Melissa Shirley Wicked: final thought

See what happens when I get busy or distracted. I had been writing this post for the week of May 15-20 and I got distracted or sidetracked and now here it is almost Memorial week-end and I am just coming up for air. So here is the final thoughts on Wicked…

After the stitching is completed then the piece has to be finished. I know I have been showing how to finish needlepoint but last year I was not up to the task of finishing. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it…Seriously, I can do ornaments and some other little stuff but really haven’t had the time to try the biggies. One day I am going to try a pillow and a purse but for now I’m going to send big pieces to the finisher. I can’t even find time to sew a button on, let alone make a blouse or finish big needlepoint or for that matter any needlepoint.

 

I knew where I wanted to hang “Wicked” and how I wanted it finished. I drew a picture for the finisher and once the material was purchased I sent it to her to do her magic.  I was very pleased with the way it was finished and I love to see it hanging at Halloween.

To some people finishing a piece of needlepoint is easy; they take it to a trusted shop and have it finished. Not me, I agonize over finishing. As I am stitching I can see the finished piece, I get these pre-conceived images in my head and then I feel like I need to look for the material to finish the project. Nice for me I know the finisher and I can as her if my idea will work. If she says yes, then I’m off to look for material.

 

Now, let me give you the advice I seldom ever follow but every finisher I know will tell you is the truth.

You should buy the fabric for finishing before you ever start stitching.

I know, seems illogical to me too, but remember we are limited by out thread choices and the fabrics we choose to  finish our pieces are limited by their color choices. Now I will admit if you go to Hamilton Mo or any large quilt shop, you should be able to find a fabric. But what if you want a velvet or moiré for that Christmas stocking you are spending hours stitching? There is a world of difference between DMC 666 red and DMC 321 or 498 red. And fabrics only come in certain colors. And yes, you could use green for the backing and lining, but there are different greens too. So, if you want as perfect a match as you can get; sometimes it is important to buy that fabric first.

And while we are talking “you buy the fabric”; remember that if you want self-cording you need extra fabric. Self-cording is cut on the bias of the fabric and will require more fabric. Just as local needlepoint shop or finisher how much fabric you will need to finish your piece.

 

And some shops stock fabrics for finishing, so ask before you head all over the countryside looking for that perfect fabric. Some finishers have fabrics stockpiled and if you ask the shop you use, they probably can tell you which red would be best on that stocking or they can ask the finisher for you.

 

I’m lucky we have several very nice fabric shops in the area. Sarah’s in Lawrence (http://www.sarahsfabrics.com/), and several quilt shops in the area, plus Hamilton, Mo (https://www.missouriquiltco.com/). I’ve been to Hamilton twice now and while it is both eye candy for the imagination it can be overwhelming also. Hamilton is quilt town in northern Missouri, aka Missouri Quilt Co; Google it or read my post from last year…

 

A word about finishers… Have you ever wondered why so many shops guard their finisher’s name so closely? The real reason is that they are not trying to keep her a national secret, they are trying to protect her from the thousand calls she would get during busy times of the year asking, “Is my ornament finished yet?” And that is why finishing deadlines are so early. I think a finisher told me one time she finish over 1000 ornaments for Christmas and that didn’t count the stockings. Keep in mind blocking boards can only hold so much and sometimes pieces need to be blocked more than once and sometimes needlepoint even needs to be cleaned before blocking may begin. (This is another blog…but stitching in the hand vs stitching on a frame does have its drawbacks as well as its advantages…I will put this on my list of things to write about.)

 

Back to “Wicked”… I found the fabric and Batik at Hamilton and bought it. Brought it home and took it to the shop for my finisher to pick up (No, just because I know her doesn’t mean I don’t have to take it to the shop. My finisher will not accept pieces except through the shops she does finishing.) I took the piece about mid-May and I got it back about mid-August.

 

What took so long? Mine was not the only finishing in line. Mine had to be blocked, just like the rest and maybe twice I didn’t ask; and it’s a pretty big piece so it took up some real-estate on the blocking board. Mine also only had the green material supplied, so my finisher had to get the black for the inset, thread and even the interfacing. I could have purchased the black but I didn’t think about it at the time and she suggested this after she saw the piece…that’s another reason you use a finisher…She’s seen enough pieces to know what looks best even when you limit her by you pre-conceived finishing. And I had no idea what interfacing she would recommend. So see, Finishers do more than finish; they make your needlepoint look just like you want, and they know from experience what works best.

When “Wicked” returned home, it was just what I envisioned and more. I hung it and hated to see Halloween come to an end. I sometimes think I stitch long hours for a piece that only is displayed for a short time but I like it and it brings a smile to my face. And I hope it will be around for many years to come, maybe even one of my Grandchildren will want it when I am gone. Sometimes I get it out in it’s protective bag, and hand it on the door of my office just to look at it…it makes me smile.

Oh and before I forget; what do I do with the stitch guide after I complete stitching the canvas? I destroy it; it is a copyrighted piece of work.  And in my opinion, stitch guides should not be bought or sold without the purchase of the canvas! I have done two or three stitch guides for canvases and I will not sell them to individuals only to shops where I assume the canvas is purchased.

I know a stitcher who saves her stitch guides as a reference and that’s fine but I don’t want all the extra paper. I might make a note in my computer or my stitch notebooks I keep about a technique, stitch pattern or stitch but my stitch guide goes to the trash. I do not share it with my stitch friend who bought the canvas only because she liked mine. I destroy it. Enough said…my soap box stand for the week.

