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

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Secret Message Doll

Here's the finished Malinda doll.  She's got on her Civil War era dress - complete with buttons! - and her apron.

So that they would be able to get the secret message in and out of the back of her head, I decided not to make the bonnet that came with her dress.

I'm still not terribly happy with her hair.  Out of desperation I glued three or four strands along the brown hairline.  I can see that more will have to be done, but she had to make an appearance at the historical society.

Her message reads: "Gen'l Jackson - Union troops marching on Martinsburg RR - Tonite! - La Belle Rebel"  I wrote it on a piece of fabric.   I thought that would be more authentic (and secretive) than a piece of paper.  If they were to inspect the doll, I thought, paper would crinkle.  Fabric is soft and quiet, and feels just like part of the stuffing in the head.  Well, that's what I would do if I was smuggling REAL secret messages in MY doll's head.  Hope you enjoy!

Monday, November 22, 2010

This is Malinda.  She is a doll made from a pre-printed panel.  This year the theme at the historical society is dolls, dollhouses and model trains.

Someone said that Belle Boyd may have sent secret messages in the head of her maid's doll during the Civil War.  So when the committee was gearing up they asked if I could make a similar doll.  It was one of those times when I said "yes" and had no idea how I was going to fulfill the request.

Then the Keepsake Quilting catalog arrived in my mailbox.  I was going through it, turned the page and there was this pre-printed panel called the "Melinda Dalton Doll".  There was one panel for the doll and her undergarments and one panel for her dress.  Then came the Nancy's Notion's catalog.  They were selling the exact same panels, but had a "wardrobe" of clothing for her that included her Sunday Best Dress.  WOW!  I have dealt with Nancy's Notions for years so right away ordered the three panel set from their website.  And waited for it to arrive.  And waited.  And waited.  Finally, ten days after placing my order I called and asked - What Up?  I was told that the items were on back order.  Back Order?  I asked why that hadn't been mentioned in the email they sent me confirming my order?  I was snappily told that I would have appeared on the bottom of the screen when I placed my order.  So I repeated my question about why it hadn't been mentioned in my order confirmation email.  I was told they don't do it that way.  And then she told me that the order was set to be filled the first week in December.

Now, usually I'm not a problem person when it comes to back orders.  When it comes, it comes.  But this time, I had a deadline.  The house (museum) opens for the Christmas season the day after Thanksgiving.  That means I have to have dolly done before then.  So I said to the woman that I was sorry, but that really wasn't going to work for me.  You're canceling the order?  she says to me.  I'm afraid so, I said.  Fine.  Thank you.  Bye.  Click.  Someone was apparently not having a good day - and that really surprised me too, because I've never talked to anyone there who was less than nice.

So, I got online again and went to the Keepsake Quilting site.  And found the doll panels - doll and everyday dress.  And ordered them - for $5 more than I had originally paid Nancy.  But, now it was a problem and I was willing to pay the extra five bucks.  And this time I made sure to read all the page told me when I was placing the order.  It actually said "Item in Stock".  So I clicked checkout and was done.    Oh, forgot to say that I paid for regular shipping because express shipping was just WAY out of sight.

Two days later, package in the mailbox from Keepsake Quilting!  And get this - the panels that came were the doll, the everyday dress and the Sunday dress!  The whole wardrobe!

So, this weekend I sat down (nothing like leaving things to the last minute) to whip up this doll.  She's supposed to have 3-D feet - i.e., the foot has a bottom - but darned if I could get THAT bottom to fit on THAT foot.  I finally gave up and sewed the two sides together!  The hair was also a frustrating business.  The instructions say "when you've wrapped the yarn around the cardboard about 50 times, cut it at one end".  Doesn't say anything about the SIZE of the cardboard.  So, I made two wigs - one wrong and then one right.  Attaching it was another fun time.  The thing I don't like is that you aren't going to be able to find yarn that exactly matches the color of brown that they've printed on the face as the hairline.  So, they might as well not have printed the hairline because I think it looks a little goofy.  I also think that her facial features look too old and made up.

But, at this point, I don't care, I just need to get her done.  Today I'm working on the everyday dress.  Sunday dress will have to wait until some time in the future.  Oh!  I did make her so she has a secret compartment for messages in her head.  I'll try and get a picture of that the next time.  I am going to print a message on a piece of fabric and stick it in there.  Belle Boyd is famous for sending messages to General Jackson - what do you suppose she should be telling him?  Hope you enjoyed.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Meet Mr. and Mrs. Eden

I am determined not to start stitching on BBD's AotH until Christmas.  Having finished the stitching on Spirit of America, I have to keep myself busy.  So, I've begun on Adam Names the Creatures by Prairie Schooler.

