Once I had finished the sides of the footstool, I cut out the sides and the top and turned in the edges, leaving one thread of canvas all round, to help sew them together.
The next task was to assemble the pieces to create the box shape for the top of the footstool. I used a herringbone stitch which creates a fairly strong edge, and nicely echoes the stitch I used for the sides.
I covered the foam (freshly cut – the old foam was disintegrating as fast the old cover!) with an old teacloth, and then unpicked the lower edge of each side, and covered the combination with the canvaswork.
Next came the challenge of fastening it all down. Fortunately I had help! We turned the whole assembly upside down and leant on it, and then my mother held everything in place while I wielded the staple gun. As I’ve said before, staples don’t damage the wood as much as tacks or nails, and I think they also do a better job of holding everything in place. They are also much easier to take out !
Finally, I decided to hide the edge of the canvas with fringe. I found in the end that the best way was to sit cross-legged on the floor, like a tailor, because then the legs of the footstool brought the edge I was concentrating on to a convenient distance from my eyes, so I didn’t have to bend over it and strain my back. It’s very important to find the right angle to work at, because there is no point enjoying the stitching only to find you can’t sleep for backache!
So here is the finished footstool.. It was really very lucky that I found fringing to go with the wool, and what’s more, in the little needlecrafts and notions shop in our local indoor market. The fringing isn’t long or luxuriant, but it’s just enough to hide the canvas – unless you want to lie on your tummy and examine the whole thing at close quarters, and who would do that?
Er – apart from everyone who reads this blog, and anyone I’ve taught to look at handiwork when I’ve shown it to them…