While I was at Target stocking up on last minute doo dads to stuff into eggs for our backyard Easter egg hunt I ran into these beauties put together by Todd Oldham’s Hand Made Modern for Target stores. This Embroidery box and this Embroidery Board were begging to come home with me. I quickly scooped them up and then returned to the egg filling challenge. The needlepoint kit pictured below didn’t make it into my cart, but at $19.99 , I hope some beginners give it a go. The falling blocks pattern is lovely.
The embroidery box set included a tapestry needle and black and white chart with lettering options. I decided to do my own pattern using some vintage bucilla crewel wool in grapefruit along with anchor tapesty wool in black and white. The gold accents are done with Kreinik Metallic 1/8 ribbon in gold. With an improvised tent stitch and a viewing of Skyfall, the box was quickly stitched.
I think that this will make a nice box for Mummy’s Mothers Day present. I made a chart for you here : embroidery box , so you can make one too.
Let me just get this out in the open. I am not a professional finisher and it is with this non professional status that I choose to write this tutorial. Years ago, I launched the Red Cassette Needlepoint Kit and had a gorgeous sample finished for it. A few months ago I retired the old kit fitted with luxury silk threads and a handpainted needlepoint canvas retailing for $95 and this week I am relaunching the updated more accessible version that will sell for $45. The new kit, available here, includes lovely anchor tapestry wool (no plying needed), a blank canvas (because this will save you money), tapestry needle and color chart to plot out your design along with basic stitching instructions. I will offer the option to upgrade to a handpainted canvas for those that want that for an additional $25. I have redone both the kit and the sample to create a more accessible product that the amateur seamstress (like me) can finish. So once you have stitched the Red Cassette Needlepoint Kit, here is a way that you can finish it if you like.
This wristlet / wallet holds all the basics ($, ID, transit and cc cards, phone, house key, lip balm). I used some salvage supplies like threads and snaps along with upholstery weight fabric and black cotton duck fabric. Upholstery fabric is Waverly, “Duncan” in Grey. Here I will treat the needlepoint like applique as opposed to using it as the actual fabric as I will do in my future pillow finishing tutorials. To prepare your needlepoint for applique you will need to have it blocked. Here is a link to the proper way to block your needlepoint. I didn’t do that, because I am a
renegade amateur. I used the beautiful steam iron that mummy gave me for Christmas and steamed the backside of the needlepoint and then pulled back into its intended rectangular shape. I then trimmed the canvas selvage down to about 6 rows of selvage and folded and pressed down. Then I whipstiched the edges with the leftover black wool included in the kit. Set aside.
To prepare the body of the wristlet that will fold up into thirds I measures for a 12.5″ long bit by 5.5″ wide plus 1/2″ selvadge all around. Then I sewed all around with right sides of fabric facing in, save for a little opening on the bottom for me to flip piece right side out. Flip right side out and then press. I used chalkboard chalk to outline where I would put needlepoint applique and then stitched a 1/4″ line around entire border. To create pockets I did a mini version of that same process and applied little patches of fabric on the interior to serve as pockets for nick knacks. I also sewed a lining on the back of my B Side of the cassette because have decided to use that as a pocket for my iphone. Wristlet fastener is just a bit of decorative ribbon looped and sewn on to right inside corner. Wristlet is a bit of handmade binding. Cut binding 2″ wide to create a 1/2″ wristlet strip. I bought the wristlet hardware from this Etsy seller and she writes a wonderful tutorial on how to make a proper wristlet.
Once my wallet/ wristlet was finished I applied the needlepoint cassette patches using black thread and a whipstitch. All in all it took me about 5 hours to complete.
Last week I received a message from Tara, writer of Book Babe Blog telling me that she had adapted my PC Union Jack Needlepoint Pillow Tutorial to make a Beautiful Union Jack Clutch using the prefabricated plastic canvas clutch forms that you can find at your local craft store. Her post is detailed and easy to follow. You can click here to give it a go yourself. Also, Tara made some good use of the Kreinik glow in the dark thread that I sent her. I love that thread!
Please share your projects with me! It makes my day to get messages like Tara’s. Thanks Tara. Well done.
In a world where we are inundated with media and taught that our value is based on wearing the appropriate fashionable footwear, awaking the creative spirit within us is if nothing else a survival tactic. Jamie Chalmers, manbroiderer and creator of Mr. X Stitch, the world’s best contemporary embroidery and needlecraft site, speaks to the relevance of needlework in our contemporary culture.
It was hard to narrow down to my favorite quote from Jamie’s TEDx Bedford talk, but I chose this one in his closing remarks. It is however well worth your 8 minutes to listen to the rest!
“X Stitch is a powerful thing, it means we can all be activists, it means we can all express ourselves in ways that we might not have felt otherwise, it means we can all be artists and if we live in a day and age where people are invited to be passive consumers and that where we are convinced that our lives our only valued if we have nice shiny yellow trainers, then the power of x stitch and the power of making becomes even more relevant.”
For the little ones these sweet Charlotte Bucilla Stitchables will surely keep there hands busy for at least some of their Christmas break. Choose from a series of wooden charms that are packaged into an inexpensive kit. You can buy yours at Plaid Online.
For the hard to buy for men in your life try this Fly Tying Kit from Krienik.
And last but not least for the women consider my latest DIY Needlepoint Jewelry Kit series. This series was created especially for the modern stitcher. The project requires a low time commitment of approximately four hours or rather 4 Downton Abbey episodes and is completely self finishing. You can find the full line in my Etsy shop here. Mention this blog post in a convo and I will give you a second kit of your choice at 1/2 off. Offer good until Friday 12/19/14.
This Union Jack Pillow DIY finally has a free Jenny Henry Designs UnionJack Chart to go with it.
And so does this Eyeglasses Case DIY , just click here : Chevron EG .
And these cute little magnets too! Chart is here : peaceandlove.
Finally, a chart for my little butterfly friend from 2 years ago right here if you click this : butterfly with diamonds .
The first ever Handmade Fair at Hampton Court Palace was my most favorite event that I have ever attended! The venue was amazing. The people were delightful. The memories I collected are unforgettable. I am already dreaming of returning in 2015 when they will do it all over again.
What really set this event apart from others was the emphasis on learning and crafting. I could not believe how many people enthusiastically turned out rain or shine to learn and craft. My travel companions and helpers were my father and son and they were such great company! I finally got to meet Mr. X and Emily Peacock in person. Kirstie Allsopp even stopped by my stand to welcome the American.
My head is still reeling. I will post more on my UK adventure soon!
Today I leave for London to prepare to exhibit at The Handmade Fair this weekend. As I was planning for this event, I found it necessary to come up with a new line of needlepoint kits. I wanted something elegant being that we will be at a palace, but also not overly complex as I want to appeal to someone who might have yet to discover the joys of needlework. These DIY Needlepoint Jewelry Kits are my very best attempt at fulfilling those goals. This is the first glimpse at the kits. A few of the designs will be available on Etsy but unless you come see me at Hampton Court Palace this weekend (stand B97) you will have to wait until October for the rest.
Each kit includes a chart of the design, a basic stitch guide, luscious silk threads from Kreinik, A small square of zweigart 18 mesh ( 18 holes per inch) canvas, one tapestry needle and the jewelry hardware to finish into either a pin or a pendant. To start, there are 10 patterns to pick from but I have already dreamed up others that will get added later. Also, expect to see more Kreinik threads in my designing future. I have a fun Halloween project I will post next month using their glow in the dark thread.
My product photos were taken by Carey Cooper and the Bronte books once belonged to my grandmother, Naomi.