Those of you have been following my blog will have seen updates about my cross stitch miniature church which has been a WIP for almost a year. Not because it has taken me that long to stitch but because it kept being overtaken by other projects. Today, however, I finished it, which means I don’t have anymore WIPs lying around (but still plenty of kits I can start ;-)).
My last few projects may have given the impression that I have moved on from cross stitch kits but some are just so much fun to do and are relaxing change from other more complex embroidery techniques. I really like these miniature buildings by the Nutmeg Company and over the past few years, I have already stitched the Castle Inn, the village shop and Foxglove cottage. They were already starting to look like a quintessential English village but an important part of the village was missing: the church. So I knew that was the miniature I had to stitch next. The church actually does not have a name, but I have named it St. Barnabas Church, of Vicar of Dibley fame.
Have look at the pictures below to see what the church looks like finished.
As I mentioned the cross stitch part of these kits is not difficult at all, the difficult part of these kits is actually putting the buildings together, as they are very fiddly and it does require a lot of patience to do it neatly. Even though the instructions in the kit state how to put the miniatures together I did find I could have done with a bit more help. The Nutmeg Company’s newer kits seem to have more extensive instructions, although that is what it seemed like when I saw them on Hochanda. Having made 4 miniature buildings I thought I would write down some of the tricks I have learned while making them, to hopefully give you a bit more information on how to finish the kits the best way possible.
Before you start stitching
- Read the instructions! The outlines of the various parts, which make up the miniatures are not drawn on to the Aida. This means you have to work out yourself how to fit them on the fabric. This is usually easy when there is only one part. However, if there are several (like the nave and the tower) which have to fit on the same piece of fabric, take your time to work out which way they fit on the fabric. Do remember to take into account a 1,5 cm seam allowance along all sides as you need that to be able to cover the plastic canvas later. Read through the entire instructions as only in the making up it says you need a square piece of roof fabric for the tower and since I had neatly stitch the nave-roof in the centre of the roof fabric it required a big challenge to get that piece of fabric cut. The kits have just enough fabric in them to make the miniature so don’t assume the patterns will fit any which way.
- I am a rather efficient stitcher, but with all of the kits I have found out that I ran out of at least one colour. It is usually the colour which you need for most of the back-stitches (black or grey depending on the kit) but for the church, I ran out of all of the greys. Fortunately, The Nutmeg Company uses DMC threads in their kits and they have listed the numbers used so it is easy to supplement them from my stash. I have let the Nutmeg Company know about this, so hopefully, they have added more threads when they have made up new kits. Just be aware of it, in case you are taking the kit on holiday with you and you find yourself unable to complete it!
- I like to use a Siesta mini no-sew frame to work the cross stitches. I use their easy-grip tape to attach the Aida to the frame.
- I photocopy the charts (and glue together any chart which has several pieces, usually the walls) to be able to mark off the stitches I have done.
- Making up does take quite a bit of time. It took me about 6 hours to finish the church.
- Use sticky tape to fold over the edges before lacing them. I use extra strong tape from a DIY-store, but which is easy to remove.
- For the lacing I use Guterman top-stitch thread (M1003) as it is much stronger than regular sewing thread so you can pull your the Aida tighter across the canvas
- Make sure you lace the pieces at straight angles to prevent the fabric from warping.
- When lacing the roof, lace the sides first to the plastic canvas before lacing from gable-to-gable.
- When you need to cut inside corners, use a little bit of glue (fabric or PVA) on the cut to prevent fraying.
- I usually lace up the base first as it is the easiest, followed by the roof and the walls.
- When stitching the pieces together use sewing thread to match the stitches as they will be less noticeable. Use green sewing thread when stitching the building to the base and the felt to the bottom of the base.
- Cover the join in the walls with cross stitches in the colour of the adjoining stitches to make the seam less noticeable
- When stitching the roof to the walls, stitch the gable ends first to make sure the walls are sitting at right angles and the roof sits at equal distances from the walls. Finally, stitch the side walls to the roof.
- When stitching the walls to the base start at where the door meets a footpath and line them up. Continue going around and use the holes in the Aida-fabric of the base to ensure you are stitching the walls at right angles.
Below I have included some pictures of the making up process to hopefully help you a little bit more.
These are the other three miniatures I have made in the past.
And this is my current miniature village: