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ElgaKoster

Charting petit point from full scale original antique pieces

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ElgaKoster

This a topic I have been thinking about starting for quite a while now, I know there are quite a few of you that read the forum that also do charting and I hope you will join in telling us about your methods for charting.

I seldom stitch a design more than once, so the easiest and shortest route for me is hand charting on graph paper, especially as I also tend to do small items like chair seats, etc that generally don't have any repeating designs.

To start the process there is quite a bit of math involved, my pieces usually need to fit a furniture piece and I absolutely hate the idea of cutting into my stitching! So my first step is to work out the finished size, then calculate how many stitches I am going to need width and height wise according to the count of gauze that I have decided to use...and I guess I am a bit weird in many ways as I like to start stitching long before the piece of furniture is actually built or the chart is finished, it is so nice when the petit point is ready to put on the furniture piece once it is finished...and so far it has always worked for me, I have never had a piece of petit point too big or too small.

I use a piece of special see-through plastic sheet made for printers that I have printed a graph on, this I lay over a printed copy of the actual antique needlework that I want to chart after another round of maths to make sure the size of the picture and graph will match up and get me to the size I want the finished piece to be, after having done it many times this goes quite quick for me these days.

I started charting this one last Wednesday night and the stitching on Thursday, it is a type of design that I haven't done before, but it does date back to the early 1700's and it is probably the first time that I am doing a piece of furniture together with it's original needlework design. The color combination is also not what I usually choose but authentic to the antique and since I liked it so much I decided to change nothing about it, or as close as you can get it with screens and print-outs in any case.

20151222_100235_zpsj2fzft1z.jpg

Another thing I like to do is to print the picture to the final size in 1/12th scale, this often helps to see which parts of the original design disappears into nothingness. And yes I am deliberately not showing you the whole of the original design at this time :-) there is a nice surprise in the center of the design. On this design I have left out the white outlining as there just isn't enough stitches...if I do feel that the outlining is really necessary once all the stitching is done I will use back stitch to add it.

20151222_100503-1_zpslgnydb3h.jpg

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MissyBoling

I do exactly the same thing with the computer. All the same calculations, but I underlay the original design under the graph on pcstitch. The advantages of doing it on the computer are the ease of changing what I've done, both stitch placement and colors, and the number of colors available. I can easily see how the colors work together resulting in fewer color changes when I actually start stitching. Sometimes the slightest change in shade or intensity makes a huge difference. When there's a repeating pattern, there's the additional advantage of being able to copy and paste.

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CarolynDenning

I do my charting directly into the PCStitch program. I can do the same thing as I would with graph paper but it's easier to "erase" and redo. I usually do rugs from a photograph of a RL rug but recently I did a Christmas stocking. I'm ending up having to stitch it on 78 count to get it close to what I wanted. I really don't like stitching that small. Also I have charted a sampler on 54 count from a photo I took of an antique sampler in a museum. The original was so detailed my final design is really only the essence of the original. Both of these that are small projects but I charted them on the computer too. And like Missy I like the ease of copy and paste however that's usually for rugs.

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ElgaKoster

Well, 46 days later and after about 80 hours of work I am almost done with this piece, I photographed the petitpoint together with the 1/12 scale print of the original photo.

20160202_104740-1_zpswoqck1et.jpg

I am now planning on outlining the shapes that needs it with a thinner cream thread using back stitch as well as adding the red detail on the lion, the petitpoint will go on the Queen Anne table that I showed you last week, here is the link to the original table, I found this table about four years ago, I think this is one of the most beautiful Queen Anne tables that I have ever seen...especially with that needlework top! And I like the lion's story too :-)

http://www.solomonbly.com/index.pl?isa=Metadot::SystemApp::AntiqueSearch;op=detail;id=96648;image_id=210811;

And here is the story of the lion, it comes from Aesop's fables.

image_zpsdgrgfola.jpeg

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WeekendMiniaturist

Oh that is quite, quite lovely Elga... love the design, the story and the table!  Well done!  "Gratitude is the sign of noble souls"  ...I think this is the first table that I have seen with a needlework top that isn't square. 

