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

Saturday, March 23, 2013

MARCHing Along

I just realized that I have only posted once this month.  What a surprise that was.  I have missed you all and will try and do some catching up this weekend.  We got the peas in the garden on St. Patrick's day.  I was always told that was when you were supposed to plant your peas.  Although, I guess, if you live in - say - Maine - that probably is not when you plant peas.  Here in the Virginias, it seems to work pretty well.  The remainder of the garden still waits for spring.  And, speaking of SPRING (I feel if I shout it, it might hear me and come to me!) that stupid groundhog!  I hear that there is a prosecutor in Ohio who wants to try the groundhog.  Wants the death penalty.  Well, I think a life behind bars, eating nothing but wheat germ, would be a fitting end to that stupid rodent.  I am never listening to him again.  We're going to be freaking three weeks late  for spring, now; according to our local weather prognosticators.  AND, we have "Shovelable" snow coming tomorrow night into Monday. 

But I digress; there is needlework to talk about.

First, Peg C.  If you don't contact me before the end of the month, I'm going to draw another name from the folks who entered the giveaway and find someone else to send the Prairie Schooler chart to.

Now, the things I've done lately  . . . .

This chart came out of an old Cross Stitch and Country Crafts magazine.  I think it's charming.  See how they are marching?

A while back I showed you progress I was making on this crewel farm.  Well, she's all finished.  Zoomed in pics of the cornfield and the tomato garden; I think they're my favorites.

 I've been doing a little applique.  Above is the second block I've finished of the six I have.   When I was working on this the other night, I actually sewed one of the leaves to my finger.  That was a surprise! At the left is the next one I'm going to do in this Tulips in the Park series - yes, I know the picture is upside down, but you can still see the block, right?  It will not look like the finished piece as I have only half the patterns; but close.

This is Gentle Susan, the sampler I'm working on for Nicola's Scarlet Letter Year (logo in sidebar).  I cannot remember if I've actually posted this on the NSLY2 blog yet.  I have gotten a start on the next tableau down, but gave it up to stitch other things for awhile.

Yesterday I went and picked up a few things.  First, my granddaughter's quilt came home from the quilter.  Top is a peek at the quilt top and bottom is a good look at the backing fabric.  Siobhan (who is doing a LOT of applique lateley) told me that the fabrics are designed by Pam Kitty.  I absolutely LOVE the backing fabric.  Apparently a lot of other people do too, because when I went to the shop to buy it, I needed 5.5 yards, but could only get 5.25.  With a little fineagaling I was able to get it to be big enough through inventive pieceing.  This print reminds me of percale sheets.  I love it so much that I am sure I have a quilt like this in my bedroom's future.  I chose to have the quilting done in a petal pink.  Emma vascillates between pink and purple being her favorite colors.  My son, Mitch, says she'll be fine with the emphasis on pink.

I also picked up the label for the Civil War quilt.  That will be attached to the quilt sometime around beginning of April:

Also awhile back, I showed the in progress photos for this bag I'm making for a friend.  He is a former White House gardener and specializes in trees.  I think he's gonna love it.


I have now been twice to the Needlework Exhibition at Woodlawn Plantation in Alexandria, Virginia.  It is held each March.   There's still time if you can make it.

What was on display this year?  Well, it seemed to be less of a variety, but very, very, very, very good.  Once again, it was a map that took my breath away.  It was an original design, US map.  I think that the linen was painted.  Then, in the Appalachian and Rockies section, the maker had done something like trapunto, to give it a 3-D effect.  Then, in two corners, there were heavily embroidered sections of landscapes.  It was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!!!

Unfortunately, they had hung it high on the wall - well over six feet up.  The piece was relatively small.  I'd say it was about 9 inches high by about 15 inches wide.  Which, hung over six feet in the air, is not so big.  It was very difficult to make out the details because it was hung so high.  And it won one of the very prestigious awards.  I was sad for the maker whose work was under-appreciated.

Another piece that ended up being my favorite was a sampler called Susan Rambo 1839.  It has, as my friend put it, demonic looking squirrels on it.  But, I liked them.  My favorite part of it is the outer border.  It's very pretty.

Another that I saw was a personalized Christmas Garden sampler that was designed by Blackbird Designs.  The stitcher had stitched an on-point square in the center and put (I guess, her) one initial in it that happened to be a "K". 

 It's a shame that they don't allow even non-flash photography, because just the little tweaks that these stitchers put on their pieces make them look outstanding.

Let's see, they had a room where purses were on display that had been stitched.  One there was all beaded.  I felt quite put in my place in that room.  The thought went through my head that I'm just not that good, when there are stitchers - and finishers - that can do that work.

The only thing that they didn't have was quilts.  Of any kind.  Yet they have one on their booklet.  And isn't quilting considered needlework?  I don't know, maybe they host a separate quilt show sometime in the year.  Overall it was very nice.  I got to see lots of different stuff and be inspired by many wonderful stitchers.

Then it was on to In Stitches, (link to the blog) the shop that Glenna writes so well about.  The nice thing about going to In Stitches (link to the shop website) in late March is that they are fresh back from market with lots of new stuff!

