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

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Tantes Zolder

Tantes Zolder is the name of a website. It means "Auntie's Attic". If you want to go to the site, unless you read Dutch, don't click on the link. Well, go ahead, click on the link - see if you can read Dutch. Otherwise, go to Google and type in the search box "Tantes Zolder". The first site to pop up is the one you want, but WAIT. To the right there's a clickable link that says "Translate this Site". Click on THAT. What you'll get is the site, along with a literal translation of all the words on it. It reads choppy, but you can at least understand what the writer is saying. If you go there directly, there is one paragraph that is in English that paraphrases the purpose and beginnings of the site. Follow the links to the archives.

Why do I want to go to this site, you say? Well, how about a gajillion downloads of needlework patterns. Most very French/Northern European style. Can't download for resale, but for personal use. A lovely woman in The Netherlands found all this stuff and put it on line with the help of some volunteers. Fabulous! Check it out.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Overdye Conversion Sites

I promised a list of links I used to find overdye floss conversions on the web. I will list the ones that I found helpful as well as how I searched them.

Stitches & Things - This shop in Michigan is very nice; I've dealt with them for chart orders. I found this conversion chart helpful. Do a page search for the DMC number you want to convert.

Carrie's Threads - This is a thread maker who has set up this comparison chart in a PDF file. Put the DMC number you are looking for in the search window in the top toolbar.

Country Garden Stitchery - This site was somewhat helpful. Lookup your DMC number for WDW or GA conversions.

Mirabilia Stitchers - This is for Crescent conversions.

Hand-dyed Fibers - is a search engine thingy that you put in the search criteria (like your DMC number) and it comes up with a whole list of overdyed fiber conversions.

Of them all, Carrie's and Hand-dyed Fibers were most helpful. But, the caveat is that nothing is as good as your own eye. Also, I enjoy stitching with Gentle Art threads the most. I find Crescent is more dear than it should be and I don't care for the feel of Weeks. That being said, there are times when only one of the latter two will do for conversion purposes and you just do what you've got to do.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas from Windy Ridge

A posting by Kirsten Edwards on the Gift of Stitching blog reminded me that I've never written about these discoveries I've had on the world wide web. About a year, or so, ago I found these two websites: The Antique Pattern Library and The On-line Digital Archive of Documents on Weaving and Related Topics. As I said to Kirsten when I commented on her blog, don't let the "weaving" fool you.

When you go to either of these sites, search for "Dillmont". Thérèse de Dillmont began an embroidery school in Alsace, France in 1886 with the help of the founder of the Dollfus, Meig et Companie. You may recognize the company name better by it's initials - DMC. Yep, that DMC. Dillmont had made contacts in the publishing world while living in Vienna, Austria. Between those contacts and Dollfus, she wrote several books. You can see a mini-bio of Mmsl. Dillmont at A Textile Lover's Diary (another superb cornucopia of information); and information about Msr. Dollfus on French Wikipedia Most of those publications through DMC were what they called "Albums"; what we would call pamphlets nowadays. They are about 40 pages long and many printed in color. They are collectively called Bibliotheque DMC. On these sites you can find these albums in downloadable PDF format. I have many of them that I've saved on my own computer and I call it my own personal Embroidery Library. If you can afford them the Albums - original ones - can be found on the internet from time to time for purchase.

I will also say that these sites have books about more than cross stitch. There are crochet and knitting - and of course, weaving among others.

As Kirsten also pointed out on her BLOG, you can also see some interesting public domain embroidery books at Google Books. Dillmont's Encyclopedia of Needlework is available there as well.

Hopefully this will make for some splendid after-Christmas reading for you; when you have time to yourself.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Couple of Christmas Gifts

I haven't gotten pictures of all the Christmas presents that have gone out, but these are two that I did. Top is Raspberry Thicket Pincushion. It is a variation of the blackberry pincushion from Piecework Magazine a few years ago. Piecework had been going over to knitting back then, so I don't get it anymore (I think they've gone full tilt to the dark side now). If you're interested, Google "Interweave Press" and "Magazines". Originally the pincushion was a biscornu (pulled down in the middle). I decided to see what a biscornu looked like if you don't pull it down in the middle. And I liked it. To give it weight I wrapped a rock from the driveway in the poly fiber fill and that's in the middle inside the pincushion. The second one is the piece I made for Gift of Stitching's first challenge. I think both recipients will be very pleased.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Eve Finished

It's done! Yippie! Kreinik silver braid very fine saved the words. Everything needs a little tinsel, right? I also did the decoration on the sleigh in beads instead of stitches. Then, because I couldn't leave it alone, I beaded jingle bells (just amber beads) along the harness. And, while I was doing all this, I thought, wow, I really don't need to frame this, I can make it into a table decoration with a quilted border. So, we'll see what I can come up with by Christmas Eve.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Well, Ollie, This is a Fine Mess - Progress on Christmas Eve

