Category: "Watson Mill"

Bargello seat covers - new colors

by brae  

Here is one of the benches with the other items selected for the main floor of the mill. The stain, the settee and the foxes all have yellow/red tones, and the blue cast in the bargello was killing it all.  I chose new colors in a grey/brown combination.  The darkest brown will be the lattice and the others the "diamonds" inside.  I think it will work much better than the blue/greens I had and should be a more subtle pattern as well.

Watson Mill - main room furnishings, part 5

by brae  

Continuing work on the main room furnishings.  I previously built the two Chippendale Benches by The House of Miniatures, one of which will sit by the library and one will serve as the work bench.

I wanted a stain that would complement the vivid bargello needlework, so I opted for Minwax Jacobean.  It's a rich dark chocolate brown.  Hmm...now I want brownies. Anyway, I tested a swatch next to stitching to see if it would work before staining the benches.

I finished up the bargello seat covers rather quickly.  The first took roughly 5.25 hours of stitching, whereas the second took only 4.25 hours since I had worked into a rhythm and had pretty much memorized the pattern.

The stitch itself makes for a bit of a hairball on the back, so I used only one layer of black felt on the cardboard insert as padding.

I glued the felt in place.

Though the 40 count linen is rather stiff, it will still fray.  I ran a line of Fray Check around the stitching and let it dry.

I cut within one square of the stitching.

I had stitched 1/8" beyond the seat insert so there would be excess to still add padding, but I could have used a little more around the edge.  I used a black Sharpie (not shown here) around the edges after gluing the linen flaps to the back of the cardboard just in case the linen showed above the wood frame.

I glued the seat inserts in place with a small amount of tacky glue.

I probably should have used a more subdued lightest color than the cream, but overall I like them.  Once in the room, we'll see if they will be a redo.  With roughly 5 hours of stitching time each, it wouldn't be a big deal to try again if they are too garish and distracting.  Or, I could list these finished ones on etsy and get new HoM kits. :D

Bargello - 3.5 hours, Gazelle rug - 12.75 hours

by brae  

It's time for the monthly needlework update.  This is 3.5 hours of stitching time on the bargello (40 count, two strands DMC floss).  Not too much more for one complete bench cover.  I could in theory remove the stitching to make sure it works before doing the other, but I would have to patch the linen with fabric and reframe it.  Considering the minimal amount of time investment, I will likely just stitch both and hope for the best.  I have an idea in mind if it's slightly too small, but I don't think it will be.  I am stitching an area with an 1/8" border around the seat insert.

I've also done a little more work on the Gazelle rug (32 count cross-stitch on Jobelan).  This is 12.75 hours of work.  :]

Watson Mill - circle library, part 6

by brae  

Continuing work on the circle library.  As a recap, here is where the circle library was last time: finished but bare wood.

I've stained the pieces and reassembled in dry fit.  The dumbwaiter and its cabinet have a first coat of stain but aren't finished.

The walls have been primed with grey gesso, which is in the same color range of the wallpaper I've chosen.

I had planned to stain the library Minwax Natural after my test sample seemed to bring out the grain while leaving the color minimally changed.  Well, in a large area, that didn't really work so well.  It turned rather orange, like raw salmon cutlet orange.  The edges of the circles darkened significantly as well.  :\

I knew it was going to bother me, so I opted for a second coat of stain, this time using Minwax Driftwood.  I had nothing to lose really since I wasn't going to leave it orange so I would be redoing parts if not all of it whether the attempts to fix it worked or not.

The green in Driftwood balanced the red in Natural, and the end result is darker but a better color overall.  The darker edges of the circles no longer seem out of place.  It actually looks like it was made from reclaimed wood, which makes a lot of sense for an old mill.  :]  A happy accident.

Bargello seat covers - part 1

by brae  

I have my 40 count linen on the frame and ready to attempt the bargello pattern from the book Miniature Needlepoint and Sewing Projects by Kathryn Falk.  My test on 32 count Jobelan required three strands, but the 40 count linen needed only two.  I did try a sample of single thread but it left noticeable bare patches.  I opted for medium beige linen to mask any bare spots that might arise with the two strand coverage as well.  The linen is less even in texture than the Jobelan, but bargello stitching covers more area so it's doesn't seem to impact the end result.

This is roughly an hour's work so it does cover a good area rather quickly.  The linen works better than gauze for me, though it does take some concentration to start.  You have to be so careful with the count, but I can at least see the threads this time.  Once you get the pattern started, it seems to go faster as well.  I've stopped short on the right since I wanted to measure against the seat insert and didn't have it handy.  Bargello makes for a bulkier end fabric, so I want enough to cover the seat insert without having to tuck stitched portions underneath.

Here is the 32 count sample so you can see the difference.

I wonder if the 40 count linen might be something useful for my cross stitch projects where I want the higher count.  I'll do a test sample to see what I think of the results.  The occasional bulky thread might not work for cross stitch, though.

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