Stitchcraft Articles

Contents

  1. Outline stitches in Blackwork
  2. Golden Crown Mark 2
  3. DMC Coloris
  4. A Golden Crown
  5. Uses & Care for Kreinik Metallic Ribbons
  6. Uses & Care for Kreinik Braids
  7. Kreinik Cable
  8. Blending Filament
  9. Transferring designs to fabric for surface embroidery
  10. Seasonal Blooms by Brittercup Designs
Earlier Stitchcraft Articles

Outline stitches in Blackwork

Until recently I used backstitch to outline areas in blackwork. Then I tried out one of Classic Embroidery's designs The Little Owl and to make it reversible I had to use double running stitch.

I think I won't go back to using backstitch as the finished result with double running stitch is finer. See my illustration with the double running stitch above the backstitch.

I work large areas and the first time round is a bit tricky to keep track but then it's much easier to complete with the intermediate running stitches so probably just as quick to stitch.

double running
 
by Anne Peden on Fri, 27 May 2016, 10:27
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Golden Crown Mark 2

Having learned from my first attempt at making a dressing-up crown, I decided to make a smaller lighter version.

Still working on 10 count plastic canvas, I stitched the body completely in whole cross stitch using Anchor Metallic gold 300. The edge was finished as before with 1/8 ribbon by Kreinik in 002 gold.

The heart shaped bead came from a pack of three, but it's a bit heavy so instead of using them all I added some sequins in a similar colour.

I sewed turquoise felt on the reverse stitching through by hand with gold sewing machine thread. That made the crown look a bit dull as the gold thread doesn't completely fill the holes in the canvas so I changed it for yellow to make it much brighter.

The princess was finally satisfied (for the moment) although she spent a couple of days dressing as a witch instead.

Crown
 
by Anne Peden on Tue, 17 May 2016, 19:59
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DMC Coloris

We thought we'd try a design in the exciting new Coloris by DMC.

Since it has radical colour changes rather than subtle, it seemed like it might be suitable for Assisi work. I started with a simple shape of a ladybird with large areas to fill in cross stitch and of course completed both halves of each cross as I went. I decided on 4516 Black Forest and worked on antique white evenweave.

You can see from the right hand side of the finished embroidery that the outcome is rows of colour rather than blotches. It reminded me of knitting in random dyed wool.

I tried a different approach on the left hand side of the ladybird. Rather than starting at the centre which would mean referring to the chart constantly, I stitched the perimeter and then worked inwards following the shape. I think this gives more interesting blobs of colour.

Perhaps if you've tried out this floss you have other ideas? Please let us know.

ladybird
 
by Anne Peden on Tue, 17 May 2016, 19:54
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A Golden Crown

Our three year old granddaughter said ' Gran, I need a crown' . I could have made one out of paper but after a bit of thought I decided on plastic canvas.

It's more of a tiara really with elastic to hold it on. I wanted to use gold metallic threads so I picked 10 mesh and used a mixture of Kreinik flosses. No. 32 covers well in tent stitch but to add interest and texture I also used no. 8 and no. 16.

I wasn't sure whether it would be better to cut the shape first and then embroider or embroider first and cut afterwards. Cutting complicated shapes with a craft knife is a bit tricky as you find you sometimes go too far. In the end I cut one half of the shape and followed the line as I stitched on the other half.

The lower border is stitched in cushion stitch using no.8 in 002 gold. I followed with a row of tent stitch in no.32 002. Then a diagonal stitch over two and satin stitch squares in no. 32 High Lustre 002HL alternating direction to save carrying the floss across the reverse.

I worked two fir stitches also in no. 32 High Lustre 002HL, one each side of the centre. The raw edges were quite sharp and would have caught in the princess's hair. I tried going over them with no. 32 braid but it didn't cover well and then I tried 1/8th ribbon which did work well. I only happened to have that in Aztec gold so felt it should appear on places other than the edge hence the sweeping pattern. I filled in with no.32 002 braid in tent stitch above and no. 16 braid 002 in tent stitch below. Then finished around the edges with the 1/8th ribbon.