When you go forth and sully the colors of a designer, beware - you can make a mistake. Like I did here. I changed "white" to "moonglow" which is a white with hints of blue. Then, the chart called for "light blue" and I used light blue - a very light blue. And, when it came time to stitch the words, "Merry" and "to all" (which I'd changed up a bit too) they were really difficult to see. I kept telling myself that when I stepped back, they would appear just fine. Well, you can only go so far back before you finally admit defeat. And by then I'd stitched all the background around the words and there was no way I could take the threads out, even if I wanted to. So, I have had to come up with a plan to overstitch the words to make them at least legible. All I can say is thank goodness for Kreinik.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

My Progress on "Christmas Eve"

So, here's an update on Prairie Schooler's "Christmas Eve". Told ya I really liked that turquoise. I made a mistake somewhere so was running out of room when I reached to top of Santa's hat. As a result, had to take out the top border and redo it. Have some cleanup work to do there still. I also opted not to do the fur on Santa's suit in green like it was charted. Sorry, Santa's fur is just not GREEN. Did it in white instead. Then the flesh colored threads didn't show up so well against the country mocha fabric. Decided to do outline stitching around his face and to delineate between hat and beard. Don't think it looks so bad, especially from a distance as in the second shot. Almost done - maybe by Christmas Eve?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Update on Christmas Eve

Here's the progress I've made on Prairie Schooler's "Christmas Eve". Note the color changes. I've decided I really like that turquoise color.

Another Old Thing

Can you just imagine, putting all this work into something and then not doing anything with it? Apparently that's what I did - back in 2003. I think we were getting the house ready for sale that year. I found it yesterday in the bottom of a bin of unused Christmas decorations. Not sure what I'll do with it now, but it certainly won't go back to the bottom of the bin. It's done on Lugana with DMC, and I think that the pattern came from an old copy of Cross Stitch and Country Crafts.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Christmas Eve Progressing

I am very happy with my Prairie Schooler "Christmas Eve" on Tula. Here is my progress so far.

Prairie Schooler - Country Seasons

Here's my progress so far picture of "Country Seasons". It is stitched on 28ct "Pearled Barley" by Lakeside. I started this in 2008; with "Winter", but never got it done. So, I pulled it out and finished off "Winter" and then stitched up "Autumn" over Thanksgiving. I think I'll put it on the bottom of the pile now and wait until March to do "Spring".

Another Old Thing

Seeing the ornament on Vonna's website reminded me of this piece. It did it from Cross Stitch and Country Crafts back in the early 90's, I think. It just looked so magical to me. I framed it myself too; from molding, as a matter of fact. Not a bad job making the frame, but I did a bad job of getting the piece on the mounting board - as you can see from the top, it's not exactly square. But I was a newbie at crafting back then. Just getting it to the point I did was a hug accomplishment for me back then. It's nice to see how far I've come. I pull this out every Christmas and put it somewhere. This year it's keeping company with the holiday cards - old and new - on the buffet in the dining room.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Challenge Results

I'm thrilled that I came in among the top six of Gift of Stitching's first Creative Challenge. The wining design by Sylvia was really pretty and very well finished. Check out the results HERE.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Prairie Schooler ABC Bee Blog

I have joined my first group! It's the Prairie Schooler ABC Bee. We're all stitching the PS ABC charts. The group was inspired by the photo above. Some brilliant stitcher somewhere had stitched all the ABCs on one piece of fabric - over one thread! Isn't it gorgeous? I haven't decided yet what I'm going to do. I will probably make some minor design changes - hope that doesn't make my fellow bees mad at me. And I know for sure I will substitute overdyed threads for the DMC. My quandry at this point is whether I stitch them all on one piece or do them individually. Vonna has a beautiful ornament tree tutorial on her blog the Twisted Stitcher. It's gotten me to thinking how nice the ABCs would look as ornaments on that tree. I have a small buffet in the bay window in my dining room and that tree with those ABCs would look really pretty there. I will definitely stitch them all; and probably over one. I need to sit down and do the math (it makes my head hurt so I'm putting it off) to figure that part out. You can go to the PSABCBee Blog by clicking on the name. Or, go to the Prairie Schooler ABC chart pics here - ABC - DEF - GHI - JKL - MNO - PQR - STU - VWX - Y&Z so you can see what we're all so jazzed about. Most of all, I'm excited to get to know stitchers from across the country and around the world who share a fondness for Prairie Schooler designs and a love of stitching.