Friday, June 28, 2024

Filling The Holes....


 Stitches And Stones.....

It Has been a While, Dear Readers, since I showed you a stitching update. This is not because I have done no stitching.... on the contrary, because the evening light lasts so long at this time of year, I have been getting in a Lot of stitching on the Chinese Dragon Carpet. This is the one done on 40 count silk mesh, which is fine enough that I need a magnifying glass and very good lighting in order to stitch. Early mornings are my favorite time, but I have been grabbing moments any time of day up to sunset! Above you can see that the dragons in the center are done, and their background mostly so. I decided that the cream color of the carpet background needed to "intrude" into the central motif in the form of "clouds" around the edges. I was starting to feel that the sharp cut-off of the light blue sky at the gold border would be too abrupt. I have not finished the "clouds" but the blue sky portion is done. There is a hint of gilding at the edges of the clouds as if the sun is reflecting light. And since my "addition" to the design is now well defined... I needed to get the rest of the carpet kit design underway so I could see how it all fits together. I counted VERY carefully out from the center of the carpet to determine exactly where on the original design my design overlapped to determine exactly where to begin stitching the kit designs. The carpet is strewn all over with very ornate leaves and vines..... grapes, I think... and having found a starting point I began stitching the pattern on one side out to where the border pattern begins.

Here I have placed the stitching on top of the kit picture 
(which is just about exactly full size)
so you can see how the overall pattern fits my addition.
I had to adjust the placement of the first leaves along the side.
 But I really wanted to see how they would fit
 where the border pattern begins.

And then I wanted to duplicate the changes
 on the opposite edge,
 so I would not overlook something
 that I had made different from the kit design.

And here you can see it again, overlaying the kit design picture.
I am pretty sure I will be making more changes to the kit design!
But that is as far as I have gotten for now.

And while I am showing you the stitching updates,
 here is the William Morris design from quite a while back.
I have not stitched on it as much because 
I have been taking advantage of the long days lighting
 to work on the Dragon Carpet.

I did buy a slightly larger frame in the hopes that
 I could stitch the entire carpet without
 having to roll the stitched part too far. 
This said the stitching area would be 9'',
 but really it is about 8 and 1/2 inches... 
so I gained about a half an inch!
Still, it does make a difference.

And what about the "stones" I promised you,
 I hear you asking...?

Well, Dear Readers, the window holes in the Castle facade
 are filled with window frames that are
 supposed to be stone, as is most of the Castle.

All those wooden frames I carefully cut to fit the windows
 need to be painted ... inside and out.... to resemble "stone".
There will be more trim added to the windows
 so this is just the base coats. 
The grout painting will happen last.

And meanwhile, I have been carefully cutting
 the glass panes to fit the window holes...
 and painting the lead lines on them 
with faux "lead line" paint.

The paint goes on sort of blobby. 
I let it dry for 24 hours and then
 trim the lines with an exacto knife.

The left window lines have been trimmed....
the right are not yet finished trimming.

Here I am testing how it fits in the window hole...
There are still several steps before I glue the frames in place.

First, I paint around the outside of the panes with black paint.
 This is so where the edges don't meet the frame exactly
 (all over the place!) 
the light will not shine through and ruin the illusion!
And second, I am adding a tiny hint of colored glass...
 to the quatre-foil windows in particular,
 and also a little bit of yellow and lavender to random panes
 to look like old faded glass.
(I did this with the first windows on the back of The Great Hall ages ago!)

Here you can see the painted glass better....

And in the window frame.
 The glass will be lifted a tiny bit when installed permanently
 so the design better aligns with the window openings...
 but this is just testing the effect of the painting.

Each step needs to be done on each window....

Here three windows are at various stages of completion....

And the fourth window just trimmed today!
Still not painted....

But just look at those glass windows filling those holes!

One step at a time, Dear Readers,
I am filling those little holes... 
whether they be with stitches or stones,
I am making Great Progress!


  1. I am gasping in delight over your wonderful windows! They are beautiful little works of art! Your stitches and stones are also so beautiful. You amaze me! Thank you for the lovely update!

  2. That is lots of progress! Wow - the carpets are starting to look stunning. There is so much work right there. And then all those leaded windows with all the steps needed for each to be completed. But so worth all the work!

  3. Estas haciendo un gran trabajo, tanto en las vidrieras como en la costura.

  4. As always I'm in awe with your newest results... and the amount of them. It's so wonderful to see this stunning dragon carpet grow - and what an advantage to have a realsize pattern; that's in fact very helpful.

    It's also great to see the castle develop... and being reminded how much work is needed for finishing just one single window. But the Before-After-picture was the perfect reminder - all the work you and your exacto knife put in to eliminate the blobs pays off. It's such a difference and such a beautiful results. Adding a little colour here and there is a stunning addition... you're really filling some holes... not only in your stitching fabric but also in the walls of your castle.

    P.S.: I remember you told me that your Aunt Pam is not so good with checking her e-mails... so just in case... if you happen to talk with her on the phone please let her know I sent her a Thank-you-e-mail lately because I received a letter from her which touched me deeply. ;O)

    1. Dear Birgit, Sorry it took me so long... I finally called her and it was stuck in her "spam" folder! She was touched by your letter and I'm so glad you mentioned this and I contacted her directly! (Relying on email is not always wise!) :):):)