This is a table I bought at a church rummage sale. Cost: $10 to a good cause!
As you can see from the photos, the needlepoint that resided beneath the glass top was faded and stained. It had definitely seen better years. It really wasn’t fixable, and it had no sentimental value to me, so I decided I would make a new top. The wood table itself is cute. Love the way the legs are turned. Only thing that really bothers me is, whoever tried to make the table “good as new” probably by stripping away years’ worth of paint had it dipped in chemicals. Dipping is *never* a good alternative for removing paint. Dipping strips away not only the paint you’re trying to get rid of, but also the lovely original patina of your piece, leaving the grain raised and rather ugly-looking. However, what fascinated me in the first place was, it was an interesting little table, with its needle-worked top. I’d never seen anything like it before. And hey, it was $10. What a deal!
Another “deal” was the needlepoint canvas I’d bought for $4.04 at a thrift store, and the wool yarns I’d bought for a few bucks on another thrifting jaunt. So I set to work.
Many people have asked me, “How long did it take you to finish _______?” (fill in the blank with various needlework projects) and it’s always hard to say. But I can tell you that the simple blue background in this table top took me at least 75 hours. What people who don’t do hand-stitching don’t realize is, each one of those yarn bumps on the canvas takes two arm motions: one to pull the yarn up and one to push it through again. And there are literally hundreds of up and down stitches on that little table top. THAT is why, during the Industrial Revolution, factories cropped up with machines to create pillows, cushions, etc,… for a greatly reduced cost of goods sold.
But this isn’t a “poor me” story here. I *love* what I do. I do it for fun (as with this table top) and not just for pay. I do it for relaxation. I do it just to fix things, to rejuvenate things I think have value to me, whether that means I think they’re pretty, or usable, or historically cool. In the case of the table, it was different and it needed some TLC, so it pulled at my heartstrings.
I’m just explaining here, in case people want to know (because people do ask) what all is involved. There’s a lot of time involved in handwork. I’m sure most people know that already, though. The cost of materials is nothing compared with the needleworker’s time. If we charged by the hours involved, quite often, we wouldn’t get hired! So it’s a juggling act, trying to make the customer happy, make it worth my time, and rejuvenate/create something beautiful.
So, send me something and I’ll give you a very fair estimate, I promise. Why? Because I like what I do!
Photos: 1) faded and stained original n’pt 2) new needlepoint by Melissa (shown under glass top) 3) table w/top completed but not yet sewn to board and secured under glass 4) tabletop needlepoint now stay-stitched and turned under on sewing machine, and then whip-stitched on back so canvas does not show on front. 5) Completed, with new brass corners screwed in place. New glass made, too, because the old glass was scratched and chipped on the edge and one corner.
One of my bestest friends just said, “Repeat after me. I will not buy any more sad $10 tables.” Then she added “…and cost me a fortune to restore!” Sigh. Agreed. But I’m afraid I’m addicted.