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

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Trying to Play Catch-Up - Again

When last I posted, I showed you the Hershey's Bar needlepoint in the blocking stage.  I was able to finish it for my husband, as a belated Christmas present.  It is an eyeglass case.  For he who is too vain to admit he now needs the glasses for more than just reading.  But, it's the only thing my wonderful husband is vain about, so I leave it at teasing him.

Front of case in the large photo above; the small photo above shows the business end where you insert the glasses.  At left you see the back view of the business end.  The back was made from a scrap of a man's wool jacket.  I added a pewter button that is a reproduction of the buffalo side of a "Buffalo Nickel" American 5 cent piece.  In the last photo you can see that a week ago, when I took these pictures, we still had a little of our day-after-Christmas snow on the ground.

 Now on to two things I want to share with you.  Ever since we saw the CEO of Yankee Candle on Undercover Boss we've been buying them; in spite of cheaper knock offs being more available.  But a few months ago I decided that those jars the candles come in are just too nice to pitch into the recycle bin.  So, I've been saving them and cleaning them up.  I have one (not pictured) that is a large jar with a rubber stopper sort of top on it that I've also rehabilitated.  You can see what I'm using the smaller ones for - buttons!  They're perfect because the jars pretty much seal up with those stoppers around the glass tops.

 I've been watching Martha's Sewing Room on PBS and have tried some of the designs of Kari Mecca.  I've also been purchasing Sew Beautiful magazine.  Well, I took the plunge and bought some new tools - whimsy sticks and both of Kari's "Whimsy" books.  I hope to be playing with these soon.  Right now I'm in the process of making my granddaughter a rain coat - with my own whimsy!

I have a friend who is an arborist.  As well as a geologist, an archeologist, an anthropologist, a former White House gardener, and all around good guy.  He just celebrated his 70th birthday.  Hopefully we will be able to pull off a big birthday celebration this spring.  On his birthday I gave him a small gift, and I hope to have this one finished for the celebration . . . it is going to be a canvas bag.  For his groceries, for his books, for his digging tools; whatever.

The bag idea was not mine.  You can see in the bottom picture that they made a bag in the magazine.  This past summer I was at a thrift store and found a stash of Cross Stitch and Country Crafts magazines.  I sat there the better part of an hour and went through each one, picking ones with charts that I liked.  This was one of them and I thought at the moment I saw it that it would make a great gift for my friend.  But, you see that they were really bland and did their stitching on white and used raw canvas.  I have done my stitching on Country French Tula, 10 count.  Their count was 7 so mine's even bigger.  And my canvas is GREEN.  I used the charts to stitch the trees, but I chose the trees - did even more than they did and did them MANLY.  That is to say, I didn't stitch any of them with the pink froo froo that they had done.  Can't wait to finish this up.

You'll also remember I picked up some quilt squares that were pre-printed and I was stitching on one of those.  Got one done - finally!

I don't know what I'm going to do at this point.  I will say that it was incredibly boring stitching this pre-printed panel.  I have no idea why, but I just hated it.  The other one I've been working on - the schoolhouse - I've been having the same problem with it.

Now to the quilting.  I'm going to eventually add another page to the blog here that will just have pictures of the quilts when they're done.  We had a fine day on Sunday.  The temps didn't quite make it to 70 degrees like they predicted, but we were nearly 60.  In the afternoon I ran out with armloads of quilts and hung them on the line to get decent photos.

This is the Civil War repro quilt that you can see SO much better now.  Sebastian, the cat, would not go away.  He kept rubbing up against the quilts and getting into the picture.

The backing fabric from Keepsake Quilting arrived last week, so I'm calling the quilter on Friday and this one will go in.

This is the Dick and Jane quilt (name of the fabric) that I made a few years ago.  It has backing fabric now so will also go to the quilter ASAP.

This is Froggy Fourth of July.  I made it back in the mid-90's and it gets its name from the patriotic frogs that are all over it.  It is a lap quilt or table topper size.  I've not shown this one before on the blog, so thought you might enjoy it.

