Needlework, Finishing, Designing, Quilting, Some Discoveries and Adventures in Stitching from Windy Ridge Designs

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Blackberry Truffle Tuffet

You may have seen the pincushion competion Grand Prize Winner for Piecework Magazine in their July/August 2008 issue (vol. XVI, No. 4); Sharlotte DeVere of Leechburg, PA (see The Queen Stitch blog) won with her gorgeous "Raspberry Truffle Tuffet". As a follow-up, in their November/December 2008 (vol. XVI, No. 6) Piecework presented Sharlotte's "Blackberry Truffle Tuffet" with instructions. What made me think I could do it, I don't know. However, I thought it was one of the most gorgeous things I'd ever seen. It made my mouthe water like my home made blackberry jelly does! The instructions were very clear and extremely well illustrated. Some substitutions were made and I noticed on the back of her raspberry, she had a flower which was not on the blackberry. I assumed the same technique was used as for the leaves and added the flower to my biscornu.
Shopped long and hard to find that amethyst colored Swarovski crystal that's on the top.

Monday, June 22, 2009

First Time Rug Hooking

Last summer I took a class with Susan Feller at her idyllic place in the mountains. I thought she was an excellent teacher - hands off enough to let you feel like you were actually doing something yourself - and hovering enough to make sure you were actually getting it. The project she started us with was four coasters. I nearly finished the first one while I was there. Came home and let things sit until March/April when I decided to finally finish them. Now I'm in the process of finishing the edges. One down; maybe I'll be done by next March/April?

Prairie Schooler "Christmas Day" modified

I had purchased this frame on sale. It was dark green and U-G-L-Y ugly. So, I got this goop at the craft store, smooged it on with my fingers and let it dry. Then, painted the whole thing with pearl white acrylic paint. Now I had a "snow" frame that of course required a snowy cross stitch. I had purchased Prairie Schooler's "Christmas Day" to eventually do for my oldest son. But, looking at it, I could see where I could do a little piece from the larger design. The modifications take place in the foreground with the words, rabbits and snowman.

The Goodwill Jacket Pillow

My friend Betty regularly haunts the aisles of the Goodwill, Salvation Army, and hospice shop. We got together one day and she hands me a jacket saying she'd seen it and just knew I could make something out of it. And I did. Closed up the front opening (buttons and all), turned it wrong side out and sewed as big a rectangle as I could between the sleeve openings and neckline; then turned it right side out. Stuffed it and sewed the hem closed. Betty thought that I'd really like the pioneer theme. And I do. I just keep trying to figure out how the lute playing Renaissance guy who is apparently singing to Rapunzel in the castle comes into the story. I guess instead of being pioneers the people in the wagons could be gypsies. Any thoughts?

Tokens of Friendship and Love

I'm stitching this Ellen Chester design on 32 count "Maple Sugar" from Lakeside using Gloriana Silk "Midnight" Princess Pearle. Unfortunately, one twist of 20 yeards was not enough to finish and now I'm having some trouble finding more. I have rolled up and begun a new sampler using Crescent's Belle Soie "Blue Lagoon". Both are beautiful shades of deep, dark blue.

Cathedral Windows Table Runner

Year ago I found the instruction for easy Cathedral Windows in an Austrailian quilting magazine. And they really are easy. It's a bit like oragami with the sewing machine. While I started enthusiastically, I did get tired of it and moved on to other things. Recently I pulled it out of the closet and decided to finish it up. Above is what the windows look like when they've been hand stitched. I used a Benartex white on white for the base (you sew that first on the machine) and reproduction Depression prints for the windows (you sew those by hand).

When you have the base all sewn together, it looks like the right side here.
The square of fabric is set on top and then . . .

Then you fold over the edge and hand stitch it down in a curved shape; the folded fabric just sort of naturally forms the curve.

Bird's Nest Quilt

This UFO has been sitting in my closet for at least a hundred years. I made it in a class I took. Then I machine quilted it. When I had no idea what I was doing and it was really bad. So I set it aside. For a long time. I've pulled it out and am picking out all that bad quilting. I will either do it again myself or grow a brain and have the quilter do it for me.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Prairie Schooler - Home Sweet Home

This piece is stitched on Tula, 10 count, using Caron "Watercolors" fibers. I completely changed the colorway from the original Booklet 131, "Home Words" by Prairie Schooler. This will be framed and hang over the main doorway out of my main room. I first did this Tula/Watercolors switcheroo on the PS "Good St. Nick". Watercolors have that same overdyed look that's so popular now and a silky sheen too. I had to use the Tula to get a weave large enough to accomodate the thicker strand of Watercolors though.

