Here we are at Christmas again!

Well, this year has certainly flown by, and here we are at Christmas again. I don’t know about you, but I still find I don’t get enough time to do my stitching.

Dollhouse needlepoint stocking Santa

I am going to try a new approach in 2019 – I’m going to make a list at the beginning of January, of the projects I *realistically* think I can get done during the year, and then focus on enjoying the making of those, without worrying about the ENORMOUS stash of projects I’ve yet to start. It’s supposed to be fun, right?!

How about you? Do you have a plan? Or do you just take it as it comes?

However you approach your stitching hobby, I hope you continue to have fun with whatever you make.

Thanks so much for following along with me during 2018 (most of it being the Strawberry Fayre Heart Etui, which is now finished and sitting nestled in my Edwardian china cabinet, along with my other stitched goodies).

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

I hope you have a great Christmas, and a peaceful New Year.

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needle minders, needle holder, pin keep, sampler, cross stitch, magnetic needle holder

 

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Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui 27: the strawberry emery

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

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The strawberry emery is, I think, what gives this project its name, and not the rather ‘raspberry-looking’ beaded berries on the etui itself! It’s a very cute little strawberry, but a bit fiddly to make, and I found that I needed to change quite a few things along the way to successfully make this. Here’s the image from Inspirations number 95, so you know what we’re aiming for:

Strawberry Fayre heart etui

The instructions said to make the emery strawberry from velveteen. Yeah, right. Anyone know where you can buy a four inch square piece of velveteen these days? Me neither. So I used felt instead, which worked fine. I also used a small piece of quilter’s muslin for the lining.

Strawberry Fayre emery

The strawberry emery is attached with a cord to the very bottom tip of the heart etui itself eventually. It helps to make this cord first, as it gets a bit complicated later on when you start to need several pairs of hands. At first, I tried to make the cord using alternating half hitch knots, as the instructions suggested. But it quickly became obvious that this type of cord would be far too thick to go through the holes in the beads that I’d bought. And my cord looked messy  😦

Strawberry Fayre heart etui emery

So, I made a ‘normal’ twisted cord instead, which came out neater and thinner. I used  2 lengths of DMC Perle 8 Avocado green, each cut 36 inches long. I knotted the lengths to each other at each end, making a loop two yards round, with two knots in it. I clamped one of the knotted ends under the presser foot of my sewing machine, and held the two lengths out taut, then put a pencil in the loop, and started twisting the two lengths together until they started to kink back on themselves. Then I folded the cord in half and let it twist up on itself, knotting the loose ends together at the sewing machine end to stop them unravelling, eventually making a cord 13 inches long. This was way more than I needed, but meant that I had plenty to play with!

Strawberry Fayre heart etui cord

I folded the felt and muslin in half, and stitched the seam with backstitch (by hand, rather than using a sewing machine, as I could control things better!). The very tip of the cone needs a slight rounding off, so that the strawberry doesn’t end up too pointy.

Strawberry Fayre heart etui emery

With the lining, I did a line of running stitch around the top edge, folding a seam allowance in as I went. In theory, now is the point to put the emery powder in, before drawing up the threads and tying them off tightly to make the berry shape. In practice, I cheated, and used cotton wool. I find that emery powder always falls out, making the embroidery messy with little black dots, so my ‘strawberry emery’ is a fake one!

Strawberry Fayre heart etui emery

Here’s the lining once I’d tied off the gathering threads:

Strawberry Fayre heart etui emery

The felt strawberry has lines of seed stitches worked all over it, in offset rows, in yellow:

Strawberry Fayre heart etui emery

To attach the cord to the strawberry, first I knotted the cord at the ‘untidy’ end, leaving the other end ‘neat’ (this is important later, when you come to attach the cord to the heart etui itself). The total length from the knot to the neat end is about five inches. To be able to thread the  gold bead cap and cloisonne bead onto the cord, I looped a needle threaded with sewing cotton through the loop at the neat end of the cord, and then while the needle was still attached, I threaded on the bead cap and bead, and pushed them down the sewing thread and onto the cord. I’ve no idea how they managed to thread on the bead and cap on the one in the magazine pictures, as it just says ‘thread the cut ends of the cord through a cloisonne bead’. Have you ever tried doing that?! Great way to waste  a whole afternoon.

Strawberry Fayre heart etui emery cord

The filled lining is placed inside the felt shape, and the end of the cord is then placed inside, knotted end in first, before drawing up the  top edge of the strawberry with gathering stitches and tying off tightly. Stitch through the knot itself a few times as you go, to make sure the knot won’t slip out.

Strawberry Fayre heart etui emery

If I’d have used velveteen, I would have had to turn in a seam allowance, but as I used felt, I didn’t need to, but I think my strawberry is therefore a bit bigger than it should be. Should have trimmed it!

Strawberry Fayre heart etui emery attaching cord

While the cord still has the bead and cap loose, as in the image above, I stitched some Lazy Daisy stitches around the top of the strawberry, for leaves. The instructions said to do needle woven picots for leaves instead, but I was losing the will to live by now.

