Pink Castle Blog

Mushroom Family Sampler Gera Cross Stitch Kits

Posted by Katie Remski on Aug 10, 2017 1:00:00 PM
  

Mushroom Family Sampler Cross Stitch Kit on Linen at Pink Castle Fabrics

These little 'shrooms from Gera designer Kyoko Maruoka are the perfect cute and quirky intro to cross stitch samplers! A free pattern from Lecien, we love it so much we decided to make kits so you can start stitching right away. 

Since everyone has their preference, the Gera Cross Stitch kits come in both Aida cloth and linen variations. The linen kits (pictured above) use Wichelt-Permin 32 count linen in the color Sea Lily, which is a beautiful light teal color-- a welcome break from white and other neutrals. If you want to know more about the technique for cross stitching on linen, check out this tutorial. The Aida cloth kits (pictured at right) use Wichelt-Permin 100% cotton 16 count Aida, and the color is also called Sea Lily, though you can see it's a bit lighter in color than the linen. Click here for an Aida cross stitch tutorial!  Mushroom Family Sampler by Gera made by Brenda Ratliff
Cosmo_Floss for Mushroom Family Samplers

Both cross stitch kits use 24 colors of Lecien's Cosmo Floss, a smooth, silky cotton thread with vibrant color. Though some of the writing on the two-page pattern is in Japanese, the chart is very easy to read and follow with the help of numbers and symbols for each thread color. Check the pattern out here if you want to see the pattern before buying the kit, and see more about Cosmo Floss (and the Q-snap frame in the photo above!) here.

If you make a Mushroom Family Sampler, make sure to tag us on Instagram with #mushroomfamilysampler and @pinkcastlefabrics --we might just share your make! 

 

Shop Mushroom Family Sampler Kits! 

Topics: japanese imports, Lecien, cross stitch, cross stitch kit, cosmo floss, kyoko maruoka, mushroom family sampler, gera cross stitch

Cross Stitch Kits and Patterns: The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery

Posted by Katie Remski on Jul 20, 2017 9:15:00 AM
  

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While there's certainly no shortage of cross stitch patterns out there, we definitely play favorites when it comes to a few great companies-- and nobody does holiday patterns like The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery

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Christmas on Gingerbread Lane 

Of all cross stitch kits, this Advent calendar is pretty much perfect in every way: glitter linen background fabric, an ice rink, candy canes, penguins, Santa stuck in a chimney, an aqua-and-pink color palette, and sparkling blush Cosmo Floss for accents! The piece is about 11" x 9" (just right for framing) and our kit includes all the flosses and linen you need to make this a family heirloom. 

Click here for the kit! 

 

The Mysterious Halloween Town 

This fun-and-spooky-never-scary little town is filled with pumpkins, owls, Bride and Mr. Frankenstein, and a bakery cooking up yummy tricks and treats! This one is approximately 11" x 5" big and would look so cute hanging on your front door in wait for costumed kids!  

Shop pattern here 

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Once Upon a Time Sampler

Fairytale enthusiasts will adore this sweet sampler featuring 12 different stories, from Cinderella to Hansel and Gretel! This piece will finish at about 11.5" by 18", perfect for hanging on a wall in your favorite reading nook. 

Shop pattern here

Note: Most of the Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery pattern envelopes feature linen and the kits contain linen, so you'll want to read How to Cross Stitch on Linen first as a refresher! 

Other cross stitch posts:

See all cross stitch supplies here! 

Topics: cross stitch, cross stitch kit

Cross Stitch Supplies to Get Started

Posted by Katie Remski on Jul 11, 2017 1:03:44 PM
  

Cross Stitch Banner at PCF

Cross stitch is one of those hobbies that's never really gone out of style, but it's popularity is definitely on the rise-- and for good reason! Cross stitch is easy to do in front of Netflix or riding in the car, and the tidy little "x's" making pretty (or nerdy, or sarcastic) artwork has a quaint, nostalgic appeal. Here's an introduction on some cross stitch supplies you need to get started.


Fabric for Cross Stitch

Aida Cloth 

Aida cloth is what is probably most well recognized material for cross stitch. The "count" in Aida cloth refers to the number of stitches per inch, and this size determines how large or small each stitch will be. Aida is counted simply by each highly visible "square" in the weave, and 14 count means there are 14 stitches per inch. Aida cloth is often seen in plain white color, but we love aqua or heathered oatmeal colors too. 

Aida Cloth

Linen 

 For a slightly different appearance, evenweave linen can be used instead of Aida. We use Permin brand 100% linen, and it has a stable hand with the slightest sheen, and comes in beautiful colors. Linen's count is determined by measuring 2 strands up and 2 strands over (you stitch over two strands.) The most common count for linen is 32, and the pattern will indicate what count you should use (or the kit will include it.) Not going to lie, linen is definitely more challenging to use than Aida cloth, but I personally think the look of linen makes the extra effort worthwhile. 

Permin Linen

 

 cosmo floss

Floss

The thread used for embroidery is called floss. It's appearance is similar to yarn, with mutliple plys per strand wrapped into a skien. The floss strands separate easily, so you can use the number of strands the pattern specifies, usually 2 or 3. 

Our favorite is Cosmo Floss by Leicien, and it's what we use in all our kits. Cosmo floss is made in Japan from long-staple cotton, which not only reduces lint and breakage but makes it soft and smooth. It comes in over 400 colors, and also includes verigated and glitter varieties. 

 

Hoop or Q-Snap Frame

"Hooping" your cross stitch fabric creates tension, which ensures even stitches. You can use the traditional screw or spring hoop made of wood or plastic, or you can use a Q-Snap frame. Q-Snap frames have the benefit of holding your entire piece square and taut, reducing wrinkles and allowing for even tension across the whole piece. 

 

Mushroom Family Sampler on Aida Cloth

Q-Snap Frame for cross stitch

 

Tulip Needles

Needles and Scissors

Needles for cross stitch should have a large enough eye to comfortably hold 2 or 3 strands of floss, and be the correct thickness for going through Aida or linen holes without piercing the weave threads of the fabric. We like Tulip Assorted Cross Stitch and Tapestry needles because each cork-stopped tube comes with multiple sizes and levels of sharpness. For scissors, small, sharp snips work well for cutting thread cleanly (so it's easier to thread through the needle) and keeping them convieniently close by. Tula 5" Curved EZ Snips are a great option for both sharpness and portability. 

 

 See all cross stitch supplies here!  

Topics: embroidery, hand sewing, aida cloth, hand embroidery, linen, cross stitch, cross stitch kit, cross stitch supplies

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