Monthly Archives: December 2014

Our top Homemakery craft projects from 2014

2014 projects

As we say farewell to 2014 and hello to 2015  I thought it might be nice to look back on a few of our most popular craft projects in 2014! If you missed them first time around here goes:

Crochet Embroidery Hoop

How to crochet an embroidery hoop

This little tutorial has been pinned over 15,000 times on Pinterest and may be my most popular blog post ever!

Crocheting around an embroidery hoop is so simple and a great way to frame embroidery, stitching or other hoopla projects. I turned mine into an earring holder and still use it every day, definitely one of my favourite makes of 2014.

hoop & earrings

Lined Box Pouch with Lace Zipper

Lace Zip Pouches

When these new lace zips arrived earlier in the year I fell in love and had to come up with a useful project which showed them off in all their lacy glory! These box pouches can be used for storing crafty bits, as a make up bag or a place to keep all those useful bits at the bottom of your handbag. I use mine for all my english paper piecing supplies, perfect for taking along to our local craft group!

Needle Felted Heart Garland

Valentines Garland

Ah needle felting my favourite craft for stress relief, something about stabbing away at a piece of wool roving really takes all the tension away ;-) Once I started making needle felted hearts I couldn’t stop so I turned them into a sweet valentines garland which has actually stayed up all year round!

If you are new to needle felting you can find our how to here

Paper Pieced Hexagon Pin Cushion

Mini Hexi Pin Cushion Tutorial - The Homemakery Blog

I really love english paper piecing and this quick pincushion project is a great introduction to paper piecing, if you are a newbie and fancy trying paper piecing in 2015 do check out our how to and our guide to paper piecing with a gluepen.

Patchwork Sewing Machine Cover

Finished sewing machine cover

To match my pin cushion I whipped up a co-ordinating Sewing Machine Cover for my Singer Sewing Machine, I ended up upgrading it to a Husqvarna a couple of months later and was thrilled to find that it fit my new slightly larger machine too! If your sewing room needs a makeover in 2015 this project will take you an afternoon to complete!

Thats a very quick summary of a few of my favourite projects from 2014, writing this post has made me realise the number of Works-In-Progress I still have on the go, I know I’m not the only one! Like most crafters I am constantly inspired and itching to make new things. I have really enjoyed having a few days off over Christmas I am now brimming with crafty ideas for 2015 and I look forward to sharing them with you on the blog.

“Make More” is definitely my mantra for 2015!

Wishing you a wonderful new year!

Kate signature

Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery: Story Time Sampler – Fabric Options

The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery Story Time Sampler

If you are thinking of stitching along with the Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery Story Time Sampler you will need to choose some cross stitch fabric! For the Story Time Sampler the Pumpkins are using a 32ct Lugana in Storm from Picture This Plus the fabric isn’t available in the UK but its a dark grey with a hint of blue/purple to it.

When picking your fabric here are a few things to consider:

  • Price – Aida & Lugana Evenweave are made from cotton so are a little cheaper than Belfast & Cashel which are made from Linen.
  • Texture – Aida is a little stiffer to the touch then evenweave.
  • Colour – You want to pick a colour you like and one which makes the colour of the Embroidery Threads pop! The colours in the Story Time Sampler are made up of Neutrals and Brights.  Owing to the number of Neutral Colours in my opinion it rules out the White and Cream Fabrics so its best to go for a Natural or Coloured fabric. For some of the fabrics I have listed below there is one colour of embroidery thread which may be similar to the base colour of the fabric, I have noted it and whilst it is similar to the backing fabric it hopefully won’t detract from the overall picture.

Before I go onto the photos please note I have tried really hard to get the colours on the photos right on these but at the moment with the miserable grey weather and short daylight hours I can’t photograph and edit the photos in daylight so I have tried my best but colour variations may occur!

32 Count Evenweave

Belfast is a 100% linen evenweave if you want your sampler to end up the same size as the Pumpkins this is the one for you! In terms of colours its probably a good idea to steer clear of white or cream colours as there are quite a few lighter colours in the embroidery threads which may not show up as well on a light colour background.

Belfast

Belfast in Raw/Natural is a good all rounder the colours pop and the neutrals are different enough that they don’t blend in with the background.

Belfast Natural

Belfast in Summer Khaki has a bit more of a yellow tone to it than Natural above, like Natural its a good all rounder the colours pop and the neutrals are different enough that they don’t blend in with the background.

