After my first granddaughter was born in January 2019, I designed a little rug that I named after her. I decided it would be perfect for a nursery and began stitching it in July 2019 as a little project that fit perfectly onto a piece of leftover gauze that I had. It stitched up quite quickly and was a great small project to do.
You may notice that the background is being stitched on a diagonal. I used the basketweave stitch (which is done on a diagonal) because it is supposed to help keep the rug square if you use different stitches. I used the tent stitch on the border to be my different stitch. When the background is a solid color this works. However, if the background is going to be done in an overdyed floss (as I used in my Heather rug), you must do the background in the tent stitch so that the "abrash" effect works properly.
I wish to take this moment to wish a Happy New Year to everyone as we say goodbye to this year and usher in a new decade. This past year has been a very exciting one for myself and family and I hope to enjoy many years of stitching and miniatures. Hope you and your loved ones have a wonderful 2020!
When I stitch my rugs, as I mentioned in an earlier post, I like to mount them on some foam core. I have always stitched using one hand but the owner of a local stitching store told me she always sits at a table and leans the frame on the table to stitch with two hands. She told me this way of stitching was much faster.
Later, I read on the petitpoint website I belong to, about stitch frames that could be used while sitting in a chair that will hold the stitching piece for you so that you can stitch with two hands. I liked this idea and asked if someone could post a picture of one for me. They happily obliged and I set about making a frame for myself. Here is the result. It does a wonderful job of holding my stitching so that it frees up both of my hands to stitch. It took me awhile to get used to stitching this way but I often do this now.
Once I finished the main stitching on the rug, I turned my attention to the fringe. Here is a closeup of the beginning of the fringe with the Tabby Weave already stitched. I placed the stitches past the edge of the rug by two stitches to leave room for finishing the edge of the rug.
After the fringe is finished on both sides, I take the rug off of the frame and block it. I will discuss blocking in a future post as I have a good picture that will show it well.
Below is a photo of my finished Heather rug. In this photo, you can see the "Abrash" effect very well. It is my first time using an overdyed thread and I am very pleased with the results.
This rug was named after one of my daughters and she loved it when she saw it. She has asked me to make it again life-sized as a hooked rug but I am not sure I will have the patience to hook a rug in this pattern. Only time will tell...
While camping with my husband, I decided to stitch as much of the flower pattern as I could before we joined our in-laws for a week. I felt I could save the background to stitch while I was with the in-laws and not have to concentrate too much. I find I have a hard time sitting still without something to work on and my family has gotten used to seeing me stitching away. I can stitch background and carry on a conversation with ease. My nieces and nephew always look to see what I am working on when we spend time together in the summer.
The strategy paid off as you can see below. I was able to get quite a bit done in the two weeks we were away. Amazing how much one can stitch when they don't have the distraction of housework, etc!
In June of 2019, I began stitching my Heather rug pattern. This one appealed to me because of all of the flowers. I felt it would be a fun challenge to do. You will notice that I don't have the lines penciled in on this gauze. I decided that since I had now stitched a few rugs, I felt confident that I could count my stitches fairly well as long as I don't try to count too far from the last thing stitched.
I have found, after trial and error, that dark colors will show through light colors if they are stitched first. Therefore, with this rug, I stitched all of the pale cream first before I stitched the flowers and leaves of the border. It was a little harder to see where I was in the pattern at first, but I got used to it and was able to do it without too many mistakes.
Above is a photo of the border started.
Once I had the borders completed, I started on the flowers. There were many color changes when doing the flowers, so I often stitched for a while with one color then switched to another when I had to count too far. This way I didn't have too many errors. Occasionally, I had to fix an error, but not often. I had many needles on the go so that I could pick up one when I needed it.
In order to keep things interesting, I worked on the background a bit as well. This way I could see how the pattern was progressing. I chose to use an overdyed floss for my background as I wanted to see how it would look with an "abrash" effect. Unfortunately, the effect doesn't show up much in the picture but looks great in real-life. (Abrash coloration in rugs (pronounced ‘uh-brash’) is the differing color patterns, colorations, and various shades or hues within a rug. It is one of the most common and typical characteristics of a genuine oriental rug, and especially among older or 'nomadic' handmade rugs.) For examples of the "abrash" effect, you can see them here: nazmiyalantiquerugs.com/blog/oriental-rugs-with-abrash-color-variations/
I took this rug on holiday with me and my nieces and nephew had a great time watching me stitch this!