This is Juliet's Ribbons, my personal Civil War reproduction quilt. This will be a wall hanging in our foyer.  My husband really likes this one.  And I'm pretty proud of it myself.  I haven't gotten the backing fabric for it yet (Hancock's of Paducah really let me down on that) so I'm going to my local quilt shop soon with hopes of finding something.
This is called My Little Red Tractor (based on the print on the fabric) and is a tessellated block.  I made it many years ago and gave it to someone as an unquilted table topper.  She returned it to me after several years never having used it.  People with no imagination don't deserve nice things like this anyway.  I've decided to have it quilted and use it myself.  So there!

 Last year I bought a fat quarter bundle at my quilt store.  It sat until I was inspired by a background quilt on the Fons & Porter show.  I call this Patty O'Quilt and it is my granddaughter's birthday present this year.  You may recognize the design from her Christmas stocking - I stitched it as the quilt on the bed!  Top left is the blocks that I did in a day.  Top right shows rows in progress.  At left are the white backgrounds that I pulled out (I didn't want to use them in the blocks so substituted the turquoise and orange you see in the top left) but I did use them to make the binding.  Here, below,  is the quilt top hanging out on the line.  I have to go through my stash to see if I have fabric I can use for the backing. I'm thinking not; and I'd like to find something white and sweet like the binding fabric.

Last of the quilts came out of my stash.  Several years ago I bought these panels at a quilt shop going out of business.  They are Robert's Baltimore Album.  The first part was easy, sew the two panels together to make the center or "album blocks".  Then I had to cut the other panel apart to make the swag borders.  This weekend I worked to attach said borders with mitred corners.  Only problem was I soon discovered the panel had been cut about six inches too short to make matred corners.  Huh.  Guess I know why I got it at such a good price now.  So, what to do???  I sat there looking at it so long that when my husband walked by the door of the workroom, he asked me if everything was OK.  Jackie knows what I'm talking about.

Finally, I went to the Fons & Porter show I'd seen just that morning.  It was about making easy LeMoyne Stars.  Well, I didn't use the easy method, lets just put that out there right now.  That means set-in seams. I have a jelly roll of Barbara Brackman's ReUnion.  They are Civil War reproduction colors.  They also happen to be the colors from the cheater quilt panels.  So, I zip zapped with colors and neutrals and made the "test" LeMoyne Star block you see here.  Those blocks will go in the corners.  There was no way I was ever going to be able to match that white background (as there about 50 billion shades of white) so I'll have corners and the swags will run between.

Here you can see the album blocks in the back, the swag border on top and the LeMoyne Star block I made to see if the colors went with.  My husband really liked this one too!

Our weather's been weird here.  Snow on the days before and after Christmas and then so cold afterward that it stayed for two weeks only to be melted away by a nearly 60 degree day.  When the warm air came in that morning, we were treated to super thick fog.

This photo was taken as the fog began to drift away from us, but you can see the top of the fog bank just at the top of the trees in the distance.  The sunny sky quickly went away and we were very dreary until about 3 in the afternoon.  Now cold air is coming back and we are expecting freezing rain over night.  Keep your fingers crossed that we don't lose power!  Hope you enjoyed!


  1. Saving the candle jars for buttons is a great idea! The "manly" trees made me laugh! What a wonderful gift for your friend. All the quilts are so gorgeous! What a nice day to take photos.

  2. You have really been busy!! So many lovely things. Those quilts are just amazing! I do hope you keep your power!

  3. So many wonderful projects and beautiful picture! I just love looking at quilts! Stay warm in that cold foggy weather!

  4. I honestly don't know where you find the time!
    I love the glasses case, it is such fun, and I am in total awe of the quilts.
    The tree bag is going to be just fabulous.
    I have to ask, what on earth is a whimsy stick?

  5. Ummm, yeah. So while my jaw is hanging on the floor at everything you've accomplished, I'm kicking myself in the backside for not having more get up and go to do more. WOW!! I love everything. Neat bag WIP! I am glad that you got the quilt top back from the undeserving friend. I had my mom take back a quilt that I made for my brother. I feel like a schlep but it was stuffed in a closet & my mom kept telling me that SIL might give it to Goodwill. LOL The quilt you're doing for your granddaughter is adorable. I love those Pam Kitty Morning fabrics!

  6. WOW, WOW & WOW. A wonderful post, I read it twice.


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