Making my own cord trim.

I have posted this before, but it got hacked and I had to delete it.  So here it is again.

Years ago, I bought myself this clever gadget from a Craft Fair – A Kumihimo Disk and some bobbins.

This is a very easy method of making cord trimming in any colour, so when making it for my own tapestry cushions, I can use the same colour wool as in the stitching.

I bought the disk so long ago that I had forgotten the technique and lost the instructions, but Google came up with this brilliantly easy to follow tutorial.  (If the link doesn’t work, look for ‘Kumihimo Braid, An Easy Tutorial’)
We wanted to make a Christmas Tree pincushion into a festive hanger for a door or cupboard handle.  I used one of the Appletons wool shades in the tapestry and wound a couple of metres onto these bobbins.  This was much too much, but I didn’t know at that point how much wool I would need.  The bobbins have a soft domed top that turns inside out for winding and then you flip it back down so it covers the wool, keeps it clean and grips the wool so it doesn’t unwind until you want it to.  I now know that for length, you need roughly two and a half times in wool, the length of cord you want to make.

The plastic bobbins are useful to make about a metre of cord – maybe a bit more.  But a full size cushion needs more than that, so I have  made my own bobbins for longer cords.  They can be filled up with more wool than the plastic ones.  And most stitchers don’t work in a dirty environment so there isn’t really a problem keeping the wool clean!
I just cut them out of thick card to be about 2 x 1½ inches or 5 x 4 cms.  Two little nicks to secure the wool and snipping off the corners prevented them from snagging on each other.  They worked a treat.

You can go to Amazon for the disks and bobbins and YouTube for various tutorials and information.  Just Google  Kumihimo.

The braid you make is more ‘braidy’ if you use two colours.  But I felt that this small tapestry did not really need any more fussiness.  So I just made red.

I have plenty of left over red braid, so for the next Christmas Tree hanger that is requested, we are ready!

For my next project, I will be trying more colours and maybe thicker braid.


Ready at Last

It seems to have been an endless wait, but finally last week the printed canvases arrived for three new designs.  
One Off Needlework New designs 2017

Painted Pony and Painted Elephant were a leap into the unknown, but once begun, they almost designed themselves.  I just got absorbed in the mandala-style patterns; and with the current craze for adult colouring books, they were just right for tapestry.
Dancing Teddies came about just after seeing the joyful London production of Billy Elliot – hence the Teddy in a tutu.  At one point everyone wears a tutu in Billy Elliot!

While still waiting for the new canvases, I couldn’t resist previewing the new designs on Twitter and Facebook even though there were no kits for customers.  But there are now!  An initial first batch of kits made; they are ready to go.

To Stretch Or Not.

My most important piece of precision stretching equipment is an A4 sheet of paper which I use both before and after I stretch a canvas. I place it on the tapestry, each corner in turn, one row of stitching in, and can instantly see whether the tapestry is out of shape.  (They nearly always are at the ‘before’ stage.)

But every now and then, a tapestry comes in to our Cushion Making Service that really does not need stretching; so if it doesn’t need stretching – I don’t stretch it.  And incidentally, nor do I include the charge for stretching in these few cases.

This one came in earlier this week.  it passed the A4 test and could go straight to the cushion maker once fabrics and zips had all been organised.
no stretching 2no stretching

This is rare, but it was gratifying to note that I had recently sold a Tapestry Clip Frame to this same customer!

It is a mysterious thing though.  My own tapestries always need a little stretching, even though I always use a frame AND keep my canvases really taut on the frame AND use the least distorting stitch Basketweave Tent Stitch.  
But in practise, a little bit of stretching isn’t very different from a lot.  It is the same process.
So stretching is not an extra, it is included in our Making Up Service prices.  But if you are one of the lucky few, you may be in for a nice surprise.

Princess Charlotte

At last we know her name and the new Royal Baby Sampler is properly finished with name and date in place.  I made a few adjustments, and changed the order of things a few times, but now – here it is complete. Princess Charlotte   No need for Alphabet and number charts, everything is there to be stitched straight from the chart. Enjoy your stitching.

New Royal Princess

It’s a girl.  At last the waiting is over, and I am no longer wondering whether I will be making pink or blue sampler kits. threadsNew Baby Princess










And how considerate!  I have an extra day to get the kits made up.  That’s my Bank Holiday taken care of…

New Royal Baby


Boy&Girl in Frame 408w

The excitement is building up; a new Royal Prince or Princess is due to be born to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge any time now.
We have two designs ready!
We don’t know which it will be just yet, but there will be a Cross-stitch Royal Baby Sampler for you to stitch after the announcement.
Early orders will have the date in place on the chart, but if the Royal family keep us guessing as to the name – and you can’t wait to get started – there will be alphabet charts and spare graph paper for you to add the name once it is known.