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

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Ho Boy :(

While I was sailing away on the blue medallion of Opus Magnusson, horror of horrors, the stitches aren't where they're supposed to be!  Ho Boy!  Why do I have too many spaces open on this thing?  And then realization - oh, MY GOD, I've stitched this thing wrong.  The way I'm  working this whole chart is to stitch the black in a section first, then fill in with color(s).  And when you take the black out of the linen, it leaves not exactly a stain, but a bit of a shadow of where it was.  No problem if you're stitching over it, but what happens if you're not?  Your piece ends up with permanent 5 o'clock shadow, that's what.   What to do, what to do!?

Well, like a true off-roader, I decided to make my own path (so to speak).  I thought about it a whole day.  When I came back the next evening, I'd decided that I was not going to pull out the black that I'd already stitched - I'd have to make the best of it.  That also meant that I could not do the medallion as charted.  I'd have to come up with a replacement.  I sat that evening and studied the chart.  I realized that I don't particularly like all the medallions - sounds so much like me, doesn't it?  So, if I did one of my own to cover my mistake and then eliminated some and duplicated others, then I'd be OK.  Using the stitching I'd already done, I created a new medallion.  In this close-up photo you can see where I overstitched with Straw Bonnet (a close match to my linen color) to cover some of the black stitches that had to go.  There is a height difference, but I think looking at the sampler as a whole, you won't notice them.  I have also decided to change the medallion colors.

If you go to the designer's webpage you can see the original design and compare it to what I did.  The simple fact of the matter is that while the DMC color choices were OK for this chart, I don't like all the equivalents that were chosen to replace them in the Gentle Art colors.  Namely Cider Mill Brown that is used for the tiger, etc. and Straw Bonnet that was used for the horse, etc.  The Cider Mill Brown doesn't have a shred of orange or copper and the Straw Bonnet is missing the yellow.  In this picture I've blurred the DMC color numbers so I'm not giving away the designer's information, but you can see the color comparisons and the colors I've added.

Since I'm not re-stitching that tiger, the next best thing is to jazz up the rest of the color scheme.  That's why I added the green (GA Tiger Lily) and now I've added a yellow (GA Butternut Squash).  I'm also going to use more of the red (Buckeye Scarlet) throughout.  And that's it.  I'm not going to make anymore changes.   Oh, forgot to mention I changed the arrows.  I think these look a bit more realistic.  I am so bad!  Think my blue medallion works with the others?  Here's my progress so far:

I keep telling myself that this sampler is for a man and while my son is sensitive to design, he is still a man.  He was showing me his wall quilts that I made him; the ones that hang in "his room".  I was really at a loss as to why they hang in "his room" and not just any room in the house.  To be honest, I made them a long time ago and had forgotten exactly what quilts they were.  He brought them to the computer and showed me.  Instantly I remembered AND knew why they were all in his room.  One was fishing themed and the other woodsy/camping/hunting.  Uh Huh.  So he's really not going to care about the colors in this sampler that much - and - good news - it'll fit right in with the rest of the decor!

I'll pick up AotH next - the August block!  Hope you enjoyed!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Great Sale Going On

Check out Anita's Little Stitches.  She (Anita) has a terrific sale going on until the end of the month.  She carries all sorts of great little things.  The thing that got me excited this morning is that she has four of the new Prairie Schooler designs (ones that aren't even up on the PS website yet) that are on sale as a group for $25 and change and she'll even throw in a free PS mini card.  I thought that was a terrific deal.

As it happened, I also needed some more Tiger Lily floss for my Opus Magnusson (see progress below) and there was a pair of scissors I'd had my eye on for a while that were also on sale!  Oh, and she also had some black fabric that I picked up for several of the PS designs and - you guessed it - it was on sale too!


This is not the first time I've ordered from Anita and I have to say that I don't end up waiting forever for my order to show up, she's thrown in little trinkets with my order (the last time it was some of her new Bohin Needles) and she's very helpful if you're looking for something in particular.

So check her out.  And no, just in case I need to say it, I have no relationship with Anita - she doesn't even know I'm posting this.

Opus Magnusson - July Progress
Oh, and last, but certainly not least - we got a call from our son in Seattle on Friday night.  Odd, because I had just had a long conversation with him on the phone on Friday morning.  Well, they had it confirmed during the day - they're expecting their second child - OUR second grandchild!  Sometime in the spring.  So, we'll be burning up the video  phone a lot in the next few months.  And I have a trip to Seattle in my future!  YAY!  Hope you enjoyed!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Hazy Hot and Humid - With a Chance of Peacocks

I took this photo this morning at about 5:30 AM when it was already 72 humid degrees outside. 

Flow Blue
Now, I know, I should not be complaining about 72 degrees.  I heard on the news this morning that the heat index somewhere in Iowa yesterday was 127 degrees.  Now that's just wrong.  Rest assured, all that heat and humidity are headed my way and by the end of the week I'll be calling myself roasted something-or-other.

