Originally posted 2010-09-14 07:30:13. Republished by Blog Post PromoterA few weeks ago a reader wrote to me with a question. She had found some vintage needlepoint and had taken it to a shop to be stretched and mounted onto stretcher bars. It wasn’t done very tightly and she wondered about the quality of the canvas and if low quality had anything to do with the problems. Since I work on painted canvases this old all the time, I knew age wasn’t entirely the problem. However older canvases do have some differences. This is what I told her: There are many factors that affect the quality of a needlepoint canvas. The three biggest ones are: weave, fiber length, and age. I suspect all three were working in the canvases you brought in. 1. Weave: Interlock canvas is always of lower quality than mono or penelope canvas, If you took one piece
vintage needlepoint Archive
Originally posted 2009-07-06 15:41:47. Republished by Blog Post PromoterOver the weekend I got a query from Bob who wanted to know if I had heard of a craft he had done in the 70′s. He wrote After many years, I’ve become interested in needlepoint again, but can’t seem to find the type I enjoyed so much. The result looked like bargello, but I believe it used a needle with a hook rather than tapestry needles. Might you know what form of embroidery this is? The results (still have some pillows) were beautiful and not too difficult to do. Thanks in advance for any info you might provide. I don’t remember this, and it’s not latch hooking or rug hooking. I’m hoping one of you do. If you have ideas or resources, leave a comment. Thanks heaps!
Originally posted 2008-09-27 07:54:52. Republished by Blog Post PromoterNeedlepoint was big in the 70′s, really big. And often you can find kits from that period poking their heads out on eBay, needlepoint projects in old magazines you find at thrift stores or in your mother’s or grandmother’s closet. But rarely do you find a vintage needlepoint kit which is so completely of the period yet not in those ghastly combinations of color, like brown, avocado green, and harvest gold. But take a look at this great Peace pillow, stitched from a vintage 1971 kit. At the top of the post you can see the kit as originally packaged. Further down you can see what Becky did with it. By adding some additional elements (including a smiley face) and some bright colors, she made a needlepoint which looks like a vintage piece, but is witty and fresh and perfectly at home
If you are a budget-minded stitcher looking for cheap inspiration, go seek out your local thrift shop, library sale, or used bookstore. Because needlepoint was so popular in the 1970′s, there are tons of great needlepoint books out there to be found cheap. Celebrity Needlepoint is one of my favorites for inspiration. It has stories and pictures of needlepoint done by all kinds of celebrities including wives of politicians, movie stars, journalist, and more. The technology of the time made extensive color printing expensive, so most of the photos are in black & white. Nor do they have the amount of detail we’d like to see. This book was recently reviewed on the Crap at Crafts blog. But it’s great fun. There are other needlepoint books written by celebrities including Loretta Swit, Sylvia Sidney, Sian Philips, and Rosey Greer. Pick any of these up if you can find them for
Needlepoint, especially vintage looking designs, has attracted the attention of the high fashion world. Several designers, including Dolce & Gabbana and Valentino, had pieces in their fall collections that were, or were inspired by needlepoint. Doc Marten’s has a pair of needlepoint-covered boots. I now see needlepoint pop up often in fashion magazines as something on editors’ radars. If it’s in high-end fashion now, there is a real possibility that it will trickle down to the masses within a couple of years. In the meantime we can be in the forefront of fashion. Do you have some vintage needlepoint? Do you have needlepoint waiting to be finished? Here are some ideas of what can be done. Take two rectangular or square pieces the same size, sew them together, line them and add fringe and a heavy chain strap. You’ve got a fashionable bag. Turn a belt canvas into trim at
Beth saw this finished needlepoint in a consignment shop. She didn’t buy it then and there. When she went back, it was gone. She really loves the piece and would like to find another one. If you know anything about it, please add something to the comments. I’ll pass them along
Originally posted 2010-02-13 07:48:22. Republished by Blog Post Promoter A few years ago, when domino magazine was still being published, my eldest DD called me about a picture in the current issue. She told me she wanted it. The picture? A white, contemporary couch full of colorful vintage Bargello pictures. I think I had even stitched some of the same ones back in the murky past. I still haven’t gotten around to doing this for her. But Althea’s recent post about vintage Bargello, got me thinking about it again. The post links to another great article fromRetro Renovation about Bargello’s popularity or the one about Bargello pillows. The article also shows some other great techniques like trianglepoint. All this got me thinking about why Bargello looks so good with mid-century modern furniture and how you would go about creating your own collection. Bargello and trianglepoint look good with this design
Originally posted 2009-10-03 07:16:48. Republished by Blog Post Promoter Its no secret that I like black cats. I’ve owned three of them (that’s Dot in the picture above), and I have many black cat canvases stitched and unstitched. The nice thing about black cats and needlepoint is that since they are associated with Halloween, it’s easy to find them. The bad thing is that often you have to change the background. So I thought I’d share with you some black cat canvases to stitch. My friend Marianne has a charming quote from Colette about cats as one of her stitch & Frame pieces. She’s stitched the model (pictured above) as a black cat. Thinking along Art Nouveau lines, Art Stitch has needlepoint version of this elegant cat as well as the famous poster from the Chat Noir in Paris. And what about this charming oriental cat from HP Designs? You’ll