Mr. & Mrs. Eden (a.k.a. Adam and Eve)

I am not going to start stitching a whole bunch of AandE's as many wonderful stitchers have done.  I sort of fell into this one, finding the older chart at a shop that I occasionally visit.  I have it more because it's a PS than because it's an A/E.

It is being stitched on Lambswool Jobelan, like the chart model was.  Mine is 14 count.  It just so happened that I had this hunk of fabric and I wasn't planning on using it since I prefer linen.  But, when I decided to stitch the chart, I went ahead with the Jobelan.  That's where I parted with PS choices for stitching though.  The country colors have just gotten too gray for me anymore.  So, as I did with the PS ABC's, so I did with Mr. & Mrs. Eden.  First I converted the original colors to more clear DMC's.  Then I converted the DMC's to Weeks or Crescent (I'm trying to use up supply to make more room for my Gentle Art).

You may have noticed that Adam and Eve aren't the same color.  I decided that they could be different.  After all, she's been hanging out under the tree, conversing with the snake and Adam's been strolling around in the garden, under the Mesopotamian sun.  Eve is also a little hipper - I cinched in her waist a bit more to give her a figure.  And I decided last year that I really like a splash of turquoise, so I've made those birds blue.  That'll be about the only blue there is in the piece.  Oh, and we all know how men are with food of any kind, so Adam, instead of standing there empty handed (and supposedly innocent) as in the chart - he's got an apple core in his hand!  Go FIGure!  Color changes available on request - hope you enjoy!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Progress on Spirit of America

Started stitching on this about two weeks ago; this was actually my progress about a week ago; I'm that behind in taking pictures, downloading them and putting them up.

Here she is with my newly acquired scissors.  I got these from Anita's Little Stitches.  I have to say the price was wonderful and the service exemplary.  She has a terrific selection of scissors if you're looking to add to your collection!  Back to stitching - -
This piece was also designed by Brooke Nolan of Brooke's Books (she did the witches I was working on last month).  This time I decided to stitch on fabric instead of paper.  It just so happened I had a hunk of Picture This Plus "Fossil" 28 count linen and I thought it looked very close to the Antique Brown perforated paper that the model was stitched on.  I am very happy with the results and love this piece even more than I did in the chart picture.

Currently I am finishing up adding the beading and final stitches (making up for ones I missed) and have also started Prairie Schooler's "Adam Names the Creatures" (Book 31) using overdyed flosses.  Hopefully more pictures soon.  Hope you enjoyed!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Thanksgiving Comes Again

Back in 2007 I picked up Prairie Schooler's Thanksgiving Comes Again (book # 141).  It features PS's well known verse/scene theme for this month's big family holiday.  Back then I was doing a lot of stitching for sale; time was of the essence; abbreviation was required.

I finally settled on this:

Basically I stitched a part of the scene on the bottom of the sampler and then a couple of words.  Added a few more geese to fill in space too.  I also wanted to speed up the framing process.  I picked up the frames, really nice coppery colored ones, on sale.  They are 8x10 photo size - that gives you an idea of scale.

I stretched WDW overdyed wool in Wine over foam core board and then cut my linen to a size that was smaller than the field of the background.

I then fringed about a half inch of the linen on all sides and laid it out on top of the wool.  I didn't even have to tack it because the wool grabs the linen and keeps it in place - like a flannel design wall grabs your quilt squares.

Then I just closed up the frames and covered the back with some very pretty scrapbook paper (they were small enough for that).

I thought you guys might like to see this way of decreasing the amount of stitching and saving money on framing.  I'm glad I did this post because I'd forgotten about my version of this - need to pull it out of the basement and hang it up since it IS that time of year again!  Hope you like it.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wedding Sampler - Framed

Went into Michael's today and picked up this nice 8x10 frame.  Gives the sampler a cottagey feel; I thought they went well together.

Micahel's is having a great framing sale, by the way.  Several are buy one - get one for a penny.  This one was among the deal.

Last Batch of Kris Kringles are Done

The Kris Kringles I've been stitching up on the small bits of fabric are finally done.  I did two of the designs over again.  Here they all are again - - -

 Not keen on this one - it's pretty boring with Santa just holding that darn tree; may add some beads or something to spruce him up.

 I call this one Santa of the Birds - he was supposed to have something else on top of his staff, but I added a goldfinch instead.

 This is Santa of the Geese and is done on patterned linen.

 First Santa of the Nutcrackers I did was using WDW - Ladybug as the red.  Not too sure about the result, so, I did it again . . .

 This time using WDW - Liberty.  I also changed the top of this staff to be a miniature nutcracker!

 This is Santa of the Robins.  He's also done on a patterned linen.