Here is the finished rug. Once I was done the edging, I washed it to get the lines out. Luckily, the pencil was true to it's description and washed out easily. The rug took me approximately 3 months to complete the stitching, blocking and finishing of it. It measures 4" x 6" (10 cm x 15.2 cm) and has 38,400 stitches! That is a lot of stitches.
I decided not to put a fringe on this rug because there wouldn't be enough room for a fringe where I intended to put it in my dollhouse. This rug went into my Tennyson dollhouse and as you can see, the room isn't very wide. The colors of this rug went very well with the wallpaper I put onto the dollhouse.
I am now a little over halfway done the rug and I love the way it is looking! I had quite a time doing the center medallion. I miscounted the position of the first bottom leaf and didn't notice until I was up to the center of the flower. Very frustrating that, even though I put the grid on, I had ignored it and made a mistake. I had to remove quite a bit of the center medallion and start again.
When starting it again, I chose to fill in the background rows up to the point where the leaf was to start and then I couldn't count it wrong. It worked much better that time. One thing I have found with any craft is that I am always learning. I try not to let any of my mistakes get me down because I learn from them.
Since this post is on Christmas Day, I want to wish everyone a wonderful holiday season, no matter what holiday you celebrate. I hope everyone has a wonderful, peaceful season with your loved ones, if able.
After completing the Isobel Rose rug, I decided that I simply had to start on the Amanda rug. This rug had been calling to me ever since I designed it and I was so excited to finally be starting it!
You will notice that there is a grid on the fabric I am using. The fabric did not come with a grid on it and I felt that it would help me to know immediately if I went wrong when stitching my rug. Many times in the past, I have been happily stitching along, only to find I had made a mistake quite a ways back and had to unpick so much! Not a fun feeling but necessary if you want your project to look right. I added the grid myself using a quilter's pencil (one that says it washes out) and a ruler. I put a line every 10 rows both vertically and horizontally.
I like to start stitching in the bottom corner of the rug instead of the center and the grid also helps me to find my starting point. Here is the start of the rug. I learned not to stitch around the entire border after stitching my Butterfly rug because it is very hard to count that many stitches correctly and if you are off even one stitch, your border doesn't line up. When stitching the Colorful Amalgam rug, we didn't get enough of the pattern to stitch the whole border at once and I found this was a much easier way to stitch it. Therefore, I now work from corner to corner across the bottom then work my way up.
While working on the rug for the Colorful Amalgam competition, I decided to stitch a small rug that I had designed earlier. The Isobel Rose rug was designed in the Aubusson style and was the perfect size for a roombox that I had.
As you can likely see in the photo, I now am using a frame that is thicker than I used before. The frame is made up of two layers of foam core glued together. This is because I use thumb tacks to hold the gauze fabric in place. Also, I have mounted the fabric on the back and stitch inside the frame. This method was suggested to me on my petitpoint group because it is much easier to start or finish off a thread without the frame getting in the way.
This rug didn't take long to finish and was soon gracing the floor of the roombox that I planned it for. It was a great little project to fill the time while I was waiting for the next installment to be posted for the competition rug.
Here is one of the photos I submitted to be voted on. After all the votes were tallied, it turned out that I had won the Competition! I was so thrilled and excited. I received a cash prize from Natalia and decided to frame the rug. I mounted it on acid-free foam core and had a mat cut professionally for it.
I found out a few months ago that my rug was featured in both the Miniature Needlework Society International's magazine (based in England) and a Spanish needlework magazine! I ordered a copy of the first one so that I would have a copy to keep with my rug. I will mount it in a plastic sleeve on the back of the frame.
As you can see from the collage picture on the cover at the top right, all of the rugs were beautifully done and so completely different. Many thanks to Natalia for initiating the contest and for the beautiful design we were given to stitch. 🙂
My name is Yvette, and I will be writing this blog to tell you about the creative process that has gone into the creation of my Petitpoint patterns along with showing the stitching I have done of some of the rugs.
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