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I was quite apprehensive about assembling the pieces of stitching to make the little house, once I’d done all the sides and roof, as I thought it might end up being bulky. There were lots of layers to neatly put together, and as I’ve got no patience, there was a distinct possibility that I could spoil it all at this point.

All the stitched pieces, lining pieces and card shapes, ready to be assembled

All the stitched pieces, lining pieces and card shapes, ready to be assembled

The instructions in the chart pack from Victoria Sampler said to glue the cross stitched pieces to  card liners, after having ironed interlining on the back of each piece. I am always a bit wary of letting glue anywhere near stitching – especially if it has taken me hours and hours to make it!! I decided to compromise, and hand-stitch the mitres on the corners first, and glue only the straight sides, as I felt that would be more likely to be successful. I ironed all the seam allowances over first, to get clearly defined edges to work with, and that helped a lot.

The base fabric, showing the seam allowances pressed across the corners, ready to be mitred

The base fabric, showing the seam allowances pressed across the corners, ready to be mitred

With the lining pieces (using a lovely piece of  cotton quilting fabric, stolen from my quilting material stash),  I *did* glue the corners as well as the straight sides, as that fabric was much thinner than the evenweave I’d used for the cross stitch, so it was much more maneagable.

Mitres hand-stitched, ready to have the straight sides glued down

Mitres hand-stitched, ready to have the straight sides glued down

After each piece of stitching and corresponding lining piece had dried thoroughly, I stuck the correct pairs back to back. As was suggested in the instructions, clothes pegs helped hold the pairs together as the glue dried.

House19

 

So, it’s all coming together nicely…..

The Gingerbread Stitching House by Victoria Sampler that I am making has an ingenious pincushion incorporated into the chimney of the etui. It is an open, four-sided box-like structure, shaped along the bottom edges so that it sits on the roof, so that it can be lifted off when needed. The ‘smoke’ coming out of the chimney is the actual pincushion part. Clever, eh?

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It was quite fiddly to make, but good when it was done. The stitching itself was quick, and simple to do. Buttons and a few beads were attached next. After trimming the fabric, it was strengthened with pieces of Vilene interlining, and then the fabric was stretched over pieces of card and glued in place.

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Lining ‘squares’ mounted on card were then stuck inside the backstitched outlines for each side of the chimney.

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The ‘smoke’ for the pincushion itself was made from a circle of white cotton, 3 inches in diameter, gathered with a running stitch around the edge, and stuffed with a little wadding.

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The chimney was slipstitched into a tube, and the ‘smoke’ stuck down in place.

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Isn’t it cute?

The back panel of the Gingerbread Stitching House by Victoria Sampler that I am stitching has a hardanger window, which is then backed with contrasting fabric to give the impression of light showing from inside the building. I hadn’t ever done hardanger before, as it doesn’t really appeal to me as a technique. For a while, I considered altering the design and just working it all in cross stitch but then I thought I’d have a go anyway, and was surprisingly pleased with the result.

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House08

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The roof is stitched all in white, using cross stitch and various counted thread stitches. This was pretty when it was finished, but BORING BORING BORING to stitch. I remembered, part way through, that I don’t like stitching with white. Pretty stupid to decide to stitch a design that features lots of decorative ‘snow’, then, really, wasn’t it?!

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I also realised that, as I’d substituted an Anchor stranded cotton for the Kreinik Mori thread that was suggested in the chart pack, the whites I was using weren’t all the same shade of white, and in some types of lighting, that notices. DMC Perle 12 and 8 White are not the same as Anchor stranded cotton number 01 White. Oh well. All of that is disguised somewhat by the beads and buttons that are stitched on last, as they grab the attention much more, fortunately.

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This is my latest project –  I fancied doing some cross stitch, as I hadn’t done any for a while, and I’ve had the series of charts of these gingerbread buildings from Victoria Sampler in Canada for over a year in my stash. (If you’re in the UK, get the charts from Sew and So, and save hugely on postage costs, by the way!). They are sold as items to be used as table decorations at Christmas, but I plan to display them all year round (once they’re done, of course, which may take a while…..). At this time of year, it’s so tempting to do something festive and fun!

I am making the little house on the far left, to start with. The biscornu in front of it is part of the chart pack as well.

I am making the little house on the far left, to start with. The biscornu in front of it is part of the chart pack as well.

