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

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Lots of Progress to Show and a Reveal

I may have mentioned that I was working on the Prairie Schooler Kris Kringles.  Maybe not.  I started out with these small linen samples that I just hated to throw away.  Then I realized they were just the perfect size for doing ornaments on.  Kris Kringle ornaments to be exact.

 I started out with these two, holding the small 5 x 3 pieces of linen in my hand.  But, my hand cramps up when I do that.  So, I came up with the bright idea to put four of them together so I could put them on my scroll rods.

Below you can see them sewn together.  Problem with that bright idea was that the edges raveled.  On a 5x3 piece, a little raveling can be a REALLY bad thing.  So, I was very careful and came out the other side all right.  Still needed to tweak the idea a bit.

This time around I treated the edges of the linen pieces with anti-fraying goop.  Let it dry and THEN put them together in a set of four.  Now, no raveling edges and I'm much more confident about tightening the scroll rods.

A few weeks ago I got my first three books in the BBD Anniversaries of the Heart series.  I'll start working on those in a few weeks yet.  But, I've been rolling it around in my head, what was I going to do about fabric for those?  Do them all on individual fabric?  One big piece?  After the frustration of not ending up right when I did the 2008 Mystery Sampler, I was NOT going to do them on different pieces of fabric and then put them all together again with unclear success.  But, I really had liked that look.

THEN IT HIT ME!! Thunderation!!!!  While I was working on Kris (above) I'd thought about all the different odd pieces of linen I have.  You know us stitchers, we end up with a lot of odds and ends!  Why couldn't I put the pieces together, like that, just more permanently.  That way, I'd do each house on its own piece of linen, but the linen would be all together already and I'd avoid the anxiety of having them look higgeldy piggeldy when I put them together.

Here I've selected a field of neutrals that I hope will work with the designs.  If some design colors are too close to fabric colors, I'll just have to rearrange them.

I had to calculate the size of the pieces, plus one quarter inch for the seam allowance.  Then I treated the edges with ani-fray goop.  Let me say, I don't recommend this if you are not a confident sewer.  Also, I recommend machine stitching over hand stitching because the anti-fray goop IS visible when it dries (see closeup of Kris Kringle 3 above - there is a slight shadowing).  You have to carefully apply the anti-fray as close to the edge as possible and then when you're stitching them up, it goes into the seam allowance.

Here is a closeup where you can see I numbered the pieces - after taking so much time to lay out what color went where, I didn't want to mess up the order.  They're marked in pencil, on the back and it doesn't show through.

Then I proceeded with sewing the seams.  One quarter inch, just like in quilting.  In fact, this project is going to be a lot like quilting.

 Because of the width of all five pieces across - and because I don't like having to use my extra big scroll rods - I broke it down into two sections.  The first section has the linen pieces for January, February, May, June, October and November.

The second, larger section, has the pieces for the first Bonus, March, April, July, August, September, December and the Final Bonus.  As you can also see, I've done some double blocks for the First Bonus and March (top row in the above picture).  I also added a double block for May and June (center in the previous picture).  I am really crossing my fingers that this works out.

One big mistake I made was not calculating the extra fabric on the outer edges that I need for framing - you know the six inches each way that you're told to get?  So when all the stitching is done on these two sections, I'll have to put the sections together and THEN I'll have to do some sort of linen border all around the outer edges that will have to be decorative (if not, it would then look stupid) and also practical for framing.

Finally, I was working on my three witches from Brookes Books and I had begun first with "Polly".  We discussed what an awful name that was for a female pirate - Polly definitely IS the PARROT!!!  While Bess and Meg were good suggestions, Siobhan remembered who it was I was thinking about . . . Grace O'Malley - The Irish Pirate Queen.  So, officially, her name is Grace and I think she came out very well - - -

And I got started on her sister from the forest, Fauna - - -

She's very green-grey and mossy looking - probably Moss-Man's sister - although, saying she's related to that dummy isn't very nice.  So, let's say she's related to Legolas from Lord of the Rings; he was Orlando Bloom's character.  Hope you like!  Have a great week.


  1. I am very impressed with all the thought and planning that went into your BBD design! I love Fray Check and I think your project will turn out great!

  2. Your idea for the BBD designs is fascinating, but quite quite beyond me. Looking forward to seeing more of it.

    Grace looks amazing! And her sister definitely has an elven face and hair!

  3. Your plan for the BBD is ingenious, its going to look amazing when its done.
    Grace turned out really well, and Fauna is looking good too

  4. That is a great idea about the anniversaries of the heart Kathrine! I look forward to seeing tha tone GROW!

  5. This is going to be sooooo cool! Love your witch!

  6. I love your Grace, Katherine! I can't wait to see what you do with your BBD AotH, too. You lost me at calculate--when math is involved, I try to lie down and cover my ears until somebody else figures it all out for me--but it is going to be AMAZING. I can't wait to see some WIP pics! Love your Kris Kringles, too! PS does the best santa design, I think.


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