Going to see the client today with the oriental quilt top.  We'll discuss how it will be quilted.  Here's what it looks like:

Oriental Peacocks
Remember I told you this was a kit that she ordered.  Take my advice and don't buy the kit.  The instructions were, in my opinion, not good.  I actually found two errors that - if I had followed the instructions - would have really screwed me up fabric-wise.  There was also an error on how many of a certain triangle to cut.  And we won't talk about the headache of having to cut each of those fan pieces by using a template.  Three templates actually - because of course when you make one out of that milk carton plastic, they don't stand up to a rotary cutter too well. 

However, I will say that the template thing was mostly my fault.  The directions did say that you should copy the fan blades onto freezer paper and cut them all out.  I just thought I would go crazy doing that, so went ahead with the other recommended way which was the templates.  Bad decision.  But I own it. 

Also, I wanted to tell you about a discovery I made on my camera.  I have two little Nikon Coolpixs that have this feature, so maybe you will too.  You know how when we take pictures indoors and use the flash, things turn out washed out, too bright, BAD.  Well, I found this "scene" setting on my camera that is for "Party/Indoors" and I used it.  I took pictures of the quilt top using the flash, not using the flash and using the party setting.  Turns out, the party setting gave me the most true colors on the quilt.  Interesting, huh?  So, check out your cameras and see if it works for you too.

Hope you enjoyed! 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Mid-July Update

Lots of progress since I last updated you on my AotH progress.  LOTS!

After doing the July block of AotH I got back to working on Lizzie Kate's Christmas Rules.  And I'm DONE!  This is a good thing because that project was starting to bore me; I think mostly because I wasn't a big fan of the colors (I don't particularly like pink).  So, here's the finished product:
The whole piece
 And, so you can see them a little bit better, here are four sections of the whole piece

The last section, Jingle all the Way was LK's Last Minute December (2010).  By the time she put it out, I think a lot of people had finished doing the whole XR, but it was just a twinkle in my eye so I decided to add it as a 13th Rule.  The colors, while not the same as the XR colors, were still pinks, reds and greens so I just used the XR colors in place of the ones called for.  Some who have done this piece may notice that the buttons aren't on there quite right.  That's because somewhere along the way I misplaced a button pack.  I will find it as soon as the piece has been framed, I am sure.  So, I took the button packs I had and divvied them up between all the pieces.  JatW came with four buttons for the corners and I simply used them elsewhere.  In other places I replaced buttons with stitching.  I also did more red checkerboard borders in between each section than was called for in the all-in-one instructions from LK.  I like red, you know that.  Now for a nice l-o-n-g red and black frame!

Next I started back on The Chase sampler.  I finished the bottom section of crewel work.  First picture is across the whole bottom followed by two pictures of the left and right so you can see more detail.

 I have now moved up to work on the two urns filled with flowers.  I've been working on this since last Sunday, finishing the bottom and starting the urn.  The urn work began on Friday.  By the time I finish it tonite, it will have taken me three days just to do this one urn.  I think I'll do the other one and then put The Chase aside for another project later this week.  Once I finish the urns, then I have the flowers to do and then a final bit of cross and straight stitches on the sides to finish the whole project up.  I'm estimating I'll be done in October.

I have also been working on several things for clients.  One was a punch rug pattern from an antique that was found at an auction.  I've also been working on that oriental-style quilt wall-hanging.  After more than 30 hours, I have the top done.  I have to take it to show her this coming week and we'll discuss the actual quilting that I'll have done on it.  One of the things I have to do this weekend is search the internet for oriental-style quilting patterns.  Wish me luck!  I'll have a picture of the quilt top soon - I'm really quite happy with how it came out.  Hope you enjoyed!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Schwanensee Fertig

. . . or, Swan Lake finished. 

I chose to put the title of this post in German because my 4th great grandmother was of German descent.  I believe that Anna Margaretha was the daughter of Nicolaus Wolfarth (Wohlfarht/Wolford) who came to this country in 1743 aboard the Snow Charlotte.   He married Catherine on July 9, 1746 in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.  That's just north of Philadelphia.  They were German Reformed members of the Old Goshenhoppen Church and although there are no tombstones now standing with their names, it is believed they were buried there.  Nicholaus is in the records as an early member.  

Anna Margaretha, their second to last child was born January 21, 1763 and christened February 25, 1763.  At about the age of twenty, she was married to Jeremias (Anglicized to Jeremiah) Kershner (also spelled Kerschner/Cashner).  It was their son, Daniel, who married Rebekah Alspach - one of my third great grandmothers that was featured last month.

