This week I’ve been filling in the flowers and leaves around the sides of the spoolholder that I am making from Carolyn Pearce’s ‘Home Sweet Home Workbox’ book.
The anemone flowers are stitched using raised cross stitches. This is a really successful stitch to use for these little flowers.
I started by making a loose-ish cross stitch exactly over the pencilled circles I’d previously drawn, using two strands of red silk in a number 26 tapestry needle. Then, I brought the needle up near to the centre of the cross, and to the lower right.
Without going down through the fabric, I threaded the needle under the right-hand arm of the cross, making sure that the thread laid under the needle, and pulled the thread through snugly, but not too tightly.
Then I turned the fabric through 90 degrees clockwise, and threaded the needle under the next arm of the cross stitch (still making sure the thread was under the needle). I repeated that with the other two arms of the cross stitch to make one complete round – then carried on going, filling the cross until it was comfortably full, but not over-stuffed! The trick to getting this stitch right is to turn your work, rather than trying to thread the needle through at awkward angles.
When the raised cross stitch for each flower was finished, they looked like this. Neat, eh?!
To finish them off properly, I worked a tiny French knot in one strand of Anchor thread using two wraps round a milliners needle for the flower centres. This gave them ‘character’. I’ll work the stems later, when the other types of flowers are done, if there are gaps – otherwise, I might leave them as they are, kind of ‘floating’ – not sure yet.
I had a bit of a hiccup as I started to embroider the caterpillar on the spoolholder from Carolyn Pearce’s ‘Home Sweet Home Workbox’ book this week. I started by putting in two full 12 – strand lengths of Gloriana silk as padding on the caterpillar’s body. Then I couched it down with a contrasting thread. Then I realised that I was supposed to work stem stitch filling using the couched threads as a base, and finally couch over the couched threads with another colour last. Are you still with me?! Anyway, I didn’t want to have to do stem stitch filling, as it isn’t one of my favourite stitches.
So, I unpicked the couching threads, and did them again using one strand of the Gloriana thread (I also added a third 12 – strand length of’ laid thread to make the caterpillar’s body bigger).
This is the caterpillar once completed – with stem stitch outlining, tiny legs and ‘horns’ stitched with one strand of metallic thread in Gunmetal grey, and two bronze Mill Hill beads for his eyes. I’m quite pleased with him now. He’s about an inch and a quarter long.
Then I started to add the grass, in two shades of Medici wool.
And I used Fly Stitch and little straight stitches to work the wheat and dill plants among the grass.
The pencilled little circles are placement guidelines for the red and pink anemones, which I’m planning to stitch next.
The latest edition of the free online magazine ‘Artisans in Miniature’ has just come out! If you haven’t seen this publication before, it’s well worth a look. It has really interesting articles, written by professional miniaturists, on all aspects of the doll’s house hobby.
Issue 52 features a brilliant article on how to achieve the Art Deco look in your doll’s house:
There’s also an article on Victorian houses:
If you want to know which books are great for when you’re researching for your doll’s house, there’s a good list here:
For those who like ‘how to’ articles, the issue has one on how to customise shop-bought lampshades (I’m going to try some of these!):
And lots more….
There’s even a mention towards the back of the magazine about the Ginger Cat teacosy kit I have recently brought out….
When you love Christmas, and you love embroidery too, then it’s never too early to start on your Christmas stitching projects. As the nights start drawing in, what can be better than having a Christmassy project to keep you busy in the evenings?
During the summer, I’ve been working on designing these table runners and placemats with a Christmassy theme. These new miniature needlepoint kits for table runners and placemats for doll’s houses have now been added to my website today, so you can begin to make them in time for your festive dollhouse displays. They would also make wonderful Christmas presents for friends who have doll’s houses.
All the kits contain 32 count silk gauze, plenty of Anchor stranded cotton, and a suitable needle for you to stitch with. The designs are counted from a colour block chart (the design isn’t printed on the fabric), which is simple to use and easy on the eyes. Instructions on how to finish the kits are included, too. You may want to purchase some Fray Check fabric glue (also available on my website) to stabilise the edges of the gauze before you trim around it.
The long table runner kit costs £12.95 and measures 3 5/8 by one inch, the round table centre mat kit costs £8.95 and measures 1 3/8 inches diameter, and the kit for the set of four placemats costs £14.95 (each placemat measures 1 3/8 by one inch). All of them are available to purchase now.