Monday, November 19, 2012

Book Cushion Progress

This brick stitch book cushion is turning into quite the project.  I thought I had issues with the eyelets...

I think part of the problem is that thing is so large that it's hard to see if I've made any progress.  Framing or hooping this type of work does not work well for me, so I'm looking at the whole thing all the time, instead of a smaller area against which I can easily measure an hours progress.  Plus the way I tend to do the work, I lay out one color to establish the boarders of the pattern, then fill in the rest of the space one color at a time.  So even after hours and hours of work there is still a lot of white space.  The advantage though is that once I get the major pattern elements counted out the smaller bits go in much faster.  Especially with a larger scale pattern like this one, the counting and re-counting and picking out large areas because you miss-counted is a big part of the problem.

Anyway, I also need to take pictures of my work at more regular intervals, so this is what I've done.  What you see here is just over 55 hours of work.  I've now got the outlines of the whole pillow done, which is nice as I can get a better idea of how I am progressing with filling the individual diamond shapes in, and am over halfway done with the gold.  yay!  The blue sections are tricky, but once I get going with those they really are not so bad.  It's a matter of starting off in the right place and remembering from diamond to diamond what the right place is.

A few things that I've learned so far from this project (really I probably knew these things at some level but it always bears writing down for next time):

  • never ever under any circumstances trust that the pre-packaged piece of even-weave that claims to be right size for your project is (a) the right size, (b) square or (c) cut on the grain.  Check!  Pull threads! Finding you need to adjust after you have started stitching sucks.  Really I should I have known this but I got excited and now have a slightly wonky bottom edge, which will luckily sort itself out when I sew it into a cushion but still.
  • Once again, and this cannot be repeated enough, brick stitch uses a metric butt-ton of thread.  Buy 5 times as much as you think you need, at least, especially if your threads are dye-lot sensitiveness.
  • Also, cotton thread does not fill as nicely as silk so you will need to use more plys, which means more thread.  yay!  I'm working with 4 plys over 28 count evenweave.
  • Shorter length of thread give better coverage, there seems to be an issue of wear as you stitch as towards the end of a long bit of thread either there is more wear so the threads have gone bald or they get too twisted to cover nicely.  Very annoying, just cut the floss shorter.  Maybe no more than 20-22 inches?
  • Book cushions apparently also make excellent cat cushions, even in an unassembled state.

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