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

Friday, October 23, 2009


Fabulous find! At The Final Yard they sell ends of rolls. This piece was 1-7/8 yards; I bought it off the $5 table. I got another piece that I haven't decided what to do with; it's 3-3/8 yards in a robin's egg blue matlesse. Anyway, I knew immediately when I found this piece what I was going to do - make a throw for my bed. It feels wonderful - I think it's either got silk or mohair in it. Being end of the roll though, I'll never know. Anyway, when I went further through the store, I found they were having a sale on their natural colored cotton trims. The boullion trim was selling for $1.99 a yard. That's HUGELY discounted. Not only that, but the minute I looked at it - even before I knew what the price was - I thought "I can dye that; to any color I want it to be". So, I bought six yards - yeah, broke the bank at almost a whole twelve dollars! When I got home I took half of it (just three yards) and dyed it in a five gallon bucket with a bottle of Rit "denim blue" dye. I love the way it came out looking like overdyed floss. The width on the fabric was 54 inches, so I cut a piece 54 x 54. Last thing I needed was the lining fabric for the "back". Went to Joann's for their Columbus Day sale and got anti-static lining in navy blue for about $3.00 ('cause it was on sale!). The thing weighs a ton because of the boullion trim, but it is gorgeous! I have enough left over to make some small (like 9x14) decorative pillows for the bed too. Whole thing cost me about twelve bucks (minus my time of course).

So, I've been doing that and working on two stitching pieces (as well as my paid work). The stitching pieces are Jeanette Douglas' "Pomegranate & Pears Stitches" and a "Chocolate and Raspberry Truffle" biscornu for a Christmas gift. Don't have pictures of them yet. But, wow, when I was working on P&P - I got the fibers in a kit - and I very nearly ran out of the Lorikeet that was put in the kit. That stuff must really be expensive because the kitmaker put about a nine inch piece in there. I ended up, to get the last few stitches out of it, having to * put my needle through, pull the thread through, pull the thread from the needle, put the needle in, thread the needle, repeat from * . I was trying to figure out what I had on hand that I could possibly use as a backup (absolutely nothing) if this method didn't work out, but I managed to complete the four designs with the Lorikeet. Nice stuff though. P&P is not as complicated a design as I thought it would be though. I'm getting through it WAY too fast. I think I'm going to have to get that Victoria Sampler gingerbread house and really challenge myself. After doing six Prairie Schoolers, I feel I need the challenge (don't get me wrong, I love PS, but it is pretty simple). Hope my Nordic Needle catalog is in the mailbox today!

Table Runner

I love doing things with remnants. I reminded myself earlier this year that I was going to need some more seasonal table runners. I have to put them out on all my tables around the house to protect them from men (i.e., everyone else in my house but me) who put wet things down on wooden furniture. So, hit the jackpot with this 9 inch wide remnant at Joann's. Knew it would be perfect for a table runner. Slapped it together with remnants of quilt batting and some fabric I had on hand for the backing (the same as the gold binding); machine quilted it (see detail picture) and put the binding on. Viola!

Rain Rain Go Away

Rain Rain Go Away by Prairie Schooler is finished with some changes by me. Not sure if I cared for her choices of color here. Final piece in my set (Farmer's Almanac) is still on the stretcher bars for lack of green floss to finish the grass. I'm waiting for my Nordic Needle catalog so I can order more "Lucky".

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Oops, Forgot to Put this one Up

A couple of months ago - August, I think it was, I found this lovely floral remant at the sewing shop. I had just watched a Sewing With Nancy about "Boutique Sewing" and decided to make a sundress similar to one she'd done on the show. So I was going to use the floral, but with what because it was only like a 3rd of a yard. Looking at it, I noticed that there was some pumpkin orange in the colors. Oddly enough, I had about two yard of pumpkin orange jobelan that I had for a previous project and had no idea what I was going to do with the rest. I also had several fat quarters of quilting cotton in pink and green colors which were also in that floral.

The emphasis in the boutique sewing was that things are finished off - inside and out. So, I decided the floral would go on the bottom of the jumper, the orange at the top. I made one big facing for the top front and back - instead of the little two inch facings the patterns have you do. The facings are stitched together, front and back, and then sewn onto the outside piece in one continuous piece so that all the seams inside are finished off - aren't even seen actually. What you can't see is that in the back, there are teal buttons holding the straps in place. Her grandfather picked those out. The good news is that Emma is so petite that she'll probably be able to wear the sun dress next year too! I really enjoyed making this dress for her.

