A tour round the miniature Thorne Rooms from the Art Institute of Chicago

I just couldn’t resist posting this video on my blog this week – I came across this recently, and it reminded me of the impression the Thorne Rooms have had on my designing of miniature embroidery over the years.

The 68 roomboxes are displayed in the Art Institue of Chicago, and are of the highest standard. They were collected together by Mrs. James Ward Thorne, who was a wealthy American in the 1930s. She loved miniature things, and commissioned many artisans of the time to make very careful replicas of furniture and accessories, to demonstrate various historical periods, both European and American, all in miniature. They took eight years to complete.

When I was in my twenties I remember buying a small paperback, showing a selection of the rooms in colour. It really inspired me to have a go too, and that’s partly how my miniature needlepoint kit business got going.

Lovely, isn’t it?

The Art Institute’s website has a good page showing each of the rooms, too, which you can click on to see the rooms in more detail.

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Would you like to make a table runner and placemats for your dollhouse?

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

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A quick project: a new dollhouse sampler kit

I’ve been meaning to design more dollhouse samplers for a while now – this is the first of the new range that I’ve finished. It’s available as a kit (complete with the tiny wooden frame) on my website from today.

The dollhouse sampler kit called 'Blue vases', stitched on 32 count evenweave fabric, measures 1 7/8 x 2 1/4 inches
The dollhouse sampler kit called ‘Blue vases’, stitched on 32 count evenweave fabric, measures 1 7/8 x 2 1/4 inches

It only takes a couple of evenings of stitching, as it’s worked on 32 count evenweave fabric – so, unlike silk gauze, where you have to ‘fill in’ every hole on the fabric background, with evenweave, you only need to stitch the actual design. The fabric colour itself is left showing around the design, making it a quick project to complete.

blue-vases-closeup-cropped 900

The design is to be counted from a colour block chart. Clear instructions on how to finish the sampler, a suitable needle, a piece of 32 count ecru evenweave fabric, lots of Anchor stranded cotton and the wooden frame itself are also included in the kit. The design is called ‘Blue vases’, and is available on my website now, priced £8.95.

There is a tutorial on my website about how to complete one of these miniature sampler kits, so that you can see exactly how to make one before you commit yourself!

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A novelty elephant teacosy and traycloth set in needlepoint for a dollhouse

New on my website this week is a matching set of an ‘Elephant’ teacosy kit, with a tray cloth kit echoing the pattern of the rug on the elephant’s back. If you love novelty teacosies, then you’ll love this set! They are both quick to stitch, and easy to assemble.

 

The teacosy measures an inch and a half wide, and is stitched on 32 count silk gauze
The teacosy measures an inch and a half wide, and is stitched on 32 count silk gauze

Both kits are to be stitched on 32 count silk gauze, in needlepoint embroidery. The teacosy kit contains stranded cotton, a generous piece of silk gauze, clear instructions and stitch diagrams, a suitable needle and a colour block chart to count the design from. The tray cloth kit contains all of the above, plus mahogany components to make the tea tray, which simply need gluing together.

Various designs of teapots and tea sets are also available to complement all the teacosies that I have in my range.

The kits are available from my website – the teacosy kit page is here, and the traycloth kit page is here. They can be bought separately, if you prefer.

If you haven’t stitched in this scale before, or you would like to know what is involved in making one of these kits, visit the FREE ONLINE TUTORIALS page and see how easy they are.

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