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I started stitching the medallion of this rug years ago when a pattern was not even completely finished yet. Sometimes I am so excited to start working on a new project that can't wait till I finish charting a pattern. So, I had to put it a side and wait until inspiration to finish the pattern hit me. A message from someone asking if the pattern is available reminded me about that forgotten carpet. I finished charting it, surprisingly for myself, in one breath literally. I called it VERA, that translates from Russian as Faith, to honor my Mom who always has been teaching me to finish anything whatever has been started. So, better late than never, true? The carpet was finished last October. This rug is stitched on 49 count silk gauze with Gutermann silk floss (only 4 colors) and measures 5" x 10" with fringe.
Natalia Frank posted a topic in TextilesDollhouse miniature petit point carpet Tree of Life 1 is my first carpet I stitched this year. It took me 11 weeks and 1 day to finish stitching it, spending from 8 to 12 hours daily. 7 days went for blocking, stretching, finishing the sides and fringing. It has total of 180,600 tiny stitches and 468 ends form the fringes on both sides of the rug. An idea to stitch a series of carpets under the Tree of Life theme came up to me last year, when at some point I caught myself thinking that I was tied and bored to stitch the repeatable motifs of the rugs. I wanted to create something different and fun to stitch. I have to tell you, I exceeded my own expectations. Tree of Life 1 carpet was the most challenged and enjoyable stitching project I've ever had. First of all, I spent good number of months at the library, researching and reading the books about the Persian rugs. Research is one of the most important parts of a stitching process of a project for me. I learnt that the main theme of "tree of life" carpets is happiness, life and immortality; that, as a whole composition, it expresses the wish for a long life, fertility and protection. Second, I chose to stitch it on 56 count silk gauze. A reason is that I have a whole line of Gloriana Tudor Fine over dyed silks (108 colors) and couldn't wait to try it. This silk floss perfectly covers 56 count and a choice of over dyed colors gave me an opportunity to fulfill my artistic soul. I was so impatient to start working on the carpet that, when I actually started stitching it, the pattern hasn't been finished yet. Each week I added different motifs and elements to it. I draw, to say exactly, outlined the shapes of animals on the computer with a black color, printed the sheets of a motif I was going to stitch out, displayed all 108 colors of silk floss on the floor surrounding me in the fan shape, and, literally dived in my own Nirvana while choosing the colors. I am sure, those who collects silk floss, would understand the astonishing power of emotions working with the colors. So far I used 89 colors, 93 skeins that cost me $500. The rug consists of a field, 4 corners and 4 panels in the border that are connected by fretwork in reds and white. First choice of the color for the border was peaceful blue. However, the thought of red as a positive color that excites the emotions was prevalent. In the center of the rug you can see the Tree of Life that is guarded by a snake, a symbol of eternity and continual renewal of life. The tree of life itself is a sign of life with its stem as foundation and leaves as a breath of life. A bird sitting on one of the branches of the tree symbolizes life and soul. The snake represents fertility and creative life force. Representing grace, peace and beauty there is a deer resting in the shadow of the tree. Ducks on the water bring a strong sense of knowing, which lends to a graceful self confidence. The center of the rug represents a thought of the Earth meeting with the Heaven separating by a bridge, a human made object, symbolizing a hope for the better life and unity between humanity and nature. There are 4 panels in the border. The compositions in each panel is a different representation of the same theme. All flowers in the border panels express a hope for good luck. Peacock, depicted on the left panel in the border, is full of royalty, awakening and spirituality. Wolf in the lower panel brings mysterious energy together with the sense of fertility of a running away rabbit. An eagle, "king of the skies", on the right panel of the border, gives us a feeling of strength, courage, freedom and power. Each corner of the rug has a diamond shape motif with a colorful bird inside sitting on a small tree of life with blossoming flowers. Birds stand for an expectation of good news. I entered the Tree of Life carpet into PIMA contest that was held last May at the Kensington Dollhouse Festival and it took the 1st prize. I am very thankful to the organizers of the festival and judges of the PIMA contest for an opportunity of challenge. I hope you like the rug as much as I do. Front side Back side
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to stitching rugs, some people like to start in the center, others like to do the borders first, some do all the design details and then fill in the background or a combination. Me...I like to start in the bottom right and work my way up the chart, I prefer to do the design details and background all together, I find working with one color at a time tedious and my stitching hand starts to hurt as well eventually, so I find it better to change colors often. I keep all the working threads on needles surrounding the area I am working on, some people like to work with one thread at a time but that's not me as you can see :-) The chart for this rug is in Annelle Ferguson's bookTraditional Needlework in Miniature, the chart is based on an antique rug from 1740 and was charted by Sue Bakker from Britain. The real rug was cross stitched and so is mine, I know it doesn't look like a lot but there are already over 4000 stitches in this rug, it will have a total of 76 725 stitches when done and since I only stitch in the evenings this will still take a long time. And for the curious, here is a scan of the real antique that inspired the miniature. I normally don't keep track of the amount of hours that go into a rug, I don't really want to know. But back in 2011 when I wanted to finish a rug in time for Castine, and needed to work out how much I need to stitch each day to get finished in time I did work it out for this rug. More than 400 hours! This rug has a total of 53 133 stitches, I used french knots because I like the pile effect that it gives a rug. Both of these rugs are stitched on 40 count silk gauze with DMC thread.