Little House Needleworks ABC Samplers – 2 – how to finish a pincushion with pom pom trim

This little cross stitch pincushion ‘small’ from Little House Needleworks is so cute!

I decided to do the finishing for the pincushion with mini pom pom trim that I bought from xJudesign on Etsy. It comes in several colours, so I’ve bought a metre of half a dozen shades, to give me some choice as I make all nine in this series. The shade I’ve chosen for this one is ‘Dark Cocoa’. Each pincushion needs a bit less than half a metre to complete the pincushion as a 4 1/2 inch square.

ABC sampler pincushions by Little House Needleworks

I first trimmed  the evenweave fabric to 5 1/2 inches square (from 6 inches square originally). I made an interlining template that was 4 1/2 inches square, so that when I positioned it on the front of the stitching, I could just about see through it to check if I’d centred it on the stitching. Then I pinned it in place and tacked around the edge, to mark the stitching line, then removed the interlining template.

ABC sampler pincushions by Little House Needleworks

This shows the tacked line, once I’d removed the interlining template.

ABC sampler pincushions by Little House Needleworks

I pinned the braided side of the pom pom trim exactly along the stitching line, leaving about 1/8th of an inch of braid within the tacked line, so that the pom poms wouldn’t get caught in the seam when I stitched along it.

ABC sampler pincushions by Little House Needleworks

I also made curves at the corners with the trim rather than tight 90 degree angles. I overlapped the trim by one pom pom, and then trimmed one of the overlapped ones off at the end, after I’d stitched the pincushion seam completely. It helps to make sure that the overlap of the trim will not be in the gap where you will be turning the pincushion through, or at a corner, so I made my overlap about an inch away from one corner.

ABC sampler pincushions by Little House Needleworks

Then, right sides facing, I tacked the front and back pieces of the pincushion fabrics together, leaving a two inch gap along the bottom edge for turning.

ABC sampler pincushions by Little House Needleworks

I trimmed the seam allowances so that they were off-set a bit, to cut down on bulk, and cut diagonally across the corners too.

ABC sampler pincushions by Little House Needleworks

Then I backstitched round the edge along my tacked line. I did it all by hand because I don’t really like machine stitching, and I felt I could have easily ‘run over a bobble’ with a machine!!

Then I turned the pincushion right side out, and stuffed it with polyester wadding. I stuffed it quite hard, poking the stuffing into the corners with a pencil so that the corners didn’t crinkle up later.

When stitching the opening shut, I did it in two passes, stitching each fabric piece to the braid of the pom pom trim one at a time with a slip stitch, rather than trying to stitch the two fabrics together with a stab stitch through the pom pom braid.

I only removed tacking where it showed, which was only in one or two places, as it helps strengthen the seam.

This is the completed pincushion – I’m really thrilled with this!!

ABC sampler pincushions by Little House Needleworks

This is the back – the fabric looks great with this dark brown trim.

ABC sampler pincushions by Little House Needleworks

Now that I’ve completed the first one, I’ve just got the other eight to do  🙂  They are great projects to work on in between bigger ones, as I get something finished in just a few days.

Cute, isn’t it? And I don’t even use pincushions……


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Little House Needleworks ABC Samplers – a new set of nine smalls to stitch – 1

I’m starting to make the Little House Needleworks ABC Samplers – a set of nine smalls to stitch, which will look great as a collection when they’re done.

ABC sampler pincushions by Little House Needleworks

The fabric I chose to use for these is a 32 count evenweave from called Country French Mocha linen by Wichelt (part of my big stash haul from January 2019). It’s a lovely soft fabric in a warm beige – the called-for fabric for these designs. I also used the called-for threads – mainly Classic Colorworks overdyed threads, with a few DMC shades too. I bought the charts and threads from Peakside Needleworks in the UK.

These charts were the first ‘caving in’ of my New Year Resolution not to buy any more embroidery things in 2019 (it didn’t last long at all!!). I just couldn’t resist these, as I just love smalls anyway, and anything with little buildings on in particular. So, they’ve been sitting in my stash since then.

They have only a 4 x 4 inches stitched area, so they don’t take long to do – that’s my justification, anyway.

I decided to do this one first – the one featuring the letters LMN – so I sorted the threads and fabric, and then changed my mind! The tidy part of me just couldn’t start half way through the alphabet!

ABC sampler pincushions by Little House Needleworks

So, I began with the ABC one instead, and I’m now going to do them in the PROPER order!

I like to colour in black and white symbol charts with coloured pencils before I start stitching, as my brain can make more sense of colours than symbols.

ABC sampler pincushions by Little House Needleworks

I haven’t used Classic Colorworks threads before. They are nice to stitch with, but I found the gradations of shade changes a bit long and predictable (about half a metre each time), so I cut several pieces of varying lengths, and mixed them up when choosing each thread to use next, so that the gradations didn’t look so regular on my stitched piece.

I got this much stitched in about four hours:

ABC sampler pincushions by Little House Needleworks

But then I hit a snag. I really dislike stitching with white. It bores me to tears. So, having spent a while getting this far, I got really bored with it, and put it aside, avoiding continuing with it, even though by then I’d done all the white stitching. How stupid is that? Anyway, I eventually got over my stitching block, and finished it off in one long Sunday afternoon.

ABC sampler pincushions by Little House Needleworks

I decided not to stitch the outer row of crosses as a border that are shown on the chart, as I think that’s more necessary if you’re going to stitch these as one large design, in three rows of three, so that you can work out how to tile the individual houses. As I’m making mine into individual pincushions, I want them to look more like the image on the chart pack, without a border line round the edge.

Now I’ve just got to do the finishing. I’ve chosen a lovely cotton fabric for the backing, from my quilting stash, and a tiny pom pom trim for the edge.

