While waiting for glue, paper clay and paint to dry I've been working at making some stock for my show shop; I do the Moncton Miniature and Doll Show yearly, and have gone to several CFB Shearwater hobby shows as well. My stock is extremely low at this point, so I dug out some old books and am re-visiting some fun Victorian designs.
This design is from an old Nutshell News booklet; there is a matching mat with a cat on a cushion. I just love the border of these, very Aubusson-rug inspired. This has now been in the works for four days, and I still have quite a bit of background to fill in. To avoid distortion of the canvas as blocking is a bit of a pain, I do backgrounds in diagonal basket-weave stitch. This rug is either 22 ct or 24 ct canvas. The edging, done in a long-legged cross stitch, is already in place ready to turn the hem. As I suspect all glues of yellowing with age, I sew my rug hems back with a herringbone stitch, which is quite flexible in case the piece needs straightening at some point in its existence. For those of you who don't do needlepoint, the constant diagonal tug of the stitches used may pull the canvas off-centre over time.
This rug, which I made for the parlour of my youngest daughter's dollhouse quite a few years ago, is a large one, 6 x 8.5", not including the fringe, worked on 24 ct canvas. I hand-knot all my fringes! Some dollhouse rugs have a fringe made of a bit of frayed-out fabric glued onto the bottom, and it looks like what it is - hence the hand-knotted fringes. I start them by wrapping floss around a steel ruler, then cutting it into bits approximately 2" (5 cm) long. These are then divided into bundles of 3 strands, and those strands are then looped through the doubled canvas ends using an antique, extremely fine crochet hook. Stick on some quarter inch masking tape, then cut off everything below the tape edge, and you get a very nice, narrow fringe. It takes time, but the effect is well worth it for me.
This too is an old pattern; the McCall's Crafts magazine it came from must be from the 80's. As my daughter's Edwardian dollhouse parlour is upholstered in rose and red velvet, this rug matches beautifully. I remember it as being a bit of a chore, repeat patterns can become boring rather quickly.
There haven't been too many additions to the CMHH Project today, just a bit of paper-clay work on the front façade of the building. I have to build up the courage to try and make my own half-round windows. I tried aging the leading on the windows, but only succeeded in making a mess, so that project was abandoned. I suspect the lead tape I am using, which came from a stained-glass store, doesn't react the way golfer's tape does; unfortunately for me, not a single pro shop here seems to have ever heard of lead tape for golf clubs. Well, it isn't a very big city that I live in, after all....