The large bead came from an old necklace and I lined the reverse with a similar colour of fabric stitching with gold sewing thread which didn't show on the front.

Having learned from my first attempt, there will possibly be a second smaller version when time permits.

first
 
by Anne Peden on Sat, 02 Apr 2016, 17:39
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Uses & Care for Kreinik Metallic Ribbons

Applications: crazy quilting (hand and machine), crewel, cross stitch/counted thread, doll making (hand and machine), fly fishing, kids' crafts, machine embroidery/bobbin work, machine embroidery/couching, needlepoint/canvas work, plastic canvas, ribbon embroidery, stumpwork, weaving.

Hand Embroidery
Kreinik 1/16" and 1/8" Ribbon create a beautiful frosted look in ribbon embroidery. They also create a flat texture and delicate shimmery effect in samplers. This texture makes them ideal for needlepoint, canvas work, and plastic canvas as well. In addition, you can couch 1/16" and 1/8" Ribbons on any fabric for surface embellishment with a corresponding color of Kreinik Cord or Blending Filament. Use the corded ribbons couched with a corresponding color of Kreinik Cord to create the appearance of elegant gold work.

Machine Embroidery
Whether you are creating an art quilt, wearable art, bridal items, home decor, embroidered accessories, or other creations on a sewing machine, Kreinik Ribbons offer colorful, textured embellishment options. The ribbons can easily be couched with a corresponding color of Kreinik Cord or a clear thread in the needle. (Or use a contrasting color in the needle for interesting effects.) This is an easy embellishment technique that lends refined elegance to traditional designs (choose the muted and corded colors) and sensory excitement to artistic extravagances (let color be your guide). To keep the threads in position, use a braiding foot, multi-cord foot, or similar foot available for your machine. Stitch slowly to keep the ribbons flat as you couch. Experiment with zig-zag or other decorative stitches to create interesting effects.
With a few adjustments to tension and thread set-ups, you can also use 1/16" Ribbon in the bobbin of a machine. Try straight stitch designs on a scrap of fabric to experiment with the technique.
For the ultimate in beauty and texture, use the Kreinik Ribbons to create ribbon embroidery by machine. The soft pearl and pale pastel colors are ideal for bridal accessories. Use an embroidery hoop and remove the foot; refer to the many books on the market that talk about ribbon embroidery by machine, and substitute Kreinik Ribbons for silk ribbons.

Care
Kreinik Ribbons are hand or machine washable and dry cleanable. Cool water is recommended. Do not use bleach. They can also be tumble-dried on low setting. When ironing a finished piece containing Kreinik metallic ribbons, do not iron directly on the thread; use a cloth, and do not use steam.

Tips on using Kreinik Ribbon in hand work:
The 1/16" Ribbon comes on a snap-spool mechanism. Both sides of the spool open; look for the side where the thread end is located. Insert your thumbnail under the cap, and rotate the spool while gently lifting the cap to release the thread (the cap should not pop off). Snap the lid shut to secure the unused portion.

The 1/8" Ribbon has a lock-flange mechanism: the thread 'locks' in the groove around the top of the spool. Simply pull the thread to release. Wrap the thread in the groove to secure the unused portion.

Use short lengths of ribbon-about 45cm (18 inches) or less-for greater control (less knotting!) and to avoid excessive abrasion on the thread from repeated passes through the ground fabric or canvas.

Use a needle large enough to 'open' the hole in the fabric sufficiently and allow the ribbon to go through more easily.

Threading Technique for Ribbon
For a quick-and-easy, take-anywhere threading technique, cut a small strip of paper and fold in half. Place the fold through the eye of the needle and open the two ends to insert the thread in between. Gently pull the paper through so the thread is brought with it.

The way a needle is twisted during stitching, combined with the twist of the thread, can cause any thread to twist on itself. Stitch slowly for greater control, and let your needle hang frequently to let the thread untwist. You may also wish to moisten the ribbon with a slightly damp sponge to relax the thread.

The ribbons are easy to lay flat, but use a laying tool, your needle, or your finger for extra control.

