During planning, I used paper printouts of various rugs to see what worked with the décor I had chosen for the different rooms. One I especially liked was Parasols by Thomas Paul which I ended up using in the living room. This is the regular paper printout of the rug.
Although the paper printout photographs beautifully, I wanted to create something that looked more realistic in real life. I tried printing on fabric, but the colors were too washed out in comparison to the paper printout.
I tried a specialty paper which had worked well for another rug image. The colors still weren't as deep at they had been on the regular paper printout.
The texture turned out well, though.
I recently started doing needlepoint (the upholstery on the Mackintosh chairs above was my first project) and thought that would be a good way to more accurately recreate the design. I would be certain to end up with the right coloration since I could match the yarn to the paper printout.
I found a great site called pic2point.com (now defunct link) where you can convert an image to a needlepoint pattern for free. You can set the stitch count and the number of colors you want. This site is somewhat limited for miniature use since it doesn't allow for smaller sized work areas and higher stitch counts, but it worked for me in this case. I wanted the equivalent of an 8' round rug: 8" work area on 22 count needlepoint canvas. There is a link on the site for creating patterns in color, but I found it didn't work that well in this instance. My rug image has variations in shading, and the pattern generator confused certain areas. I used the black and white pattern generator instead with excellent results.
The site created a pdf of the pattern on multiple pages which I then cut and pasted to create a full version. After dividing into four quarters, I printed the pattern on paper. I used colored pencils to fill in the shapes to make it easier to read and to correct the minor errors in the pattern (mainly the splitting of the lighter areas into two colors where I wanted only one). Once I had the color on the printed pattern, I made color copies to use while stitching; I didn't want the pencil color to rub off on my hands and subsequently onto my needlepoint as I stitched.
I used the same material as I had for the llama rug: 24 ct Congress Cloth. I had generated my pattern in 22 count before realizing that the material I bought was in actuality 24 count. I had put so much time into the pattern that I decided to just go ahead and use the 22 ct pattern on the 24 ct fabric. The size reduction would be negligible since my paper printout was also smaller than the 8" generated pattern.
Next came all the stitching...and stitching...and stitching. It was a lot of work - approximately 60 hours worth - and I wish I could say I love it. Needlepoint is choppy because of the directionality of the stitches, and this design had very fluid and organic shapes. With smaller, busier designs, needlepoint works very well.
I also didn't like that the cloth showed through in a lot of areas. Using more than two strands of embroidery floss wouldn't have worked; it would have been too thick for the holes of the cloth.
But, I really liked the pic2point process and will likely use it again for a different sort of pattern.
I don't think punchneedle would work any better, though doing a bunka version might be worth the effort. I could try a small section of the rug to see if I like it better. I have a couple of other ideas, too, so I'll keep working on it. :D
The rug is amazing, Brae! You sure have a lot of creativity - and patience! I’m pulling out my hair doing shingles - the needlepoint thing would probably send me over the edge. I think it’s the repetitive things that scare me. :-) The living room looks great too - great photograph.
Thanks, Cynthia! I don’t mind repetitive - I actually enjoy it.
Casey sent me here with good wishes! I’m so happy to have found your blog!
I haven’t tried mini-stitching yet but have done needlepoint and counted cross stitch in real size. I can’t wait for a day when I can sit down and try some of your techniques!
Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge and your talent!
Kathi - thank you for the kind words!
Casey sent me over! and I must say - you have done a very good job with this rug. what a super idea. It is so beautifully made and lightens up the room.
Thanks for showing, I’m a mini needlepointer, so it matter to me to see such a beautiful personal result.
Anita in Denmark
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