Sunday, January 27, 2013

Petit-point Dollhouse Rug

This is a petit-point dollhouse carpet I worked for my friend Susan, who collects dollhouses from many periods in history. The pattern came from a book called Needlework in Miniature by Virginia Merrill and Jean Jessop, which seems to be still in print. It's a great resource for anyone crazy enough to want to do this sort of thing; it has lots of patterns, as well as instructions on things like how to reupholster doll furniture with your own needlework.

There are people who run businesses creating (much better) carpets for dollhouses, and they can be rather pricey. This one essentially cost nothing but my time (on and off, close to two years of pleasant bus rides and TV movies), since I made it out of a spare 8" by 9.5" piece of embroidery canvas and various skeins of embroidery silk I already owned (people somewhat often give me odd lots of embroidery floss they have lying around because they know I'm crafty and will happily take it off their hands.)

That having been said, you may be able to notice that I didn't quite have enough yellow to do it all in one colour. (The salmon pink is actually the same throughout; it just looks paler at the bottom because of the lighting in the room.)

Also, I could have done a better job with the background yellow. A good trick for filling in large swathes of colour is to stitch diagonally. I did this, but left space for some of the blossoms in the middle of the field. Especially on the right, you can really notice where the edge of one lot of stitching ends and the next begins.

In the lower right corner, I tried to give a good look to the edge by stitching around it; a sort of binding. I didn't like the way it looked, though, so for the rest of the rug I actually turned the canvas under as I worked it and stiched through two layers at once: the top layer and the turned-under bottom layer. It's a little fussy to do and it leaves a tiny white canvas edge, but it's very neat. (I didn't want to unpick the first edging attempt because I trimmed the canvas so close to the stitching that I was afraid I'd start to unravel the carpet itself.)

If I ever do another one, I think I'd be able to come up with a more finished look. Meanwhile, I expect Susan will be able to place some furniture strategically over the most problematic areas.

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