if you look carefully at the product pictures on the Victoria Sampler website first to see what you’ll need. I thought at first, for the cost, that whole skeins of the threads needed would be included in the Packs, but that’s not the case. You get half yard or full yard cuts. So, raid your stash for similar colours for the threads, and do Google or Ebay searches for the tiny buttons, etc., to find suppliers, if you don’t intend to buy the Accessory Packs. They are not hard to find.

I’ve mentioned this before, but if you’re in the UK and thinking of buying this chart pack (and the Accessory Packs), get it from Sew and So, as the shipping from them is only a token £1 – far cheaper than International postage from Canada!!

When I first decided I’d like to make this Gingerbread Village, the Tree Etui design was only available if you did an online course with Victoria Sampler, but it’s since been released as a chart pack, like the other designs. So, I have bought the chart for that one too, now, and that may be the next one in this series that I make.

Although I’m tempted to make another Gingerbread Village item next,  other items from my stash drawer are calling, and I need to get back to the Carolyn Pearce Home Sweet Home project, too….

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Gingerbread Stitching House 4: assembling the etui

I was quite apprehensive about assembling the pieces of stitching to make the little house, once I’d done all the sides and roof, as I thought it might end up being bulky. There were lots of layers to neatly put together, and as I’ve got no patience, there was a distinct possibility that I could spoil it all at this point.

All the stitched pieces, lining pieces and card shapes, ready to be assembled
All the stitched pieces, lining pieces and card shapes, ready to be assembled

The instructions in the chart pack from Victoria Sampler said to glue the cross stitched pieces to  card liners, after having ironed interlining on the back of each piece. I am always a bit wary of letting glue anywhere near stitching – especially if it has taken me hours and hours to make it!! I decided to compromise, and hand-stitch the mitres on the corners first, and glue only the straight sides, as I felt that would be more likely to be successful. I ironed all the seam allowances over first, to get clearly defined edges to work with, and that helped a lot.

The base fabric, showing the seam allowances pressed across the corners, ready to be mitred
The base fabric, showing the seam allowances pressed across the corners, ready to be mitred

With the lining pieces (using a lovely piece of  cotton quilting fabric, stolen from my quilting material stash),  I *did* glue the corners as well as the straight sides, as that fabric was much thinner than the evenweave I’d used for the cross stitch, so it was much more maneagable.

Mitres hand-stitched, ready to have the straight sides glued down
Mitres hand-stitched, ready to have the straight sides glued down

After each piece of stitching and corresponding lining piece had dried thoroughly, I stuck the correct pairs back to back. As was suggested in the instructions, clothes pegs helped hold the pairs together as the glue dried.

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So, it’s all coming together nicely…..

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Gingerbread Stitching House 1: getting started

This is my latest project –  I fancied doing some cross stitch, as I hadn’t done any for a while, and I’ve had the series of charts of these gingerbread buildings from Victoria Sampler in Canada for over a year in my stash. (If you’re in the UK, get the charts from Sew and So, and save hugely on postage costs, by the way!). They are sold as items to be used as table decorations at Christmas, but I plan to display them all year round (once they’re done, of course, which may take a while…..). At this time of year, it’s so tempting to do something festive and fun!

I am making the little house on the far left, to start with. The biscornu in front of it is part of the chart pack as well.
I am making the little house on the far left, to start with. The biscornu in front of it is part of the chart pack as well.

I decided to make the little stitching house first, as it’s not just a 3D building, but an etui. The roof lifts off to show that the underside of the roof is for storing needles. The chart pack has instructions for a scissor keep and a pincushion biscornu, too.

I began by stitching the front of the house, which was nice to do as there are lots of little areas that can be completed in a single stitching session, and the little trims (the beads and buttons) make it interesting to do.

 

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The fabric that is recommended in the instructions is Antique Almond, by Zweigart, but even though the chart pack was published fairly recently, that shade of fabric is already no longer produced. So, I bought  Zweigart’s ‘Cognac’ shade instead. It’s a lot darker and orangey, but I like it. I was a bit concerned that the brown shades of thread in the Victoria Sampler Accessory Pack might not show up properly on the darker fabric (i.e. for the gingerbread people), but they did.

 

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The house front before the beads have been added
The house front before the beads have been added

 

With beads, buttons and ribbon added
With beads, buttons and ribbon added

This is not just cross stitch – there are some interesting counted thread stitches incorporated, too, such as for the doorstep and door itself, to give textural interest.

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