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

Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas Eve

I always like to stitch something seasonal at Christmastime. So, this will be my third in-progress project until I can gather all the stuff I need to start doing the Prairie Schooler ABCs. I'm working it on 10 count Country Mocha Tula by Wichelt using Caron Watercolors substitutions. Can't wait to show my progress!

Christmas Rag Wreath

I saw the directions for this on the Moda Bake Shop Blog. Had all the materials, so decided to make one in red and green. I love it; and love the idea. I do have a few modifications to the instructions though. The MBS instructions say to cut the strips 5-1/2 inches long. I disagree. It took me four hours to make the wreath and I think that may have been cut down if the strips had just been a little longer. So I'd say cut them 6" and then you won't be fumbling (or maybe it was just my fat fingers?) with the fabric when you tie it. And a note on tying it - it's a one over knot, not a tie and then tie again into a real "knotty knot". Also, I recommend that if you're going to do this with two colors like I did, make a color pattern and then vary it from one ring to the next. Like my pattern was 3 green, 3 red, 2 green, 2 red, 1 green, 1 red, then repeat all the way around the ring. The next ring would go backwards - that way I didn't end up with all the same colors next to each other. As to materials, they suggest a "honey bun". Well, I've got a huge stash of fabric. I layers 13 green fat quarters and 13 red ones, cut the strips from half of each and had enough to do the SMALL wire frame - whether that was 12 inches or not, I don't know. And I really think that the BAKE shop needs to put a baking time on these projects. I really do like my wreath and would make another one, just not right away - I'm a little tied up right now.

More Old Stuff - Good St. Nick

Prairie Schooler is my favorite designer. And I can say that I know this piece in and out since I stitched it twice. The first time was on sand colored linen - 28 count. I liked it alot and had it framed similar to the frame you see in this picture. At the time I was working in a LNS. The shop had a sale and preparatory to the sale, I was asked to organize the linen. While doing that, I discovered Tula. It is a larger weave, like a giant Aida. Ten count - that's ten stitches to the inch. Well, you might think that's for amateurs. Oh, contrare! You see, there was a fiber in the shop that I'd been dying to stitch with, but it was too big; meant really for needlepointers. It was Caron's Watercolors - overdyed cotton - luscious colors. And a sheen a lot like pearl cotton. It's three stranded. Well, I discovered if I took one strand and cross stitched on Tula, I got the same look as on a higher count of fabric. So, I decided to do Good St. Nick again. This time on sand colored Tula with the Watercolors. It came out a little more than twice the size of the previous one. I still have the first one - haven't decided which of my children are inheriting it yet. But it's the piece I stitched on Tula that gets hung up at Christmastime!

Old Stuff out for the Holidays Again

Pulling things out of the basement this weekend to decorate for the holidays, I realized there are still some things I haven't posted to the blog yet. Like this Victoria Sampler piece - Christmas Tree Farm. I think I did this two years ago. I really enjoyed the challenge of this sampler. There were some stitches I'd never done, some that I hadn't done in a long time, and still others that I don't like to do (Queen Stitch anyone?). I can say that the booklets for all the Victoria Sampler items I've done (which admittedly are few just because Victorian isn't my style) have been clear, concise, and extremely helpful in completing the projects. I'm looking forward to getting the booklet for Thea's new Gingerbread House and then being able to afford all the triffles I'll need to put it together.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Gift of Stitching Creative Cross Stitch Challenge #1

I have completed my entry into The Gift of Stitching Creative Cross Stitch Challenge #1. I'm calling it "Patriot's Pincushion". I've been trying to put together a Christmas gift for a friend who is a Patriot (not a Pinhead!). It wasn't until I decided to enter the challenge though that the idea for what to do came to me like a flash! My interpretation of the motif is on 28 count "French Blue" linen by Wichelt. I particularly like this linen color because it seems very denim-looking to me; especially when juxtaposed with red. I used DMC 336 (navy) and B5400 (snow white) as well as Color Variations 4210 (red) for the stitches. Stitches used are cross, satin and whipped stem stitch as well as a little star that I just finagled. And the stitching was FAST 100% - I did it all in three days (i.e., three evenings); took a half hour on the fourth day to finish it.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Nordic Needle Newsletter Item

Roz, at Nordic Needle ( posted this in this week's newsletter; it really impressed me -

"As I close for this week, I want to include this article that one of our readers sent to me. It has been verified and this did actually happen. I just want to share it with you as an extension of having just honored our veterans last weeks. This speaks volumes. Thank you for reading it.

