Bargello, introduction

by brae  

Since I plan to make some seating from House of Miniatures kits, I thought I would give embroidered upholstery a try.  I previously cross-stitched new cushions for two Mackintosh chairs, but this time I wanted to try something new to me.

I've always liked bargello needlework, and since Gustav has an eclectic taste I thought it would work well in the Mill.  Bargello is also called Florentine or flame stitch, and there are a lot of lovely patterns out there.  Being in miniature, keeping it simple is best.  I found a suitable pattern in the book Miniature Needlepoint and Sewing Projects by Kathryn Falk. The pattern is for a wide bench, but the geometrical nature of bargello makes it easy to adapt to other sizes. You just stitch more or less to cover the area you need.  To make it easier to follow, I charted the book pattern in full color using Pattern Maker Pro by HobbyWare.

The pattern called for 5 colors worked on 42 mesh cotton Penelope canvas.  I chose three blue-greens, one navy and one cream color from my stash of DMC floss.  I didn't have the canvas, but I still had the 40 count silk gauze from my previous attempts at petitpoint and French knots, both of which were unsuccessful.  This was no exception.  My eyes want to focus on the holes, not the threads even with high magnification.  Again, I could feel a headache developing.  Here is the old silk gauze photo...too sheer for me, but you can't say I haven't tried multiple times.

There is 40 count linen on the market, but I figured I would try a quick sample on 32 count Jobelan to see if I even liked it.  I used three strands to cover the fabric here.  It does bulk up quickly, but that works fine for upholstery.  I'll just cut down on the padding underneath.  This was much easier for me.  I need substantial fibers to see in order to stitch.

Since the sample on 32 count turned out so well, I ordered a small piece of 40 count linen. I'll have to do another test to see if I need the full three threads or only two.  Two threads would be less bulky, but it's a matter of whether the fabric is sufficiently covered.  The higher count should also translate better in miniature.  To be continued....

10 comments

Comment from: Debora [Visitor]

I like the new pattern. I see what you mean about your eye wanting to look at the holes, not the threads. I stared at the pic and couldn’t focus on the threads either. :/

06/08/17 @ 08:02
Comment from: Farmor [Visitor]  

I have embroidered a lot on 40 count silk and my next project will be on 60 count silk. I think you are meant to focus on the holes because the thread on the needle will follow your eyes through the holes. I think it must be much more difficult to focus on the thread.

But I do think your Work is lovely.

06/08/17 @ 09:34
Comment from: brae [Member]

Unfortunately, focusing on the holes doesn’t work well for bargello since the stitches are counted by how many threads you cross. I kept losing track since my eyes were intent on counting holes, which threw off the pattern. :no:

06/08/17 @ 09:45
Comment from: Keli [Visitor]

ohhh……I’m intrigued. Can’t wait to see how it turns out.

06/08/17 @ 11:04
Comment from: Sheila [Visitor]

I love the colors. I think this is going to turn out really well.

06/08/17 @ 12:08
Comment from: Kristine [Visitor]

The new pattern looks great. The seats will look so comfy to sit on for Gustav!

06/08/17 @ 17:36
Comment from: Mary Lynne [Visitor]

I feel silly leaving a “maybe” suggestion but I wondered if maybe DMC flower thread could take the place of having to use 3 strands. I’ve always wished I could think of something to use flower thread for because it’s so pretty I think.

Also, please post on Petitpointers when you get your 40 count linen. I’ll be interested to hear if it has those pesky linen “slubs” that have always bothered me when stitching miniature.

However you end up doing your Bargello, it will be beautiful as are all your multi-faceted endeavors! :)

06/09/17 @ 08:07
Comment from: brae [Member]

Thank you for the encouragement! :>>

Don’t feel silly with suggestions. I hadn’t heard of flower thread. I do like the look of the DMC regular, though. I think the linen will have slubs, but with bargello you are covering so much area with thread that they shouldn’t matter.

06/09/17 @ 10:58
Comment from: Jodi [Visitor]

I am loving the colors and the pattern so far! And some things are just worth the ensuing headache!

06/14/17 @ 08:13
Comment from: brae [Member]

Thank you! :>> Let’s hope I can avoid the headache part. :))

06/15/17 @ 07:41


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