 

Is that only 80 hours stitching?  For me it would be many more hours to chart.... I imagine a lot of drawing, erasing (and cursing) at my charting software.  Excellent!

 

It is my experience that it takes a longer time to stitch the higher the count of silk gauze and the more design elements that are in the piece.  There is not much background color in this piece.... only some brown that is used to outline and separate the design elements.

 

Tamra

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Mesouth

Absolutely gorgeous, Elga!

 

I took Annelle's design class at GS last year and she taught us a very similar technique (she had worked the size out for us, already, thank goodness!). I like to color in the chart as you have done, but she likes to keep her chart as free from visual clutter as she can. She is such a whiz - I think she could chart and stitch in her sleep!

 

I remember the story of Androcles and the Lion from childhood.  It was written as a popular children's book and my Daddy used to read it to me!  Thanks for awakening that memory!

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miraclechicken

Beautiful work, and very interesting about charting. It is inspiring to watch from charting to finish. I remember the story too but it was fun to read again---

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ElgaKoster

Martha, I will be taking Annelle's class this year, something I have always wanted to do but it clashed with my other classes in the past, so I am looking forward to learning how she charts.

Missy and Carolyn, one of the reasons that I don't like computer charting is that clicking the mouse to fill each block on the chart for a long time hurts my hand terribly and my designs seldom have any repeats to copy and paste, doing it on paper is a much more friendly approach.

Here are photos of my newest piece that I started just over a week ago, it is destined for the regency fire screen that I am teaching in Arizona, I am stitching it on 75 count. One thing, the smaller the count, the more challenging choosing colors become, colors that on the spools looks like a good contrast can often disappear into nothingness, the camera sometimes picks the colors up better than the eye like in this one, having a light dress with a light background needed careful choosing of colors.

20160216_130949-1_zpsb10ixrvp.jpg

20160216_131403-1_zps1doaj6jf.jpg

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WeekendMiniaturist

I like this method of stitching - what should we name this technique for petit point?   and this may be very freeing in terms of not counting all those impossible to see intersections of silk gauze.

 

It looks great and you will have it finished very soon.

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ElgaKoster

I think you understand something wrong Tamra, I am very definitely counting all those intersections from the chart I made, in the last photo I placed my to scale picture underneath the stitching but I don't try and stitch it from there, it is way too small, as it is my eyes are quite strained from working about three hours a day on it.

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WeekendMiniaturist

Carolyn... what stocking you are planning?

 

Tamra

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CarolynDenning

Tamra, I'm not sure when you asked since I've been packing and haven't been keeping up to date and also I don't see dates of posts here.

Several years ago, one of the mail order catalogs at Christmas had a partridge in a pear tree design that I really liked so I stuck the picture in my file for ideas. So last summer I ran across it and decided to see about using it as inspiration for a stocking. I ended up on 75 count to get a design that I liked. I haven't stitched on it recently. I'm using YLI for my thread.

I've wanted to take one of Annelle's classes but it's never worked out. But I did go to a seminar she did on charting samplers in 2014 and recently tried my hand at charting a sampler from one I saw in a museum last fall. Terri B. Sent me some 55 count linen and I hated it. So I'm stitching it on 58 count gauze. I'm hoping to have the stitching done by Chicago (actually the sampler stitching is almost done and now it's just boring background.). I'm planning to talk to Pam Boorum about a frame for it. If they don't have one the right size I'm going to get them to make me one.

If I figure out how to post a photo, I'll try to do one later tonight.

Carolyn

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Mesouth

Looking forward to seeing you progress, Carolyn!

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WeekendMiniaturist

Elga, are you using a magnifier and a light? 

