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

Sunday, March 31, 2013

An Accounting

A week or so ago I was reading a post by Jackie where she had taken stock in her workroom and said that she had 19 projects in various stages of dishabille.  I commented that that was A LOT.  Jackie very cleverly turned the tables on me and asked, how many do YOU have? 

Well, I've put it off as long as I could; no, just kidding, I've really just finally gotten around to it.  I took a pad of paper up into the workroom today and, um, Siobhan, I've got news for you honey, I've got a lot more un-done than done.  I think the reason I keep getting stuff done is because if I didn't, I wouldn't be able to move around my workroom and keep the paying customers happy.

I have a bunch of finished needlework that is waiting to be framed.  That list consists of:  the Schoolhouse stamped embroidery, The Birth Announcement, the Crewel Farm, the Chase Sampler, E Pluribus Unum,  the American Sampler, my AOTH collosus, a Token of Love, PS March, PS July, PS September, PS Rain Rain, PS Red Sky, PS Sunshiney Shower, PS Adam Names the Creatures, PS Home Sweet Home, PS Spring, Autumn, and Winter, the BBD Mystery Sampler, and a Santa/girl piece that I did ages ago; on top of all that, I discovered a Dutch-style sampler that I must've done a really, really long time ago, because it was done on Aida cloth.  So far, that's 22.

Then there is needlework that is waiting to be finished into something:  the Opus Magnusson that will be a wall hanging, the Christmas Rules that I'm making into a table runner, the PS March Lion/Lamb that will be a table topper, the needlepoint ballerinas destined to be pillows (2), a needlepoint baby that is going to be a baby pillow, and another embroidery called "To a Friend's House" that will also be a pillow.  Furthermore, there is a sweatshirt makeover project and two stockings that need to be finished that are awaiting my attention.  The subcategory total is 10, but the running total is now 32!

Ornaments - I have ornaments:  2 PS Reindeer, a PS egg, an initial, 12 PS Santas, a cardinal, 2 flags, Mt. Vernon and Woodlawn, 4 PS Seasons, 7 beaded santas, and 3 PS winter scenes.  ALSO, I have a necessaire, a sewing trinkets box, 3 hooked wool coasters, and a needlepoint with the maiden and the unicorn that is supposed to go on a stool (stool yet to be purchased or built, I might add).  The subcategory total on this one is 41.  Bring my running total to 73 - Gosh, this is getting really intimidating!

Quilts:  I have my granddaughter's birthday quilt, otherwise known as Patty O'Quilt that has come back from the quilter and needs to have a label made and have its binding put on; another Patty O'Quilt that will end up being for sale has the blocks made; Julia's Ribbons (aka Civil War reproduction) is waiting to be quilted, get a label and get bound; the Dick and Jane quilt the same; the Red Pinwheels table topper has been quilted, needs and label and binding; Tulips in the Park is a 6-part applique wall hanging - two of the blocks are done - I don't know whether to count this one as ONE project or SIX!!!; I have the pattern and the makings for at least one Quilt of Valor; my LeMoyne Star quilt is in progress, no blocks fully finished yet; the Antique Log Cabins quilt needs more log-cabin blocks made so it can be a dignified size, I am in the process of hunting the fabrics for the additional blocks (royal blue shirting prints not so easy to find!); I have a red, white and blue 9-patch quilt that needs the prairie points removed then it goes to the quilter, gets quilted, comes home, gets the prairie points back on then labeled and bound; I have another one of the 9-patch's except I quilted it, it looks awful, needs to be unquilted, then re-quilted, labeled and bound; and I have enough fabric to make at least another 10 quilts, but they haven't been planned yet, so I'm not counting them, you can't make me.  Category total is 11; running total is now 84.

Other projects (my own) I have the fabrics and patterns for at least half a dozen little girl dresses that I need to make for my granddaughter while she is still a "little girl"; she's also asked me to make her a horsey towel coverup and I admit, I have everything to do that; 3 pincushion dolls with fancy stitched skirts; a Christmas tree skirt with a vintage vibe - I need the backing fabric for that, then it becomes another quilting project; lastly, I have two rug canvases, but not the yarn to complete them.  That's 13 more things for a running total of 97.

