Brooke’s Books “Spirit of Christmas Stitching”: 2

I’m half way through stitching this Brooke’s Books ‘Spirit of Christmas Stitching”   angel on perforated paper.

Brookes Books Spirit of Christmas Stitching cross stitch angelThe pieces that are to be stitched on the gold perforated paper are next. This wasn’t so pleasant to stitch as the half on the brown paper, as the shiny gold made it harder to see the holes.

This is one of the angel’s wings.

Brookes Books Spirit of Christmas Stitching cross stitch angel

This is the completed gold panel, with the individual elements all stitched and ready to cut out.

Brookes Books Spirit of Christmas Stitching cross stitch angel

They need to be cut out carefully, one set of ‘holes’ away from the stitching, so that the stitching doesn’t get cut and start to unravel. I used nail scissors, as I didn’t want to spoil my embroidery scissors.

The wings need to be cut out as one piece, with a joining section.

This part always reminds me of those paper dolls that you used to be able to get, with tabs on all the clothes so that you could change the doll’s outfits!

Brookes Books Spirit of Christmas Stitching cross stitch angel

You then stick or stitch the pieces into place, as on the front of the chart booklet.

Brookes Books Spirit of Christmas Stitching cross stitch angel

It gives a great layered effect, which is easier to see in this picture, taken at a low angle.

Brookes Books Spirit of Christmas Stitching cross stitch angel

I made a support for the back of the angel out of mount board (as on a picture frame), so that the angel can be stood upright.

And here’s my finished angel, alongside the one I stitched a few months ago – the Spirit of Holiday Baking.

Brookes Books Spirit of Christmas Stitching cross stitch angel

So, that’s two down, twelve to go!

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Brooke’s Books “Spirit of Christmas Stitching”: 1

A couple of years ago, I received a set of these wonderful chart packs designed by Brooke’s Books, to make as ‘angels’ on perforated paper. Brooke Nolan has a great Etsy shop here. Each angel stands about seven inches high when finished (with a card support at the back to make them free standing). I love all of them!

Brookes Books Spirit of Christmas Stitching cross stitch angel

They use this 14 count perforated paper, which is widely available from Mill Hill, but there are other brands available too. Most of the angels use brown, gold or silver paper, so I bought a selection to start me off!

perforated paper packs

Although it’s called ‘paper’, it’s actually quite sturdy – like thin card – and the holes are large. 14 count perforated paper is a lot easier to stitch on than 14 count Aida, for instance.

perforated paper cross stitch embroidery

Out of my collection, I’ve decided to stitch this one next – the ‘Spirit of Christmas Stitching” .

Brookes Books Spirit of Christmas Stitching cross stitch angel

The chart pack gives a key for DMC threads, but I prefer to use Anchor, so I used a conversion chart to look up the correct Anchor thread shades. The design also uses three shades of Kreinik fine braid, and some seed beads.

I taped round the edges of the perforated paper with masking tape, so that my threads wouldn’t catch on the edges. With perforated paper, you don’t use a hoop or frame, as it would damage it, so I just hold it to stitch on it.

Brookes Books Spirit of Christmas Stitching cross stitch angel

Half of the design is stitched on an A 5 half sheet of paper – one brown, and one gold. They are good projects for when I am not at home, as I don’t need a magnifier to stitch these, due to the large hole size of the paper, and they are easy to carry about. I did all this part during a week of camping!

As the pieces will later be cut out, the extra little shapes are stitched in the gaps around the main figure.

Brookes Books Spirit of Christmas Stitching cross stitch angel

So, that’s half the design done. Next is the other half, then the assembly of the pieces to make the 3D angel  🙂

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A quick cross stitch project: 1. The Spirit of Holiday Baking (a gingerbread style angel by Brookes Books)

Now that I’ve completed the Strawberry Fayre etui (which has taken me almost all of this year to complete – I started it at the end of January 2018!!), I am feeling the need to do some ‘easy ‘stitching’ for a while. So, a quick cross stitch project like this  ‘Spirit of Holiday Baking’ fits the bill perfectly, as it’s festive, and doesn’t take long to make, so it should be finished in time for Christmas.