Strawberry Fayre heart etui emery

Finally, the gold bead cap and cloisonne bead are pushed down tightly until they touch the top of the strawberry, and the cord is knotted just above the cloisonne bead, holding them both in place. The sewing cotton can now be removed from the other end of the cord, and the strawberry emery is complete!

Strawberry Fayre heart etui emery completed

Ta-dah!!! It’s very pretty, but so fiddly to make!

The next thing I need to assemble is the Dorset button closure for the front heart, which should be easy, by comparison…….

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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.

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

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 26: stitching the strawberry pinwheel

I am currently stitching the Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui as a stitchalong project. This week I have been stitching the strawberry pinwheel – both the strawberry side and the side with my initial on. See the end of this post for all the information you’ll need to join in!

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The strawberry pinwheel is one of the three ‘dangleys’ (maybe they should really be called ‘chatelaine pieces’?!) that hang from the centre point of the etui when it is closed. This is the image of it when completed, from the Inspirations magazine article:

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

The side not shown above is the ‘strawberry side’. Now, as I’ve mentioned before, there is some debate as to whether this is a strawberry or a raspberry. In the magazine, they call it a strawberry, whereas I think it’s a raspberry, but there you go….

Anyway, it’s stitched as on the front of the etui itself, so refer back to that blog post for detailed instructions on how to stitch it – the Beaded Oyster Stitch takes some practice, but I think my berries are getting neater each time I do them. This is the twelfth one I have stitched.

I still find that it’s best to start with five beads down the centre of the berry, and then ‘flood fill’ with the rest, to cover the felt padding shape.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

The sepals are made from three needlewoven picots stitched with one strand of Anchor stranded cotton 268, with four Lazy Daisy stitches in one strand of the same thread underneath them to give depth, highlighted with copper metallic thread.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

The other side of the pinwheel is my initial, ‘J’. I never really like using my initial on embroidered things, as the letter J in most fancy fonts is barely readable. Is it a J, or an I, or an F, or a T?! The font given on the pullout sheet in the Inspirations magazine is quite a ‘flowery’ one, and I tried to simplify the J to make it more readable, but I think I failed – it looks like a T to me.

Carolyn Pearce pinwheel

The initial itself is outlined in Back Stitch with one strand of Anchor 267 (substitute). Then tiny French knots are worked in copper metallic thread, using two wraps around the needle each time for the centre one, and one for the ones on either side.

Carolyn Pearce pinwheel

The little flowers are made as on the pincushion top – five French knots in pink, around a French knot centre in yellow. Little detached Chain Stitch leaves are randomly worked around the flowers with Anchor stranded cotton 265 and the copper metallic thread.

Carolyn Pearce pinwheel

The top and bottom of this pinwheel will be joined together with a gusset of grosgrain ribbon, eventually.

I’ve now stitched all of the pockets and smalls that make up the pieces on my hooped fabric. I’ve just got the two strawberries (the emery one and the needlelace one) to do, plus the Dorset button closure, before starting to assemble everything.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre smalls

Next up is the strawberry emery…..I’m getting there, slowly!!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~  ***  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~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.

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

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 24: stitching the needle pages

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

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This is the project I’m stitching, as shown in Inspirations magazine issue 95. I’m stitching the heart-shaped flannel pieces to be used as a needle holder (it’s on the left of the image below, next to the scissor pocket).

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

I had a lot of trouble getting ‘real’ doctor flannel. I bought the piece that I’ve used in this project a couple of years ago, from Australia (the shipping to the UK was eye-watering!), as I’d tried to buy it here and had no luck at all – everywhere was sold out. In the end, I contacted an Australian shop, and bought a whole yard of the stuff, which I expect to last me the rest of my life. After all, how many needle books can you make, that need doctor flannel for the pages?! I’ve tried substituting felt before, but it’s just not the same.

[EDIT: One of my blog readers, called Louise, found it available in the UK from Viking Loom, here: http://www.vikingloom.co.uk/acatalog/Wool-Blanket-and-Flannel.html  , so I’d recommend that you buy some from there if you’re in the UK.]

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

To transfer the shape onto the flannel, I cut out the two different sizes of heart from interfacing, pinned those to the flannel, then tacked around the outside of each shape to transfer the outline. Then I trimmed each heart shape down to the actual stitching line, re-pinned the heart to the flannel and stitched another, smaller heart. This will be the line that I actually embroider along, unpicking the tacking as I go.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

Starting at the top point of the heart, I stitched Fly Stitch down each side, with one strand of Anchor stranded cotton 266 (substitute) ending at the tip each time.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

The instructions in the magazine say to stitch a one-wrap French knot into the ‘cup’ of each fly Stitch, using the pink variegated thread. But I’m using two separate shades of Anchor instead – 1028 and 50 – so I had to stitch mine in two ’rounds’, trying to make it look ‘random’. Have you ever had to *decide* on a ‘random’ pattern?! It’s not easy!

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

But it came out really well, in the end!

The final, scary, bit, was cutting out each heart shape with pinking shears, and trying to get the points of the triangles to end neatly and evenly at the top and bottom of the heart.

These pages will be secured in the centre with just one little button, when the etui is assembled, so that needles can be attached on both layers.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

Isn’t it pretty?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~  ***  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~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.

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

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