Beautiful Tudor dollhouse stitching to look at…

If you are into dollhouses, you’ll know that it isn’t always easy to find things suitable for a Tudor house. But this week, I had an email from a customer of mine, with images of her beautiful Tudor dollhouse stitching to look at – photographed in the most amazing 12th scale doll’s house.

This customer (who’d prefer to be anonymous, so I’ll call her SB), has bought many of my kits over the years. She has several doll’s houses, but this Tudor one is her favourite, and the biggest! She explains the size of the house by saying that four poster beds are quite large, so she felt that the rooms needed to be large too, to accommodate them…and it just grew. She designed the house herself, and her husband had it made for her as a special birthday present. I think it’s a really interesting design, and looks just like a ‘real’ house.

Here’s the master bedroom, with a four poster bed in it. SB made the doll in this room from a kit, but the clothes were made by her from scratch. She also made the floor cushion on the left of the picture from scratch. The rug on the floor is one of my kit designs, called ‘Natalia’. There’s also a bolster pillow on the bed, made from one of my kits called ‘Eleanor’. The instructions for this kit show you how to make the end tassels, that are only half an inch long!

Tudor dollhouse needlepoint bedroom 1

Here is the main hall. It’s a magnificent piece of miniature construction. I love the panelling! At each side of the hall are Cluny tapestries – the one on the left is the ‘Cluny Merchant’, and the one on the right is the ‘Cluny Maid’. The needlepoint kits for these have 22 count canvas in, and all the materials to complete the wallhangings, including the wooden poles. The carpet is called ‘Elizabeth’, and is stitched on 18 count canvas. The other stitching in this room is from a book that SB owns.

Tudor dollhouse needlepoint hall 1

In a detail of this room, you can see the very well-dressed man on the left hand side.

Tudor dollhouse needlepoint hall

This is another bedroom, with a half tester bed. SB stitched the blackwork covers and cushions for this bed to her own designs. The rug in the background is one of my designs, but I no longer sell this one. It goes really well in this room, though.

Tudor dollhouse needlepoint bedroom blackwork

SB also sent me this picture of a  room from another doll’s house that she has. The doll in this room is having a well-earned cup of tea. The ‘Katrina’ carpet is in front of the table, which is set out with the tea things. The needlework stand, again, is a design of mine but I  no longer sell this particular one.

Tudor dollhouse needlepoint dining room

SB obviously loves her doll’s houses, and has spent many, many hours making them fantastically detailed. Although a doll’s house is never really finished (like a real house), these look almost there, to me!

I always love seeing what people have done with the doll’s house needlepoint kits that they buy from me, so if you have any pictures of your stitching in your doll’s house, please email them to janet@janetgranger.co.uk

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Lavender and Lace Celtic Spring 1: starting from the top

A while back now (just after the death of cross stitch designer Marilyn Leavitt Imblum of Lavender and Lace fame), I decided I would like to stitch all five of the ‘Celtic Ladies’ – Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, and Celtic Christmas, which has the word ‘Noel’ across the top of the panel.  I’ve decided, having already done Celtic Autumn, that I’ll do Celtic Spring next. This image below is from the ‘I’d rather be stitchin’ blog, (well worth a visit) to give you an idea of what I’m going to be making…

I'd rather be stitchin blog1

Isn’t it a lovely picture? Great frame, too.

So, I got the chart, and the threads, all in one pack on Ebay. I even got the beads included, so all I had to do was sort out the fabric.

Spring 1

I’ve chosen 28 count Prairie Grain fabric to stitch it on – it’s a soft grassy green, which looks really good with the purples and yellows of the dress. I couldn’t find the Willow Green fabric recommended on the chart. This photo doesn’t do justice to the fabric – it’s a lot greener than this really!

Spring 2

This is a picture of how much I got done in a week of evenings. The beads still need to be added, but it’s a pretty good start.

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My stash just got bigger….

At the beginning of this year, I decided that I’d have a New Year Resolution that I wouldn’t buy any more embroidery kits or supplies for one whole year (other than things for my dollhouse needlepoint kits business, obviously!). But I have found it impossible to stick to it already, and my stash just got bigger……

At first, I was tempted, via a Facebook group for people who do cross stitch, to start looking at charts by Little House Needleworks, an American company. They do dozens of really nice, smallish projects with buildings in, usually – and I just love embroidered buildings!

