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

Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Very Merry Christmas to You

It has officially been 80 days since my last post.  I wish I could tell you that I've been on a trip round the world.  But, no, I've just had w-a-y too much on my plate lately.  Hugs to those of you who wrote to make sure that I was OK; I cannot tell you how much I appreciate that.

I'm really OK.

And here is the post that I promised you I'd make before Christmas.

So, what's kept me from you?  First of all, I'm writing a book.  It won't be for general publication, but I've been commissioned to write a family history for a local citizen.  This is my third foray into this type of work; it can be extremely time-consuming.  I'm doing most of the research and all the writing.  Printing is scheduled, so far, for sometime this coming spring.

The other big project is winding down - the Civil War reproduction quilt.  I was working on the book and took some time away from the quilt, but here lately, I've been working on putting it all together.  I have finished the top and share with you these photos:

Viewed from one side
viewed from the other side
Viewed from the middle
It is now ready for the customer to see it.  I've ordered the backing fabric, however, sadly, it is on back order.  I will wait until after Christmas to decide if I will choose a different backing fabric, or wait, goodness knows how long, for the back ordered material to come in.  When the backing fabric finally does come, it's off to the quilter.

I've also worked on these client projects:

These were cute - she wanted to put them on top of five gallon storage containers.  So, I made the lid covers and attached the needlepoints to them.

This had been finished by another person.  She'd made it a pillow that looked like it was a shopping bag.  The pillow part was inside the turquoise outer bag and was finished with royal blue fabric.  The client ended up deciding that she really didn't like that finish and brought it to me with the question, what can I do with it now?

 I looked at it and said, well, why don't we make it into a shopping bag, for real?

Then I posited that I could take the inner pillow and make it into the liner for the bag.  Not only that, I could make it into a removable liner.

 So, that's what I did.  I added plastic purse handles to it using ribbon that goes along with the color scheme, but you don't see it until you're looking inside.  Then I made the liner and it attaches with velcro.

Put something messy into the bag and the liner comes out for washing; which will save the outer bag - with the needlepoint on it from a lot of wear and tear.

A few needlepoint pillows . . . .

Two sides of the same coin - applique work on muslin; very pretty.

Finished as a pillow with a foam insert.

    Another sweatshirt makeover.  This one started as a vintage lace collar and aqua sweatshirt.  The client also gave me the aqua and peach daisies and some lace with a peach ribbon run through it to incorporate into the design somehow.

On the personal work front, I've finished my Juliet's Ribbons Civil War reproduction quilt that has been at least two years in the making.  However, the weather here's been rotten and I haven't been able to get it outside for a really good picture.  I'm hoping for a break in the weather on Christmas Eve, just before some snow pushes into our area.  Keep your fingers crossed.

Otherwise, here's what I've been up to:

 I was at a thrift store this summer and found this beautiful blouse that was hand-embroidered in pink and apple green.  I am almost sure that it was Indian (from India) and must have gone with an equally beautiful sari.  Sadly it was about 85 sizes too small for me to wear.  So, I paid the two dollars for it and cut it up.  The front portion went into making a pillow case for a travel-size pillow that will go to my granddaughter (it's her color-scheme).

Some Christmas gift bags made from scraps of pre-quilted fabric and yard sale-find zippers.

 Recently I was Christmas shopping in an antique store.  It was the first time for me in this particular store.  I ran across a cardboard box with quilt squares in it.  The tag said "45 squares, $45".  I looked at them.  First off, I saw they were red, white and blue (mostly).  Then I saw the handwritten note pinned to the top square, with a really old pin "From Gramma to Tillmer 1922 Christmas Present".

Who Tillmer was is anyone's guess, but she never did get around to making the quilt that her Gramma apparently wanted her to do.  And where these blocks have been since 1922 is a mystery as well.  I am not sure if the ones that are blue/pink were originally blue/red.  I am pretty sure that it's not a hoax though, because these 13 inch blocks are all hand pieced.

As you can see, I've already been planning how to use them.  All of them will make just shy of a King size quilt.  I will need to add a small top and bottom sash and a 5 inch sash on each side.  The little piece of paper will be preserved and become a part of the quilt's history as well.  And who knows, maybe I can eventually discover who Tillmer was.

In December of 2009 - three years ago !!! - I finished Prairie Schooler's "Christmas Eve".  It was stitched with Caron Watercolors on a hand-dyed Tula.  I have finally gotten around to doing the quilted border for it that I always intended.  Got the border done yesterday, now all I need to do is the quilting and finishing.

Over the summer and fall I was working of the Summer House's E Pluribus Unum which I think is just a gorgeous design.

The wings are different sizes.  That being said, I did have to make some modifications to the design layout to get it to fit my piece of fabric.  The linen was 32 count, Wichelt which is a smokey blue.  Remember when I stitched the Opus Magnusson and I got a whole lot of Gentle Art Raven that I couldn't use because it had too much green in it?  Well, I used all that Raven on this.  It required so much that I had to go out and get more.  And now I've got leftover of that.  So, if you need any Raven with the green, let me know; I've got about four or five leftover skeins of it.

I bought this book; I think it's one of their older publications.  I cannot wait until the quiet of Christmas week when I can read it.  It begins with a lot of quilting history.  Information about the fabrics, the styles of fabrics, the dyes, etc.  And then the history of the designs.  Then, it goes into talking about the quilts in the Henry Ford Museum collection.  On a quick look-through, it looks like it will be VERY interesting.

Finally, I have worked the last couple of months on my granddaughter's Christmas stocking.  She's a pink and purple girl and is in ballet.  She was on the cusp of dropping ballet and going into soccer, but she ultimately decided to stick with ballet.

And she loves her dolls.  So, pink, purple, ballet and dolls - those were my design directions.

It took me about a month to design the stocking and then about another two months give or take two weeks - to stitch it.

Here are the results:

What I do is take the Stocking design and tweak it to go along with the person I'm doing it for.  So, this stocking from the Better Homes & Gardens Heirloom Christmas Stockings in Cross Stitch is the one for the the little girl.  I removed several elements.  For instance, there was a sort of old fashioned nightgown hanging on the wardrobe door.  The wardrobe was also painted blue.  I changed it to a ballet dress and one of those French provincial-style that's a creamy-white; like this:

I also added some Christmas art stuck onto the door; like a five year old would do.  The original stocking did not have the Christmas tree with the birds.  That came from another stocking design.  Originally there was a Nativity scene at the top of the window, but I turned that into a lighted village.  

The paintings were designed to have floral motifs, but I designed two ballerinas.  Those are stitched, mostly, over one.

On the bed is a quilt that I currently have in the to-do pile to make for my granddaughter.  On top of the doll house I designed a partial Santa and sleigh with a full reindeer.

On the floor is some more light up Christmas village.

This one is Santa's toy works and outside is the Abominable Snowman ( from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer) putting the star on the tree and the elves relaxation station run by "Elfis" (you can see his name on the sign).  

I added bits and pieces from other stocking designs - mostly the dolls; or changed up their colors to go with the theme.  I thought I had all the petite beads I needed to finish the project, but alas, I do not.  Delivery is next year, so I've got time.  In the spring I'll begin working on the one for my grandson and then I'll be out of the stocking-making business for a while.

So, that's it for now.  More updates soon - I promise.  Until next year, have a 
Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

hope you enjoyed!  Katherine