I decided to make the little stitching house first, as it’s not just a 3D building, but an etui. The roof lifts off to show that the underside of the roof is for storing needles. The chart pack has instructions for a scissor keep and a pincushion biscornu, too.

I began by stitching the front of the house, which was nice to do as there are lots of little areas that can be completed in a single stitching session, and the little trims (the beads and buttons) make it interesting to do.

 

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The fabric that is recommended in the instructions is Antique Almond, by Zweigart, but even though the chart pack was published fairly recently, that shade of fabric is already no longer produced. So, I bought  Zweigart’s ‘Cognac’ shade instead. It’s a lot darker and orangey, but I like it. I was a bit concerned that the brown shades of thread in the Victoria Sampler Accessory Pack might not show up properly on the darker fabric (i.e. for the gingerbread people), but they did.

 

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The house front before the beads have been added

The house front before the beads have been added

 

With beads, buttons and ribbon added

With beads, buttons and ribbon added

This is not just cross stitch – there are some interesting counted thread stitches incorporated, too, such as for the doorstep and door itself, to give textural interest.

These are the latest table runner and placemat kits that I have launched for twelfth scale doll’s houses. They are based on the most popular motif that I have in my range of miniature needlepoint, which is called ‘Summer Roses’. Although the motif itself is based on a Victorian design, it suits almost any era of doll’s house – even up to the present day – as flowers are timeless.

Placemats cropped

Both the table runner and the placemats are to be stitched on 32 count silk gauze, in tent stitch, which is really easy to do (it’s like half cross stitch). The placemats are 1 3/8 inches across by an inch high, and the table runner is 3 1/2 inches long by 7/8 inches wide. The kit for the placemats contains enough materials to make four placemats. The placemats kit can be found here and costs £14.95, and the table runner kit can be found here and costs £12.95. There are tutorials on how to make up each of these types of kit on my website here.

Summer roses runner for AIM

There are lots of other kits in my dollhouse needlepoint range, using variations of this design – here they all are, grouped together:

Summer roses collection Nov 2014

 

And here they all are, displayed in a dollhouse room:

 

Summer roses collection in a room

The flowers around the sides of the spoolholder that I am making from Carolyn Pearce’s ‘Home Sweet Home Workbox’ book are coming along nicely now. These daisies are stitched by working three lazy daisy stitches in a group, all starting from roughly the same point. The centre of each is a French knot, made with two strands and two wraps around a milliners needle.

Spoolholder 14

The forget-me-nots are worked by stitching four granitos stitches, leaving a tiny space in the centre for another French knot.

Spoolholder 15

Lastly, these little blue flowers are worked by stitching five French knots in a circle, and then filling the centre of the circle with a butter-coloured Mill Hill size 11 seed bead. In Carolyn’s book, she suggested using blue flower beads for these flowers. For one thing, I have found it impossible to buy anything remotely like the beads that Carolyn used. Also, I prefer the softer look of these flowers worked mainly in French knots, to possibly chunky-looking beads.

Spoolholder 16

The strange green thing on the left of the image above is the back end of the caterpillar!

How would you like to make some stunning table linens for your doll’s house? These are the latest table runner and placemats sets that I have launched for those of you who love to stitch miniature needlepoint. They are based on a really popular motif from the 1930’s – the Crinoline Lady. This motif appeared on all kinds of household linens during the decade of the 1930’s. The lady, in her full-skirted dress, stands in a garden under an arbour which is covered in roses.

advert-runner-crinoline

The carpet that is shown in the image below is called ‘Judith’, and is available as a kit on 18 count canvas from here. Although I didn’t design the Crinoline lady set to co-ordinate with this carpet….don’t they look good together?!

Crinoline lady dollhouse placemats room

Both the table runner and the placemats are to be stitched on 32 count silk gauze, in tent stitch, which is really easy to do (it’s like half cross stitch). The placemats are 1 3/8 inches across, and the table runner is 3 7/8 inches long by 1 3/8 inches wide. The kit for the placemats contains enough materials to make four placemats. The placemats kit can be found here and costs £14.95, and the table runner kit can be found here and costs £12.95. There are tutorials on how to make up each of these types of kit on my website here.

Crinoline lady placemats

If the Crinoline lady motif really appeals to you, then there is also a dollhouse scale teacosy kit and a traycloth kit (which includes the wooden components to make the tray as well) in the same design.

Crinoline lady traycloth set