Category: "Ivy Hollow, RFD Post Office - HBS Creatin' Contest 2019"

Sue Bakker - Birds on a Branch, prep

by brae  

I've set up my fabric for the Birds on a Branch rug by Sue Bakker. I measured my printout, which is roughly the actual finished size I'm figuring, and then tried it with my Morgan Lap Stand (my original review here).  This set has two no-slip embroidery hoops and extenders to create a lap frame. There are many sizes available, but I chose the 7" and 9" set.  You can use the stand with either the large or small hoop as the base. This is especially nice for French knot work or if you want to rotate the work at all. It can be used either on your lap or on a tabletop. You can also use either hoop by itself. These hoops will fit in my wooden Baby Z Lap Frame, too. It collapses for travel and storage, though you'll need a bag to keep all the pieces together (shown here with a previous project).

As you can see, the 7" hoop would work, but I like having more room, so I will mount the linen in the 9" hoop.

I purchased 40 count Flax Zweigart Newcastle Cross Stitch Linen from The Hobby House on eBay, which is somewhat pricey but worth the cost if you buy a larger cut. To save material, I cut a piece slightly larger than my hoop.

I cut muslin strips and sewed them to the linen to make it a larger piece of fabric.

After trimming the corners, I added a zigzag stitch all around to keep the fabric from fraying as I work.

I'm ready to test my French knots following a pattern. Unlike Elga's method, where she did one row at a time, I might be able to do the pattern and then fill in the background at the end. I'll see what I think after the test samples.

Ivy Hollow - siding, gable windows and roof planning

by brae  

Here's a refresher on the postcard from 1917 showing a post office with RFD horse wagons picking up the mail. I want to keep most of the details of the original with a few changes.

image used with permission

I bought some half-scale Alessio Miniatures windows for the gables from Manchester Dollhouse and Wood Works. They are square instead of rectangular, but they fit my smaller, shorter structure well.

They fit perfectly with the 1/4" thick walls, but I will need to adjust the depth with the siding in place.

The acrylic insert lifts out for easier finishing.

When HBS had their April Fool's sale, I bought a pack of siding. It was way more than I needed for this building, but it's a material I know I will use in the future and it was a great deal at 40% off. My boyfriend surprised me with a second pack, too! :D

I like to apply siding while the walls can be pressed flat for the best results, but if you do that, you have to take the corner joins into account. I've left excess on the overlapping edges - not to cover completely but enough to aid in construction later. The corners will be covered with trim. I use Elmer's wood glue supplemented with dots of super glue gel to apply siding, taping the joins and edges, then pressing flat under magazines and books for at least 24 hours. Makes for a nice, flat wall.

For the window openings, I usually just cover the whole wall. I've tried piecing before, and it doesn't end up saving you much in the long run for all the hassle. To get a cleaner cut, I hold the board up to the light to trace the outline.

I then make a scored cut along those marks with a fresh blade.

I finish cutting the window opening out from the back side.

This keeps the siding from splintering. The window trims cover any minor blemishes.

As you recall, I've flipped the building construction to better fit the horse. In the original, there's a bump out in the gable over the angled door. I made a base for this from scrap wood. I'll determine the final depth I need, add a surface board and then apply siding. I left enough space to apply siding to the part adjacent to the gable window.

I still need to cut my new roof boards, so that will be in the next post, but I am thinking about the finish I want for the roof. It's hard to tell what material was used to cover the roof in the original. Maybe corrugated metal based on the uneven edges in some spots? Flat metal with bad edges? Certainly doesn't look like shingles, but it's also not very shiny. So, rusted roof? Well, that won't work for my newish post office. I'll likely go with a faux metal roof like the one I did for Walnut Bay Light. Not red, but dark blue grey. I'll also space the raised strips closer together.

Ivy Hollow - that time of year...

by brae  

Looks like I'm doing an autumn scene this time. :D This is autumn gold candytuft from Scenery Solutions - 4 bundles. I'll start making a tree trunk soon.

Sue Bakker - Birds on a Branch, intro

by brae  

I know it might not be accurate to have a stitched rug in an old post office, but sometimes you just have to go with what you like. :D This is a design by Sue Bakker, and I think the folksy look is marvelous. She called it Arts & Crafts Wallhanging, but I like Birds on a Branch better. This is from a 1998 issue of International Dolls House News magazine, but I am not sure which month.

I belong to a group that does petit point, but I usually do cross-stitch and French knot work instead. This time, I'm going to try a technique I saw Elga do - French knots by following a chart. She did hers on silk gauze, which I cannot see to stitch for the life of me. She put one knot per each join of the weave, and I will try to do one knot per square on 40 count linen. This has the potential to be the best of both worlds, working from a chart instead of printing on fabric but getting the lovely pile of French knots.

Sue charted the pattern using the same symbols for different parts - such as the X is blue for one area and then the X is pink in another. That was too hard for me to follow, and I had been told the colors were wrong in places. So, I redid the chart in Pattern Maker Pro by HobbyWare (my original review here). I converted the Anchor colors Sue used to all DMC colors since I have only DMC in my stash of floss. I corrected what I thought were errors and chose new colors for some parts. I also recharted the border since my brain prefers symmetrical patterns. :D

While I loved the wide border of the original, it made the rug too large for the space (low ink here in my printer). I've narrowed the border, which means saved needlework time as well.

I have to pick up a few more colors, and then I will do a test to see if French knots will work on the linen. If not, I can still cross-stitch. :]

Jebediah McCants

by brae  

That's my horse's name - Jebediah McCants. Maybe I'm wrong, but I doubt anyone guessed it. :D

I looked up the meaning of Jebediah, and it means "beloved friend." McCants is some distant ancestral name, and I thought the names sounded good together. I'm figuring our RFD carrier is Mr. McCants, since the carriers were charged with supplying their own transportation, therefore caring for their own horses.

Jebediah looks eager to get on with things, no? I'm gearing up to gear him up, researching more in depth on harnesses and the like. More on that to come...

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