Stitching projects:  I'm currently stitching Susan Singleton as part of Nicola's Scarlet Letter Year and also working on Coverlet Houses; in the wings are Old Glory, One Nation, Strawberry Plant by Filigram, Mr. President by Summer House Stitche Workes, Christmas Garden by BBD, the Scottish Love Sampler, Susan Rambo 1839, The Huntsman and Hannah Carter (most of these thanks to my recent visit to In Stitches), these will keep me busy stitching for YEARS.  Oh, I forgot one - it's Friendship Gathering by Blackbird Designs, in the Fine Collection book.  That's 12 more things.  Running total now is a whopping 109.

And then there is the work for the clients.  And, of course, that comes (mostly) first.  That consists of 2 wall hangings, 2 quilts, 1 table topper, repairing a crochet coverlet, 3 sweatshirt makeovers, and lashing together a tablecloth from leftovers and found items.  That's ten more things for an overwhelming total of 119 projects in some state of being done. 

Oh, and there is one more thing - the family research project I'm working on.  That's still on-going.  That makes 120 projects.  Oh.  My.  GOD.

Here is something that is NOT happening at my house:

Meteorological spring began on the 1st of March.  REAL spring started on the 21st of March.  It has not happened at either time at my house.  I am going to wring that frickin' groundhog's neck!!!  They announced on the weather this morning that most of the country will be seeing above average temperatures this spring.  Unfortunately, they seem to have left the Mid-Atlantic region off the map.  It feels like February around here.  I couldn't get warm all day yesterday.  We've been a little warmer this weekend, but the weatherman also told us that starting Monday afternoon, we're going back downhill again, in a hurry.  I did, however, notice on Friday when the dog and I went for a long walk around the yard that the buds on the cherry trees are starting to plump up.  And, this morning, I see the daffodils are at least in bud.  But they won't bloom now, until April.

Hope you enjoyed!

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!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Path to the Civil War Quilt is Finished

The Path to the Civil War quilt that I have worked on for nearly two years, was delivered to the client about two weeks ago.  I still have to get it back and stitch on the quilt label that I have had embroidered for it.  That was a problem of not proper prior planning - something I don't usually do.  

My wonderful husband put a line up on the clothes poles in the back yard so I could take the quilt out that morning that I was going to make delivery.  It was 17 degrees outside with a cold wind blowing.  When I finished up out there, I couldn't feel my fingers anymore  - ouch!

But I was able to get pictures of everything.  I used the rising sun to my advantage too; hopefully you can appreciate the quilting that my wonderful quilter has done.

Here's the bag I made for the quilt to go in -

I used the last large piece of backing fabric I had plus one odd block to make this; it's just like a pillowcase.

Then, the cheddar blocks that I refused to put into the quilt were made into a runner.


And finally, all the blocks from the quilt.  All the blocks are quilted with a different pattern.  She used a camel colored thread.

Above - my "artsy" photo of the quilt.  followed by a closeup shot of the backing fabric.  This time around I used a wide back.  The jury is still out on this decision - I mean whether or not I'll do that again.  I'm not sure that the wide back is the greatest thing.  It had wrinkles in it that were so darned hard to get out in spite of wetting down, tumbling dry, ironing and starching.

Last pic - thought you'd never see the back of this quilt, did ya?  Ta dah!   So that's it, The Path to the Civil War quilt is done and dusted.  If I can remember to take a picture of the label, you'll see that in a few weeks.

Today I ironed (and ironed and ironed and ironed) fabric for the back of my granddaughter's quilt (header photo, quilt on the left).  I was only able to get 5 and an eighth yards.  That was all they had left on the bolt.  Fortunately, it was JUST enough.  I split the yardage in half and resewed it together, then took six inches off the width and added it to the length to get enough overhang for the quilter to use.  WHEW!  That one's all set and no more ironing from today.  I'm adding a list of my quilt projects to the sidebar, mostly to keep ME from getting confused. 

I've also decided that I'm going to keep changing up my header photo as I complete projects throughout the year that I'm particularly pleased with.  We'll see how good I am at keeping up with that.  Hope you enjoyed!