Friday, 27 December 2013

Mini Candlewicked Quilt

I am culling my books as I seem to have amassed hundreds over the years, particularly from the 1980s and 1990s when candlewicking and heirloom sewing were the "IN" thing.  However, while I was rifling through the pages of each book in case there was something that would convince me to keep it, I noticed that a lot of the diagrams were either exactly 1/12th scale or near enough to 1/12th  that a little tweak on the computer  

 would fix it.  One book which fitted nicely into this category was "Traditional Country Needlecrafts" by Sue Millard published in 1993. This book is still readily available on the internet. Full of lovely, soft, romantic needlework projects which I never got around to making, it was destined for either the charity shop or the bin until I spotted some diagrams which could be adapted to dolls house size very easily. In particular, there was a double bed sized candle-wicked quilt with the added advantage of  full-size diagrams meant for tracing onto calico and which could be used as inspiration for the tiny squares.  This is one occasion when a magnifying glass or one of those "Mag-eyes" which fit on your head is a must!!  Another absolute MUST with this project is an embroidery frame or hoop to keep the fabric taught while you are stitching.

Here is my first lot of equipment showing the book, embroidery hoop on a frame, pattern for the quilt top which I have traced onto an ivory coloured linen hankie which has been stretched over a piece of cream voile and a piece of thin wadding in the hoop.  First of all I scanned the pattern in the computer and tweaked it so that it was the correct size for my mini bed, printed it out on a black and white printer and then copied it onto the hankie using dressmaker's carbon paper.  I couldn't find the sheet of yellow which would have been better so I used the orange colour.......would you believe it but when I was searching through the Christmas decoration box, I found the yellow but it was too late then.  I have no idea why it was there, maybe I had been carbon-copying some decorations or something many moons ago???? It is now in the drawer with the other sheets so next time I know exactly where to look.

This is the diagram as it is printed in the book.

Here is the book, the b&w printed page (notice how I have enlarged the diagram to make it the size that I needed for my dollshouse double bed), the fabric in the hoop and theads.  In this case, I am using a ball of very fine cream crochet cotton - J & P Coats size 100.

A close-up  photo of the design for the candlewicking in the hoop.  I have an ivory linen handkerchief on the top, a piece of cream voile beneath it and a piece of thin wadding at the bottom. 

This is the full-size design from the book which gives detailed drawings of each square.  Obviously in the tiny 1/12th scale, a lot of the embroidery is going to have to be omitted and the designs used for inspiration only.  Once I have finished the quilt, I will post a tutorial on how to make it.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

7 inch Pedigree Delite Dolls


This blog article has been moved from my previous and now obsolete blog "Anlaby Dollshouse" because I can no longer access that blog.  Instead I am continuing blogging with this new one.  I have created a page in the right sidebar specifically to document the study of these little Pedigree Delite Character dolls. In the 1950s my sister and I were given one of these little Pedigree Delite dolls each by our Mum.  My sister's doll had dark hair and was called Gwenny and mine had blond hair and was called Joanie.  Both were named after girls that we knew. It wasn't until I started collecting these dolls a few years ago that I found out that they came in various themes such as Nursery Rhyme characters, Story Book characters and dolls representing different countries.  Ours came naked in their original boxes and I remember making little dresses for them to wear.

From left to right: a Japanese doll, Little Bo-peep complete with crook, Robin Hood, a couple of African dolls, a pirate and a school boy.

Starting with the same school boy, from left to right: School girl, nurse, Scottish boy, little girl in a blue felt dress (I might give her a red felt hood and cape later and call her Red Riding Hood), a pair of African dolls which need clothes, a English bobby, a dark haired girl waiting for a replacement Irish Colleen dress (I have kept the tatty original one for a pattern) and another pirate.  I have another Scottish boy doll who is Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son.

TheGrenadier Guard outfit is not on the original doll which became infected with the dreaded "Pedigree cancer" so I destroyed it and put the clothes which were in excellent condition onto a naked doll. His shoes still need to be painted black. In the cupboard I still have two naked blond haired girls, two naked dark haired girls, a naked boy and another African doll with no arms.

Because these dolls are for my own pleasure and not for an investment I am not too worried if the outfits are not genuine or are missing parts.  For instance, my two pirates are similar but one has his sword and is missing his original bandana while the other one has a red bandana with white spots on his head and is minus a sword. One Bo-peep is missing her crook and the chances of me getting another one is pretty remote while the chances of finding two dark African arms is nil.......

Here are my latest acquisitions since I wrote the above article.

This is my Christmas present from my husband.  Two dolls and a copy of a 1953 Pedigree doll catalogue, including pictures of the full range of these little dolls.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Pedlar or Peddler Doll Finished

Well, after 28 years I have finally finished my pedlar or peddler doll - both spellings are correct.  Once I got started on the tray full of goodies, I spent about 20 hours sewing, crocheting, tatting, beading and knitting her wares Her tray is laden down with stock to sell but she still turns around to the tune of  'Hello Dolly'.despite the weight on the front.  I should have written down everything as I made it or found it in my miniature stash because now I can hardly pick out one item from another.

