Hanger in the top piece

Anne Stradal, ABS Designs ( http://www.absdesignsonline.com/) wrote me and asked about the hanger in the top. I do not do use this method but after looking at her web page (she does use this method)  I decided to add this amended post for those of  you who like this method. I will show you my method when I get the cording completed.

Do this before attaching top piece.

Corded Hanger insert in top: optional

Cording should be made now and hanger inserted into top before attaching top to roll-up. Cording should be longer than desired length so two knots may be made; one below and one above the center hole.

14-08-26 #1 top with holeUsing a large Chenille needle or awl to make a hole in the top of the cap piece; I would do this before covering the piece with fabric, it will make it easier to push cording through. Cover with fabric, run the
14-08-26 #2 top with cordingChenille needle again through the hole and fabric and then using a Chenille needle push two ends of the cording through the hole. Place a knot on the back side of the cap to hold cord in place. Also make a knot on the top of the cap close to the top, this will cover the hole and give a decorative finish. I would place a dab of glue under the knot to secure firmly.

Thank you for stopping by again this week, I hope you find time to stitch today, I’ll be making cording the rest of the week! ttfn…sue

I am all stuffed out

All rolled up and nowhere to go…Doesn’t seem like a month since I was last finishing but it was and I’m still not in the mood to get back to finishing. But today I read there are only 17 more Fridays until Christmas (don’t tell anyone, but Christmas is 17 weeks from Thursday). Scary isn’t it?

Anyway with the help of a couple good taped movies I made tops and bottoms for my nutcrackers and I stuffed and stuffed and stuffed some more.

14-08-25 #1 ill board and materialI make a template for the top and bottom of roll-up (each roll-up should be the same size top and bottom BUT every roll-up could be slightly larger or smaller than the next one… nothing is ever simple.)

I cover both the top and the
bottom at the same time but I sew all the bottoms on first. I cover my illustration board with a fabric to match the bottom of the roll-up. Cut the fabric 1/2 inch larger that illustration board and run a basting stitch around the edge of fabric and pull up and to secure around illustration board cutout. Do the top piece also, matching the fabric to the top of roll-up.

14-08-25 #2  attachI pin the bottom to the roll-up and using a waxed thread, ladder stitch the bottom to the roll-up. I leave a small opening to attach cording later.

If you want to make stand up’s only, I would weight with some kind of weight. You could use a nut from the hardware store, fishing weights, pennies, aquarium gravel (I wash and dry this to get the dust) or anything to give weight. I wrap the item in cotton batting or place in handmade muslin bag with drawstring and place in the bottom of the roll-up. I don’t weight mine but I stuff them so tightly that they are heavy enough to stand up.

14-08-25 #4a  fiberfill from bagBut I do stuff…I stuff and stuff and stuff some more. I use small pieces of Polyfill (http://www.joann.com/mountain-mist-fiberloft-premium-poly-stuffing-2lb/2179331.html).  I pull it apart and I poke the Polyfill in with a chop stick 14-08-25 #4b  fiberfill fluffed(anything long and firm will do as a poker…large knitting or crochet needle, dowel anything about the size of a pencil).  I like my pieces stuffed firmly so I stuff until I can stuff no more.

14-08-25 #4  fiberfill & pokerI pin the top to the roll up and ladder stitch it on leaving openings on two sides for the cording and hander.

 

 

 

 

 

14-08-25 #5 Betsy topYou can also be creative and slightly pad the top for a puffy effect. Betsy has a padded top. You place three pieces of batting under the material. The smallest piece goes next to the illustration board and the largest is on top. Don’t forget to cut the material to cover this a bit larger to accomadate the filling.

14-08-25 #6 TJTJ is a triangle top and bottom for different effect. I always saw his hat as a triangular shape. During colonial times the hats were called Tricornes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tricorne).  So I took some liberties and reversed my triangle so the flat part is in the front…it’s called creative license and it looks better too.

14-08-25 #7  ready for cordingAnd in a nut shell that’s where I am now…my fingers hurt from stuffing and sewing but I have 8 roll-ups ready for cording. I’m still deciding whether I am going to raid the work bench for an electric drill or just use the one I bought from a needlework shop…Kreinik sells one like mine (http://www.kreinik.com/shops/Kreinik-Custom-Corder-AMCDW-HD.html).

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you find time to stitch today! ttfn…sue

My name in Print

14-08-13 Thistle 1

14-08-13 Thistle 2

14-08-13 Thistle 3In the mail today I received my current ANG magazine and low and behold my diagrams are featured in The Thistle by Carole Lake and Michael Boren. Someone had written me an email to tell me they had seen it, but it is always a pleasant surprise to see one’s name in print. Thank you Carole Lake, Michael Boren (http://www.stitchplay.com/index.html) and ANG (http://www.needlepoint.org/index.php).