Ribbon sizes
 
by Kreinik on Thu, 25 Feb 2016, 10:56
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Uses & Care for Kreinik Braids

Applications depend on the thickness of the braid but include: appliqué (hand and machine), blackwork, costumes, crazy quilting (hand and machine), crewel, crochet, cross stitch/counted thread, doll making (hand and machine), fly fishing, hardanger, kids crafts, knitting (by hand), lace making, machine embroidery/bobbin work, machine embroidery/couching, machine embroidery/in the needle, miniatures, needlepoint/canvas work, plastic canvas, punch embroidery, quilting (hand and machine), ribbon embroidery, serging, silk gauze/Polysil embroidery, smocking, stumpwork, tatting, weaving.

The Very Fine (#4) , Fine (#8), Tapestry (#12), and Medium (#16) Braids are available in these types: Basic, Hi lustre, Glow-in-the-dark, Vintage, and Corded braids. The Heavy (#32) Braid is available in Basic, Hi lustre, and Glow-in-the-dark.

Hand Embroidery
Kreinik Braids are used alone rather than combined with another thread type in the needle. Use the metallic braids to recreate the color and texture of nature and life, such as glistening snow, luminescent butterflies, glowing moons and stars, polished black leather shoes, shimmering fish or sea life, and more. You can also use their light-reflecting properties to create mood in a design; imagine the radiant stardust of an angel, the magical shimmer of a mermaid, or the crystalline coating of a winter's snowfall. Of course, you can also use the metallic braids just to bring sparkle, depth, texture and visual interest to any project, whether it is worked in crochet, cross stitch, canvas work, crewel, or ribbon embroidery. Don't be afraid of adding a light source in a design and replacing a cotton or wool thread for a metallic thread; the effect of combining different thread textures can be more visually exciting than a design worked in a single thread type. With these braids, your creative possibilities are endless.

Machine Embroidery
Whether you are creating an art quilt, wearable art, bridal items, home decor, embroidered accessories, or other creations on a sewing machine, Kreinik Braids offer colorful, textured embellishment options. Depending on their size, they can be used in the bobbin, in the needle, or couched. Experiment with tension settings, needles, machine feet and thread set-ups until you get a combination that works for your machine and fabric. Using decorative threads with a sewing machine may take a little extra time, but the colors and textures won't disappoint you in the finished project. They can create award-winning, memory-making, dynamic visual effects.

Care
Kreinik Braids are hand or machine washable and dry cleanable. Cool water is recommended. Do not use bleach. They can also be tumble-dried on low setting. When ironing a finished piece containing Kreinik Braids, do not iron directly on the thread; use a cloth, and do not use steam.

Tips on using Kreinik Braids in hand work:
The Very Fine (#4), Fine (#8) and Tapestry (#12) come on a snap-spool mechanism. Both sides of the spool open; look for the side where the thread end is located. Insert your thumbnail under the cap, and rotate the spool while gently lifting the cap to release the thread (the cap should not pop off). Snap the lid shut to secure the unused portion.

The Medium (#16) and Heavy (#32) Braids have a lock-flange mechanism: the thread 'locks' in the groove around the top of the spool. Simply pull the thread to release. Wrap the thread in the groove to secure the unused portion.

Use short lengths of thread-about 45cm (18 inches) or less-to avoid excessive abrasion when pulling the thread through the ground fabric or canvas. The more we pull a strand through fabric or canvas, the more 'wear' it causes on the thread. Using shorter lengths will maintain the quality of the thread, plus reduce tangling as shorter lengths are easier to control (less knotting!).

If you are stitching on fabric, use a needle large enough to 'open' the hole in the fabric sufficiently and allow the thread to go through more easily.

Threading Technique for Kreinik Braids
For a quick-and-easy, take-anywhere threading technique, cut a small strip of paper and fold in half. Place the fold through the eye of the needle and open the two ends to insert the thread in between. Gently pull the paper through so the thread is brought with it

You may wish to moisten the braid with a slightly damp sponge, or moisture from your own hands after rubbing them together, to help relax the thread and thus reduce twisting and knotting.

