The graceful proportions and colours of this William Morris design are well suited to creating a needlepoint piano bench cover.
This exquisite design started as a small needlepoint area rug adapted from one of Morris’ Hammersmith designs. By stitching it, I learned a lot about his juxtaposition of colours and his creation of free flowing organic shapes.
I also wanted to adapt this design to a piano bench. Its refined and delicate scale is ideal for the dimensions of a standard piano bench seat.
However, I wanted to make some changes to the design to make it distinctive as a needlepoint seat cover.
I replaced Morris’ original outside border with a plain border wrapping around the sides of the seat. This plain border can pick up any colour from the multitude of colours of the original palette.
In this photo I selected the dark blue from the background of the body of the tapestry for the border surround.
The strength of the colour suits the simple straight legs of this piano bench.
OUR WILLIAM MORRIS PAINTING IN PROGRESS!
First, we painted the curved branches in two soft tones of a rusty-orange colour to create smaller ‘pockets’ in the pattern.
Then we slowly filled in these spaces!
At the same time, we worked on the counted border – the small angular iconic border always used by William Morris to separate the central pattern from the outside border.
Because this pattern is mirrored horizontally, we had to count the canvas holes from the center, to be sure of the symmetry!
Only three more spaces to paint, and then we start on the outside border!
After 6 weeks of painting…..just finishing the border!
The order of painting this intricate pattern could work as well in the order of stitching!
It will give our client a pleasurable sense of progress!
A DIFFERENT BORDER COLOUR?
For a piano bench like this Chippendale one, I selected the delicate dark peach colour for the border.
The colour was taken from one of the colours of the tapestry’s sinuous branches.
This lighter colour complements and emphasizes the elegant curved legs of the piano bench.
A much more delicate effect!
I painted the Morris piano bench canvas (above) for a client who wanted the border to be a combination of the darker peach and the dark blue!
What a beautiful combination!
And here's the same canvas, stitched and ready for the upholsterers!
Peg B., from Oregon, USA, has beautifully stitched this magnificent tapestry.
The William Morris Piano Bench Cover is now finished and proudly on display.
Just as Peg did, Contact me and we can work together to develop a design that will work in your home.
You can be part of the creation of a unique piece of needlework that will last for generations!
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For more background on this William Morris design, go to the needlepoint area rugs page.
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