Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Orchid bench

As I am stitching on the seashell tote canvas as a model for Needle Nicely's 30-year anniversary in Vero Beach, my mind goes back to the winter before Trubey and I came to Vero Beach.  My main stitching project that late winter/spring of 1980-81 was a canvas that would be made into a long, totally upholstered bench.  We had not yet decided to open a Florida shop, so there was no urgency to my stitching. 

Summer came along with the usual increase in business.  The 4th of July weekend we were thinking about the coming seasons and came to the decision to open a shop in Vero Beach sometime the next year (1982), giving us the winter of 1981-82 to make the preparations.  We started mentioning our decision to friends and business connections.  To our surprise in mid-July, we received a phone call from our framer, Royal Palm Frame Shop.  They had been in Boone, NC, and had relocated to Vero Beach several years previously.  They knew of a perfect location for us, but only if we made swift decisions.  Trubey and her father flew of Vero.  That's no small feat, since even today the closest airport "of size" in NC is in Charlotte, 2 hours from Blowing Rock; and the closest airport to Vero is an hour away in Melbourne.  It's almost easier to drive the whole way.

Things moved quickly and we closed Blowing Rock before the October leaf season so we could open Vero.
Trubey got things ready in Vero while I waited in North Carolina for the completion of the orchid bench.  It was too large to ship UPS (size requirements have changed, thank goodness), so I had to drive it down. 

The original canvas was about 28 x 40 and was painted by Trubey on 12-mesh canvas.  The background was stitched in Paternayan in the basketweave with the geometric pattern and orchids stitched in perle coton.
Alternating Scotch stitches formed the motif in the geomtric fretwork.  Naturally Paternayan discontinued this color family soon after this was completed.  The original was finished in a green brocade; it was refinished in green moire after white paint was dripped on the brocade.  Moire isn't very durable, so the final incarnation is velveteen. 

The photographs just do not want to be side-by-side.  We have a basket on small canvases on the bench, so many people do not notice it.  I'll have to move it to a position of honor before October 1.  What a testament to the durability of needlepoint. 


  1. Still lovely after all these years!

  2. Beautiful work! I love how the flowers seem to 'pop' out of the design! I think it needs a place of honor for your celebrations at the shop!