The way a needle is twisted during stitching, combined with the twist of the thread, can cause any thread to twist on itself. Stitch slowly for greater control, and let your needle hang frequently to let the thread untwist.

Stitch using the 'stab' method rather than the 'hand sewing' method to reduce tangling, working your stitches in two movements: up vertically then down vertically through the fabric.
 
by Kreinik on Thu, 25 Feb 2016, 10:47
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Kreinik Cable

Applications: crazy quilting (hand and machine), crewel, cross stitch/counted thread, costume making, doll making (hand and machine), hardanger, machine embroidery/couching, miniatures, needlepoint/canvas work, punch embroidery, ribbon embroidery (by hand and machine), stumpwork.

Hand Embroidery
This thread is ideal for creating background patterns on canvas. On fabric, it is often used for decorative stitches or outlines, as in samplers. Resembling real gold or silver, it has a classic elegance and refined line.

Care
Kreinik Cable is hand or machine washable and dry cleanable. Cool water is recommended. Do not use bleach. It can also be tumble-dried on low setting. When ironing a finished piece containing Cable, do not iron directly on the thread; use a cloth, and do not use steam.

Tips on using Kreinik Cable in hand work:
Cable comes on a snap-spool. Both sides of the spool open; look for the side where the thread end is located. Insert your thumbnail under the cap, and rotate the spool while gently lifting the cap to release the thread (the cap should not pop off). Snap the lid shut to secure the unused portion.

Stitch slowly with Cable to achieve more control and insure uniformity in stitching.

Let your needle hang frequently to let the thread untwist if you have recurring problems with tangling and knotting.

Use short lengths of cable-about 45cm (18 inches) or less-to avoid excessive wear on the thread and for greater control (less knotting!).
 
by Kreinik on Thu, 25 Feb 2016, 10:41
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Blending Filament

Applications:
Blackwork, crewel, crochet, cross stitch/counted thread, doll making (by hand and machine), fly fishing, hardanger, knitting (by hand), lace making, machine embroidery/bobbin work, machine embroidery/in the needle, miniatures, needlepoint/canvas work, punch embroidery, silk gauze/Polysil embroidery, smocking, stumpwork, weaving.

Hand Embroidery:
The thin quality of Blending Filament allows you to create elements of subtle light reflection. It is often combined with cotton, wool or another thread type, in the same needle, to create a random metallic sparkle. The addition of one or two strands does not add weight to your thread, so you can use the needle size that accommodates the stranded cotton. Vary the amount of highlight or shimmer you want to add to a design by using one or more strands; use a single strand for the most subtlety or two strands for added effect.

Overstitching & Texture
:
There's more to Blending Filament than just 'blending,' however. You can also use Blending Filament by itself to overstitch, bringing a reflective highlight or glow to a particular spot. Also, use a single strand of Blending Filament by itself in half-cross stitches for backgrounds on fabric; it creates a slight texture and subtle shimmer.

Machine Embroidery:
Blending Filament creates three-dimensional effects whether used in the needle or the bobbin of a sewing machine with specific embroidery patterns or free-motion techniques. It is ideal for art quilts and wearable art. Blending Filament also creates delicate reflective highlights in programmed patterns on embroidery machines. Kreinik offers an extensive color range to match fabric or mood.

Tips on using Kreinik Blending Filament with a sewing machine or serger:
a. When using Blending Filament in the needle, try a Metalfil or Metallica needle. You will need to loosen the top tension and adjust the bottom tension; practice until you get a combination that works with your machine, stitches, and fabric choice.

b. When using Blending Filament in the bobbin for needle lace or other effects, experiment with different tension settings until you find a combination that achieves the look you want on your fabric. A 50m reel of Blending Filament fills a bobbin nicely.

c. You can also combine Blending Filament with other threads or use it alone in a serger. Estimate 10 times the length to be sewn for thread yardage when using without mixing with other threads.

Care
Kreinik Blending Filament is hand or machine washable and dry cleanable. Cool water is recommended. Do not use bleach. It can also be tumble-dried on low setting. When ironing a finished piece containing Blending Filament, do not iron directly on the thread; use a cloth, and do not use steam.

