Wednesday, 2 December 2020
Merry Christmas Band



Stitched Band, wood spool, 20mm silver button with shank, 20mm silver washer, butchers twine (or twisted cord or ribbon) Aileens Tacky glue and an eyelet

1. Iron your stitching and put to one side. There are two Bands in the picture above.

2. Get your materials to one side

3. Glue the 20mm silver washer to the top of your spool

4. On your Band measure out approximately 2" from the first holly/Merry Christmas and nun stitch and trim. Then fold the edge back, pin and attach the eyelet

If you do not have any eyelets you could stitch one instead

5. At the other end of the Band fold in the raw edge, wrap around the spool, pin and slip stitch together. Make sure the writing is the right way up with the washer on the top.

6. Pin to stop the Band unrolling

7. Take a piece of butchers twine (or twisted cord or ribbon) and thread through the shank on the silver button. Tie the ends together and insert through the spool starting from the bottom. I use a fine crochet hook to do this. When the twine is pulled through the button will lay flat on the bottom of the spool. Tie a slip knot and work it to sit on top of the washer and cover the hole. Remember to lose the knot inside the spool

8. Take another piece of the butchers twin (approximately 20"), fold in half and slip knot through the eyelet

9. Wrap the twine around the spool and tie in a bow

You now have a finished Merry Christmas Band.

Chart is available *here* at $7

posted by Carol R at 04:57 | Permalink | 0 comments
Thursday, 6 February 2020
Cube ornament

Stitched squares
No 12 Perle cotton
Skirtex or card 
Cording or ribbon
Polyfil for stuffing
Bell (optional)

You first need to stitch six 4-sided squares 9 x 9 leaving approximately 3cm (1") between each box.

Fill in these 'boxes' with motifs, letters and the date of your choosing. You can find these on the Sew Advent 2019 chart - a link to purchase is shown at the bottom of this tutorial.The top has 3 stitches in each corner with a diamond eyelet in the centre.

Iron the whole thing and then cut out  the squares leaving a centimetre (slightly under 1/2") margin. From the skirtex or card cut squares to fit inside your stitching - slightly inside the outside stitch. Fold the stitched piece around the card and lace. Repeat for all six squares.

Piece a hole on the card you put inside the top square

You now have six pieces ready to stitch together. Arrange them into a pleasing order. If I am putting two letters on the ornament I arrange them as above. If I am using one letter I substitute the second letter with a different motif.

Make a hand-twisted cord or use a length of ribbon. Knot the two ends and then bring the loop end through the centre hole of the top piece. 

Take the first two squares and leaving a hanging thread of about 10cm (4") ladder stitch them together through the linen thread between the holes made by the 4-sided stitches. If you arrive at a spot where there is a hanging thread tie them together and lose inside the cube and start with a new thread again leaving a hanging thread.

Continue joining the sides of the squares

Form into the cube shape as you go leaving one set of squares open on two or three sides - I made it the bottom.

Insert some polyfil separating it as you go and then pop in the bell followed by more polyfil.

Close up the open sides, lose any hanging threads inside the cube.  You will now have a finished cube ornament. These were two that I, and my granddaughter Megan, finished yesterday. Meg stitched on 30ct Brussels linen and mine is done on a 35ct Brussels linen. 

The Sew Advent 2019 chart can be purchased *here* for $17. There are numerous motifs together with an alphabet for personalisation. 

All these pictures can be enlarged for a closeup view of each step by clicking on them

posted by Carol R at 04:27 | Permalink | 2 comments
Saturday, 15 December 2018


Stitched piece
Thread to match fabric - 1 strand of DMC will suffice
Perle cotton No 12
Basting thread

Usual needleroll finishing instructions will now tell you to finish with rights sides together and then turn inside out. Please note these instructions are different - all finishing is done with the right side out!