Originally posted 2006-11-15 07:05:12. Republished by Blog Post PromoterProbably my favorite needlepoint designs of all time, are these hand-painted mini-socks from when In Good Company started. I’ve been addicted to them since the beginning, have stitched dozens of them, and, although they haven’t been made since about 1992, I keep buying them when I can find them. Click on thumbnail to see more detailed picture. When I snagged this one I was thinking it would be all Basketweave, very simple, and all wool. But the more I looked at it the more I saw possibilities. As needlepointers, we often think that tiny spaces can only have Tent Stitch but we’re wrong. If you only have one thread, you could do Victorian Cross Stitch, attach a bead, or make a knot. If you have a two-stitch block, you can do Mosaic, a bigger Cross Stitch, and many more stitches. Recently I
Originally posted 2009-10-26 16:57:12. Republished by Blog Post Promoter This is a simple maple leaf from Anne Orr. Isn’t it great? It’s so simple that it could be a beginning project if you wanted to try counted needlepoint. I’m also thinking it would be great for other techniques using charts like beadwork, filet crochet or cross stitch. Want to try your hand at beading on canvas? Stitch the veins in a dark brown first. Then make a mix of beads in fall leaf colors. Pick the colors randomly as you stitch. It will be glorious
Originally posted 2009-11-10 07:47:06. Republished by Blog Post PromoterIt is a lovely canvas. Someone has givewn it to you, or you’ve found it at an unbelievable price. There’s only one problem. It’s partially stitched, but hasn’t got the threads with it. A reader wrote to me recently with this problem and it got me thinking about what to do. The easiest thing is to find a friend or a shop who knows alot about threads and get their help identifying what’s there. Most likely you will do this at the end of the process but there are ways you can start the process yourself and make it easier. You’ll need a pad of paper and a pen or pencil for this task. Use several sheets labelled New Threads (three columns), and Old Thread (five columns). Begin by doing triage on the canvas. Is all of a color or area stitched?
If your are looking to save money on needlepoint canvases you might think about buying vintage printed canvases, such as this one. They show up at Estate Sales, thrift shops, and on eBay. The design might be good, but they always use a limited number of colors. When they were made they were designed to be stitched in a single fiber, usually wool, in all Tent Stitch. It’s the kind of needlepoint that often makes people sneer that it’s just “painting by numbers.” But these can be fantastic buys and with a few tweaks you can make them look like modern pieces. You begin by taking out the canvas and looking at it. As you do, make a plan thinking about what newer needlepoint pieces have in them: different threads and stitches, and possibly some embellishments and additional techniques. You will also want to update the colors if needed. If
If you like Bargello, you probably buy lots of old books. There were tons of them published in the 70′s, and relatively few since then. Because the designs are timeless, this isn’t really a problem. Just update the colors and you’re good to go. But are you? Today we expect our patterns to be nicely charted out for us on graph paper. We can see how long the stitches are, we can see in symbols how the pattern moves. While many older books have charted patterns, many do not. Still others have hand-drawn charts. This column will help you make the best use of these older books. If the book has charts with printed symbols, just go ahead and use it. Though produced with different tools, they are the same as the charts we create today. Often, because they are larger, they may be easier to see. Handle hand-drawn charts
Thanks to the blog, Retro Renovation, we have a long (almost 15 minutes) seqment on Bargello. She shows examples of the stitching (including these great boots), she talks about the history of Bargello, show us how to start stitching and then shows us a lovely Jack-in-the-Pulpit design that she is stitching. It’s great stuff and the blog post that accompanies it has information on finding Erica’s kits, both old and new. The clip is from 1971, so it was filmed not long after I had begun to do needlepoint. I was astonished by the things that had changed. She found the center of the canvas by folding it and drawing down the creases with a pencil. Don’t do this at home. Unless you use a very hard pencil (#4) lead will rub off and discolor our threads. Today we’d measure and baste or mark with a permanent marker made for
With the increasing unavailability of Paternayan, many shops are dropping this line of wool in favor of others. For us, as stitchers, who like wool, we may find ourselves turning to older stashes of Paternayan that we get from friends, from our own stash, or from eBay and thrift shops. This is great because it will let many of us continue to stitch with a fiber we love. BUT You may not be happy with the result. This is because there was a change in how Persian Wool was spun and understanding it is important to good results. Modern Persian Wool, including Waverly and Paternayan has three strands that are even in width. So, just as you do with floss, or silk, or just about any other stranded thread, you don’t worry about what strands to combine. But older Paternayan (and probably other Persian Wools as well) doesn’t have strands