ABC sampler pincushions by Little House Needleworks


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My stash just got bigger….

At the beginning of this year, I decided that I’d have a New Year Resolution that I wouldn’t buy any more embroidery kits or supplies for one whole year (other than things for my dollhouse needlepoint kits business, obviously!). But I have found it impossible to stick to it already, and my stash just got bigger……

At first, I was tempted, via a Facebook group for people who do cross stitch, to start looking at charts by Little House Needleworks, an American company. They do dozens of really nice, smallish projects with buildings in, usually – and I just love embroidered buildings!

So, my first ‘failure’ of my New Year’s Resolution was this chart pack set to make these nine alphabet ‘smalls’ pincushions. Of course, I had to buy all the threads as well. And the fabric.

ABC samplers Little House needleworks 1

Then from the same designer, I saw this standalone chart pack, for a ‘Hands to work, hearts to God’ picture. I’ve been after a design with this phrase on for ages, and this one appealed to me. I want it stitch it as a ‘stand-up’.

Hands to work hearts to God 1

Then I gave in to my Resolution VERY SERIOUSLY!! I found out about the US website, which has an enormous range of everything you could possibly want if you do stitching. I was on the hunt for some 28 and 32 count evenweave fabric – the reason being that, in the UK, it is becoming very difficult to get interesting colours of fabric. There are only a few websites left in the UK that sell anything other than white, cream or natural colours, and I was starting to get twitchy. With Brexit looming (which will cause all kinds of problems for UK people wanting to buy things), and many US sellers also stopping selling overseas, due to EU distance selling rules being perverse about returned parcels, and shipping getting expensive, I felt it was justified (!) to put in a big order to last me….well…. probably several lifetimes actually! But my theory was ‘get it now, and be smug later when things go pear-shaped’.

Evenweave fabric from 123Stitch

So, I had a lovely afternoon ordering 31 fat quarters of all kinds of 28 and 32 count fabrics, in plains, overdyed and specialist glittery fabrics. The parcel arrived a few days ago, and it’s really inspiring! Also, every fabric has a label attached, noting the count of fabric and name/manufacturer. UK online shops please take note!! So many times in the past I’ve ordered several fabrics at once, and when they’ve arrived, I can’t tell them apart, so if I need to re-order something, I can’t quite tell what it is I need to order!

So, that’s my excuse for my ‘transgressions’ on my Resolution! I needed them!

Have any of you stuck to a New Year’s Resolution like this? I really thought it would be easier to do  🙂


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Home of a Needleworker (too!) – a quick cross stitch project!

Sometimes, I just want to be stitching a quick cross stitch project; something simple and homely – and this project ticks all the boxes! It’s a cross stitch chart pack project by Little House Needleworks, called ‘Home of a Needleworker (too!)’. It’s called that because there is an earlier chart, very similar to this one, but more rectangular, with a different style of house, which is called ‘Home of a Needleworker’. I’d had that one on my wishlist to do one day….until I saw this one, and I bought it on impulse just before Christmas.

Most of my new purchases go into an Edwardian chest of drawers that I store my needlework stash in, and don’t see the light of day for years, but with this one, I just felt I wanted to stitch it NOW, so I sorted through my stash for half the threads, and ordered the others (from Peakside Needleworks), so that I could get on with it immediately.

The chart only uses seven colours, but most of those are overdyed, slightly variegated skeins, which gives more interest. I substituted some Silk’n’Colors threads for three of the shades, but ordered in the Classic Colorworks recommended shades for the ‘important’ colours. I did change the colour of the house itself slightly, as I felt the recommended shade of ‘Old Blue Jeans’ by Classic Colorworks was a bit too grey, so I bought a skein of ‘Dublin Bay’ shade instead, which has a denim look to it. I also used a skein from my stash of a dark blue for the wavy line across the bottom, as I used almost a whole skein of ‘Dublin Bay’ for the house, and wouldn’t have had enough left to do the whole line as well.

I also bought a second skein of the tan shade ‘Brandied Pears’ halfway through stitching, as I thought I was going to run out while doing the lettering, but in the end I didn’t need it, so my stash has been boosted yet again….

The fabric I used was Zweigart’s Cashel 28 count linen in shade ‘Light Sand’, which is almost a cream. I bought  a fat quarter from Sew and So, and used about half of it for this project.

The chart pack is clear and simple – a black and white symbol chart, about life-size, to count from, and a page listing the materials needed, the stitch count dimensions, and the finished size (about 9 x 7 inches).

I used a substituted colour (Silk ‘n’ Colors ‘Golden Moss’ 096) to do all the greenery, making sure that all my stitching was worked in horizontal lines across each shape, so that the variegations went in the same direction across the whole picture.

I like the roof best – I used Valdani variegated stranded cotton P9 for this – it was left over from when I stitched the Autumn Quakers sampler by Rosewood Manor last year. The stripes look very much like tiles!

This is the stitching completed, before I framed it. I think the cute little ‘extra house’ within the shape of the letter ‘H’ is a very clever touch!

I originally bough this to stitch after seeing an image on Pinterest where someone had surrounded the framed picture with needle minders featuring houses, and I loved that idea. So, I bought four, to start off my ‘collection’, from Crazy Annie’s Stitchin. These first four ‘stick’ to the staples used at the corners to hold the picture frame together from the back – after that, if I get any more, I think I’ll have to cheat and stick them on, as there won’t be anything metal for the magnets to grab on to along the sides of the frame!! I can see a rather large collection coming on, though, as I just love little needle minders.

So, here it is – a quick cross stitch project of a dear little house, surrounded by even more little houses! What do you think of it? Have you stitched this one?


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.


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