Belfast Summer Khaki

Smokey Pearl is a grey-blue colour, if you want more of a blue tone to your backing fabric its a good option, the one light blue embroidery thread (Antique Blue) still stands out against the fabric.

Belfast Smokey Pearl

Misty Blue is a darker blue grey toned fabric the colours work well there is one close match with the antique blue embroidery thread but its not enough to rule it out as a fabric option.

Belfast Misty Blue

16 Count Aida

If you are new to Cross Stitch and want to go with an Aida fabric, 16ct Aida is recommended for this pattern. As before using a light coloured Aida will probably result in a few of the lighter toned embroidery threads not showing up as well as they would on a darker coloured background.

Aida

Aida in Misty Blue is a good match ,all the colours pop and there aren’t any embroidery threads which are too close a match in colour.

Aida Misty Blue

Nougat is a good option if you prefer a brown tone to your backing fabric, the lighter neutral embroidery threads are different enough in tone that they won’t blend in with the backing fabric. Aida Nougat

Pewter is a good option if you are looking for a grey backing fabric all the embroidery threads pop against the backing fabric. as with other grey fabrics the Antique Blue is the only close match.Aida Pewter

25 Count Lugana

Lugana is a slightly cheaper option than Belfast as it is made from Cotton rather than Linen. At 25 Count it will result in a larger finished sampler size of 11 x 15 inches rather than 8.5 x 11.5 inches on 32 count fabric.Lugana

Antique Violet is a really fun option for the Sampler the colours definitely pop on this background if you are looking for something a bit different this could be the one for you!

Lugana Antique Violet

Light Mocha is a good neutral with more of a brown tone to it, the brighter embroidery threads pop and the neutrals coordinate well.

Lugana Light Mocha

Light Khaki is very similar to Light Mocha only with more of a yellow tone to it, as before it works well with both the bright and neutral embroidery threads.

Lugana Light Khaki

I really like Granite as an option as every colour in the Story Time Sampler palette pops. A good choice if you are looking for a darker background.

Lugana Granite

Pewter is an option if you are looking for a grey background, there is one close embroidery thread match which stuck out to me and that is the Antique Blue Embroidery Thread, but it wasn’t enough to rule it out as a possible option.

Lugana Pewter

 28 Count Cashel

Cashel is another 100% linen evenweave fabric and has that lovely linen feel. At 28 Count the finished size of the sampler will be slightly larger than the 32ct fabric and measure 9.5 x 13 inches

Cashel

My top pick using Cashel is Natural as all the embroidery thread colours pop!

Cashel Natura;

The Cashel version of Granite is a little darker than the Lugana as a result some of the darker embroidery threads don’t show up as well, but still a valid option if you are looking for a darker backing fabric.Cashel Granite

Confederate Grey is another option if you are after a grey linen, there are a couple of closer matches on the embroidery threads which caught my eye, namely the antique blue and brown grey. They aren’t deal breakers however!Cashel Conf Grey

Flax is a shade lighter than Natural above and whilst I love how the colours pop I felt the neutrals were a little close in tone and a darker fabric might be preferable. Cashel Flax

Phew we have made it to the end, as you will see there are lots and lots of options for you to consider when picking a backing fabric for your Story Time Sampler. Once your fabric arrives it is a good idea to sew a zig zag stitch around the edges of your fabric to prevent it fraying as you stitch.

I hope this post helps you pick out your backing fabric, I really like a natural linen look to my Cross Stitch projects so I am thinking I will probably go with the Cashel in Natural. Oh the decisions!

Good luck picking your fabric and don’t forget you can find the Story Time Sampler thread packs and all these Zweigart fabrics on the website,  there is still plenty of time to consider your options before stitching begins on the 15th January!

Kate signature

PS. Don’t forget to sign up for your Story Time Sampler pattern before the end of December, come 1st January VAT will have to be added to the price of all digital downloads sold to EU customers.

Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery: Story Time Sampler

Have you heard of the Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery? Based in California, the Pumpkins, aka best friends Amanda and Ashleigh, design the most adorably cute kawaii cross stitch patterns around, definitely not your grandmas cross stitch!

If you follow me on Instagram you will know that I have been stitching along with their Christmas Celebration Sampler and I have enjoyed it so much I cannot wait for their next release which will be with us very soon!

Introducing….. The Story Time Sampler!

The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery Story Time Sampler

The Story Time Sampler is a year long stitch-a-long project with a literary theme! Each month the pumpkins will email you part of the sampler so come December 2015 you will have a finished sampler ready to take pride of place on your wall! So far you can expect to stitch Alice in Wonderland, Little Women and Sherlock Holmes!

