You don’t have to have a dollhouse to stitch mini things!

This little framed picture is stitched on 40 count silk gauze, and is a unique version of my ‘Elizabeth’ rug design, which usually is stitched on 18 count canvas with Appleton’s crewel wool. But Lorna, one of my customers, decided to do this tiny petit point version, which only measures 4 x 4 inches, and is framed in a picture frame just 9 inches square! It’s so cute when it’s stitched this small!

Dollhouse rug kit

Here are some more pictures of the ‘Elizabeth’ rug that other customers have sent me, in more traditional mini settings. They are all wonderful in their own way.

Dollhouse rug kit in doll's house

Dollhouse rug kit in doll's house

Dollhouse rug kit in doll's house

The design is based on a William Morris ‘Hammersmith’ rug, in gorgeous shades of blue and burnt orange. If you’d like to stitch one of these, the needlepoint rug kit costs 28.95 GBP and is available here. The kit contains Appletons crewel wool, a suitable needle, detailed instruction, and 18 count canvas (you count the design from a colour block chart – the design is not printed on the canvas). The finished size of the rug when stitched from a kit is nine inches square.

Visit my Dollhouse Needlepoint kit website or my Etsy shop site now (the Etsy one is better for mainland European customers). All kits are in stock, and I ship worldwide.

Victorian Pincushion on spindle stand: 5 – assembling the needlebook

I’ve embroidered and assembled the Victorian pincushion on its turned spindle stand from a chart pack from Victoria Sampler, and now I’m starting to assemble the needlebook that will go with it.

Victoria Sampler pincushion

First, I made a template of the front area of the needlebook from tissue paper by placing the stitching and the tissue paper on my light box and gently drawing the outline in pencil onto the paper.

Victorian pincushion Victoria sampler needlebook

Using the template, I cut the front and back stitched areas out (allowing a centimetre seam allowance on each) and a front and back lining piece from cream satin, again with a one centimetre seam allowance. I then cut two  iron-on interlining pieces to the exact size of the template, and ironed them to the reverse side of each piece of satin. The inner page of the needlebook was cut from white felt to the size of the template and then trimmed to be an eighth of an inch smaller all round, so that it won’t stick out at the edges when the needlebook is closed. I also cut two thick card pieces to the exact template size, to stiffen the covers of the needlebook.

Victorian pincushion Victoria sampler needlebook

I temporarily tacked the seam allowance of the satin to the reverse on both lining pieces.

Victorian pincushion Victoria sampler needlebook

I laced the front and back stitching over the stiff card with strong quilting thread.

Victorian pincushion Victoria sampler needlebook

This is the back panel of the needlebook once laced over the card.

Victorian pincushion Victoria sampler needlebook

Placing the stitching and the lining wrong sides together, I slip-stitched them together all the way round.

Victorian pincushion Victoria sampler needlebook

Finally, I removed the tacking stitches from the lining piece.

Victorian pincushion Victoria sampler needlebook

Holding the back piece, felt inner ‘page’ and front piece together, aligned carefully, I threaded narrow silk ribbon through the three eyelets. The two outer ones I tied in a small bow, and the centre one I looped through, knotted three inches from the loop, and then tied a bow at the end.

Victorian pincushion Victoria sampler needlebook

This shows what I did with the ribbon:

Victorian pincushion Victoria sampler needlebook

The needlebook can now be opened, and needles placed in the ‘page’ inside.

Victorian pincushion Victoria sampler needlebook

This is such a pretty needlebook, which can now be hung on the pincushion stand from a pin placed in the cushion pad on the top.

Victorian pincushion Victoria sampler needlebook

Now I’ve just got the ‘strawberry’ to stitch and assemble, and the whole project will be complete!

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Victorian Pincushion on spindle stand: 4 – stitching the needlebook

I’m currently stitching this gorgeous pincushion on a wooden base from a Victoria Sampler chart booklet in my stash. Having stitched the pincushion itself, I’m now stitching the smalls – starting with the little needlebook.

