Answering your questions about miniature rug-making
using needle punch techniques.
If I use a pattern from Dodie's Mini Rug Books Vol.
1 and 2, can I sell the rugs at a miniature show?
Although the patterns are copyrighted, you may make as
many rugs for your own use. However, if you plan to make and sell rugs,
mentioning it is a Dodie Claypool Original Design is advisable.
About how long will it take to complete a miniature
Depending upon the size of the rug, you can expect to
complete a square inch in about one hour. 12 square inch rug = about 12
How do I thread the needle?
Use the special threader and insert it in the eye-end
of the needle. Push the threader through the needle so it comes out the
handle end. Insert the thread into the threader and pull the thread down
through the needle. Then insert the threader through the eye of the needle,
and pull the thread through the eye.
What is DMC?
DMC is a trade name for embroidery flosses manufactured
in France, by the Mouline Co.
What do you mean separating threads?
A skein of DMC floss has 6 threads twisted together. You
must separate the threads, using one thread at a time.
How long should the thread length be?
We suggest using a manageable length of 3 to 4 feet long.
Do I tie the threads together?
No. Each 3 or 4 foot section must be separate. No knots.
Where can I get replacement threaders?
Bright Star Promotions sells heavy duty threaders.
How many threads of the fabric should I skip down?
Stay as close to the other stitch as possible.
My rug puckers up in the center. What happened?
Always work the pattern background(filling) from the inside
of the rug to the outer edge. Work in a circular motion from the center.
Do all carpets have to be square? Rectangular?
No. Vol. 1 and 2 have several patterns that are irregular
shapes. Please refer to the books or feel free to design your own free-form
Which side of the fabric do I punch on?
Punch from pattern side which is stretched tight over
the frame. The finished rug is viewed from inside the frame. With that
in mind, any printing must be in reverse on the pattern/punching side.
How much pressure do I apply?
There is no real way of tell you the pressure you must
apply to each stitch. You will develop your own pressure and technique.
Be sure the stitches are uniform in length and the needle is inserted into
the fabric completely before withdrawing the needle. This process creates
the little loops.
I can't get a uniform stitch?
Apply equal pressure to the punching stroke. Make sure
the butt of the needle is flush against the fabric, and pull the needle
smoothly back to the beginning. Do not take the needle away from the fabric.
Slid the needle across to the next weave. Always bring the needle towards
yourself. Skipping backwards - sort of speaking.
How do I correct a bad stitch or missed stitches?
Turn the frame over. Check the overall appearance and
density of the loops. Using a straight pin, push it through the fabric
where stitches are missing. Then turn your frame over and find the pin.
Punch a few more stitches in the void area. Bad stitches can be pulled
out and re-punched. Long stitches can be snipped off.
Is assembling the frame easy?
Yes, place a small drop of white glue in the joint and hammer
the frame to tighten. Do not use glue if you are going to use the frames for larger rugs
When do I need to tighten the fabric on the stretcher/frame?
When the material shows the slightest sag. Be careful
to adjust and stretch the fabric evenly to avoid pattern distortion.
How is the backing applied to the fabric?
We use a product called Stitch Witchery. It bonds with
heat from an moderately hot iron.
How do I keep from breaking a needle?
Hold the frame away from the table or your knee.
How much DMC thread should I buy?
Buy a minimum of one skein for each flower color with
exception to borders and backgrounds. Buy more than you estimate, and return
unused skeins to the store. Background or large pattern areas use a lot
Will the color threads bleed if the rugs get wet?
No. The dyes in the DMC Embroidery Floss are color safe.
How tight should the fabric be on the frame?
The fabric should be stretched tight as a drum.
Is the frame reusable?
Yes. You can reuse the frames. The frame may have holes
and look rough but it is still useable.
I'm making a bigger rug, how do I make the frame bigger?
You can change the size by using longer or shorter lengths
of stretchers creating a larger or smaller working area. The frames snap
together. Do not glue them together.
How much material should I leave around the edge of
my rug, to tuck under after the rug is finished?
Leave about ½ inch all away around.
How do I fasten the loose edges?
Use Tacky Glue or similar glue to tack back the edges.
Allow to dry, then finish the back with a piece of fusible interfacing
applied by a medium hot iron.
How do I end the thread, do I tie a knot?
No. The thread is ended by putting your finger on work
side of the fabric, holding the thread tight, pull the needle away from
the fabric, then cut the thread off even with the fabric.
How do I transfer the pattern from the book to the
Use tracing paper to copy the pattern, then lay a piece
of carbon paper between the pattern and the fabric. Trace over the paper
pattern again and it will transfer to the fabric.
My stitches keep pulling out of the fabric. What did
I do wrong?
Be sure and keep the thread tension very lose as it passes
through the punch needle. Any tension on the thread will keep the stitch
from forming properly.
How do I know which colors to choose and which colors look best?
Make a copy of the pattern on white paper. Use colored pencils to fill in parts
of the pattern, or color in the whole rug. If the color choices aren't as you like, try again.
Why are dye lots important?
Color contrast in miniature scale is more pronounced than
in full scale. Color variances are very detectable. Check the dye lot and
buy all the same colors.
How do I keep the color numbers?
Place a sticker on the end of the spool you are winding
the separated threads on. Use a snack sized zip lock bags to store your
thread by dye lots.
Can I use cardboard tube to wrap the separated thread
around instead of an empty thread spool?
Yes, cut the cardboard tube in 2 ½ inch lengths.
Where do I find Weaver's Cloth?
At your local fabric shop. Usually found in the lining
department. Bright Star Promotions, Inc. sells small amounts of the fabric.
See our order form.
How easy is it to punch straight lines?
Watch and follow your fabric threads both vertically and
horizontally. Following a straight line is not necessary, unless you are
doing borders. Always work the stitch toward yourself.
Is it all right to use a random punch method?
Yes, but always keep the needle coming toward yourself.
Do not punch away from yourself . . . the stitches tend to pull out.
What happens if I punch in the same place?
You end with a tuft instead of an even stitch. You can
always pull out the stitches you don't like.
Where can I get help?
Valerie at (502) 423-STAR during business hours, or eMail your questions
Dodie's Order Blank