The truth is I am feeling a bit frustrated. I am working hard to come out with some new DIY needlepoint kits. I want to keep the cost low to the buyer but the product standards high with quality designs and materials. This is not easy.
So I am toying around with a few utilitarian concepts, one of which is diy media cover needlepoint kits. I always try to check out what is already out there so I can avoid repeating a concept and when I found these really attractive cases by Lands’ End marked down to as low as $7.99 I just felt like giving up. How can I compete with that?
Then this one for $14.99.
And lastly $7.99 ??!! . . .
I could now go on to rant about how this unfairly represents the value of needlepoint and craft but the truth is these are all so darn cute and I couldn’t fault you if you went and scooped up a bunch for early Christmas pressies. Just promise me when I do finally get my diy needlepoint media kits out you will understand that it is just not possible for me to sell them for $7.99.
*caution* I am amending this post on 8/27/13 to say that after rigorous use by my four year old daughter the floor pouf is not holding up well. Back to the drawing board on this concept. The stitched side panels are tearing. I am sorry to those of you that have attempted this project and had a similar result. I will look to come up with an improved version.
This project was created with a few goals in mind. It had to be stylish, fun, easy and budget friendly. And finally, my daughter had to love it.
This DIY Needlepoint Floor Pouf project was so much fun to make and the 7 count mesh made the stitching go by quickly. This would be a great mother daughter project. The design could be adapted to your personal color tastes and adding a name or an initial would be easy to do if you wanted to personalize your pouf.
What you will need for this project:
- 8 panels of 10.5″ x 13.5″ 7 count plastic canvas
- lots of yarn! 2 balls each of 4 colors of your choosing. For this project I used sugar n cream white, robin’s egg, hot blue and hot orange
- tapestry needle(s), size 16
- graph paper to lay out your design or invent your own designs!
- at least 2 bags of 20 ounces each poly fill
Let’s get started! 4 panels of the plastic canvas you will leave as is. These will be for the side panels. The other four will be cut to 45 holes long leaving the width as is (13.5″). Next you will layout part of the design with a sharpie permanent marker. Once you have stitched in the border pattern you can use the sharpie to mark in the diamond pattern. Needlepoint 4 of these panels.
Once you have completed the sides you can move on to the bottom. The latticework repeat pattern is carefully marked onto the canvas starting in the upper corner and working down. Remember each panel is a mirror image of the other. Once you have stitched them up you can whipstitch the two together.
To create the top butterfly piece you will be charting two mirror images of the half butterfly image seen here below. Mark that in with the sharpie as well and then add the lattice background. Whipstitch the two panels together.
Now the fun part! Using long lengths of yarn (I used white) whipstitch all the panels together. Knot the ends to anchor the threads so they won’t slip out later. View the picture below to see how each panels join together.
Stuff generously with the poly fill.
Enjoy somewhere soft and cozy to sit. My girly loves hers. She hurls it down the stairs every morning so she can use it at breakfast.
I am putting together a compilation of projects like this and others with more detailed instructions and charts, so stay tuned!
Whilst on my occasional perusal of what is new in the world of needlework I ran across these handsome duos. The above minis are by Zoe Gilbertson and below is the royal pair as designed by Emily Peacock.
Nicely done ladies!
This DIY Union Jack Pillow was inspired by all the amazing designers from across the pond that I have been covering on my blog over the last few months. Yay for the UK ! I finished it just in time to post it for this fun plastic canvas blog hop that Diane Gilleland of CraftyPod has arranged. You can view the other projects that designers have created at the bottom of this post. There are some really fabulous projects! But for now, let’s get you started on this one.
The materials that you will need for this project:
- 3 sheets of 10.5″ x 13.5″ plastic canvas size 7 count
- 6 balls of sugar ‘n cream yarn, 2 of each color (this will be more than enough) I used hot blue, white and red but you can vary colors as your creativity dictates.
- tapestry needle size 16
- sharp scissors
- sharpie permanent markers (different colors helps )
- graph paper and pencil to sketch/ work out patterns before transferring them to the canvas
- 1 20 ounce bag of polyester fiber fill
- Leave 2 sheets of canvas as is.
- Cut the third sheet into 2 strips of 16 holes x 70 holes and two strips 16 holes x 90 holes.
- To layout the design onto the plastic canvas first practice on graph paper and then carefully transfer to the pc using a sharpie permanent marker. Some stitchers use different colored markers to represent the different colored thread.
- First find the center point of the canvas and work outwards carefully counting out the pattern and marking it onto the canvas with your marker. Below are graphs for reference of the Union Jack and a repeat pattern that I used for the backside of the pillow
Mark out the striped pattern for your sides. I alternated blue and red with a single white line seperating them. The red and blue stripes are each 9 stitches wide.
