After a year and a half, I finally finished the needlepoint canvas I purchased to reccover an antique footstool. The stool had belonged to my much loved cousin, Judy George, and although I liked the beautiful carved walnut frame, the old needlepoint needed to move on…
As I looked for a new stool cover, it became clear that the dimensions of the barrel top would require a custom needlepoint canvas. I wasn’t too excited about the potential price tag of a custom handpainted canvas, so I turned once again to ArtNeedlepoint.com for a digitally printed one. I knew I wanted to use the stool in our living room, but what design could I find to fit with the style & colors of the room? I found a mini trivet project in ArtNeedlepoint’s online catalog, and they were able to print the pattern in a much larger format for me. Home run!
The leafy green pattern is from a William Morris print, “Willow Bough.” You can find wallpaper in the pattern in several shades of green. William Morris (1834-1896) was an English designer whose designs for furniture, fabrics, stained glass, wallpaper, and other decorative arts generated the Arts and Crafts movement in England and revolutionized Victorian taste. His work seemed a perfect choice for the stool and my 1876 Fixer Upper living room.
Selecting the thread colors online was a bit tricky, but ArtNeedlepoint sent me samples to make sure I was getting the best shades for my project. I was surprised they recommended silk, but they said a wool tapestry would likely pill and shed more for this type of application. I used Planet Earth’s Pepper Pot Silk, and it was wonderful to work with.
During the needlework process, my “Willow Bough” canvas met many people and traveled many miles. All of the grandchild have watched me stitch during visits to Seattle, Seabeck, & Olympic National Park in Washington, and Fishers & Big Cedar Lake in Indiana. I stitched (twice) with the ladies at the annual American Needlepoint Guild, Inc Louisville Chapter’s winter retreat at Clifty Falls State Park here in Madison and frequently with my fellow “Cotton Mill Stitchers” in the lobby of Madison’s Fairfield Inn & Suites. That’s the nice thing about a needlework lap project – it can follow you anywhere.
After I completed my stitch work, I needed to block the canvas before it could be put on the footstool. You can see the slightly off kilter canvas (front side) before blocking, and the reshaped (somewhat messy back side) after blocking. Once dried, I was ready to tackle the redo. Fortunately I had guidance from the owner of Boone Fabrics in Louisiville when I was looking for gimp trim. It would take special tools to remove/replace the upholstery brads, which I didn’t have, and replacing the filler & padding was not a straightforward task for the amateur. Sold. I needed professtional help, which fortunately, they were able to reccomend.
Jeff & Linda Coleman in Goshen, KY did an AMAZING job removing all the old and replacing with all new. And by new, I also mean CLEAN. Originally padded with horse hair, straw, and cotton batting, my beautiful stool is now resculptured with sturdy foam and foam sheeting and trimmed with new gimp and brads. GORGEOUS! Check out the photos of the process that Linda took for me!
Now Judy’s footstool has a new place of honor, and I think she would definitely approve. Sitting in front of Ken’s favorite TV-watching chair, it’s shined up and sitting pretty.