Bees and Trees rug - completed!

by brae  

I finished stitching the Bees and Trees French knot rug kit by Teresa Layman.  It took me a total of 34.75 hours of stitching time, just over 5.25 hours per square inch for this tiny 3.25" x 2" rug.  :]

I love the way it turned out, but I don't think I will combine Colonial knots with French knots in my future rugs.  I like both knots separately, but not together.  The French knots are smaller and look cleaner in my opinion, especially when you have Colonial knots mixed in.

The following section is how I finish my rugs.  I'm sure there are a number of ways to finish a rug, but this is the method I prefer.

I trimmed then turned under the edges, pressing them flat with an iron.

I try to roll the backing behind the outside edge of stitching as much as possible.

I put a small dab of Fray Check on each corner.

I folded each corner in, trying to make it as tight and invisible (from the front) as possible.

I then trimmed inside each corner to reduce the bulk.  This is why I use Fray Check, to make sure these corners stay true over time.

I trimmed the turned edges closer.

I cut a piece of iron-on adhesive sheet smaller than the rug, making sure it would cover the turned edges.

I use Heat-n-Bond Ultimate.

I ironed it to a piece of scrap cloth.  This cloth is actually from the French knot kit, cut away when I trimmed the rug edges.

I cut around the scrap cloth and checked the fit on the back of the rug.

I then ironed the scrap cloth to the back of the rug.  This adds only the slightest thickness, but it protects the stitching in the back and keeps the edges secure.  It also helps keep the rug flat.

I just want to run my mini toes through that soft pile rug!  :D

Here's a penny to show the size.  You can see just a hint of the turned edges.  If I find it bothersome in its final location, I will color the edges of the turned fabric with a permanent marker of the closest matching color.

Here's the French knot rug in comparison to the Prairie punchneedle rug.

The pile is definitely finer with French knots, but punchneedle takes considerably less time and is still convincing in miniature.

Painting the bow front dresser - completed (for now)

by brae  

I added pale lavender flowers to the bow front dresser and then added a satin varnish.  I would like to add a bird and left space for one, but I need to practice painting that small.  The knobs are vintage hardware I bought from The Little Dollhouse Company at the Bishop Show.

I love the worn wood top.

The paper lace doily is from Stewart Dollhouse Creations.  The cat figurine, ring holder and doily were purchased at the local mini shows.

The Bentham Tulip Table Lamp by Houseworks is from miniatures.com, and I painted the LED to make the light more natural -- a tip picked up on the Greenleaf forum.

I think the dresser fits wonderfully with the bedroom furnishings.

Unfortunately, the wallpaper in this room has buckled even though I used Yes paste to apply it.  :\  It's most noticeable on the long wall behind the bed.  Some papers are just more susceptible to buckling, I think.  I've had this happen only one other time even though I always use the same process in pasting.

I have only one sheet of this paper left, and I would have to remove a lot of trim to redo this portion.  That will be a last resort.  So, I will have to figure something out.  I wonder if a small iron would help...like a quilting iron...maybe it would melt the glue and reattach the paper or at least smooth it out.  It would be worth a try before deconstruction.

Painting the bow front dresser - leaves added

by brae  

As much as I loved the bare branches, I decided to go ahead with more painted details on the bow front dresser for the Heritage bedroom.

I added a smattering of leaves.

It softened the look a little.

Painting the bow front dresser for the Heritage bedroom

by brae  

It has been some time since I worked on the Heritage, and since it's one build I can show you, I figured I'd start working on some of the remaining items.  Here is the bow front dresser with its Vintage White base coat.

This is made from a kit I picked up in a furniture lot.  I made no changes to the base kit, though I did add a mirror made of frame strip wood.

I wanted a painted finish with branches, flowers and birds, so I bought some small detailing brushes for fine painting.

I added an aging wash and then painted on the branches.  The nice thing about making a vintage painted dresser is if you mess it up, you just wipe away the paint.  And residue just adds to the age and depth of painting.

To paint the front, I added the drawers.

The kit didn't fit all that well in the front - the drawers were too recessed in comparison to the dividing panels.  I added a shim of veneer to the inside back.  This helped level the drawers in front by pushing them forward slightly.

Once I had the branches painted, I masked off the top.

I painted it to look like stained wood.  There are a few imperfections in the wood that I could not sand out in the initial construction, but it works well for a vintage piece.

With the mirror propped in place, it looks like we're getting somewhere.

I rather like it with just the branches, but I wonder if it looks too incomplete like this...hmm...

Monthly needlework update

by brae  

The only bad thing about having three needlework projects going at once is that I could have finished one in the same amount of time worked on all three this past month.  :D

The Bees and Trees French knot rug is nearly finished at 31.5 hours of work.

The Prairie Rug still has a lot of empty space, but the time investment is relatively low for covering large areas using the punchneedle.  This is 20.5 hours of work.

Finally, the elephant tapestry is only a little further along than last time at 6.75 hours...it's mainly a project for when space or location doesn't allow for working on the other two.

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