Dollhouse scale William Morris ‘Orange Tree’ wallhanging challenge!

Do you sometimes feel that you’d like to have a go at an embroidery kit of some kind, but feel that maybe it’s beyond your capabilities?  I was talking with Sally Watson, the editor of the fabulous free online magazine ‘Artisans in Miniature’ recently, and she told me that she’d never felt she would be able to tackle mini needlepoint  – but then she said that she finds knitting Kaffe Fassett designs simple!!! I can’t knit at all, so I issued her with the William Morris ‘Orange Tree’ wallhanging challenge!

I told her that she could try stitching the kit for free, if she’d publish her results in the AIM magazine, to show others how she got on. She was up for it, so if you have a look at Issue 63 of the online Artisans in Miniature magazine , which has just been published, you can see how she got on.

I was really impressed by how methodical she was, and how it turned out in the end, despite her emailing me several times saying she wondered if she was doing OK.

Here’s the original version that I stitched, based on William Morris’s late Nineteenth Century wallhanging, that has been photographed for the front of the kit packet. The finished dollhouse wallhanging measures 3.5 inches square, and is stitched on 22 count canvas with two strands of Anchor stranded cotton floss. Everything you need is included in the kit, such as a colour block chart and detailed instructions, plenty of thread, a generous piece of canvas, the wooden pole, and ribbon to make the hanging tabs, backing fabric and a tapestry needle, so you can be stitching within minutes of receiving this kit in the post.

As a special offer, until midnight this Sunday, 16th July, you can order the kit for this William Morris wallhanging from my website, and when you use the code ORANGETREE10 at the checkout, you get 10% off the usual price. So, be like Sally, and give it a go  🙂


Are you interested in doll’s houses and stitching? Then why not visit my website, where you can buy doll’s house needlepoint kits to make all kinds of soft furnishings for one-twelfth scale dollhouses. There are over 280 kits to choose from, plus chart packs, fabric project packs, tutorials, and lots of eye candy to inspire you! Kits are available on 18 and 22 count canvas, 28 and 32 count evenweave, and 32 and 40 count silk gauze, so there’s something for everyone – from beginners to experts.


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Carolyn Pearce Home Sweet Home workbox 38: the orange tree side of the box

This week I’ve been stitching the ‘orange tree side’ of the Home Sweet Home workbox, by Carolyn Pearce.

First, I stitched the tree trunk and branches in Stem stitch, using five close shades of Appleton’s crewel wool.

Orange 1

The oranges are outlined in Split stitch, using one strand of Anchor stranded cotton.

Orange 2

Then, to pad the shape, I worked Satin stitch within the outline.

Orange 3

Then I added the top layer of Satin stitch, in the crosswise direction to the first layer. You can see, on the left hand orange, the two layers, as the top layer is being completed.

Orange 4

Finally, I worked the leaves in Fly stitch, using a variegated thread with lots of colour changes in it, which gave a lovely look to the leaves. The tiny end of each each orange was worked by adding a very small Cross stitch in dark brown Anchor stranded cotton. This picture looks very ‘William Morris-y’ to me!

Orange 5

I was pleased with how the bee in this panel came out. The one that I stitched on the emery block came out looking more vine weevil-like than bee-like. I like this one a lot better!

Orange 6

The basket of oranges on the ground is made by first padding the shape with a small piece of felt.

Orange 7

Then Appleton’s crewel wool is woven across the shape in the same way that I did for the beehive on the thread cutter cover.

Orange 8

The oranges in the basket are little orange seed beads. The organised part of me has trouble reconciling the fact that perspective has gone out of the window here – the oranges on the tree are huge compared with the oranges in the basket!

Orange 9

Lastly, I stitched the meadow flowers at the base of the tree, in a similar way to the other panels and smalls.

Orange 10

Pretty, isn’t it? But those two sizes of orange still bug me……


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