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

Monday, January 28, 2013

New Projects, New Tools, New Finishes

 You'll remember that I like to pick up vintage needlework at local thrift and antique stores.  I finally started on this find last week.  It's a crewel kit of a farm scene.  I have made some changes.  First of all, there was one color of yarn missing - dark gold.  Good thing I also pick up bags of crewel and needlepoint yarn when I find them; I was able to make a substitute.  The barn was originally supposed to be white, with coral accents and a gray roof, like the gray you see in the chimney of the house.  Nuh, uh, no way; said I.  Went to Michael's this weekend and picked up a Paton's wool in the red, a dark charcoal gray and a medium charcoal gray.  The grays I will use to do the roof of the barn.  I had to stop working on it this weekend because my thumb is really sore from pulling the needle through the work.  Am I doing something wrong?  Anyone know?

 I wanted to tell you about some tools.  First up is a kit of Needle ID Cards.  I first read about these on Mary Corbet's blog.  Because I pick up needlework smalls, sewing kits, etc. at thrift, antique and garage/yard sales, I have ended up with an extensive collection of needles.  But, what needles are what? 

These cards give you a close up view of the needle and you lay the needle down on the picture of the needle on the card and figure out what the size is. 

Honestly, a sharp needle is a sharp needle is what I say.  As long as I can get the thread through the eye and not leave a hole in the fabric when the needle passes through, I'm good.  But, I found the kit really helpful when it came to sorting out the darners, tapestries, and crewels amongst others.

I purchased this kit through Anita's and I recommend it.

Another thing I recommend is the new ruler I picked up this weekend - at, of all places, Michael's.  I did a lot of fussing about my rulers; not being able to see through the thick yellow lines to know exactly where I was, etc.  Well, seems as though Olfa has been hearing that from a number of folks.  They came out with this new "frosted" ruler.  It costs about $2.00 more than the regular yellow one.  The frosting lets you see both dark and light fabrics well.  I agree, I can see the lines on both dark and light (see photo).  The other thing I really like is that the lines are thiner - much more precise.  That was much easier on my eyes.  Other cool thing is that this one is marked with all sorts of angles for block cutting.  I found that helpful too.  Well worth the $15.00 price in my opinion.

Back in the 90's this Poinsettia applique pattern came out in, I think, Better Homes & Gardens' Quilting magazine.  I made a bunch of them and gave them away as gifts.

I made one for myself too, but never got around to finishing it until just this week.  Yay!

Here is the overall view.

The blocks are  latte and white log cabins.   Those are what you make first; then you applique the poinsettia leaves and petals on.  For my petals and leaves I used a pretty family of batiks.

The back was done with blocks of the latte fabrics.  For the binding I used the lightest of the petal batiks.

This is a closeup of the poinsettia "flower".  I waffled back and forth over the yellow flowers in the center; how to do them . . . beads, embroidery, french knots, what?  Ultimately, I decided that I didn't want something on there that would make anything I placed on top unstable, so I settled on some satin stitched roundish things.

This is one of the "blocks" in Robert's Baltimore Album, the cheater quilt I've been working on getting out of my "to do" box.

 And to the right is one of the lemoyne stars I put in the corners when I realized the border panel had been cut too short for me to miter the corners with the borders.

And below is the whole quilt.  I put it together this weekend. 

Now all I have to do is figure out what fabric I want to use for the backing - I'm thinking something in the coffee-colored range.  And then pick up some batting and it's ready to go to the quilter too.

Lastly, a little bit of client work.  She did the needlepoint and I made them  into stool pads for her.  I'm working on a sort of matching tablecloth that's made up of odds and ends I've been hanging onto for her the last couple of years.  We have to put our heads together and move forward.

Hope you enjoyed!


  1. Beautiful work as always Katherine. The poinsettia table mat is just stunning.
    Is it the nickel in your needle that is making your hand sore? You could try using gold plated ones, I find them much more comfortable for prolonged use

  2. Umm, I think I just keep saying the same thing when I leave a comment, which is WOW. I am so impressed with all that you get accomplished. I need to seriously reassess my time management skills. Beautiful work!

  3. Gold needles are definitely kinder to the skin. I agree with Siobhan, your work in beautiful.


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