Tips on using Kreinik Blending Filament in hand work:
Blending Filament comes on a snap-spool mechanism. Both sides of the spool open, so look for the side where the thread end is located. Insert your thumbnail under the cap, and rotate the spool while gently lifting the cap to release the thread (the cap should not pop off). Snap the lid shut to secure the unused portion.

Use short lengths of thread-about 45cm (18 inches) or less-to avoid excessive abrasion when pulling the thread through the ground fabric or canvas. The more a strand is pulled through fabric or canvas, the more 'wear' it causes on the thread. Using shorter lengths will maintain the quality of the thread, plus reduce tangling as shorter lengths are easier to control (less knotting!). If you are stitching on fabric, use a needle large enough to 'open' the hole in the fabric sufficiently and allow the thread(s) to go through more easily; this reduces friction and fraying.

If combining Blending Filament with another thread type in a needle, you may wish to moisten the filament together with the other thread with a slightly damp, soft cosmetic sponge. This can help to control both thread types as they work together in your needle.

Stitch slowly with Blending Filament to achieve more control and insure uniformity in stitching.

Let your needle hang frequently to let the thread untwist and thus reduce knotting.

If using Hi Lustre Blending Filament, lay the filament flat and smooth as you stitch to allow maximum light reflection. Think of it as a tiny ribbon; using a laying tool can help prevent twisting, or simply use your finger to lay the thread.
snowman
 
by Kreinik on Thu, 25 Feb 2016, 10:35
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Transferring designs to fabric for surface embroidery

We were recently asked how to transfer your own design onto fabric to embroider.

There are various methods:-

Iron-on Transfer Printer Paper is available for A4 printers at larger stationary stores. This is useful if you have your design as an image on your computer. You can easily 'flip' your image before printing to make it come out the right way on the fabric. This is semi-permanent so when embroidering you must take care to cover the outline with stitching.

Embroidery Tranfer Pencils can be used to sketch or copy a design outline onto tracing paper. This can then be ironed onto your fabric. These lines will usually wash out and may even wear off as you stitch.

Dressmakers Carbon Paper available in blue for light fabrics and white for dark fabrics may be used like ordinary carbon paper. Put the carbon between your paper design and the fabric, making sure it's very flat and weight around the edges. You have to lean very heavily with a pencil and this image is also temporary.

Perforation or Prick and Pounce is useful if the design is to be used many times, perhaps on napkins or at each corner of a table cover. Trace the design onto heavy tracing paper and with a thick layer of material behind, prick through the outline with a blunt needle making the holes as close to each as possible. When complete mount over your fabric and using a felt pad or blackboard eraser, rub powdered charcoal through the holes. Then paint around the outline with a fine brush and watercolour paint.

Basting Stitches in a contrasting shade can be used after first drawing or tracing the design onto very fine fabric. The fabric is pinned to the wrong side of the material to be stitched and the stitches worked through both layers leaving the design on the front of the fabric. Or work it through tracing paper and cut away the paper.

Tissue Paper with the design marked in felt tip pen may be used by attaching it to the fabric and embroidering through it. When finished the paper can be torn away.

If you want to work a counted cross stitch design on plain fabric, there is the option of using Waste Canvas which is removed by pulling out the individual threads when complete or Water Soluable Canvas in the same way which dissolves by soaking in warm water and makes a neater finish.
 
by Anne Peden on Tue, 26 Jan 2016, 12:00
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Seasonal Blooms by Brittercup Designs

I've liked these designs ever since I first saw them so took this opportunity to try Winter.

I used Permin of Copenhagen 32 count linen in Optical White which is a bright white as I thought it would contrast well. It's available in a fat quarter and a smaller useful size.

The pattern gives several floss options. It can be worked entirely in hand dyed fibres, seven Gentle Arts, one Classic Colorworks and one Weeks Dye Works, entirely in stranded cottons DMC or Anchor or in any combination.

I first worked the glass outline in Classic Colorworks black coffee. As this is an overdyed floss I worked both legs of each cross stitch before moving on. There seems little variation in the colour of this floss so that wasn't entirely necessary, but fitted in quite well with the shape.