This is a cross stitch 3D ‘angel’ type design, by Brooke Nolan of Brooke’s Books. Brooke sells an amazing range of charts for all kinds of things – many 3D, which I love to stitch. I got a set of 14 chart packs of her gorgeous figures for Christmas last year (the Christmas pixie sent good ‘prompting’ emails to my husband, in plenty of time  🙂  )

This is the haul that I got:

Brookes Books Spirit of Holiday Baking cross stitch

I’ve decided to make the one in the centre first. It has the ‘gingerbread’ theme that I like to do at Christmas. For the past few years I have been making Thea Dueck’s little buildings from her Gingerbread Village range, but this year I fancied a change.

The design is to be stitched on 14 count perforated paper – this is more like thin cardboard, and is actually quite robust. It comes in lots of colours, although for this design I only need the brown one, which is a warm gingerbready colour, fortunately!

Brookes Books Spirit of Holiday Baking cross stitch

The chart pack lists DMC thread suggestions, but I converted these to Anchor colours, as I already have a full set of Anchor threads in my stash which I use in the dollhouse needlepoint kits that I produce. I used a size 24 tapestry needle for the stitching.

Here’s my materials, ready to start (the chart itself  I have coloured in with coloured pencils, as my brain can read that better than when it’s just in black and white symbols).

I taped masking tape around the edge of the perforated paper to stop the thread from catching on the rough edges. I don’t need any kind of frame for this, so I’ll just hold it in my hand to stitch.

Brookes Books Spirit of Holiday Baking cross stitch

The instructions said to use three strands of stranded cotton when stitching. I tried a tiny sample area, and immediately decided that two strands would be OK- I really don’t like stitching with an odd number of strands for embroidery, as it means I can’t double the thread through the needle and knot it, which I prefer.

Brookes Books Spirit of Holiday Baking cross stitch

The completed figure will be about 7.5 inches high, so it’s important to start at one end of the chart, not the centre, so that the design will fit on the paper properly – this is stitched on a half sheet of the perforated paper, which is only just a bit over 8.5 inches top to bottom. When allowing a bit for the masking tape border, that doesn’t leave much leeway!

Brookes Books 7

When it’s completed, I’ll have the scary task of cutting it out right up to the stitching (cutting along the next row of holes from the stitches), but for now, it’s just easy cross stitch, which makes a drastic change from the previous  project!

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What I got for Christmas 2017….. stitching goodies again!

I always ask ‘Santa’ for something stitching-related for Christmas, and this year was no exception. We have a very good system in our house, where ‘Christmas elves’ very helpfully email the present-buyer well in advance of Christmas, with a nice list of possibles that the recipient might like! That way, everyone’s happy on Christmas Day!

So, what I got this year was a fabulous set of 14 cross stitch charts to make stand-up Spirit Angels, designed by Brooke Nolan of Brooke’s Books Publishing. Her designs are gorgeous, and I’ve had my eye on them for ages. These are free-standing figures, about seven inches high, to be stitched on perforated paper in various colours, and then ‘accessories’ which have also been stitched on paper are attached afterwards, to make really interesting projects.

I found Brooke’s designs on Etsy.  She has a huge range of all kinds of designs – well worth a look. Some are hard copy charts, and some are digital downloads. Originally, I’d thought to have just a few of the Spirit Angels, but Brooke is currently running a bulk discount offer, where you can get all 14 designs in the series at nearly two thirds off! Who could resist that, even for a Christmas present?!

This is what you get in each chart pack – a large colour photo of the finished design, detailed instructions, and the chart to stitch from (including a version for if you wanted to just stitch it on normal fabric such as 14 count Aida, and not make one on perforated paper with the accessories added on afterwards as separate pieces). Materials needed are listed  – you’d need DMC stranded threads, and 14 count perforated paper, plus some seed beads and sometimes fine Kreinik braids or DMC Memory Thread. The materials are interesting, but not expensive, which I liked.

I also got some of the perforated paper packs. These are made by Mill Hill. Brown is used the most (for the bodies of the angels), plus gold, silver, white and cream for the accessories and wings. In the UK, Sew and So is the best place to buy this. Each pack contains two pieces of A4 sized sheets. Half a sheet is enough for the main body of each Spirit Angel, plus usually another half sheet of various colours in total for the accessories.

Although it’s called ‘paper’, it is quite thick – almost like a thin cardboard. And the holes are quite large and robust-looking, so as long as you don’t pull a thread through really hard and split the paper, it should be quite easy to stitch on (never stitched on perforated paper before though!).

Although they are all lovely, and hopefully I’ll stitch them all one day, after much deliberation I have narrowed it down to these three being my favourites:

I’m just finishing off another quick cross stitch project (more on that next week), but hopefully it won’t be too long before I can get stuck into making one of these beauties!

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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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