Prairie Schooler - Red Sky

This also from the "Weatherwise" booklet, number 145. I changed the linen from lambswool to blue. I did change the wording slightly. My father was a WWII Navy man and taught it to me this way when I was very young. It would have driven me crazy to have it any other way. There are three more to do waiting in my cabinet drawer - Booklet 144 "A Farmer's Almanac" and Booklet 139 "Rain, Rain, Go Away". They are all being done on blue linen. I will then frame them all in the same black frames. I have a long, narrow window over my front door and plan to hang the series over that.

Prairie Schooler - Sunshiny Shower

This piece is from the Prairie Schooler "Weatherwise" booklet, number 145.

Prairie Schooler - March

This Prairie Schooler is the second one in the "Daffodils" book, number 146. Again, changed the linen color from lambswool to blue, but stitched with DMC.

Prairie Schooler - Dancing Daffodils

Prairie Schooler by Pamela Byrd Smith are my favorite designs. I absolutely fell in love with this one on first sight. I love daffodils - they are my favorite spring flower; and I have lots of them planted around the house. They are just what I need to see after a long cold winter. The only change to the design is the linen color. Used DMC to do the stitching.

Pillow - Piece O Cake

A long, long, long time ago when I was really into quilting I picked up a lot of designs by Piece O Cake - not even sure if they're still producing now. Well, this was one of my floating around, unfinished projects. I'd done all the machine applique, just needed to make it into an actual pillow.

Name Tags

I will also make name tags for us to wear while we're touring people through the house. This is Cheryl's that I've stitched. Mine is yet to be done. When I finish them I'll make them so that magnets will hold them to our clothes.

Lester Butts House 1935

I volunteer with the local historical society. Every fall we sponsor a house tour where people open their homes to the public. This year my friend Cheryl and I are assigned to the Lester Butts House. I designed this piece for us to give to the homeowners as a "thank you" for allowing us to show their home.

Moda Jelly Roll Quilt

This is the modified log cabin quilt I've been working on for my grandaughter. It is all ready to go to the quilter for quilting. I learned a long time ago it was well worth it to PAY someone to quilt these things and save my shoulders weeks of agony.

Buddy Rug

This is my first punch rug made with wool rug yarn. I designed it and "stitched" it. My inspiration was my golden retriever Buddy who was adopted by us in 2005. His tail really does curl up like that. The rug is 3 x 2 feet and was made with Paternayan rug wool.

Speaking of Nashville

I wanted to mention that my friend Sherry and I went together. The night before we left for Nashville, Sherry hurt her back. She got ahold of me when I was halfway to her house - a four hour drive. The first thing I said was "I'll turn around now". She figured it would hurt, she'd take medication and be feeling fine in a couple of days. Talk about a CHAMP! Doing the show at Nashville was so incredibly painful for her. And it didn't get any better as the days passed. When she got home, she went back to the doctor, got an MRI, and found that the had to have surgery. She's still not quite right, but I'm hopeful for her that eventually she will be out of pain.

About the Etui

A Petit Sampling Etui is a limited edition collaboration design by Cherished Stitches, Praiseworthy Stitches, The Stitching Parlor and With My Needle. While in Nashville I met both Louise Henderson and Ellen Chester - fabulously friendly, both of them! Louise had her wrist all bound up after surgery, and had to keep it elevated. What a champ to be recovering from surgery and attending Nashville at the same time.

Anyway, I told Louise that I'd have the Etui pieces stitched in a month. She looked at me and said that if I could do that, she wanted to hear from me because she'd have me stitch for her! Well, as much as I'd love to do THAT, I have to disappoint Louise by saying it took me two months to stitch the pieces. I think it was all the 'over one' that got to me.

But, I am thrilled with the results. I did change a few things; that makes it my own personal etui though - one like no one else has.

A Petit Sampling Etui in Progress

A Canadian Journey

Canadian Journey by Italian designer Guilia Manfredini (Guilia Punti Antichi) in cooperation with the "Designing Ladies" in 2006 had whet my appetite before I ever got to Nashville. Before I met Guilia my first thought on seeing her was that she was wearing a simple, but beautiful; casual, but elegant sweater dress. Ah, the Italians and their clothes. When I met her, she told me a story about a friend that had me in tears right there in the middle of the Meet and Greet. Terrific lady. I wanted to start stitching as soon as I got home, but had to wait for the arrival of the Thread Gatherer Silk'n Colors fibers that I'd ordered. As soon as they arrived though, I was stitching away. Absolutely loved, loved, loved that silk thread.

It took me about two months to stitch up all the pieces that will be required to make the sewing necessarie. I will sit down over the summer and concentrate very carefully on following the instructions given by Judy O'Dell for the finishing. I made a few changes to the design, but only Giulia will know what they are. Also, I could not find the dark green silk I needed. But was able to find red. And, since I love red, I decided to switch to that. My favorite part? The beautiful sea maidens.