I worked most of the colours in Anchor stranded cottons so I was able to work back and forth with the blocks of stitching. The red of the Poinsettia is in Weeks Dye Works Turkish red so I again I completed each cross stitch as I went. The complete design probably took under twenty hours to stitch.

Mounting the finished embroidery was a but tricky. Because of the dark central line, it really has to be very precise, straight and in the exact middle.

I'm pleased with the Art Deco style of the finished picture. Winter
 
by Anne Peden on Thu, 03 Dec 2015, 12:01
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Earlier Stitchcraft Articles ...

Witching Hour Ornament by the Prairie Schooler ... This cute design took only a couple of evening to stitch.
Milkweed Butterfly and Flower ... I have stitched some Thea Gouverneur designs before from her two lovely books
Embroidered Table Covers ... Hand stitched printed table covers always look lovely on your dining table.
Rico Design Hooded Baby Towels ... These baby towels make lovely gifts and can be used from birth and for many years.
Easter Rabbit by Eva Rosenstand ... Eva Rosenstand kits are now produced by Permin of Copenhagen and the key and instructions are in the same format as their designs.
Iphone 5 Phone Covers by Anchor. ... This is a quick and easy project worked completely in whole cross stitch on silicone covers.
Flexihoops ... I decided to use one of these frames to mount the reversible Little Owl from the Classic Embroidery pattern.
Review of Little Owl, blackwork kit by Classic Embroidery ... This pretty little design is sold as a 'weekender' and certainly can be completed in a weekend or a few evenings.
Review of Believe by Designs Works ... A pretty little design of the word with fairies and beads.
Review of Woodland Winter by Rose Swalwell ... A pretty little design from a seasonal set.
Review of Gardener Chick by Heritage Crafts ... Heritage Crafts have lots of birds and flower kits converted from the artwork of Valerie Pfeiffer which are very pretty and timeless.
Review of Cow - Sheep- Pig - Bull ... We decided that it would be a good idea to stitch a few different suppliers' kits to review them for our customers.
Quaker Style ... Crewel work was very popular in Europe during the sixteenth and seventeenth century.
An Introduction to Bargello ... There are lots of names for this style of canvas work including
Half Cross Stitch ... Some cross stitch designs have areas of
Band Samplers ... Band Samplers are a very old form of embroidery dating back to the Late Middle Ages.
Swedish Weaving ... This traditional craft had a revival in the 1930s and 40s and is becoming increasingly popular today.
Something a little bit different ...
Ribbon Embroidery ...
Counted Beadwork ... Beadwork was very popular in Victorian times when it was used to decorate evening dresses and bags and in furnishings such as cushions and footstools.
Assisi Embroidery ... Assisi embroidery comes from the Italian town of that name and was once used to decorate ecclesiastical linens.
Blackwork Easter Egg - a simple example. ... There's nothing very complicated about blackwork.
Would you like to try hardanger ? ... Some of you have recently expressed interest in hardanger, so we decided to research the subject a little and look for a few products.
New Baby? ... News of an expected new baby is always very exciting, and not just to the parents-to-be!
Miss Potter - Renaissance Woman ... Hollywood has seen a ready market for adaptations of British childrens' classics - Alice in Wonderland, Winnie the Pooh, Peter Pan, and so on, but now director Chris Noonan has made a new movie based on the life of the storyteller rather than the stories.
Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat ... ... Or perhaps, «gravitationally challenged», but it just doesn't scan.
Searching for Golden Threads ... I had a long search to find the
Mounting Your Embroidery On Card ... This is a short piece with advice on mounting your embroidery on card for framing - what type of thread to use and how to do it.
What Colour Is Blackwork? ... Blackwork is over four hundred years old
Not Another Embroidery! ... There are many, many cross stitch and embroidery designs and kits out there.
Goldwork ... Goldwork embroidery
Stitching Techniques And Tips ... An introduction to working cross stitch, blackwork and needlepoint designs with some useful tips and advice for beginners.
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