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you find time to stitch today! ttfn…sue

Timeless Tomato Progress

Debbie Steihler’s Timeless Tomato is progressing nicely…makes me want to keep stitching all the time But I do have other commitments and my tomato will just have to wait for when the girls get together to stitch , graze and gab.  I only stitch on this at stitch-ins and where I can have my stand up. It requires laying threads and there is a ribbon which I prefer to lay front AND back. Just finishing one segment and all the grid  for the other segments makes a world of difference. I did get some serious stitching completed during my doggie sitting week, I can see this piece being finished…someday.

Before

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Now14-08-10 progress a

 

But now it is time to get back to finishing…The finishing basket has re-emerged, so next week I will be back to finishing…bottoms, stuffing and tops are next.

And speaking of finishing, I will also be finishing up instructions for you ladies that are going to ANG National in Chicago. Enjoy your week and if you are a blogger…look forward to hearing from you as you stitch the week away.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you find time to stitch today! ttfn…sue

Finished Lighthouse on National Lighthouse Day

I’m still on dogie-watch schedule; I can’t seem to get back in the grove of things.

14-08-07 desk beforeMary Corbet (http://www.needlenthread.com/2014/08/embroidery-work-space-or-where-is-waldo.html) and I have something in common this week…I came back to a desk piled high with things that needed attention and all I wanted to do was stitch and let the dogs out. But I did tackle my desk and made a dent to put some order into my desk; now instead of a heap of mess, I have organized piles of mess.

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But since I finished stitching my first light house and Vicki De Angelis over at Mostly Needlepoint (http://mostlyneedlepoint.com/did-you-know/) pointed out it was National Lighthouse Day…I figured it was an omen and I should share this with everyone today.

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My first lighthouse from ABS designs (http://www.absdesignsonline.com/)is Portland Head Lighthouse and is destined for Sudberry’s (http://www.sudberry.com/) black box. My box is like the one shown on Anne’s website (I think it was called the pen box) but I think it is out of stock and unless you find it in a shop somewhere, you may have to frame this piece.  I needleblended the sky (post: http://sudukc.wordpress.com/2014/07/30/hiding-out-is-such-fun/) and will share with you my email from Anne, MNS (master of Needleblended skies):

You’d think that counting the number of threads in the depth of your sky, then dividing it by the number of “blends” you’ll be using, would give you the right number of lines deep for each “blend.”  But every time you cut in a new “blend,” it encroaches on the one before it.  So….

 Try turning the canvas upside down, working the lightest value of blue at the horizon.  Keep going until you run out of “blends.”  In the case of the box insert, you then have the option of going to DMC 3755 to cut into the 3325, so the darkest shade is at the top of the canvas.  That makes for a more dramatic effect, and the lightest shade at the horizon doesn’t overpower the shades above.

That makes sense to me…I started at the top and worked down but next time I’ll work up from the horizon line.

This was one of those pieces that no matter how hard I tried to place more decorative stitches, my friend Virginia’s words kept rattling around in my head. Virginia is a guild member, who has tried more techniques than anyone I know; she stitches till the wee hours of the morning and until recently (last year or two) stitched on 40 count canvas without extra light or magnification. Oh yes, and did I tell you she is 80+ years young. I always say Virginia has forgotten more than I am ever going to learn. Anyway one time, I was trying very hard to put decorative stitches on a canvas and it was not working out at all. Virginia said; “Honey, when it’s screaming Basketweave, just stitch Basketweave. Sometimes Basketweave is best and every needlepoint should have some…it’s a place to rest your eyes. “

Well, every time I would try to think of a different stitch I would hear Virginia, “Basketweave” So much of this piece has Basketweave. The sky is Basketweave, but I did get to play around with the needleblending technique. And after I was completely finished with the sky I thought I could have used Nobuko or Diagonal Mosaic for the clouds…but I was lucky to get the clouds in there anyway. And I love the rocks, Alternating Padded Satin with overdyed threads just jumped off the canvas. And the Diagonal Gobelin for the water was good too. The foreground green and shoreline could be nothing else but Continental and Basketweave.

The buildings: I tried my best to stitch the siding of the large building in a small decorative stitch but nothing seemed to work for me…Okay Virginia, Basketweave it is. I did get the windows and doors stitched in Cashmere and variations of Cashmere. The brown building did lend itself to a decorative stitch and so the siding is worked in Diagonal Mosaic, the shutters are Oblong cross, and yes, the windows are basketweave. And all the red roofs are a Gobelin stitched diagonally, horizontally or vertically.

