Week 23 Creative Challenge : Making a Miniature Hudson’s Bay Blanket

Hello! Here’s what I made for my Creative Challenge last week. I don’t have a dollhouse but have really been enjoying the miniatures scene on Instagram. There are people who are very serious about collecting little tiny things!

What I do have is ceramic figurines, a Calico Critter and the fabric mouse seen in the photo below, (which was created by Sri Lankan artist Barbara Sansoni), who can all make use of a little blanket that’s just their size. So, that’s what I made.

One of our favourite blankets is a vintage Hudson’s Bay Blanket, that has a lot of sentimental value for my husband Nick. It was one of the first things his parents purchased in Canada, when they moved here from England before they had children. We feel lucky to have it now and we both love it. So, when I found a bag of vintage tapestry wool at the thrift shop and it contained the four colours needed for the classic Hudson’s Bay striped pattern, I knew what I wanted my little blanket to look like. Another thrifted bag of wool yielded enough cream coloured yarn for the main part of the blanket, although this was meant for crewel stitching not tapestry making, so it was thinner than the other stuff, so I just used a double thickness of it.

The base is cotton Aida fabric designed for cross-stitching, but I thought I could stitch through the holes of it in rows and make it look like the blanket was woven on a loom.

To make it, I ironed out the Aida and folded about 1/2 an inch hem under on all sides. Then, beginning at one end, I made a row of running stitches across, making sure I was securing the hem part as well. Then I did the same, going back the other way, using the same holes. The two rows of running stitches looks like a single woven row.

For the cream coloured border on either end, I stitched through every second hole in the Aida. Then, once I began with the coloured yarn, I switched to every three holes once I began the coloured yarn. So. the 5 rows on either end are tighter than the body of the blanket. I did that to make sure the hem parts were secured down well.

At the beginning and end of each row, make a short stitch into one hole, to make the edges of the blanket tighter and more finished looking. Stagger where you begin your 3 hole stitch so they don’t all line up exactly going down (unless you want that look, of course).

Make loose stitches and stretch your work out regularly while you go along to make sure it stays a uniform width (and doesn’t narrow in the middle). Note: the Aida will look rumpled as you work on it.

Rather than count each row, I did one side first — 5 cream 2-part rows into every second hole in the Aida (= 10 rows of running stitches), 3 blue 2-part rows into every third hole in the Aida, 3 cream, 3 yellow, 3 cream, 3 red, 3 cream, 3 green. Then, I did the same in reverse order at the other end. Then, I just filled the rows in between with the cream colour. I finished the ends with a row of overhand stitches, to better hide the Aida at the ends.

So, only the 5 rows at either end are stitched into every second hole in the Aida. Otherwise, it’s into every third hole.

Hide all tails under the stitches. Note that the blanket looks a lot better on one side than it does on the other. In other words, there’s a front and a back to the blanket.

If the blanket isn’t completely flat, press it between the pages of a heavy book overnight.

Thank you for checking out what I made last week. xo loulou