Victorian pincushion embroidery by Victoria Sampler

This pretty needlebook takes motifs from the pincushion itself, as well as a Bargello wave along the bottom. Three little square eyelets at the top will become the method of making the ‘pages’ of the needlebook hold together – I’ll be threading ribbon through those at the final stage.

This didn’t take long to do, and I was quite pleased with how it turned out…..until I realised just as I was finishing the stitching that I had miscounted somehow, and made it eight fabric threads too long! I think it was when I was working out the placement of the little pearl beads.

Not being a perfectionist, rather than unpick loads and do it correctly, I decided to make my needlebook just a bit longer than the Victoria sampler one! It just means that I have to make sure the reverse side of the needlebook is adapted to be exactly the same shape as this front panel, and adjust the shaping when I assemble it.

Victoria Sampler embroidery needlebook

It was easy to make the adjustment for the extra length on the reverse side, as there is a lot of ‘blank space’ between the eyelets and the main design.

Victoria Sampler embroidery needlebook

Shhh!! No-one will notice…..

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Kitting up for an alphabet quilt

I have a soft spot for simple, old-fashioned cross stitch designs. I buy vintage ones whenever I can. This particular chart pack, though, has been in my stash for years, but I’ve only recently worked out what I can do with such a large design!

ABC 1

The chart pack was a free gift that came with World of Cross Stitching magazine, ages ago. It  is by Faye Whittaker, of All Our Yesterdays. She specialises in cute images of Edwardian-looking children, usually seen only from the back (so no fiddly facial features to stitch!). If it was stitched on 16 count evenweave, the chart says, the whole sampler would be 38 inches high. I haven’t got that much wall space left in my house if I made it as a picture, so I had to come up with a different idea for how to use this pretty cross stitch chart.

What I’ve decided to do with these designs is to make an alphabet lap quilt, with each letter stitched individually on white 28 count Zweigart Cashel linen fabric (over two). I then only have to handle small pieces of fabric at a time (9 x 9 inches cut size, for a finished 7 x 7 square), and not have to struggle with one huge piece, if I were to stitch the whole alphabet in one go. I estimate I will need one and a quarter metres of 55 inch wide fabric to make this though (the finished quilt will be about 39 by 65 inches, including the fabric borders).

Each letter will be bordered with a red fabric stripe, except for the corner squares between each letter, which will be a plain blue square. That’s the plan, anyway. For the cotton fabrics, I raided my stash and found these two red patterned fabrics, and the plain blue, which pick up colours from the threads to be used for the cross stitch.

ABC 2

Although I’ve attached the threads onto a DMC thread sorter, I’m actually using Anchor threads for this piece, so I had to use a conversion chart to work out the Anchor equivalents, as the colour key for the chart lists DMC thread colours.

ABC 3

The chart comes as one large foldout piece of paper, like a map. That’s quite tidy to store, but a nightmare to stitch from, so I’ll have to scan it all in and divide it up into the individual letters, to make it less unwieldy, and more portable.

ABC 4

The chart has an upper case alphabet (the one I’m going to stitch), and also a lower case one, for if you wanted to do door name plates, and so on, but I don’t think I’ll be using that.

I’ll need to make up two ‘extra’ motifs at some point, as I want to stitch seven rows of four squares, which is the 26 letters of the alphabet, plus two more at the bottom corners to balance the design. I think I’ll take two of the child motifs from within the chart, and adapt them a bit, changing the colourway, and making them look unique enough that most people won’t notice that they appear twice in the design. If I use one of a child who looks off to the left, for the right hand corner, and one who looks off to the right for the left hand corner, I reckon that should do it!

This will be a good project for when I’m out and about, as I could just take one letter with me at a time. So many of my stitching projects are kept on frames, and so aren’t very portable, but this can even be stitched in the hand, without needing a frame at all if I keep my stitch tension relaxed, as each letter is only about five inches wide and high.

It’s not a quick project, though, so expect only occasional updates!

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