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

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Emma's Halloween Bath Towel

Shark was very popular with Little Miss Emma - at least in the beginning. Then she was afraid of him. Now she's back to liking him again. So, I've made her another to add to her collection - a Vampire Bat - just in time for Halloween. So he would be less scary - maybe - I gave him goofy, googly eyes. Note that I cut the lower edge of the towel in batwing shape. It is sealed with a non-fray goop and zigzagged three times so that the whole towel doesn't come apart. Happy Halloween!

Emma's Pink Pleather Pants

A few weeks ago I was going through Joann's and checked out the remnant bin. There was a roll of this hot pink, shiny fabric. I checked the label and it said "Pleather". Instantly I saw in my head my little 2-1/2 year granddaughter in pink pleather pants. Then I looked through the bin further and found a roll of pre-quilted fabric that was a print in pink, purple, green and gold. Held it next to the hot pink pleather and went "Wow, there's a jacket in there too!" Both went home with me for a cost of less than $5. I already had the pattern at home that I intended to use; I'd used it a couple months ago to make her a jumper (will have to post that picture too, come to think of it). Now the pleather pants and quilted jacket are packed up in a Priority Mail box to be sent off to Emma. Seattle's weather is going into the 50's, my son tells me - should be just the right weather for hot pink pleather.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Answers to Important Questons

A while back I saw these questions posted on "Musings From a 3 Bedroom Ranch" ( saved them. I have finally found the time to get around to answering them . . .
1) Why do you stitch?
I stitch because I love the creativity; it relaxes me; I feel I’m leaving something behind; my hands MUST be kept busy.

2) On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being least important and 10 being most important what is your cross stitch passion level?
The passion level is about a 15. There is not a day that goes by that I’m not stitching something.

3) If you're only option for cross stitch supplies and patterns happened to be the major chain craft stores would you just walk away from the little X? Kiss it goodbye?
That would depend. If my ONLY option was a chain store (meaning I could no longer find a shop, or purchase on the internet) I assume the chains would also be carrying the finer fabrics and fibers that we all love so much. So; I’d be shopping at the chains. I may hand dye my own fabrics, but I’m not going to start weaving my own linen – nor do I think that determined manufacturers will allow chains to ignore them if the chains are the only game in town.

4) Also are you so passionate about cross stitch that if indeed your only option was the major chain craft stores, would that inspire you to create your own cross stitch pieces because you have to stitch and you've stitched your way through the whole of Dimensions catalog--because you must stitch and the thought of life without a relationship with the little X leaves you feeling empty?
Well, I’m already doing that; not because no one out there is making anything I don’t want to stitch, but because I want to stitch my OWN designs as well as the designs of others I love so well.

5) Finally what do the cross stitch magazines on the market offer you? Do they relate to you as a cross stitcher? Do you look at them and think to yourself, who do they think buys this magazine? I guess what I'm asking, when you see the current cross stitch magazines do they make you feel like they know their readers or do you find it's more of the same? What could they do to be ambassadors for the art of cross stitch other than putting a sampler on the cover [ edited]? What are we missing on a PR level that could change the opinion of cross stitch itself?
This seems like it should be two questions to me. So I’ll answer the first – what do I think of cross stitch magazines. This is a complex question. Magazines, in general, are eye candy to me. Mostly I look to them to get inspiration; to see what the trends are. I don’t get much from many of them. There is one that I can’t even remember the name of that I always get something out of. Another, Country Living, I sometimes get something out of. Southern Living used to do it for me, but they became thinner and same old same old so I gave them up and buy the annual cookbooks at the used book store. I used to take a “stitching” magazine called Piecework. It WAS a well rounded magazine that covered all sorts of hand work, some I’ve done, others were just interesting to read about. They turned into mostly a knitting magazine. The year their “Annual Quilting Issue” contained 10 out of 48 pages (or some ridiculous ratio like that) of actual “quilting” pages (and two of the 10 were for a “knitted quilt”) I said that was it and dropped the magazine. I used to purchase Just Cross Stitch at the newsstand, but found most of their things too juvenile for me. I even decided to quit getting their annual Christmas ornament issue because last year there was only one ornament that I liked (or would make the effort to make). There is one magazine that I took Sampler and Antique Needlework, but my subscription is now lapsing. The one magazine that I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE is The Gift of Stitching. I love the content, the designers, the photography and the fact that the magazine is ONLINE. I DOWNLOAD it. There’s no TRASH. I’m a big recycler, but I love it when there’s a product that I don’t even have to recycle. The entire magazine can be saved on my computer and eventually saved to CD. And I’m not a big fan of ADS, and in GOS they are all pretty much on one page. I can ignore them if I want or take the time to look at the one page to see what is new on the market. There was another magazine out of Britain that I found and WAS going to subscribe to, then I found out what it was going to cost for an annual subscription (something like $75) YIKES! No way! They’d be so much smarter to do an online subscription like GOS and expand their base that way, but as of this writing they have yet to listen to me.
The second part of the question; about cross stitch magazines being “Ambassadors for the Art” is just silly. People who don’t stitch aren’t going to pick the magazines up on the newsstand. It would be like me picking up a magazine called Plumbing; not going to happen. I’ve heard all the excuses in the world – it takes too much time; I hate to count; I can’t see . . . blah blah blah. If someone wants to stitch, they will stitch; they will find someone to teach them to stitch. It’s the whole you can lead a horse to water but can’t make it drink. And the good news is that if people don’t stitch and they want something that is stitched, then they can pay someone like me to stitch it for them. Win win.