  The hand-made items were:
3 crocheted and beaded jug covers.
1 tatted doily
1 embroidered pincushion
3 yellow wash cloths with red blanket stitched border
1 knitted dish cloth
4 lace Lavender bags filled with real Lavender
1 box of tiny soaps
2 boxes of mini buttons on cards
2 fans
12 teeny "Abel Morrell" needle packets
4 necklaces
2 pendants on chains
10 perfume bottles or cream jars
A box of hand-wound threads on cards
Two framed floral pictures on a hanging ribbon
2 feather dusters

All the rest of the items are commercial such as the scissors, baskets, cotton reels, cooking trays, sparkly necklaces, cameos, books, plates, candles and the mirror, brush and comb set.  I have a tremendous sense of satisfaction right now as this was one UFO which has been waiting and waiting to be completed.  I love her and she will have pride of place in my china cabinet.

Here is the peddler doll next to a normal dolls house doll to compare the size.  The doll on the left is 5 1/2 inches tall while the peddler is 7 1/2 inches tall.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Pedlar or Peddler Doll

I have always wanted a Pedlar or Peddler doll so that I could make tiny little things to put on her tray.  In 1985 I bought two musical dolls from a "damaged/broken items" trolley in our local department store and figured that they would be perfect for pedlar dolls. One had brown hair and played "I Dream of Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair" and the other one was blond and played "Hello Dolly".   In November 1986, I had turned Jeannie into a pedlar doll, took her to a craft fair and sold her for $65 which was a lot of money back then.  I know exactly when the craft fair was because it coincided with the same weekend that my first marriage broke up.

Two days ago and twenty-seven years later, I decided that I would have a go with Dolly and turn her into a pedlar doll for myself.  This is her new look.

She still turns around and her music box still plays "Hello Dolly" but she was a absolute wreck.  Here is how she looked BEFORE the make-over........
Here is the doll before I stripped her, removed those HUGE over-sized hands and cut off some of her knotted hair.  That thing to the side was originally a parasol.  I really loved her pretty little 1980s face though and can hardly wait to fill her tray with goodies.
Before I started dressing her, I checked out all the different types of Pedlar or Peddler dolls on Google.  One thing they all had in common was a red cloak.

I found an off-cut of red flannelette in the sewing room which a friend who used to work in the local  charity shop gave me.  She gave me all of the small or misshapen scraps of material that came into the shop that were unsaleable and would have been thrown away and the red flannelette was among it.   Sadly, the charity became 'corporate'. If she wanted to save the scraps from being thrown out, she would have to pay for them. If she removed the scraps from the skip in the yard, she would be charged with stealing.........needless to say, she and a lot of other good people left and stop volunteering.  Shame.

The doll's petticoat which covers the cone which makes up her bottom half and which turns on the base which contains the musical box and also her apron were recycled from a linen hankie and her lovely black and grey striped dress used to be a ladies blouse which I bought from the Salvos Charity Shop.  Her black hat was cut from a black maid's dress which I removed from a dollshouse doll in order to dress her as the Lady of the Manor (I don't throw anything away as I never know when I might need it).
NOW the FUN part starts - filling the tray with tiny treasures!!!  Whooo-hooooo!!!

Friday, 6 December 2013

Christmas Tree Skirt

I thought my Christmas Tree looked a little bit strange sitting straight onto the carpet - it needed a skirt around it.  I cut out a circular one from Christmas patchwork fabric but it looked odd because the pattern went all one way, it didn't come out from the centre of the circle to the edge.  So, the only way to get an authentic looking skirt was to make it in the same authentic way by which real size patchwork ones are made. As I cut and stitched and glued the pieces together, I kept hopping across to the sidebar, writing up the tutorial at the same time so I wouldn't forget what and how and why I did things in a particular way.
Check out the tutorial under my list.
BTW the patch on the wall next to the cupboard is a reflection from the mirror on the side wall of the room box - you can just see the frame on the left side of the photo. It looks as if I've had a go at stripping the wallpaper.  It is fine in the flesh!

I think that corner looks complete now, the tree and presents are sitting on a Christmas tree skirt.  An added advantage of the skirt is that when small pieces of  "snow" or glitter fall off the tree, they now land on the skirt and not on the carpet.  Well, that's the theory anyway.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Sideboard with Runner on top

I knew something was missing from my Christmas Dining room and this was it.  Let's face it, there is no way that anyone would put a full bowl of punch and a sloppy trifle straight onto the polished wooden top of the sideboard cabinet.  So here is the sideboard again, complete with the extras so that if tiddly guests do slop punch as they refill their glasses, no harm will be done..........there is a tutorial to making the runner at the top of my sidebar.
BTW, my daughter wants to become mini so she can going into the room, eat the food and open the presents!!