 Santa of the Swans.  Pretty sure I stuck to a DMC color here for the blue.  In fact, in most cases, I used DMC colors - but changed them all from the Prairie Schooler selections that contain a gray haze to more pure colors.  Still have the same feel.

This is Santa of the Sweaters (to differentiate him from Santa of the Birds); shows what the original staff looked like.  I really liked the pattern on his robe.  Haven't completely decided how I'm going to finish these, but I'm thinking oval shapes.  We'll see how it works out.  I've moved on to stitching Brooke's Books "Spirit of America"; saving my AotH to begin between Christmas and New Year's.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Wedding Sampler - Modified from BBD 2008 Mystery Sampler

When I was stitching the BBD 2008 Mystery Sampler, I got to the second chart and imagined it in different colors.  All of the sudden I saw a wedding sampler.  So I have this acquintance who was recently married and I thought, this would be perfect for her!

I did the top and left side following the pattern from the first chart in the mystery sampler, then the center medallion from the second chart in the mystery sampler.  The right side sort of mirrors the left side.  The bottom is the word LOVE, using the letters in the first chart.  I fiddled with a lot of the berrys - actually had to take some out to make room for the medallion and stars over top of it.  If I had to do it again I would probably start out with left green vine first, then stitch the medallion; that way there'd be less taking out of berrys.

As far as colors go, the darker green was supposed to be WDW Moss.  Well, I'd run out of that, so I made the DMC substitution; 469 I think.  Then used the WDW Olive that was called for in the chart.  The blackbirds along the edges are done in Flax.  I used a light purple and a dark purple instead of the Peacock called for in the chart.  Purple is the bride's favorite color.  Then the blackbirds over the medallion, instead of making them black, they're now done in Gentle Art Chalk - which makes them into doves!

This was super easy to do.  I am a fast stitcher.  I began on Friday night.  I felt punky on Sunday, so sat down to stitch a couple of times during the day - that day only.  Otherwise, my stitching is done early in the morning and in the evening when I'm watching T.V.  So, it could be banged out in a week if you needed a quick present for a bride and groom.  It's stitched on R&R Old Mill Java and came out to be about 5 x 7 inches.  That means I can find a nice 8 x 10 photo frame to put it in and viola!  Hope you like it!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Two More Frogs to Share

I think at this point, I have to say I have enough.  Well, maybe.  It was Deb who got me started on these darn things!  Anyhow, these aren't being used, just for decoration; I'm WAY too much in love with my DragonKeeper (do you suppose the dragons will actually PROTECT the scissors from those in this house who would go against my wishes and warnings and use them for snipping anything BUT embroidery?) . . .

I digress. First up is the Russian lacquer bowl with clear glass frog.  I love red and this was my favorite one until the turquoise dragons came along. 

Next up is this green gem -I love how this tall frog sits up proud above the bowl; it almost looks like some sort of berry. 

Although the maker of the frog is not marked on it, it does have impressed on it "Patent Apld For"  It is different from most other glass frogs I've seen.  The bowl is 4 -1/4 inches diameter and although not marked, was labeled as Anchor Hocking Glass Co., Forest Green Sandwich Glass.  It is really pretty.

Bronny wrote me a nice comment on my last  post about the DragonKeeper that it was a Fenton remake of an older design.  I thought that was neat since Fenton is a West Virginia glass company and I live in WV. 

I have two more frogs that need bottoms and then I really MUST be done.

Under the better late than never heading; my son sent me the above picture of a glass pumpkin he got at a farmer's market in the Puyallup, WA area.  I think it's gorgeous!

My youngest son and I have been fighting off a stomach bug since mid-last-week.  It's a very persistent one.  My husband says a lot of people at work have been coming down with it.  Over the weekend though, son came down with back, neck and head ache and a slight temp - none of the symptoms I've had.  This morning, he insisted that he be taken to see a doctor (he has aged out of his pediatrician's office so this meant starting afresh at the practice his father and I go to).  Of course, I'm too OLD to have accumulated any common sense about these sorts of illnesses; that they just have to run their course.  Naturally, while at the doctor's office, the subject of meningitis came up and although I admitted that the thought had crossed my mind, I said that I felt his symptoms just weren't enough to cause alarm.  Well, turns out mom knew best.  Just a virus, has to run its course, be sure to drink liquids, etc. etc. etc. And by the time we got home, he felt well enough to go to work.  By golly, that doctor was a true healer!

Finally, a lot of my pictures lately have had my quilted runner as a background - I made it years ago - with set in seams no less!  The blocks were so difficult to make that I stopped after making five of them; and that was just enough for a runner.

Going to go sip my watered down OJ and work some more on my Modified BBD 2008 Mystery (Wedding) Sampler; hope to have progress pics soon.  Thanks for coming to visit!