In June of 1789 Margaretha and Jeremiah sold their 1/2 acre of land with improvements in Hamburg, PA for about three pounds, Pennsylvania money.   In the 1790 census they are accounted as living in Windsor Township, Berks County, PA.  Between 1790 and 1800 they moved to Lehigh/Northampton County area - in the Allentown area.  The births of two of their children are recorded in the Egypt Reformed Church records in Egypt, PA.  They show up in  Northampton County for the 1800 census - in the town of Whitehall.  Jeremiah worked as a tanner - which is a stinky business!  And with 12 kids, we all know what Maggie was doing!   By 1805 they were members of Zion's Reformed Congregation in Upper Milford. 

By 1822 all of their 12 children were been born (some laid to rest in Pennsylvania) and they load up the family and move to Circleville in Fairfield County, Ohio.  Margaretha lived to be a little more than 83 years old; outliving her husband by more than 20 years.  Good German stock!  They had attended church at the (still) Reformed Church that was alternatively called the Glick or Brick church.  Margaretha is buried in the cemetery there with Jeremiah.  Photo of tombstone is courtesy "Find-A-Grave".

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Introducing Opus Magnusson

In June I tossed Opus Magnusson, by Long Dog Samplers,  into my rotation.  I've decided that I like rotating.  It helps me stay in love with each of my projects and helps them to not become chores to finish.  Here's the progress:

Tiger, tiger, burning bright!
This piece will be (at some future time when it is finally finished) for my eldest son who adores Celtic design.  It speaks to him, as it does to me.  Back in my art school days, I pursued learning how to draw knotwork and it is quite challenging.  You will note that I have made slight design changes.  The flowers are supposed to be the same colors as the tigers.   That was too much gold in one place for me so I changed the petals to shades of blue and added one color to the scheme - green.

Here's something I've noticed lately - many of the European designers just print a picture of their gridded chart in color on the cover of their charts.  Most American charts have a photograph of the completed piece, with frame and fru-fru.  Interestingly I have seen several charts by Little House Needleworks in what I will call "the European style".  I chose this piece based on the colors I saw online of the chart.  And I imagine that if I had used the DMC colors, I'd have come much closer to getting the same colors shown on the chart.  As it is, and this is my fault for not taking more time to prepare for a project (as I usually do) -

I used the recommended Gentle Art thread colors.  Now, does that tiger (above) look as golden orangy as she does on the picture of the chart?  So I am a little disappointed.  Too late to make the color change though.  There's a LOT of work on that girl and her cubs.  The darker blue (above) is GA Presidential and it is shown as a purple color on the chart.  So, I guess the grapes will look more like blue balls than actual grapes.  I'm OK with that - and the rest of the colors.  But I decided that I really wanted the leave to be GREEN leaves.  So, they'll all be stitched with GA Tiger Lily. 

The last change to be made is the border.  I will be dead before I finish this piece if I stitch that border.  So, I am not going to.  I will do one using all the colors in that bargello band that is the first border on the top of the piece.  The one that looks a little like W's and M's.  The reason I'll do that?  Those are my son's initials.  I will not cross stitch the border, I'll do it in bargello.  That should make it go a little faster. 

In other news, my stitchy friends and I went on our long awaited road trip this last week.  We headed down to Waynesboro and visited Cross Stitch Station, owned by Terry.  The shop is small, but has a huge amount of stuff packed into it.  And the owner and staff are VERY friendly.  It took us about an hour and a half to drive down from the Winchester area and we yak yak yaked all the way, so it didn't seem that long at all.  Sherry greeted us in her friendly southern drawl "Ya'll come on in" when we got there at 10AM.  Two and a half hours later we fell out the doors!  I managed to pick up the last AotH chart that I need to complete the project as well as an older Loose Feathers pattern.  I saw the Award of Merit charts, but thought they were a bit too dear for my budget now.  One thing I have to say about BBD charts - they do produce some of the finest charts that I have ever worked with, so they are worth paying a little bit more.

We looked over every single inch of that shop.  The best part was that when one of my friends said she was interested in learning more about punch needle, Terry was right there talking about how easy it is with this special needle that you can dial down the pile and even went so far as to get her own project out and not only give a demonstration, but allowed my friend to give it a try.  I'd tried it a few years ago and found it more difficult than it was worth, but I have to admit, although I personally didn't try it, Terry made it look really uncomplicated and my friend understood all of her directions. 

Terry Demonstrates Punch Needle
So we had a wonderful time in the shop.  I had a 6PM meeting, back home, so we were a little pressed for time for lunch if we wanted to have time at our next destination.  Terry had recommended the Purple Foot or the Tail Gate Bar & Grill.  However, we ended up at the Shoney's.  I had a surprisingly good hamburger there.  I mean really, really good!

Then, we were off to the Factory Antique Mall.  It was kinda sad to go in there.  I think the economy has really got antique dealers down.  Almost every stall had some sort of sign up saying so much percent off.  Some were up as high as 50% off.  I did get a few good buys on stitchy antiques.  I'll show them to you over the course of the month.