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

Friday, March 9, 2012

Early March Update

Well, I've been hard at work on my DIL's Christmas stocking and I'm happy to say that I'm close to finishing it.  Here's a picture of the overall status:

I have done all the regular cross stitching as well as all the back stitching that makes many of the objects "pop".  I've also done most of the Kreinik fiber stitching.  That's the "bling" part.  Right now, if you can see it, down in the toe, where just a portion of the bottom of a Christmas tree is peeking into the picture, I've stitched the gold garland and am in the process of stitching a few candy canes using the last of the Kreinik.

Next I'll add popcorn garland and bead "ornaments" to the small tree on the bookcase and some bead "ornaments" to the peeking tree.  The last step will be stringing beads to make cranberry strings and I'll couch those down in droops along some of the shelves on the bookcase.  Then I'll put done on the stocking.

Here are some pictures of the details of the stocking:

Old fashioned "desk top"

Santa, Mini-tree and School Bus

     Was able to put the pictures where I wanted them to be for once!
Stuff on the Rug
Sunflowers and Graded Papers
Name Bling

You all were so nice about my last post, wishing me well on the blogoversary.  Can't wait to see who the giveaway winner is.  If you missed it, the post on the giveaway can be found here.

LOTS of you liked the tennis pillow with the cool trim.  Yes, I did design it.  The moment she gave it to me, I knew what I wanted the trim to be - tennis balls - because that's the only thing that made sense; right?  Sometimes I can be quite the idiot-savant when it comes to those sorts of things.  I searched online at some of the trim places I deal with for tennis ball trim and much to my disappointment, there was none to be found.  I actually contemplated how I could hand draw little white lines on yellow pom poms to make them look like tennis balls, but quickly gave up that idea. 

Back to the drawing board.  Note quite ready to give up on the tennis-themed idea, I briefly entertained thoughts of purchasing tennis racket charms, but that worked out to be too expensive.  WAY too expensive.  Hmmmm.   Then, suddenly the lightbulb went on.  It was because of the charms that I thought about jewelry and that made me think about beads.  And tennis ball beads, it turns out, I could find.  I located a bead shop in Florida and they had them in all sorts of sizes.  So, I'm sitting here in front of my computer trying to figure out what size would work best and decided it had to be the largest ones.  They weren't exactly cheap, but were much less costly than the charms.

I moved on to trying to figure out how I would attach them.  Not yarn or string, that wouldn't look right.  Then the light flipped on again and I went - tennis shoe laces!  Of course!  When the beads came and I was all excited to execute my plan.  I got my shoe laces at the grocery store, but have since found out that you can get all kinds of colors at Target in the shoe department.  Then I found out that the shoe laces wouldn't fit through the holes in the beads.  The hole looked big enough, but I could not make those laces go through.  Harumpf!

I pulled out my trusty drill and drilled every single bead just slightly larger.  My husband was freaking, he thought I was going to drill right through my hand, but I didn't - this wasn't my first rodeo doing something like that.  Holes re-drilled, I strung the beads on the laces and then pinned them to a piece of ribbon that would be the skeleton that I sewed into the seam of the pillow.  I put the ribbon on my cutting mat on a straight edge and used the lines on the cutting mat to keep me putting the laces on the right distance apart and the beads all at the same distance from the ribbon edge.  The laces curved back and forth down the ribbon like a bunch of "S"s one on top of the other.  Then I affixed white, jumbo zig zag trim because I thought it would need something right at the edge of the seam.  The final step was to sew the new trim pieces onto the pillow and sew it all up.

My customer was absolutely thrilled with the outcome.  She's giving the pillow as a gift to a friend of hers that is in her 80's and is the "world's biggest tennis fan".  She kept saying "she'll love it", "she'll love it".  Which of course is the best thing I could have heard her say.  I'm tickled pink that you guys liked it too. 

It's been a very weird winter here.  Yes, we've had some cold days, but not real cold like we usually do each winter.  Last month's electric bill was a surprise, about $50.  That's because the power company had been estimating our usage - for three months.  Then they came out and did an actual reading and found they'd been WAY over-estimating.  So, we got the credit we deserved and paid a nice low bill for once.  This month's bill was pretty good too.  Each week we have several 60 or 70 degree days and the forecast for next week is 70's all the way from Monday through the week.  While it's nice, it makes me worry about the summer weather ahead.

My daffodils are already blooming - a month ahead.  I'm sure that the apple and peach blossoms are not far away.  I noticed my pear trees are budding up already.  The robins are back already and I've also seen the birds performing their mating rituals - early, I think.  A blue bird flew across the road in front of me the other day.  Apple Blossom time is early May around here, but I'll bet they'll be a whole month early.  And then we have to worry about frosty mornings that will destroy the crops.  Ah well, mother nature is a wonder.  I'll close with a picture of a peach orchard in full bloom.   Hope you enjoyed.


  1. Your stocking is really great! I remember seeing those patterns years ago (In fact, I think that I still have them). I love that there are so many things to look at in those!

    And a heat bill for $50? Wow, I think that I'm moving into your house! :o)

  2. The stocking is wonderful!! So much detail! The orchard photo looks promising!Spring may actually come.


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