This is my Christmas haul….some fantastic embroidery books!

Every year at Christmas, I give the ‘Christmas Elf’ (also known as a ‘husband’) some ideas of what I’d like for Christmas. This system is foolproof – this way, I always get things that I love (and so does he – there’s a female Christmas Elf who collects ideas of what he’d like, too!).

This year, I had a bumper crop of gorgeous books:

Embroidery and patchwork books

This first one is one that I knew had to be on my Christmas list as soon as I saw it first advertised, back around September.

Passion for Needlework

It’s the new Inspirations book ‘A Passion for Needlework 2: Factoria VII’. This features twelve designs from a variety of designers who also create designs for the Australian ‘Inspirations’ magazine. The book is the second in what is now looking to be a series of volumes, fortunately – this is stitching eye candy at its best. The book is very well produced, the photography is wonderful, and I’m tempted to start on one or two projects right away! This is one of my favourites from the book, which I am itching to stitch:

Embroidered etui set

And these gorgeous little stumpwork pots are calling to be stitched too:

Stumpwork floral pots

One thing that I wasn’t very keen on with this book was the settings that the photography had been done in – a converted bacon factory in Australia, which is now a home, but it’s been decorated in the, admittedly, popular ‘industrial’ decorating style. But I hate that! The actual embroidery, in many of the images, seems a bit ‘lost’. Like this one:

Passion for Needlework

I don’t like to have to play ‘hunt the embroidery’ when I’m looking at a picture in an embroidery book……

This next book has been on my Amazon wishlist for a couple of years, but never got beyond that:

Stumpwork embroidery book

I think that’s because although the embroidery is great, I’m not personally very keen to stitch things all in white, so the cover was putting me off. But on Pinterest a few weeks ago I saw an image taken from one of the projects inside the book, and then I ‘upgraded’ the book from ‘maybe one day’ to ‘yes, now!!’

It’s got some gorgeous stumpwork projects in it – really creative stuff. This complements Jane Nicholas’s style very well (Jane is Australian, and has a lovely neat stumpwork embroidery style, doing mainly botanical studies). I’m looking forward to trying some of these projects, too. This is my favourite so far:

Stumpwork embroidery book

The book has a long section at the beginning covering all sorts of ‘how to’s’ – very good detail.

Stumpwork padding

I also received a couple of patchwork books, as I have a huge interest in making American Civil War-style mini quilts at the moment, using reproduction fabrics from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Patchwork

This book is by two really good quilt designers – Jo Morton and Kim Diehl. They both showcase designs based on the same blocks throughout this book, showing how a designer can be influenced in very different ways, when using the same basic elements as another designer.

This is my favourite design from this book. It’s one of Jo’s:

Jo Morton quilt

The other quilting book is a very new one:

Patchwork and quilting book

This book uses a novel idea – the author took one ‘layer cake’ of fabrics (that is, a pack of 40 co-ordinating fabrics, each ten inches square), to see how many projects she could make out of it (plus the backing fabric).

These are all quick little projects, so I want to get a few of these done soon, such as this one:

Patchwork mug mat

I’m hoping to share more of my attempts at patchwork and quilting on this blog during 2019.

Finally, I also got the latest Johanna Basford colouring book ‘World of Flowers’. If you haven’t seen this, you’re from another planet! I want to work on this one on the right hand side first:

World of Flowers

So, as long as I get some spare time (Ha!! What’s that?!), I should have some good things to be working on during the coming 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 40: attaching the 3 smalls to the etui, and making beaded cords

I am currently stitching the Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui as a stitchalong project. This week, I have been attaching the 3 smalls to the etui, and making beaded cords for the scissors and ruler. See the end of this post for all the information you’ll need to join in!

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When I started this project, months ago, I read through all the instructions in the magazine itself, and on the pullout sheet, to get my head around what was needed to make this gorgeous project. But how to attach these three ‘dangleys’ had me stumped for ages, and yet they are crucial to the finished look of it. If I left them off, it would have really detracted from it. But the magazine instructions seemed really unclear to me, so I devised my own way of doing it.

I made a separate cord for each dangley, and now I’m at the part where I could join them all to the bottom tip of the etui.