The Music Stopped

(For those who are unaware: At all military base theaters, the National Anthem is played before the movie begins.)

This is written from a Chaplain in Iraq :

I recently attended a showing of 'Superman 3' here at LSA Anaconda. We have a large auditorium we use for movies, as well as memorial services and other large gatherings. As is the custom at all military bases, we stood to attention when the National Anthem began before the main feature. All was going well until three-quarters of the way through The National Anthem, the music stopped.

Now, what would happen if this occurred with 1,000 18-22 year-olds back in the States? I imagine there would be hoots, catcalls, laughter, a few rude comments, and everyone would sit down and yell for the movie to begin. Of course, that is, if they had stood for the National Anthem in the first place.

Here in Iraq , 1,000 Soldiers continued to stand at attention, eyes fixed forward. The music started again and the Soldiers continued to quietly stand at attention. But again, at the same point, the music stopped. What would you expect 1000 Soldiers standing at attention to do ?? Frankly, I expected some laughter, and everyone would eventually sit down and wait for the movie to start.

But No!!... You could have heard a pin drop, while every Soldier continued to stand at attention. Suddenly, there was a lone voice from the front of the auditorium, then a dozen voices, and soon the room was filled with the voices of a thousand soldiers, finishing where the recording left off: "And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. Oh, say does that Star Spangled Banner yet wave, o'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave."

It was the most inspiring moment I have had in Iraq and I wanted you to know what kind of Soldiers are serving you. Remember them as they fight for us!

Pass this along as a reminder to others to be ever in prayer for all our soldiers serving us here at home and abroad. Many have already paid the ultimate price.

Written by Chaplain Jim Higgins LSA Anaconda is at the Ballad Airport in Iraq , north of Baghdad"

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Gift of Stitching - Prairie Schooler Ornament Complete

I loved, loved, loved the PS ornament in the November 2009 issue of GOS! Could not wait to stitch it up. But had to be a little different. Mine is stitched on Wichelt, 28 count, Country French Cappucino linen. I like to call this color Hot Cocoa myself, but it is what it is. And, I used overdyed threads in place of the recommended DMC. Replacements are as follows: The white is Crescent Colours Snowball; 646 (chimney smoke) is Weeks Confederate Grey; 738 (windows and jingle bells on harness) is Crescent Finley Gold; 815 is GA Cranberry; 895 (trees) I used two colors of green to give better dimension to them. One I used is Crescent Steamed Broccoli and the other is Weeks Lucky. 927 (icy blue in the snow) is Weeks Morris Blue. Not sure, but that color may be discontinued - I just pulled it out of my stash and love it for its icy blueness. I wanted to be different on the harness, deer's eye and door so I used a peacocky-turquoise from Needle Necessities that I had on hand. For the reindeer itself, which was supposed to be 3371 I used Crescent Bramble Bush. Ooooh - forgot to mention - I've done five of these and I'm so bad a counting that I haven't done one of them completely correct yet!

As far as finishing, it is on a small piece of foam core. The pearls are Darice pearl headed florist pins. The backing is Weeks overdyed felted wool in "Merlot" and the hanger is a piece of matching satin ribbon. Could not be simpler.

Like I said, I have stitched five of these and as I ran out of Bramble Bush after three of them, I used other overdyes for the deer instead. One was Crescent Cocoa Bean and the other was Weeks Sassy Brass. Neither of these worked as well as Bramble Bush, so I've ordered more of that. A good replacement for 3371 is Swamp Water (made by Weeks?) if you want to go that dark. I also changed up the eye, harness, door combo and did two of them with Crescent Rainy Day. This color was too dark. Doing it again, I would try different colors in the midrange.

I have also ordered this year's PS santa as well as the sampler Christmas Eve. I'm thinking about doing that one big - using my Country Mocha Tula and Caron Watercolors threads.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Just Finished - Farmer's Almanac

Just finished this. It's Prairie Schooler's "Farmer's Almanac". I did the grass on the bottom and some of the green trim around the edge in Weeks Dye Works' "Lucky" overdyed floss. That took 2 and a half skeins to finish! This is also the piece that was damaged a few months ago - I had a huge hole in the fabric and showed in a previous blog how I darned the hole and stitched over it. Upon close inspection, you can see where the damaged spot is/was. But, unless you know it was there, you can't spot it. I'm very happy with the outcome.