Margaret Major, Guild of Master Craftsman (distributed by Sterling), $19.95, ISBN 1-86108-341-6
In the foreword to the book, the editor of Doll’s House magazine enthuses about Margaret Major’s lovely miniature embroidered quilts. From the wonderful selection of projects in this book, I can easily understand why.
Embroidery in 1/12 scale has a delicacy which makes these projects absolutely charming. When a simple single patch block is done on linen, the finished result is only 1″ square. Even if you aren’t a dollhouse enthusiast, I can easily see these projects as insets for Treasure Boxes, fridge magnets, or Christmas ornaments.
The opening chapters of the book cover general guidelines. The introduction gives and overview of the book including information about the project ratings. The first chapter, Getting Started, covers fabric, thread, mounting, stitches and a great section on stitching the piece and reading charts. A final part of this chapter is a quick, useful explanation of color guidelines. This information is especially important when a project is done for a dollhouse, where it needs to match the decor in order to look realistic.
The projects themselves are grouped into chapters by types of article. Along with the expected chapters on pillows, quilts, and rugs, there are chapters on footstools, wall hangings and chests. Each project is shown by itself and in a small dollhouse vignette. The charts are clear and printed in color. A material list and color key are included, along with information about the design size. In the text for each project there are working notes and information on varying the pattern.
Not all the pieces are done on needlepoint canvas, some are stitched on linen and some are stitched on silk gauze, but all the projects could be adapted to canvas (even if they might be somewhat larger).
There are also general finishing instructions included in each section which provide detailed instructions on how to make these items. The book finishes with three short chapters which are useful for any stitcher. One is on adapting projects to other uses. One is on designing your own projects. The final chapter is her golden rules for doing embroidery. This chapter has great hints and tips.
Just looking at this book made me want to pick up a needle and thread and begin to make one of these charming projects. Every time I look at it, I come away with visions of charming little quilts hanging on my tree (I don’t have a dollhouse). This is a book I heartily recommend.