Whipstitch the edges together leaving one end opened to stuff.
Finally, whipstich the pillow closed. Finished!
Two weeks of fun free plastic canvas projects ! Check out Claire’s handy gift tag post today and keep checking back for more as the days progress. Gotta go because I am still working on mine and short on time!
- May 6: Claire, The Bellwether
- May 7: Lorna Watt, Knits for Life
- May 8:Amy Johnson, Maker Mama
- May 9: Erin Currie, Seamstress Erin
- May 10: Carolina Moore, 30 Minute Crafts
- May 13: Cathy Attix, Trinkets in Bloom
- May 14: Jenny Henry, Jenny Henry Designs
- May 15: Janet Perry, Nuts About Needlepoint
- May 16: Pam Harris, Gingerbread Snowflakes
- May 17: Diane Gilleland, Crafty Pod
Ehrman Tapestry has been creating, “Imaginative and Stylish Needlepoint Kits for Over 30 Years”. Over Easter break while visiting with my folks in Chestertown, Maryland I popped into Ehrman Tapestry’s US business headquarters. This is an office space only and not open to pedestrians so it was an absolute gift to get in and be able to chat with Laura about the business. It is a busy place where they field all US orders and inquiries. The space itself despite being all business and no retail is loaded with beautiful canvases strewn about and pinned to walls all over for reference. I snapped a picture of this tapestry above. The design is by Kaffe Fasset and is of a canal street in Lyon. This lovely wall hanging is part of a limited edition series and is fully stitched and ready to hang on your wall. Buy it here. The creation canvases pinned to the wall below are part of a stunning series by designer Alex Beattie where he interprets each day of creation into a beautiful needlepoint canvas. You can buy these here.
I had a million questions but for the sake of keeping this post readable I am going to stick to the basics. So, how did Hugh Ehrman get drawn into the needlework biz anyway? He responds to this so eloquently via email from his London headquarters.
I worked for a time at Vogue in London where I became interested in British crafts. I had always intended to open a shop and British crafts became the focus. We stocked work by a number of leading designers one of whom was Kaffe Fassett. I met Kaffe when I was at Vogue and he talked us into doing a needlepoint kit. I had never heard of a needlepoint kit but we were looking for a manufactured product to balance the one-off pieces in the shop and Kaffe’s embroidery kit fitted the bill. We marketed it by mail order and it was a great success. The next two were less successful but we stuck with it and after a year the kits settled into a regular business. I ran the company in those days with my brother Richard and we decided to focus on the needlepoint kits for two main reasons. There were never going to be enough needlepoint stitchers to open a chain of shops but Richard realised there were enough up and down the country to support a niche needlework mail order business. We had also discovered that you could sell this product from a picture. That appealed particularly to me as my background was visual and I had been connected with photographers from my time at Vogue. Another successful part of our shop was fashion jewellery and we considered going that route. The fact that we were already producing needlepoint kits was the deciding factor as well as the fact that we enjoyed working with Kaffe – particularly his sense of humour. So that was how I got started in this business and like a lot of start ups it was as much serendipity as careful business planning. Two years later we branched into knitting kits again with Kaffe who had discovered a new yarn company called Rowan who were happy to produce his yarns.
And just who is Kaffe Fassett? When I think of needlepoint icons, a handful of names come to mind and Kaffe is definitely at the top of that list. He has written numerous books on the topics and hosts workshops worldwide. You can learn more about Kaffe here. Meanwhile, here is a close up of one of his rug designs printed onto canvas that measures 8 holes per inch which will stitch up delightfully quick. Kaffe’s work represents its own genre in needlepoint design. He really embraces the graphic elements of a needlepoint canvas so that when his designs are complete they almost seem to shimmer. Each color has been thoughtfully placed with great consideration to color and composition. There is a pleasant timelessness to his work as well as a cohesive thread (pun intended) that ties together his earliest work with his more recent designs.
The process of creating the Ehrman Needlepoint kits themselves is particularly intriguing. In a world where fewer and fewer things are being created by hand it is refreshing to see a company that holds true to the old way of doing things. Canvases are printed through an intensive many stepped process that employs the work of skilled artisans and wools are created by combining wool from two different areas Australia (for smoothness) and the Falkland Islands (for durability). Once the raw wool is gathered and processed it is sent off to Yorkshire England where it is spun and processed some more and then finally dyed into a wide range of colors to match the Ehrman color palette which is extensive. The hand printed canvases are then matched up with their coordinating wool which are cut and bundled by humans (not machines) . All this to create one glorious kit for you to stitch.
Please take some time to peruse their website here. An Ehrman tapestry kit would make a great mother’s day gift!