I discovered two new-to-me designers, picked up a couple of things I've been looking for, and found some lovelies to add to my collection.  I will, throughout the coarse of the year, show you the new charts.  Here are the lovelies:

Little red storklette scissors and another red pair I could not resist!  My friends and I celebrated the birthday of one of us (not me!) with lots of wonderful prezzies and late lunch at TGI Friday on the way home.  It was a l-o-n-g day.  I'd left my house at 8:30 and didn't get home until after 6.  Just as I was getting to my highway exit, there was an awful accident - I was pretty sure it had just happened because there were still people milling about on the highway and emergency equipment was arriving as I was crossing the bridge.  A semi lost control in the lanes I was in, went across the median, across the southbound lanes, through a fence, across a road that parallels the highway, into a ditch and up into the back yard of a house.  It gave me chills, because I thought, oh, what if there were kids playing there?  Fortunately, it was supper time and all the kids were indoors, because they do, indeed, play there!

Had an appointment in Winchester yesterday and killed the afternoon running errands.  But, made it a point to get by one of my favorite thrift stores.  I found the above, Prairie Schooler, number 9, Johnny Appleseed.  It's in really rough shape, but I think if I iron it and then press it between some books, I should be able to get it back to good condition.   I don't have it in my collection and they wanted too much for it on Ebay, so it was nice to  just find it - for a DOLLAR!
I think it will look nice if I stitch it  up, changing the colors, like I did on Adam Names the Creatures (you can see that one in my header picture).

OH!  Almost forgot to tell you - I was able to find a copy of the Prairie Schooler Garden Samplers chart and sent it off to Maggee to give her a great day!  YAY!  So, we can call off the search.  

I will leave you with this.  It's sunrise and the black splotches in the field are the deer.  I call it "Deer Rising".  I love it when the sky looks like this.  I call it fire-sky.  The only time I see sunrises like this is in February or March.  In cold weather.  I think that it has to do with virga which is rain that doesn't reach the ground.  Except at this time of the year, virga would be ice crystals because it's so cold; right?  And I think that these sunrises are made because the sun is reflecting off thousands of tiny ice crystals.  I'm no meterologist, but I think that's what's going on.  All I really know is that if we HAVE to have crappy, cold, snowy weather; then at least we have sunrises like this one.

Hope you enjoyed!


  1. Wow! So many beautiful things in this post! How fortunate you live in an area rich with such offerings as Woodlawn and needlework shops. Our thrift stores here always seem to be more junk shops - or maybe I'm not in them enough to find anything interesting? PS for $1?

    I know someone stitching Susan Rambo and she frequently comments on the freaky squirrels.

    Love the beautiful sunrise! The colors are so rich.

  2. Yeah, like I said in email, you get SOOOOO much stuff accomplished! I feel like a slug in comparison. Or maybe a bear in hibernation that has yet to emerge from its cave. I'm so impressed! Everything looks so nice. The applique is fantastic--you go girl! I have appliqued blocks to my thumb before, too. My most 'favorite' thing that I did recently was stick the needle into the top of my nail. I felt resistance which should have given me a clue but no, I just applied more pressure and ended up with a needle sticking out of the top of my nail bed with the block attached, too. I still have a nice little pinhole on my nail from it.

    How Stuff Work's Stuff You Missed in History Class recently published a (free) podcast on the real life of Johnny Appleseed. I have that PS design as a UFO/WIP and so am looking forward to listening to it. Great score on the chart!

  3. You KNOW it made me very happy getting the Garden Samplers chart!! I am thinking more and more about doing little quilted wallhangings and giving applique a try--never tried that before! You had a lot to report in this post--all lovely projects. And you even went to Woodlawn! I have yet to make it there! And it is not that far!! The groundhog was DEFINTELY wrong! Hugs!

  4. Lots of nice stitching and a very interesting post!

  5. Gosh Katherine, you've been so busy I don't know where to start!
    The quilt is beautiful, and I love the crewelwork piece.
    That was a lucky find in the thrift shop

    1. Christine - this is work done over about a three week period; and some of it was done by others, like the quilting and the quilt label. I can't wait to finish the quilt and show you the whole thing! Yes, I do really well at this one shop about every six months or so I go in. There is a dealer that sells needlework kits and charts and usually, there is a real find there. It's the same place I bought The Chase sampler kit.

  6. What a great long blog post to get us all caught up! Your America cross stitch looks wonderful! The crewel garden looked very difficult to stitch. I hope you have a second giveaway drawing after all! The gardener's bag is great! Thank you for the amazing descriptions of the needlework! You must have carried a notebook in there since you couldn't take any photos, or you have an incredible memory!

  7. I also laughed out loud reading about the groundhog! LOL! His predictions don't affect us in California, as we had 90-degree weather last week, but now it's down to 80s. Congrats on finding the Johnny Appleseed chart, too! I love to change the colors in my PS designs, too.

  8. What a fun post to read through, Katherine... I seem to be down to posting only twice a month, too (if I'm lucky!!). We planted our peas here in western PA on Sunday, but then woke up to four inches of snow on Monday :) Will winter never end...

    Your quilts and stitching are so lovely. I remember that chart from the old magazine of the patriots marching--we must be of the same (ahem) vintage :) Great find on the PS, too--what a deal. I just love PS designs so much!

    I never thought about ironing a chart to improve its appearance--will definitely remember that tip!

    Happy Easter to you!

  9. Wow that's relay a good price for the chart " Johnny Appleseed" What a lovely find!
    Your other work is beautiful too!!

    Have a nice week, Evelyne


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