Posts Tagged ‘miniature needlework pattern’

Open House Miniatures - Rose and Forget-me-not needlework miniature cushion

The Great Tidy Up is still in progress, and I unearthed these cushions some time ago.

I been waiting (not very patiently) for a little bit of sunshine in order to photograph them because the chart really doesn’t show the design to advantage.

They are worked in wool on 22 count canvas and are backed with thick silk from an old shirt, and are roughly one and half inches square (3.8 cm)

(I just kept working the background until it was the size that looked right to me.)

They were a little bit fiddly to embroider, but I think that they repaid the effort.

Open House Miniatures - Rose and Forget-me-not miniature needlework chart

To enlarge the chart, just click on it.

This chart is rather lurid and bright because it makes the different colours easier to identify.

The original (Victorian) chart was rather faded and not at all easy to follow.

Later the same day…

I have just asked about colours for this pattern –

Well, in the cushions that I worked there are –

3 blues (dark blue, mid-blue and pale blue) – these are distinctly different shades.

Lemon yellow (for the centre of the forget-me-nots)

3 greens (dark green, mid-green, paler green) – the dark green and the mid green blend and the paler green is quite a bit paler.

And for the rose –

1 pale pink, 1 dusky pink, 1 deepish “rose” hue, 1 “rose” red

Just off-white for the background.

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I think it is fun to play with the colour combinations and make something that is entirely your own and right for your house.

For example, the design works well with a white to blush pink/apricot roses, pink to red forget-me-nots and bronze / green foliage.


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Open House Miniatures Paula Rose Needlework Carpet

I do not make these for sale.
At the end of this post there is a link for
Jaques Andre Human,
who makes exquisite needlework items.
The chart for this design is here

I  wrote about the pattern for this rug in an earlier post.

After looking at my original pencil chart, I came to the conclusion that my charting is very like my handwriting – after I have forgotten what I have written, not even I can read it.

I am very fond of this design and one day – when I have the time ! – I would like to make a full-size version of the rug.

So, in the hopes that I could re-chart it from the finished piece, I have been searching (off and on) for my box of completed needlework.

With a great deal of help from an exceeding patient friend –

Quote – “Why do you keep all this stuff in the same sort of cardboard box ?!?!?!? ” 

– we  finally found the rug itself.

The design is a direct copy of a one on a small purse, which belonged to the mother of my Exceeding Patient Friend.

The purse was worked in silk, but I like the hairy, slightly uneven, effect of wool and so I worked my rug in wool – in half cross-stitch, on 22 count canvas. (This is a larger canvas size than the original.)

Open House Miniatures - Paula Rose needlework rug corner

When I made it I didn’t have any “proper” wool, so I used darning wool (of the sort you used to be able to get for mending socks) for the coloured parts of the design, and thin yarn (of the type that comes on a cone for machine knitting) for the white background.

These days I would probaly use 2 ply crewel wool.  I would find it difficuly to choose just one supplier of wool to recommend, but if I could only choose one then I think it would be Appleton Wool   as it is always (in my experience) excellent quality and comes in a good variety of colours.

Everyone who believes that the stitches need to be worked in the same direction, please look away now.

If you look at the back of the rug you can clearly see that I worked the blue motifs in a variety of directions.

Open House Miniatures - Needlework Rug Reverse

I did this so that the fabric would not drift out of shape and the rug edges would remain straight.

When I am working in half cross-stitch, both full-size and in miniature, I very often work the decorative motive from the bottom of the design to the top and fill in the background in a right to left (or left to right) direction.

Varying the stitch direction is not orthodox, but I think experimenting and bending “the rules” can be rewarding – sometimes.

I vividly remember that it took me a week – one rose, or one blue medallion, a day – to complete a row of pattern.

This is not exactly a speedy result, but if you would like to make one of these rugs for yourself  the pdf  for the full design is here –


The colours in the pdf chart are slightly different from the ones that I used in real life (I was using very odd yarn, in non-standard colours) and the design, although it looks simple, is rather intricate.

If you click on the image below, you will be able to see, and print, a larger version of part of the chart.

Open House Miniatures - Paula Rose rug - needlework chart

I like bold, strong colours, but I think this would work well in paler, subtler shades too, and I am sure that you will find it a rewarding project to complete.

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I hardly ever make small needlework items for sale, and I certainly never make large items like rugs.

So, if you are looking for fine miniature needlework (at what I think is an astonishingly reasonable price!) I would recommend considering the work of Jacques Andre Human .

It is unfair of me to single out just his work on the Petit Connoisseurs website, as there are a great many things there that I think are delightful – far too many to mention…

All right, maybe just one …

Bianca by Anna Braun from the Petit Connoisseurs website

Bianca by Anna Braun

Or two…

Flower Arrangement in Handmade Vase by Pam Jones

Flower arrangement in handmade vase
by Pam Jones

or three…

Large Pitcher by Hestelle Mare

Large pitcher by Hestelle Mare

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Finally a big very thank you to everyone who voted in last week’s poll.

The result was a tie – 31 votes for the McLoughlin Circus Procession book and 31 votes for a papier mache Easter egg.

I hope to have the slideshow for the book ready by next Friday and (hopefully) will have another one (for the papier mache egg) ready by Easter weekend.

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open house miniatures - geometric rose rug chart

If you are like me, you will need the full chart for this rug – otherwise something will go horribly wrong with the other corners.

It is here Geometric_Rose_OHM_20130116

The design is based on one taken from a Victorian sampler. It is a fairly simple to work and gives a satisfying result.