The green background I couldn’t decide whether that was grass or trees and I wanted it to be trees, but they had to stay on the back. I used 2 ply green overdyed floss and did French Knots. They were small enough that they did not overpower the little brown house but added a texture to the right side of the canvas to help balance the decorative stitches used in the rock.

The lighthouse did give me pause…I thought since it was behind the main house it should be Basketweave too, but then I decided that lighthouses are round and so this was probably a bit further behind the house than I originally thought and maybe if I did Alternating Diagonal Gobelins it would make the light house the focal point (as it should be) and still not overpower the house  or the whole canvas. It worked, gave the lighthouse a bit of definition and the illusion of roundness yet stayed behind the house. The top is mostly Continental stitched in black perle cotton and Kreinik black braid with the lights in yellow Kreinik braid cross stitches.

But my favorite is the fence, I was afraid it might get lost against the white house but it didn’t (even if the picture doesn’t show this. I wanted to stitch the fence in a whiter white but could not find DMC B5200 in & 8 perle and did not want to use floss. I stitched small horizontal  (2 threads x 1 thread) Overlapping Oblong Crosses for the rails and then when I had cleared the area for a post I went back and stitch an upright Oblong Cross (4 threads x 1 thread)…see diagram.

14-08-07 overlapping oblong cross

My first lighthouse is completed and as much as I would like to keep stitching new canvases I have a box full of canvases I need to stitch so I have decided one PPC (previously purchased canvas) before new canvases. And I haven’t decided what that will be yet…but I have to find a small one for my carry along project.

In a couple days I’ll show you how much progress I made on my Debbie Stiehler Tomato too. I really did get some serious stitching done last week. BUT I have to get back to my finishing…Christmas is a coming!

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today!

ttfn…sue

Hiding out is such fun

Every year my niece asks me if I would like to house-sit and dog-sit, Frankie & 14-07-30 peachesJoey? And every year I say yes…Who wouldn’t, this is like a vacation in the city.
The whole house to me (and two loveable puppies) and nature right out my back door. I’m 5 minutes from good food too (don’t even have to cook.)
14-07-30 tomatoesBut I found a fruit and vegetable stand and have been eating fresh tomatoes and
peaches like there is no tomorrow…and every morning I have coffee to this…   14-07-30 view

 

 

 

 

 

 

14-07-30 DoeAnd the first day I was here a doe brought by her babies to visit. I have seen twins before but this doe has triplets; it was like she knew this was going to be my special week and she wanted to start it off right…she checked out the area while the babes stayed 14-07-30 doe and triplesback and then she brought them up for me to see. I was so excited my pictures are blurry but you can see all three. What away to start my house sitting. And so far it has been perfect I have read three books in four days, even managed to needlepoint and watch nature out the windows. And this week the weather has been cool enough to sit on the deck and do all the above…too perfect!.

14-07-30 ABS BoxI decided to start my needlepoint lighthouse journey with Anne’s Portland Head, ME lighthouse since I have the same box she used to finish the piece (this might be a quick finish) I know that Anne is a master at needle blending skies and I wanted to try this method, so I spent the better part of  a day last week researching her blog (http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/) for sky stitching and lucky for anyone interested I kept a record… Here are her hints on needleblending skies (or at least the ones I read): http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/2009/01/needle-blending-sky.html http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/2009/07/blue-skies-over-long-island.html http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/2009/09/needle-blending-again.html http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/2009/11/skys-my-limit.html http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/2010/02/sky-above-water-below.html http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/2011/07/taking-it-from-top.html http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/2011/08/cloudless-sky.html http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/2012/02/sky-and-water.html http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/2013/07/two-skies-side-by-side.html

And here are other skies Anne used: Sunrise at the lighthouse: http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/2010/07/sunrise-over-fenwick-island.html

Need a gloomy Sky: http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/2009/10/needle-blending-gloomy-sky.html

Night Sky anyone: http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/2010/04/looking-at-lighthouse-in-different.html

Don’t forget the moon reflection: http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/2010/04/in-for-penny-in-for-pound.html

Want to do fog? Anne has covered that too, not once but twice: http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/2009/06/fog-rolls-in.html.. http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/2011/10/another-foggy-sky.html

April 2009 has several and two of the lighthouses are mine what luck. April 15 has the Portland Head lighthouse…A limitless sky (http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/2009/04/limitless-sky.html)

Hummmm, I bet I could add clouds to mine too… Well,  my clouds were not easy for me! The one on the leftI did without an outline, just stitched it, but it was 14-07-30 cloudsfrustrating to me so I took the picture I had printed off and drew lines around Anne’s clouds and then with my blue Pilot sc-uf pen, I drew clouds on my canvas (isn’t there a song about this?) I stitched them all using lightest value of the blues flosses I had chosen (DMC 3756).