 

Carolyn, I am looking forward to your update... I am glad that you are able to post... it must mean that you, (as usual !)  have everything under control related to the move.   I have only stitched one item on linen, so I'm guessing that your stitches are disappearing into the fabric...?

 

Tamra

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ElgaKoster

Carolyn, the date of when the posting was made is right next to the poster's name in the maroon bar just above the post, looking forward to seeing your work in Chicago and you of course :-)

I have also wanted to take Annelle's class every year so I am very happy that it is working out for me this year.

Yes Tamra, I do use a magnifier lamp together with +3 reading glasses, my eyes are starting to get used to the fine count again, which is good as I am planning on starting a piece on 90 count next week.

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miraclechicken

Elga this is incredible! Amazing and beautiful. Oh-- and my mind can't even comprehend 90 count :)

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miraclechicken

Absolutely stunning! WOW I........no words.....

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Catherine Ronan

That just astonishes me. I cannot imagine stitching on that count. I cannot see how you would be able correct a mistake because taking something out would have to be impossible. So I assume no frogging allowed. ;-) It is just beautiful Elga!

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ElgaKoster

I have frogged on 90 count Catherine, obviously not my favorite job ;-)

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Catherine Ronan

It must be very scary to do. Silk frays so badly. Stitching makes my fingers rough. So I have to use a pumice stone on them every time before I stitch. Just a bit of roughness can ruin a thread.

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Corky Anderson

Elga, I'm so glad to have more details about your design and charting process.  I hope you will be bringing all these wonderful examples with you to Castine so we can see them in person.  I use a combination of paper graphing and computer charting.  I often work out my initial design ideas with sketches and paper charting of various elements that I would like to have in the final piece.  I use the computer design program to sketch in my ideas.  I find it easy to develop the overall placement of aspects of the design by ignoring color choices and just using the cursor as a pen or brush.  Once I'm happy with the general placement then I can go in and develop details.  I like being able to use the program to move a whole segment around, adjusting it's placement before finalizing it.  This is when the computer is so much easier than the pencil and eraser.

 

However, when recreating a historic piece of needlework from a museum, book, auction etc.  your system seems to make the process much easier.  I'm looking forward to seeing it first hand and then giving it a go.

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ElgaKoster

So nice to have you posting Corky, yes I will have all these pieces in Castine, it will be so good to see you again after three years.

So far this method has worked great for me for historical reproductions, a lot of it is also careful choosing of the original piece combined with the stitch count that you plan on using, some pieces just have too much fine detail to reproduce this way, fortunately there are always bigger designs to choose from that translates well into miniature, I like for my pieces to look as close to the original as possible. I do regular searches because some times things don't stay on the internet for long, I saw a needlepoint piece that would be perfect for a sewing table about a month ago, and today when I went to the link...poof, it has dissapeared off the website, even an image search with the image I have fortunately saved didn't bring it up again...lesson learned, save anything immediately, it might not be there for long!

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Bill Hudson

Elga,  When I see a picture of something I like I immediately click on it and drag a copy of it to my desktop.

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ElgaKoster

I don't know if I will ever have three finished pieces of petitpoint together again to photograph in the future...I doubt...so here goes...

20160303_123455-1_zpsxf66cwpz.jpg

The chair seat on the left was cross stitched on 60 count silk gauze with Pipers floss silk, the table top on the left was cross stitched on 56 count gauze with the same thread and the fire screen insert was stitched on 75 count gauze once again with the same thread but this time using tent stitch.

I started stitching the chair seat on 31 October 2015, a 124 days later I put in the last stitch, I am going to guess that about 350 hours of work went into this in both the charting and stitching, now I must wash all the pieces and put them into their furniture pieces. Mhhh...and start stitching them all again once more in the coming months, the second chair seat needs to be finished in five weeks.

And I just had to have a quick look and see how the fire screen stitching was going to fit...

20160303_123222-1_zps6giusmvq.jpg

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