I had bought a large cloisonne bead on Ebay specially, with a diameter of about 12mm, and a large hole of around 3mm, to use as the decorative feature bead at the tip of the heart etui. The large hole is really helpful now! First, thread all three cords through the cloisonne bead. Securely attach a length of green quilting thread to the bottom tip of the back heart panel, then take the needle through the neat ends of all three cords. Then secure the thread to the tip of the front heart panel and pull quite tight. Go back round – back heart, 3 cords, front heart – several times, to make sure the three cords are securely attached.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre etui

Lastly, make one knot in all three cords together, under the cloisonne bead, to hold the bead close up to the tip of the heart etui. For added security, I put a drop of Superglue inside the hole of the cloisonne bead and held the cords against it for a couple of minutes to make sure it was all held as one, just before I made the knot.

I hadn’t planned to make beaded chains for the scissors and ruler, when I first started to make the etui. I’d planned to just use twisted thread cords. But as I kept looking at the magazine’s pictures, I felt I wanted to do it like the one in the magazine! So, I bought some gold beads from Spellbound Beads, and made my own beaded chains, as per the instructions on page 57 of the magazine (more or less – I couldn’t get exactly the same beads).

I adapted it though (again!) so that I used gold coloured quilting thread instead of tiger tail for the threading, as it’s easier to manipulate, and these beaded chains don’t need to be particularly strong. I started by threading on a bead and tying a knot in the thread, then threading on the calotte crimp. This bead on the end stops the thread from slipping out of the hooked calotte crimp. Then I threaded on gold ball beads, green hex beads, and feature beads, until I’d made  a length about two inches long.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre etui

Then I looped the thread through the handle of the scissors, and, leaving a small loop of beads, went back through most of them to the hooked calotte crimp, and knotted the thread to the starting thread. I put a large drop of Superglue on the knot before cutting the thread ends short, then I closed up the calotte crimp with jewellery pliers, slipping a jump ring in the loop with  a lobster claw attached, just before closing it.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre etui

I worked out where the chain would come to on the etui once the scissors are in the pocket, and stitched another jump ring to the heart panel fabric alongside the scissor pocket, so that the lobster claw can attach there.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre etui

Then I made another beaded chain for the ruler. With this one, I attached it on the right hand side of the pocket as you look at it (rather than on the left, as the instructions suggest), as I had more space there to do it.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre etui