Time to start the sky: I used three other DMC flosses (A:3325 B:3841 C:775) and needle blended as follows:

4 ply color A

3 ply color A and 1 ply color B

2 ply color A and 2 ply color B

1 ply color A and 3 ply color

B 4 ply color

B 3 ply color B and 1 ply color C

2 ply color B and 2 ply color

C 1 ply color B and 3 ply color

C 4 ply color C

14-07-30 1st rowThat was the easy part, then I counted the rows of sky and divided by the number of color choices I had; see my marks on the side of the canvas. I started at the top with the darkest of the blends 4 ply color A. You can see in the picture I even added 14-07-30 count offsome random stitches in the next area and left some random stitches in the first are so the next color blended better. I was going along just fine until I got to the bottom.  I think I am counting challenge; either that or I am so relaxed I lost all sense of
where and what I am doing…I vote for the relaxed.  Somewhere in the last three areas I got off and needed to adapt. Anyway, the needle blending is so subtle that you can barely tell I did it until you look at the whole picture. In fact it was hard to get a picture to show you. I even took a picture of the back, I think you can see it better.

14-07-30 back

14-07-30 sky finished

 

 

 

 

I am going to enjoy the last couple days of my retreat …I hope momma doe brings her babes back for another look…triplets are so rare.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today! ttfn…sue

And a word from my stitching…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI joined the ANG CyberWorkshops for Michelle Roberts’ Ukrainian Eggs class. I received my instruction book a few weeks ago; the other supplies I already had, so I am ready to go. I spent one evening reading the instruction book (Michelle’s instructions are so good). I even have several of the Ukrainian Egg books in her bibliography that I have dug out. I am probably going to have to put this project out of sight…I want to start it now…looks like such fun. And lately we have been testing the web connection, so I’m really getting excited now.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI am also stitching on Debbie Stiehler’s Tomato but it is not a project I can take in the car…need a stand to stitch…going to have to find a small project to stitch for my to-go piece. Debbie has retired from active teaching, but if you were ever privileged to take a class from her, you know what fun she is. I love this piece and have put all the base lines in so now it’s just a matter of stitching along. I can tell some patterns are more difficult than others but that is the beauty of a Debbie Steihler piece…she keeps you on your toes (or I should say fingers).

And then I got a great surprise, the answer to my “to-go piece” prayers…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWho in their right mind is going to tell their DH that they can’t buy canvas(es) when he says I would like to have a some lighthouses to go with our ship pictures, why don’t you stitch me some. Oh a collection in the making, I love it. I sent him to ABS Designs (http://www.absdesignsonline.com/) and he picked out about 30 he liked! Now this is roll-reversal, but I made him look again and be reasonable to start…he picked out three he liked and I added a fourth. I kept a list of the others and let’s just say his birthday, anniversary; Christmas and Father’s Day are taken care of for the rest of his and my life. Lucky I also have a grandson that will like these someday too.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd then he was looking through my current issue of Needlepoint Now (http://www.needlepointnow.com/) and I heard him chuckle…and he said this is a funny canvas, you need to order this. Since I already ordered it from Wellesley Needlepoint (http://www.wellesleyneedlepoint.com/)   (months ago); it arrive a couple days after he said something. He thinks we have a great delivery turnaround time; “That didn’t take long, did it” …when the opportunity opens you don’t have to tell me to twice to keep my mouth shut. Yep, we girls are fast.

Of course now his mantra is, “I don’t want to hear you say you have nothing to stitch.” Glad he doesn’t look at my office and closet very closely.

I’m off to choose my new stitching project threads…don’t want DH to think I am not doing my part to start his new collection…and I did say I needed a something small to stitch.

Oh more finishing, I need to get caught up so I can send this stuff to someone else…maybe I can interest my daughter –in –law into finishing…she likes to sew. She makes American Girl doll clothes and sells them on Etsy (https://www.etsy.com/shop/alldolldup). If she has the patience to do doll clothes maybe she’d like needlepoint finishing…hum-m-m.

And it will be a couple weeks before I get back to finishing, I am taking a break to house and dog sit at my niece’s house…This is my favorite week of the year, nature and stitching and no cooking if I chose not to do so. Just me, and my stitching…DH is there too, but he comes and goes…cooks too. I’ll take pictures, it is so tranquil and peaceful.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today! ttfn…sue