Tuesday, 13 March 2007

Super Sunday

The chatt-ers on #QuiltChat told me that I should have a blog because it is really fun. And I thought, why yes, then I could tell someone all about what I've been doing today and retain the illusion that you are actually interested and listening to me (unlike the polite token interest shown by dh and ds).

So today I can confess that I have spent almost the entire day working on my first Miss Lydia Pickett kit - a 1/24th scale dollshouse bed. I have joined the Miss Lydia Pickett club being offered by Judith at 'In Some Small Way' and I am going to get one of these lovely kits every month. They are laser cut kits but the elements build up very cleverly to give a wonderful 3-D effect, avoiding the flat-skinny look that laser kits can sometimes have. They also come with wonderful printed graphics in a sort of 'shabby chic' style - in the case of the bed, you received the quilt, sheet, bolster and two pillows, and dust ruffle.

I found the kit itself went together very well, apart from two minor niggles. No matter which way I positioned the side rails, the alignment lines on them did not match the alignment lines on the head/foot board - but it turned out this wasn't a problem as you don't need them anyway for glueing on the dust ruffle boards. Also, my headboard braces were about 1/4 inch too wide and I had to cut/sand them down. I mentioned this to Judith and she said she found the same, but that the other kits go together very well. The instructions were fairly clear, although I got a bit confused with ambiguous references to alignment lines (there are lots) and not knowing which ones were being referred to. I sprayed the finished kit with white auto primer, then painted with American Light Buttermilk, and did some drybrushing in a Verdigris colour to bring out the sculptural edges of the posts.

The reason it took me all day was that I wanted to improve on the basic kit, which I found a little bit unrealistic - the dust ruffle as supplied is just glued on flat in a very two-dimensional look, and the bedding likewise looks somewhat plain. Above is the pic of the basic kit. I found that if I very carefully split the supplied dust ruffle pieces down the middle (after copious use of Fray Check), and seamed the short sides together, I could pleat them in my half-scale pleater to achieve a more realistic ruffled look. To flatten the top of the ruffle for a realistic 'gathered' look, I ran some Tacky Glue along the top edge of the ruffle (making sure to get glue into the folds), then sandwiched the glued edge between the two layers of a pressing sheet and used my iron to set the glue flat. Then I set the ruffle aside to dry fully. Once dry, I snipped off any glue 'feathers' along the glued edge, and held it up to the bed to draw a pencil line along the inside for the accurate depth. I cut along that line with scissors, then glued the ruffle into place, ensuring that the raw ends were turned inward. I finished with some co-ordinating picot trim along the top of each ruffle to hide the glued edge.

The rest of the bed came together because fortuitously I read the April issue of 'Dollshouse and Miniature Scene' magazine the previous day which had a wonderful article on the dressed beds created by Kelly Curtis. With those pictures for reference (and I always do much better when I have a picture to look at) I added a lace 'turnback' at the top of the quilt, and instead of seaming my pillows as per the kit instructions, I glued them to achieve a flat edge to which I could apply trim. I finished by creating a third pillow from scratch, using dupion silk, a scrap of lace, an embroidered rose snipped from some trim, and some ruched silk ribbon (which took ages to gather up by patiently stitching tiny stitches in a zig zag pattern along the ribbon).

So here is a picture of my finished bed, which I am really pleased with. Now I just need a 1/24th scale lovely house to put all my kits in, lol. I mentioned this plan to dh, who looked a little stunned as well he might, the dollshouses are already taking over our real house.

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