So, that’s it! Finished! There’ll be lots of images, and a list of Hints and Tips for doing the whole project, plus a comparison with the ‘Home Sweet Home’ project of Carolyn’s that I previously made, coming up next week…..

~~~~~~~~~~~~~  ***  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~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.

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

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

 

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui 39: how to assemble the pinwheel, and attach the needlelace berry to the etui

I am currently stitching the Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui as a stitchalong project. This week, I’ll explain how to assemble the pinwheel, and how to attach the needlelace berry to the back heart panel. See the end of this post for all the information you’ll need to join in!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~  ***  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This is the third of the ‘dangleys’ that I am constructing, that hang from the bottom tip of the heart etui.

First, cut out the front and back embroidered pieces, place a circle of felt and a circle of acetate on the reverse of each one, run a line of gathering thread round the edge of the fabric, and pull up to draw the fabric over the shapes, lace across the back, then tie off securely.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre pinwheel

Take an 8 inch piece of grosgrain ribbon (mine was 3/8 inch wide), and attach it to the back piece using beaded Knotted Pearl Stitch, starting at the centre top, and leaving a 3/8 inch overlap of ribbon that goes beyond the centre point.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre pinwheel

As you approach the completion of beading around the circle, trim the ribbon and fold the excess under so that the seam is right at the top. Finish the beading, then slipstitch the join in the ribbon with matching green sewing cotton.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre pinwheel

I am not attaching the cord in the way that the instructions in the magazine suggest – which is to attach the thimble holder at one end of the cord, and the pinwheel at the other end, and then attach the cord part way along it to the bottom tip of the heart etui. Instead, I am making a separate cord for each piece, and I will attach each one on its own. For the pinwheel, I used a cord four inches long from the neat end to the knot in the cord that I attached inside the pinwheel itself.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre pinwheel

I used a bodkin to poke a large hole through two layers of ribbon at the top of the circle (from the inside to the outside), then I threaded on a daisy spacer, a cloisonne bead, then another daisy spacer, then I knotted the cord to hold the three close to the top of the pinwheel, and trimmed the spare cord inside the pinwheel.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre pinwheel

This is all done before attaching the front panel of the pinwheel.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre pinwheel

Then the front panel is attached with beaded Knotted Pearl Stitch. Stuff the shape firmly with a small amount of wadding just before completing the circle of stitching.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre pinwheel

This is the completed pinwheel. It was at this point (i.e finished!), that I realised I had made it too big. Not sure how that happened, but I must have cut it out following the wrong line of tacking, and it just went downhill from there. It should be much smaller in diameter.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre pinwheel

…like this one, from the magazine. Oh well.

The next small job was to attach the needlelace berry to the back panel at the top of the V, with green quilting cotton.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre needlelace berry

When the etui is folded closed, this cord is pulled between the heart shapes across the V, and the cord is then wrapped around the Dorset button to hold the etui closed.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre needlelace berry

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~  ***  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~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.

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

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

 

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui 38: how to assemble the thimble holder

I am currently stitching the Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui as a stitchalong project. This week, I’ll explain how to assemble the thimble holder that hangs from the bottom point of the heart etui. See the end of this post for all the information you’ll need to join in!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~  ***  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This is the main part of the thimble holder, which I embroidered earlier. It will have a separate lid, which is lined with a tiny embroidered circle of fabric. So, this is a rather fiddly thing to assemble!

First, cut out the embroidered piece, leaving largish seam allowances (more than 3/8 inch), as I have found that these tiny 3D pieces can use up fabric more than you think, when you come to turning them inside out, etc.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre thimble holder

The muslin backing fabric needs to be cut away from the top half of the embroidered piece on the back, to reduce bulk.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre thimble holder

Fold the fabric into a tube, right sides together, and stitch carefully along the back seamline. I hand stitched mine.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre thimble holder

Then flatten the seams out with your thumbnail, and turn the fabric to the right side. Now, I found that mine had a ‘gap’ with no embroidery. The instructions suggest that the embroidery should almost meet here, and that you only need to stitch a couple of lines and one more forget-me-not flower over the seam, to complete the pattern all the way round. I *almost* re-did the seam smaller, but if I had, the lid would not have fitted, so I think this is a mistake in the pattern. I decided to just have a gap in the embroidery, and never let people see the back!

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre thimble holder

Make a ring from template plastic, and stick it together with sticky tape.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre thimble holder

Turn in the top edge of the fabric, and the lining, and tack the seam allowances down (separately). Do the lining with sewing thread that matches the fabric, as you won’t be able to remove this later. Slide  the plastic piece inside the tube so that the top edge of the circle aligns with the foldline.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre thimble holder

Fold the lining in and down over the plastic ring, to make a tube with a stiffened bottom edge.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre thimble holder

At this point, I decided to make the cord for my thimble holder in a different way from the instructions. Their instructions say to use ONE cord, that has the thimble holder on one end and the round pinwheel on the other end, and you’d eventually join the cord to the bottom tip of the heart etui part way along it. I didn’t like the sound of that, so I made a separate cord for each ‘dangly’. The thimble holder cord is 4 inches long from the neat end to the knot, and I stitched the knot inside the thimble holder at this point in the construction, hiding the knot between the lining and the embroidered fabric (so you don’t see it when you look into the holder later!). Make sure you secure it in place between the lining and fabric, then run a gathering thread round the top edge of the thimble holder fabric, pull it up firmly and secure by going back and forth across the gap, going through the cord as well.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre thimble holder

Lastly, thread on a bead cap, cloisonne bead, and a gold bead to the cord, then knot the cord to hold them close to the holder. Stitch through the holes in the bead cap with matching thread to hold it down onto the fabric.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre thimble holder

For the lid, cut out the fabric with 3/8 inch seam allowance, and run a gathering thread round the circle. Gather it up, over a plastic circle and a felt circle, for padding. Don’t overdo the padding – this is a very small piece. I found that the templates for the circles were far too large – carefully measure the diameter of the thimble holder at this point, and make your circle template whatever diameter it needs to be to fit. I had to reduce mine by 1/8 inch, which is a lot for such a small piece.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre thimble holder

Do the same with the embroidered lid lining piece, which is a tiny circle barely 5/8 inch diameter. Slipstitch the two together, wrong sides facing, with strong sewing cotton.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre thimble holder

Work beaded Knotted Pearl Stitch around the edge of the lid itself (not the smaller inner piece).

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre thimble holder

Start the beaded Knotted Pearl Stitch at the back, near the centre line. When you have gone all the way round, for the last couple of stitches, work through the fabric of the holder itself as well, to create a hinge for the lid. Stitch a green crystal bead on the centre front, and work a buttonhole loop on the edge of the lid to act as a closure.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre thimble holder

This is it when it’s finished – about an inch and a half high, and very sweet! Carolyn Pearce’s thimble holders are always very ingenious, and a bit tricky to make, but so cute when they’re done!!!

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre thimble holder

Next time I’ll assemble the pinwheel….

~~~~~~~~~~~~~  ***  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~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.

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

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