On 22 count canvas it should be about 6.4 x 4.5 inches (16.2 x 11.3 cm)

There are a few more (non-floral) geometric rug charts on the projects page  and I will continue to add different designs from time to time. (When I find my carpet samples I will also add some photos ! )

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I do have another reason for today’s post.

I have been thinking about what to do next and looking back at the instructions on how to put the paper theatre together, I came to the conclusion that –

  1. The writing was rather small on the screen
  2. I need a better way to combine text and photos – sometimes I wasn’t sure which photo belonged to which piece of text.
  3. (I am lazy,) I need to find a more efficient (easier) way to upload a large amount of information to WordPress

So I thought I would experiment with a slideshow on Slideshare.

This is #3 and I think it is still far from perfect but, if you would like to know how I charted this design, you may find it interesting.

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Open House Miniatures - 12th scale needlework cushions

I enjoy embroidery, and these little cushions are (relatively) quick and easy to make.

For the examples above, I used odds and ends of Anchor and DMC embroidery cotton and 22 count Aida cloth.

I worked in half cross-stitch and, at this size and on this fabric, 2 strands of thread gives a finish that I like.

The cushions are backed with fine, unbleached linen – from an old shirt – and filled with a very small quantity of modern toy stuffing.

The butterfly is copied from a Victorian sampler in the V & A collection, but the other designs are my own.

I am sorry that I do not have enough free space to make up and store kits for 12th scale needlework projects, but anyone who would like to is welcome to use these patterns.

PLEASE NOTE: All the patterns on this blog are for personal use only, and not for resale.

Butterfly_OHM_ 20120415

Cabbage_Rose_OHM_ 20120412


Rose_Stripe_OHM_ 20120417

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

If you have time – and patience ! – the designs make up very nicely as cards.

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While I was tidying up my bookcase I found one of my old notebooks

OPen House Miniatures - Elizabeth Plain notebook 2002

As you can see from the photo, I used to sit down with a limited number of coloured pencils and chart designs for (among other things) miniature carpets.

The design above worked out very well done in 1 ply Appleton’s wool on 22 point Aida cloth – and if I could find the carpet I would photograph it.

(Don’t ever move house in a rush – you will never find anything again)

Also hidden on the bookshelf was a CD for the Royal School of Needlework’s Definitive Guide to Cross Stitch and Tapestry, and I have vivid memories of trying very hard to compose a chart on a computer screen, instead of on a piece of paper.

Basically, the software on the CD does two things –

  • Either gives you an, on-screen, charted area on which to design a piece of needlework
  • Or allows you to import an image, and then turn that in to a needlework chart

This sounds nice and easy, BUT unless you understand how many pixels are in the average image on-screen, you are going to get very, very frustrated, very, very quickly, if you want to use software like this to import designs and work in miniature.

Well it rained all weekend, and I had a cold, and it so it was maybe not the best time to put the CD in the computer and try again –

However…  here is a High Victorian, Berlin Wool Work Style rose that I designed on paper and then “pixel painted” in to Paint Shop Pro

Open House Miniatures - pixel rose

Each little square of colour = 1 pixel.

If I import this very small and simple design into the RSN programme, and then save the chart, it will look like this –

Open House Miniatures - Royal School of Needlework Charted Roase

and, on 22 count fabric, this will work to a finished size of about 1 and 1/2 inches (3.8cm)

However, what I would like to work from is something that looks like this –

Open House Miniatures - Charted needlework rose

and I have not been able, so far, to coax the RSN software into saving a chart that looks like this, which is a shame.

Moving on to something more complicated (and I really should have known better!) I wondered what would happen if I wanted to turn one of my printed carpet designs…

Open House Miniatures - printed carpet - Lucinda (pink)

into a chart…

Open House Miniatures - screen shot of needlework carpet design

To be fair, there is a very easy to use wizard that walks you through the process of importing and setting up an image to chart and, after about 4 hours, I had a 7″ x 10″ carpet (on 22 point canvas) which used a mere 46 colours !

Another couple of hours work and I had reduced the colours to 14 and tidied up the design so that it looked almost workable, apart from the central motif, which would not be out-of-place in a needlework portrait, but is probably a bit excessivly detailed for a miniature carpet.

Open House Miniatures - Centre of chart for Lucinda (pink) needlework carpet

Now what you see on screen is not necessarily a true-to-life-colour, so I sorted out the colours that would be needed and then I changed the, software-seclected, light bluish pink to one that had a slightly warmer tone.

Open House Miniatures - needlework design Anchor thread colours

Then, of course, I had to see how hard the central motif was to work.

90 minutes (or one football match) later I had achieved…

Open House Miniatures - Needlework anchor thread on 22 count Aida

Now I have to make a decision – do I work some more, or do I (sensibly) stop now ?

Afterword –

Although I am not very comfortable using the RSN software, it does have its useful points (and some ready charted motifs and alphabets that can be inserted into your own designs) and I can imagine that if you are working “full-size” that it could be a very useful tool.

It is not designed to make working in miniature “easy” – but then I don’t think anything is !

Another thing –

Most miniature needlework kits use mono canvas, not Aida.

I use Aida because it works best for me, and I usually use wool for miniature carpets as it does not have the bright reflective surface of cotton, or silk, embroidery thread and so, to me, it looks more “real”.

If you are looking for miniature needlework kits, I can recommend the work of –

Janet Granger

Nicola Mascal

Janet Oliver


UPDATE 21st January 2015

The charts for the Savonnerie Style Rug are now available from the Projects Page.

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