There are many specialties or interests in the world of dollhouse miniatures. Some miniature enthusiasts specialize in wood working, while others like to create miniature florals or foods, or miniature scenes. One popular specialty is miniature needlework. There are a variety of organizations that support this hobby or interest but the
international Miniature Needlework Society (MNS) based in the United Kingdom is one of the most successful. The Miniature Needlework Society was founded in 1997 and is dedicated to the creation and the promotion of miniature work with a needle and thread. This includes the use of different types of needlework including embroidery, sewing, knitting, crochet, tatting and lace making. The organization now boasts over 300 members on a worldwide basis including members in Great Britain, the United States, the Netherlands and Australia who share their projects and interest through the organization website, newsletters and workshops.
To keep members informed about new projects and expertise, the Society publishes information packets which provide detailed needlework techniques and information on sourcing materials. In addition a newsletter is published two times a year with articles about needlework, free patterns to use, ideas on where to get material, charts and updates on what projects members are working on. There is also information on upcoming events and competitions. Regional workshops are held on a regular basis where members can meet and network and learn new skills from other needle workers. In Australia there is separate branch of the MNS which also publishes their own newsletter and holds branch meetings for their members.
While the organization has many expert needle workers among their members,
beginners and those with intermediate skills are always welcome. In addition to holding meetings and competitions, the MNS regularly displays member handiwork at dollhouse shows and also has a permanent display at the “A World in Miniature Museum located at Houghton Hall in Cumbria, UK. Recent workshops included a Needle Lace Workshop which was held in Edinburgh, a Stumpwork Workshop held in Glasgow, and a Shaded Goldwork Workshop in Frenchay.
Members of the Miniature Needlework Society create miniature masterpieces in
needlework for dollhouses, shadowboxes or for display. Some of the miniature items created include needlepoint rugs, embroidered bedding, and clothing for dollhouse dolls, miniature lace tablecloths, dollhouse tapestries, embroidered and needlepointed upholstery fabric for dollhouse furniture and many other artistic pieces. Check out the organization website and learn how you can create one of kind needlework pieces for your dollhouse or shadowbox.