Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Blasts From the Past

Back in the 1980s and 90s I used to dabble in needlepoint, or tapestry as it's often known here in the UK. It was more popular then than it is now, although I think its popularity is slowly returning.
To needlepointers, this will be immediately recognisable as an Elizabeth Bradley design.

My Kaffe Fassett rabbit cushion is looking a bit worn these days, but it's still one of my favourite tapestry projects.

A classic!

One of the things I bought back then, with needlepoint in mind, was a hexagonal footstool which I never did anything with. I liked it because of the unusual shape. I remember buying it when my second daughter was a tiny baby. How I thought I'd ever get any sewing done at that time, I don't know. (She's 23 now!)
Recently I'd been thinking I should do something with it. I'd seen patchwork-upholstered furniture in magazines and in the Cath Kidston shops, and thought I would like something like that in my house, so I decided to have a go at covering it with patchwork. Not cotton patchwork, but something more substantial - wool.

(Knitted cherries from this book)

I made an actual size hexagonal template to work from, cut out squares and machine-sewed them together. I did find that woven wool is a lot more stretchy than you would think - and and some wool is more stretchy than others. The seams were quite bulky as well, so it wasn't quite as straightforward as I'd imagined, but I managed to get it sewn. On the plus side, it cost nothing because it used up some long-held stash.

I tried to include a few different weaves of wool for some visual texture. I lined it with a piece of cotton fabric to stabilise it, and stretched it over the upholstery pad. I don't think it turned out too badly. What really made a huge difference was replacing the modern "mahogany" finish with a new coat of paint.