Friday, May 25, 2012

Exciting News!





  I've finally bitten the bullet and ordered Daviot House!  The photograph shows what it will look like, and I am very excited.  It should be here within a month, and I can't tell you how happy I am that I finally made a decision, and also found a supplier, Dollshouse Concept, that was able to do the modifications that I needed.

   I know I'm now building it myself, but I think that having a kit means that I won't be frustrated by impossible woodwork, but I can still make the house my own.


   Hopefully I'll be blogging about the progress very soon!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Something Special




      I made these two items in March, to send to Nina.  They were just little gifts to show my appreciation for the hard work and effort she puts into her blog, one that I read a lot last year and was particularly inspired by.  Nina is constructing a house that dates from the time of William and Mary (end of the 17th century).  She has wonderful ideas and good tips and recommendations too.  I love that her time period is one of the more unusual ones in the miniature world - we all know how hard it is to commit to one moment in time!  So if you don't visit it regularly (and I'm sure you all do) have a look at her blog, it is worth it!


    
    

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Miniature Embroidery Tutorial

                                  


   Here is a short tutorial to get you all started with miniature surface embroidery!  First, you'll need a good workbox, to keep your threads and fabric clean and grease free.  Mine is plastic, but as I sew with silks, I never close it properly, as this can cause the silk thread to 'sweat', losing moisture and becoming brittle.  A wooden box would be perfect.


                    

             You don't need a lot of equipment to start.  Silk embroidery floss (try Piper's silks), size 12 quilting between needles, sharp scissors, a 4 inch embroidery hoop and a block of wax.  I also have a small pincushion, so I can thread up more than one colour at a time.

                      

Keeping your thread short and waxed is the best way to protect from snags and knots.  I recommend a length of no more than 25cm.

                      

I have spent years trying to work out the best way to transfer images onto fabric, and I've tried practically everything!  The best, for me, is to draw the pattern in black ink, and then place the fabric over it.  Then I use either a lightbox or a window as a light source to trace the image directly onto the fabric.

                       

In my professional days of sewing, I would have bound the bottom hoop with bias binding to protect the fabric and keep an even tension - but miniature embroidery is quite quickly done, so all I do is pink the edges of the fabric to stop is fraying too much.  Try not to use a larger hoop than 10cm/4 inches, as the tension is too easily lost.  Most miniature items don't need anything bigger.

                 

I start with the stems, and use a small stem stitch.

                     

Then I use satin stitch to fill in the leaves.

                     

A darker contrasting colour is used to fill in the other half of the leaves.  The detail is added by stitching over previous stitches in different shades, a bit like painting.  I find on a miniature scale, three to four different shades is enough to give a good impression of detail, without the colours getting lost.

A good thing to remember is that bright colours often look much more dull in miniature, because you're not using so many stitches, so don't be afraid to experiment with colour.


My top tip is to practice your stitches before you start - a bit like handwriting!  This gets your hands used to  the tiny scale and you can improve really quickly with practice.

Here is a pattern I drew inspired by 18th century French silk.  I have given you the reverse as well, to help with transferring the image if necessary.  The scale might need to be changed a bit!

               

I hope you give this technique a try, and please don't hesitate to ask any questions - if I can help, I will!

                 

Have fun!

Jonquil

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Today's The Day!



       I woke up really early today, because it's Giveaway Day!  I have been so excited over the last two weeks, reading all of your lovely comments.  First, a welcome to all my new folowers - gosh, what a lot of you there are!  Second, the draw.....





     I was very nervous, because although I know there will be one lucky winner, I also know that there will be quite a lot of disappointed people today.... I truly wish I could have made a gift for each of you!




And the winner......



is ......



... Giac!  Congratulations!!

      And commiserations to everyone else - I will  put up a tutorial tomorrow, so that at least everyone can have a go at recreating the firepole!


Jonquil


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Giveaway - only three days to go!




  There are only three days left before my giveaway!  So far so many of you have been interested, and I am truly touched, thanks for your support.  I'd like to extend the opportunity to win to as many people as possible, so thank you also to those of you who posted a link to my giveaway on your blogs.

Remember, to be eligible, you should be a ollower of this blog and leave a comment on the original post (2nd of May)


Good luck!


Jonquil

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

1st, I mean 2nd, of May Giveaway!


Sorry for the delay, sadly I was stuck in bed with the flu' yesterday, and couldn't post - but here is the embroidery I've been working on for my first giveaway!



   
  The flowers include roses, Forget-me-nots and Lily-of-the-Valley 


  
I hope that you like it - all you have to do is be a follower of this blog and leave a comment so I can pull you out of a hat (so to speak!).  The deadline will be the 15th of May.

And of course, the reason for this giveaway is to thank you all for following me, and for all the supportive comments you have left !