Look what I got for Christmas!

I hope everyone had a great Christmas! This year, I had a very stitching-focussed Christmas, with some really lovely presents which will keep me busy well into 2015.

This book, ‘Crewel Twists‘ by Hazel Blomkamp, is one I’ve had my eye on ever since it came out a while back. That’s not a black and white image of the cover – it really is that colour!! Hazel has taken the traditional ‘crewel’ or ‘Jacobean’ style of embroidery, and modernised it for the 21st Century. It’s a wonderful book.

Xmas 01

This is a quick preview of one of the projects from the book. I’ll do a proper book review of it for this blog as soon as I’ve read it properly.

Xmas 02

I had two gifts which came from a French shop called Les Brodeuses Parisiennes. They have a beautiful shop, filled with goodies, and a website with English translations. Their range is quite large, but so are their prices  🙂  This is a ‘semi kit’ (i.e the fabric pouch and a colour block chart with thread suggestions for DMC, but no threads). The flap of the bag is linen, and the lining has been left open so that you can get your hand in behind it to do the stitching, then you can slip stitch the lining closed. It measures about 12 inches by 9. I’m planning to use it to carry my small embroidery projects in when I’m travelling, as it will look better than the Sainsbury’s carrier bag that I usually use!

Xmas 03

As I was cooking the Christmas dinner, I pulled the threads that I’ll use to stitch this with (as you do!). That annoying brand label on the right hand side has been snipped off now, by the way.

Xmas 04

The other gift from Les Brodeuses Parisiennes was this multi page chart for an alphabet on the theme of dressmaking. It’s really detailed. I’m planning to make a tote bag for carrying larger sewing projects, with the whole alphabet stitched around it.

Xmas 05

This scissor keeper ‘pattern and print’ pack (i.e. another half kit with no threads, but printed linen pieces and muslin backing fabric) is from Lorna Bateman. It’s really gorgeous. The cottage garden flowers are stitched in lots of different surface embroidery stitches, with the option to personalise it on the reverse with your initials. The pretty gold handled scissors are to fit inside the scissor keeper when it is finished, and were also a present. I realised I needed some new embroidery scissors when I was cutting the threads for the hardanger windows on the Gingerbread Stitching House that I’ve just finished, and the blades wouldn’t cut neatly. My old stork scissors were over twenty years old, I reckon, so it was time for some new ones, and these are really good!

Xmas 06

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Update on the new embroidery scissors from Hemline

Last week, I blogged about the editorial in New Stitches that mentions my new firescreen kits for doll’s houses, and also about the new embroidery scissors that featured on the same page in the magazine. At that time, I said I was having difficulty getting in touch with the manufacturers, Hemline, to find out where the scissors could be bought.

New Stitches editorial firescreens June 13

If only I’d known what I had started….

I have been having an email ‘conversation’ with Hemline ever since, as I tried to get out of them *where* these scissors can be bought. At first, it took ages to get any reply at all. Then I was asked to supply the product codes, so they could check which items I meant. Well, the editorial feature doesn’t give product codes, but surely, if it’s new products that they have bothered to advertise this month, it shouldn’t be that difficult to track down? Apparently it is. Anyway, then I was told that they are available on Amazon.co.uk.  But only if you type in ‘Hemline’ and the product code in the search box. Otherwise, if you put something more general like ’embroidery scissors’, the results list is so huge, you’ll never find them. But even keying in ‘Hemline’ and the product code only found two of the styles in stock (one *pair* of each available to buy), and the other style didn’t show up at all.

So, back to Hemline. They then said that Sewandso.co.uk stock them. Now we were getting somewhere – Sew and So are my favourite online needlework website, and they do have a huge range, so I thought it was good that they’d stock them – so I had a look….and they weren’t there. Back to Hemline again. ‘Yes, they definitely did buy some from us. Give them a ring’. Now, is it just me, or do you also think it’s daft to have to phone an online retailer to see if they have something in stock? I expect to see it on their site, not to have to ring them.

Anyway, I emailed SewandSo’s customer service department, and explained that all I wanted was to find a real stockist, so I could mention them on my blog, so that people could buy them….you know? A FREE ADVERT!!!!!

They checked, and emailed back to say they hadn’t placed an order yet for these new styles (so, what were Hemline doing, telling me they had?!), but that they’d placed an order with Hemline that morning, and stock would arrive in a few days.

So, if you want these lovely scissors, go to sewandso.co.uk , click on Accessories / Scissors / Other scissors. I’m not guaranteeing they will be there yet, but give them a little while, and, you never know…….

There, that was easy, wasn’t it?! I’m going for a lie down, now  🙂

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