6) And finally, do you do other crafts and if so what are they and why do they pull you away from cross stitch?
Nothing pulls me away from cross stitch. I’m an early riser, so usually have my coffee, watch the news and cross stitch. Or, in the evening – after my 14 hour day – I will do an hour or so. Sometimes more when I have a deadline looming. Since I have a finishing business, clearly I sew (on the machine and by hand). I also sew things for my grandaughter. I used to do a lot of scrapbooking, but have given that up. Or I should say I've given up paper scrapping. I do it digitally now. There’s just not enough time with my business, my son, my husband and my volunteer work. However, I usually get caught volunteering to do something for my DAR chapter – like flower arrangements – or the historical society – like Christmas tree ornaments or graphics design. And honestly, even when I’m canning fresh tomatoes, it becomes an art of display and arrangement.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Hole Stitched

So, I stitched over the darned area. Fortunately most of it falls in the house roof area. The remainder, above the roof, will have trees stitched over it. Aside from a slight bowing in the linen, I don't think you'll be able to tell it's there after I get it all stitched. Since I've been working like a fiend to meet the competition deadline, I was glad to get back to this no pressure project. I will post a picture of the finished area in the near future.

The HOLE Crisis

I know it's a bad picture, but it really does show my problem off very well. A few weeks ago I put my Prairie Schooler project in my bag and when I got to destination and pulled it out, there was a HUGE GAPING HOLE in the middle of my already-been-stitched-on-a-lot Linen!!! Yikes! I was despondent. What was I going to do? After a few weeks to recover from the terrible shock, I decided that the only thing to do was take a cotton thread in a color close to the linen (sky blue) and darn the hole. Hopefully I would do it in such a way that I would be able to see some sort of grid so that when darned, I could actually stitch over the darned area (because, thank goodness, the hole WAS in a place in the linen that was to be stitched over - otherwise, I'd have had to scrap the linen and start all over again). So, this picture shows the hole, darned - or is it the darned hole? You know what I mean.

Sneak Peek of Bee Line March Box

This is a sneak peek at my design that I am submitting to a competition. The design is mine and is copyrighted. Please do not copy it. I am grateful to Kreinik Manufacturing for their Silk Mori that I used for the entire project. Sometime later this year I hope to show you a picture of the completed project. Depends on contest rules. I also hope to make the chart available in 2010.

Name Tag

For my partner, Cheryl, and myself, I made name tags that have the house on them. Same design - my own - as for the owners gift, but without the dog and house name - adding our names. I could just be catching up to those in the know, but I used floral pins on the sides. Please do not reproduce the designs.

House Tour Gift

This weekend is the house tour. I have wrapped up the gift we are giving the couple who own the house my partner and I are hosting. It's a rendition of their house.