Last year’s subscription was so much fun that I knew very quickly that I would run another in 2019. I am so excited that the first kit is finally on its way to my lovely customers; it has felt like a long time coming. Mostly because it took me a while to decide on the right fabric for this project.
I most often stitch onto antique linen but I do love new fabric, if it’s the right quality. I pondered the benefits of both for this sampler for a long time and having trialled lots of potential fabrics I have decided on a beautiful white 100% linen which I have had professionally printed. The new linen has a lovely even weave but is still slightly slubby so it has a little texture. It presses nicely when you have finished stitching and the colour is a perfect base for the soft colours and stitches I have chosen this year. I will still use antique linens but for such a large piece of work aimed at beginners and advanced stitchers alike, it is important to have a good background that is easy to stitch into and that perfectly showcases the stitches.
I thought that I would write a quick post to answer some of the questions I’ve been receiving about the kit, whether you have subscribed or you are thinking about it, I hope the following information will be useful. Warning: it’s a long one!
I subscribed to last year’s Stitchery Journal. Will my subscription carry on for this year?
No, it’s a whole new payment process for just another 12 months. Your subscription for 2018 will have ended and no further payments will be taken. If you would like to join The Stitchery subscription this year, please do so by ordering the first kit here. (There is an option to buy the full kit up front, at a discount, if you prefer.)
I have only ordered month one. How do I pay for the other kits?
The first kit was a one-off purchase only to allow me to gauge appetite for a subscription this year. Your order has secured a place for you in the 2019 subscription, don’t worry. A subscriber button will be live here on the website next week to enable you to set up automated payments for the rest of the year. To ensure that you receive the February kit please complete the subscription before 10th February.
Why is the subscription in your shop cheaper than the paypal button?
The unit price for the kit is £25 plus £3.50 postage and packing. You will pay £28.50 per month (if you choose the instalments option) however you choose to pay; the shop listing just breaks down into unit and postage cost.
Do you ship overseas?
Yes, we ship everywhere and at a very competitive flat postage rate, however large your order.
I have never embroidered before, will I be able to do it?
Yes, yes, yes! The kits come with detailed step-by-step instructions and an annotated illustration. Subscribers also have access to my brand new channel over at Vimeo where I will upload regular tutorials and podcasts. Find me here. Be sure to follow me so that I can follow you back (we have to go through this process to enable access to content as my videos will be private). It is free to set up an account and you do not have to pay to view. I will still upload tutorials to my youtube channel and I am always happy to help via DM or email if you get really stuck.
How does it work on a monthly basis if I already have the whole pattern in month one?
You will be given the backing linen in month one, pre-printed with the entire alphabet that we will stitch this year. The pattern is vague, however, and whilst you can see where the various blooms or stems are placed you will not know until each month which colours and stitches we will use. The sampler is a riot of English Country Garden flowers in a soft, muted, but quite colourful palette.
Each quarter (March, June, September and December) you will receive bonus patterns and printed linen for a few small floral motifs that will complement the letter designs and enable you to build a collection of designs that you can use however you fancy. Those who have completed the full year will receive a detailed pattern for the lower case alphabet and numbers 0-9 with their December kits, giving a whole host of design opportunities for future gifts and decorative homewares.
What sewing tools do I need for the Alphabet Sampler? What size hoop do you recommend?
The kit comes with the linen and threads that you need to complete the stitchery. You will need a basic sewing kit to include a small pair of very sharp embroidery scissors, a selection of hand-sewing needles (I often use crewel needles because they have a larger than usual eye) and an embroidery hoop. I use wooden embroidery hoops with a screw but find one that suits you best. If you use a wooden hoop then, for a project of this size, I recommend wrapping both the inner and outer hoops with a natural coloured cotton tape. This helps to keep the fabric taut in your hoop and can prevent staining from the wood.
I always recommend the smallest hoop you can find. I prefer a 4” or 5'“ hoop; occasionally I will use a 6” hoop but any larger and I feel all fingers and thumbs. I also find that the fabric slackens very quickly. Embroidery hoops are inexpensive to buy and so it is worth having a selection to experiment with. The size of the sampler means that, whichever size hoop you use, you will need to move it around the fabric as you work. My favourite brand for quality sewing needles and scissors is Bohin. I keep a good stock of materials in my online haberdashery and at my studio in Castle Ashby if you are close enough to pop in.
If you have any questions please drop me a message and I’ll make sure I update this post. I am so looking forward to stitching with you this year!
Thank you so much to Kate Nicole at Oyster Bridge & Co who has, as always, produced beautiful delicate calligraphy for my Sampler together with the Stitchery Logo suite. Lucy Hopcraft at Three Six Five pulled together the design, branding and managed print work. They are basically a dream team to work with.
The pattern designs, text, illustrations and watercolours throughout these monthly kits are all my own work.
All rights reserved. Copyright Nicki Franklin 2019.