We are thrilled to have teamed up with the Frosted Pumpkin to provide thread packs and fabrics for the Story Time Sampler. If you fancy stitching along you can find thread packs here and I have a separate blog post with some fabric suggestions coming soon!

Thread Pack Story Time Sampler

If you are new to Cross Stitch you might find the following useful.

A bit about Cross Stitch fabrics

  • You can Cross Stitch on either Aida or Evenweave, Aida is easier to stitch on as there are visible holes in the fabric which you cross stitch through, it does mean your finished design can have a bit of a holey feel to it, but cross stitching on Aida is a quick and easy so perfect for beginners.
  • Evenweave is basically what the name implies the threads are evenly weaved so there are no obvious holes to stitch through. As a result its a little trickier to cross stitch on evenweave as you have to make sure each stitch is worked across two strands of evenweave, this sounds much harder than it really is,  once you get in the swing of things its easy. If you are not sure which fabric to use I would definitely recommend an evenweave as the finish (in my eyes!) is so much nicer than Aida.
  • Cross Stitch fabrics come in “counts” the count refers to the number of threads per inch of fabric. So a high “count” fabric means there are more threads per inch than on a lower count fabric. e.g. a 32ct fabric has more threads packed into an inch of fabric than 28ct which has less threads.
  • Using a high Count fabrics result in a smaller finished design, if you think about it you are fitting more stitches into an inch which reduces the finished size of the design. If you use a lower count the finished design will be slightly larger than on the higher count fabric.
  • The finished Story Time Sampler will measure 131 stitches wide x 180 stitches long. That works out at 11 x 15 inches on 25 count fabric or 8.5 x 11.5 inches on 32 count fabric. You would want at least 2/3 inches extra fabric to border your finished sampler.
  • To translate Evenweave count to Aida count simply divide by two. So 32ct Evenweave becomes 16ct Aida, 28ct Evenweave becomes 14ct Aida

A bit about Cross Stitch Needles

The best needles for cross stitch are tapestry needles which have a blunt point and a large eye, making them easy to thread! Tapestry Needles come in different sizes, as a guide:

Size 26 Tapestry Needles are used for 32ct Evenweave / 16ct Aida

Size 24 Tapestry Needles are used for 28ct Evenweave / 14ct Aida

Size 22 Tapestry Needles are used for 25ct Evenweave

This is just a guide and it’s really not the end of the world if you used a different size needle!

I love the John James Crafters Collection cross stitch needle packs as they have all the above sizes packed into mini envelopes!

Other useful bits

To stitch along you will also need a hoop or embroidery frame, a pair of scissors to snip your threads and a box or tin to store your threads and bits and pieces. To stop my threads getting in a tangle I have wrapped them around pegs and written the thread number on the side, thanks pinterest for that great idea!

Story time Threads

If you are planning on stitching along with the Story Time Sampler in 2015 make sure you sign up over at The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery before the new year. Prices will be going up come January 1st once those pesky VAT MOSS laws come in and VAT has to be added to all digital downloads.

Happy Stitching and I will be back tomorrow with some fabric suggestions!

Kate signature

Crochet Colour Palette: Jingle Bell Rock

When it comes to starting a new crochet project one of the most fun and sometimes challenging aspect of the project is deciding on the colours to use. That’s where we can help. Every week we will be posting a crochet colour palette of the week matched back to a range of wool stocked here at the Homemakery. Over time we will build up a library of crochet colour palettes so if you are ever looking for inspiration pop back and click on the tag Crochet Colour Palette.

I’m getting very excited for Christmas, the decorations are up, the Christmas radio station is on all day and I’m enjoying re-watching my favourite festive films. I am definitely enjoying the season. Jingle Bell Rock is a fun festive Crochet Colour Palette featuring Cherry Red with modern pink and blue, perfect for a happy go lucky festive crochet project!

Crochet Colour Palette: Jingle Bell Rock

This weeks Jingle Bell Rock inspired Crochet Colour Palette uses a fun festive crochet yarn pack from Rooster Almerino Aran a beautifully soft Merino & Alpaca yarn.

Beige Mushroom (304), Dark Red Cherry (313), Blue Beach (323), Silver Shimmer (315), Pink Brighton Rock (307) 

You can find the whole Jingle Bell Rock yarn pack with 10% off all this week here