Working on the back of your stitching:

Count up 26 fabric threads from the top of the stitching and remove the next 4 horizontal fabric threads. This space is for your ribbon.
Count up a further 26 fabric threads and remove the next 3 fabric threads. This space will be for your hem-stitching.
Count up a further 12 fabric threads and remove the 13th thread. This is a fold line.
Count up a further 11 fabric threads and remove the 12th thread. This is a fold line.
Count up a further 9 fabric threads and remove the 10th thread. This will be your cutting line.
Turn your stitching upside down and repeat the above.
Your piece should look like this at both top and bottom of your linen.

Do NOT cut anything yet!

On the front side of your stitching, in the space marked 'Space for back-stitching', back-stitch over 4 vertical threads with No 12 Perle cotton pulling the stitch fairly taut.

Once the back-stitching is done on both top and bottom you can cut across the cutting lines and begin to fold - firstly on the fold line and then on the back-stitch line so the 'picots' lie at the top of the 'Space for hem-stitching'

Firstly pin and then baste the hem in place with basting thread and remove the pins. Do not try to miss out any of these steps as it is far easier to hem-stitch with a basted hem than a pinned hem. Can you see the back-stitching standing proud on the top of the hem?

Now for the hem-stitching picking up 3 threads using the thread to match your fabric. If you are using DMC use 1 strand.

Your piece should now look like this:

Once you have completed the hem-stitching on the top and bottom of the needleroll you now count out 11 threads from the side of the stitching and back-stitch over four threads in the next line of 'holes' again with perle cotton number 12 but this time do NOT pull tight. Count out a further 20 threads and remove the 21st thread. This is your cutting line. Repeat this on the other side of the stitching.

Cut away the excess fabric on both cutting lines. It should now look like this. Seems a shame to cut off some of the beautiful hem-stitching doesn't it?

Overlock/serge the cut edge and then finger press along the back-stitching on both sides

Bring the two sets of back-stitching together and catching these stitches only to join the sides together. The cut/overlocked edges will now be on the inside of the roll. Tuck in any threads from your overlocking/serging. 

Mark the centres both top and bottom of the design

Thread your ribbon over and under two threads working your way back to where you started. Do not pull yet but repeat on both top and bottom. Once your ribbon is threaded pull the bottom ribbon tight and tie but leave the ends hanging. 

Now stuff your needle roll firmly and once you are satisfied the roll in the right shape - roll it between your hands. Pull tight and tie the top ribbon and then tie both lots of ribbons into bows. 

You now have a finished needleroll which can be displayed with your pillows or other other needlerolls in a bowl or a basket. You can also add a 'hanger' by threading a piece of ribbon or cord through a card 'button' (draw around a small coin and make two holes - or use a real button if you wish). Tie the ends of the ribbon together and place the 'button' inside the top of the needle roll before you pull the top ribbon tight. The 'button' will keep the ribbon inside the roll. This is ideal for you to hang the Christmas needleroll on your tree. 

I also stitched the same design 1 over 1 on 40ct linen and finished as a matching pillow. The needle roll is for my great grand-daughter Primrose and the matching pillow is for her parents. 

This chart for this design - Christmas Needleroll 2018 - can be found *here*  

All these pictures can be enlarged for a closeup view of each step by clicking on them

posted by Carol R at 03:39 | Permalink | 0 comments
Thursday, 8 February 2018
Hem-stitching banding

Materials needed:
Length of banding
Basting thread
Co-ordinating thread

I usually hem-stitch my banding top and bottom before stitching my sampler but you can do this after you finish your project if you wish

Firstly trim the banding so the edge is straight

Working on the wrong side of the banding fold over the top edge to your required depth of the hem. Mine is ¼"

Fold over again and pin

Baste - I should have used a darker thread - I hope you can see this ok?

Remove two threads where the fold of the hem touches the main part and weave the ends into the hem

Now hem-stitch the folded edge using an away waste knot that can be removed at a later stage. Pick up three threads and pull snugly to open the holes. If you are using the hole-edged banding or lace-edged banding slip stitch both ends into place 

Here is the finished hem. Repeat the above steps to finish off the bottom end of your banding. Remember to mark the front of the banding so your hems are on the same side!

All of the above pictures can be enlarged for a closeup view by clicking on them. 

posted by Carol R at 03:39 | Permalink | 4 comments