Perfect in Pink Pleather Pants

Also in Emma's box was the outfit I made for her out of remnants - the quilted jacket and pink pleather pants. Here she is styling them - striking a pose! I am told that she loves LOVES LOVES her pink pleather pants and crys when she has to take them off. I hate to cause discord, but it is very gratifying to know she likes them that much.

Emma in her Bat Towel - BAT GIRL

Emma received her box earlier in the week. I am told that the bat scared the heck out of her. She had to develop a "personal relationship" with the bat before we could get a photo. Last night was her Eureka moment with the bat and they sent this picture. So maybe she will be a bat for Halloween. I have finished her Christmas towel, but will not post until later to keep it secret. I can say however, that it will not be scary and it's something she already pretends to be while she's playing.

Using a Scroll Bar Frame - A Twelve Step Program

I passed on an older model Scroll Rod Frame to my daughter in law who needs to know how to use it. I thought maybe there were others who don't know how or need a refresher course. I use scroll rod frames exclusively. The best part about them is that you can add your metallic threads or beads or other, thicker, embellishments; without crushing them like you would in a hoop.

I do not sew my fabric to the scroll rods anymore. Used to, but a few years ago, I saw someone use this pinning method. I thought, huh, that looks ALOT easier than sewing. And it is.

First Step: You need the right pins. The photo shows my glass headed, long, dressmaker's pin (yellow) stuck into the fabric next to my short (about 1 inch long) nickel applique pin. It's the applique pins I use for this and the reason is the small head. I can attach the fabric with them and roll them up and there is practically no bulk on the scroll rod. Applique pins should be easily found at your local chain sewing store like Joann, but if they're not there, try a quilt shop.

Step 2

Make sure that you have all the parts to your scroll rod frame - two scroll rods, two side bars, and four knobs or wing nuts - maybe some washers too. If you've picked up your scroll frame second hand, wing nuts and washers can replace missing knobs and are easily found at your hardware store.

Step 3

Test your scroll bar to figure out if it's wide enough to accomodate your fabric. Find the center of the fabric and match it to the center of the scroll bar.

Step 4

Place the center top of your fabric on the center of the linen that's attached to the bar and put in one pin.

Step 5

Complete the pinning onto the first scroll bar. Pull the fabric taught between center and each side then pin the side. Fill in between center and sides with more pins to secure the fabric.

Step 6

Closeup of pinning the fabric to the linen attached to the bar.

Step 7

Repeat the process for pinning the fabric to the other bar.

Step 8

Now that your fabric has been pinned to both the scroll bars, slip the frame sides over the screws at each end of each rod as shown.

Step 9

OK, this really isn't a "step", but at this point you DO want to gather up your washers and knobs, because it's time to put them on.

Step 10

If your scroll rod comes with washers, slip them on now. Washers are a good thing because they keep you from tightening down the knobs so much that you put too much torque on the screw that's in the rod. Too much torque on that screw can cause the wooden rod to split. Trust me, I know! If you don't have washers with your scroll rod, you might want to consider getting some.

Step 11

You will then attach your knob (or wing nut - or whatever was supplied with your specific scroll rod set). Remember, righty tighty, lefty lucy!

Step 12

Once all the knobs are spun on, your scroll rods and fabric will look like this. You're all done putting it together! Congrats! You've completed the 12 step program!

Tightening the Scroll Rods

Once you have the fabric attached to the scroll rods, you will then tighten it by rolling the rods (winding up the fabric). Some people (like me) like to start their stitching in the center. So, you'd roll up the scroll rods until the center mark you've put in the fabric is basically in the center of the frame - rolling both bars up with some fabric. Shown in photo one. Other people like to start at the top left, so you would tighten all the extra fabric onto one bar leaving the other bar clear for the beginning. This leaves the pins exposed on one side until you've turned the rod enough to cover them, so be careful how you're holding the frame if you do this. Shown in photo two. You're all set to stitch!

Those keen-eyed-viewers will notice that my fabric in photo one has no marking in the center. You're right! That's because I put this Country French "Chocolate" fabric on the scroll rod frame so that I can make another of the blackberry truffle tuffets (shown at top of my blog page in the triophoto). Only this one is going to be raspberries in pink tones. So, I'll actually be starting my stitching at the top left like in photo two.