So, my first ‘failure’ of my New Year’s Resolution was this chart pack set to make these nine alphabet ‘smalls’ pincushions. Of course, I had to buy all the threads as well. And the fabric.

ABC samplers Little House needleworks 1

Then from the same designer, I saw this standalone chart pack, for a ‘Hands to work, hearts to God’ picture. I’ve been after a design with this phrase on for ages, and this one appealed to me. I want it stitch it as a ‘stand-up’.

Hands to work hearts to God 1

Then I gave in to my Resolution VERY SERIOUSLY!! I found out about the US website 123Stitch.com, which has an enormous range of everything you could possibly want if you do stitching. I was on the hunt for some 28 and 32 count evenweave fabric – the reason being that, in the UK, it is becoming very difficult to get interesting colours of fabric. There are only a few websites left in the UK that sell anything other than white, cream or natural colours, and I was starting to get twitchy. With Brexit looming (which will cause all kinds of problems for UK people wanting to buy things), and many US sellers also stopping selling overseas, due to EU distance selling rules being perverse about returned parcels, and shipping getting expensive, I felt it was justified (!) to put in a big order to last me….well…. probably several lifetimes actually! But my theory was ‘get it now, and be smug later when things go pear-shaped’.

Evenweave fabric from 123Stitch

So, I had a lovely afternoon ordering 31 fat quarters of all kinds of 28 and 32 count fabrics, in plains, overdyed and specialist glittery fabrics. The parcel arrived a few days ago, and it’s really inspiring! Also, every fabric has a label attached, noting the count of fabric and name/manufacturer. UK online shops please take note!! So many times in the past I’ve ordered several fabrics at once, and when they’ve arrived, I can’t tell them apart, so if I need to re-order something, I can’t quite tell what it is I need to order!

So, that’s my excuse for my ‘transgressions’ on my Resolution! I needed them!

Have any of you stuck to a New Year’s Resolution like this? I really thought it would be easier to do  🙂

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How to make an American Civil War mini quilt using English Paper Piecing: 3: ‘Lincoln’s Logs’

Now that I’ve finished the patchwork top of my American Civil war quilt, I can put together the layers, and do the quilting.

With big quilts, this stage can be difficult, as you need a lot of space to spread out the fabrics. My quilt is only 22 by 27 inches, so it’s not a problem! I did mine on the floor in my conservatory!

I put the backing fabric down first, wrong side up, then spread out the wadding (100% cotton heirloom wadding), then the ironed quilt top. Making sure there were no creases in the three layers, I put pins in every four inches or so over the top of the quilt to hold it all together. Then, with sewing cotton I made a grid of long tacking stitches over the whole of the quilt, with about three inches between rows, starting in the centre and working out to the edges.

Civil War reproduction quilt Lincoln's Logs

As my quilt is small, I put the binding on at this point. If you make big quilts, you’d probably think I’m daft to do this, but I find that it works! The layers don’t shift much with a small quilt, so I can get away with it.

This is the back of the quilt – gorgeous fabric, isn’t it?

Civil War reproduction quilt Lincoln's Logs

I put a few extra pins in to keep the layers together, and started quilting  – by hand, with polyester thread. I didn’t use a pattern for this one – I just echoed the edges of the pattern pieces.

Civil War reproduction quilt Lincoln's Logs

When all the quilting was done, I washed the quilt, and hung it up to dry in the conservatory, so that it started to have that old-fashioned crinkly look.

Civil War reproduction quilt Lincoln's Logs

This is the finished quilt – it measures 21 by 25 inches. It has ended up looking quite different from the way I thought it would. And very different from the example in Carol Hopkins’ book. But I like mine, with more red in it than the example that I started out wanting to copy.

Civil War reproduction quilt Lincoln's Logs

This is the one in Carol Hopkins’ book:

Lincoln's Logs patchwork quilt

As usual, I’m not totally happy with my stitching – I wish I could get my stitches smaller and more even, but it’s quite a bit better than my previous quilt, so I’m getting there slowly!

Civil War reproduction quilt Lincoln's Logs

This shows the back and front of the quilt:

Civil War reproduction quilt Lincoln's Logs

I use my little quilts as mats around the house, and as covers for side tables – anything that looks a bit bare, really! And as soon as I’ve finished one, I want to start another one….!

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