On another note…my family is having a garage sale…no needlepoint but I do have needlepoint books I have accumulated over the years. I will list them here next week with cost and then I will put them on Needlepoint Nation Stash after that.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today and over the holiday week-end. AND please don’t forget to honor those you know who are serving or have served in our military. Without these brave men and women we would not enjoy the freedoms we take for granted.

ttfn…sue

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3D Finishing: Melissa Shirley Sewing Bird Part 2

Materials used:

Stitched and blocked needlepoint pieces
2 Copies of each stitched, blocked pieces
Backing fabric: I used two
Ultra-suede for the wings
Cotton for the rest: fat quarter would be ample
Batting: low loft for wings and body
Batting: craft weight for sides and body
Fiber Fill
Sewing thread to match fabric
Illustration board
Paper scissors
Glue
Cording
Usual sewing supplies

Like I said last week, the body gave me some trouble. I spent at least three days trying different methods, losing my cool, and becoming more frustrated.  I had thought I could finish these two pieces as I had finished the sides but trying to sew the lining to a hard piece of illustration board smoothly did not work.  So since I had cut out a first lining and clipped curves I trashed that lining and cut a second. I also tried to stitch the needlework to illustration board and it proved to be not only not smooth but bulky too. Luckily I had left a lot of canvas and all I had to do was trim a bit more.

I used a lightweight piece of batting (cut two for each side…you will use the other for lining)  to separate the needlepoint canvas from the illustration board and the since I had already somewhat clipped the curves I trimmed and clipped the canvas again and GLUED it to the illustration board.  This was about a three day project since I first tried to lace the needlework to illustration board; then I had to undo, fume, fume some more, cut another piece of illustration board, still fume, and then give in to the little voice that kept saying “glue.” I figure if I keep saying “glue” it will get better.

Truthfully I am not a glue person, but I also know most of my needlework is not going to the Smithsonian; most of my needlepoint will be lucky to survive two to three generations. I have one piece that is registered with the Smithsonian and that is my White House needlepoint stocking but in all fairness all White House collections are registered with them; they are the storehouse and inventory control for all collections.

So when all else fails…glue. Yes, I said glue, but I had already used all the other four letter words I knew and to keep my sanity and finish this project, glue was the answer. I glued the needlework to the illustration board.

The second piece of batting needs to be trimmed to be about an 1/8th inch smaller than the needlework.  Then I clipped the curves, pinned the lining to the batting, and stitched it in place.

 

Next I pined and stitched the linings to the front pieces.

Then I assembled the front piece to the side pieces and pinned together. Here is why the lining pieces are a bit fin30a inside of friendssmaller than the needlepoint. If you’ll notice on my friend’s piece the inside looks like the lining fits snuggly together, but it didn’t look stitched, just snuggly fit. So I made my linings just a tad smaller so they would fit somewhat like these too.  That was the easy part, next came stitching. I stitched the pieces together; sometimes I had to use my trusty third hand (needle-nosed pliers) to push or pull the needle between the threads of canvas. Stitching the angles and curves took some times and since I was going slowly this took another day.

Then I made a bottom for the stitching bird.  Again I had a picture of my friend’s fin33a bottom of friendsand I knew it needed to recede.  I cut a bottom and trimmed until it fit, covered it with lining fabric and stitched in place leaving the four corners unstitched so I could hide the ends of the cording in the bottom.

Made cording for the sewing bird; two long ones to go around large bird pieces and two small pieces to fin35b  together cord allcover the side ends. Pinned the side pieces on first and stitched into place; I hid the ends in the linings as best I could then sewed the large pieces around the bird hiding the ends in the bottom. Here is a blurred picture of the direction of the larger pieces of cording around the face of the birds. Again used my third hand a few times , but finally could see the light at the end of the tunnel. Almost finished ;-)!

 

Oh those #### wings. I thought I had a curved needle to sew these in place but my curved needle I think is an upholstery needle and will leave holes not only in the wing but the bird too. Need to see if what other curved needles are available. Thought about gluing them on but just could not bring myself to do this. So for now I have used  silk pins and pinned them in place for now.

Finally a finished sewing bird! Many hours, many choice words, a bit of glue and I have a stitching bird to add to my sewing tools collection. I also will have a fond memory of a stitching friend who is no longer with us, she loved birds.  And one more thing, this project took me less than a year to complete, I started August 5, 2015  and it is completely finished…trust me I have projects older than this still not yet stitched and more projects stitched but not finished.

Do you have unfinished stitching projects? Why? Did you lose interest in stitching? Or after you stitched it, were not satisfied enough to have it finished? This is probably another thought for a blog post. Send me your thoughts and I’ll mull this one around.

But the one thing I did learn from this project is that when that little voice in your head tells you you are in too deep…listen!  I wish I had listened to that little voice in my head that said, “Send it to the finisher.” I would have saved myself a lot of anger and frustration. And yet now that the project is completed I do feel accomplished…even if I would not do it again!

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

ttfn…sue

3D Finishing: Melissa Shirley Sewing Bird Part 1

Materials used:

Stitched and blocked needlepoint pieces
2 Copies of each stitched, blocked pieces
Backing fabric: I used two
Ultra-suede for the wings
Cotton for the rest: fat quarter would be ample
Batting: low loft for wings and body
Batting: craft weight for sides and body
Fiber Fill
Sewing thread to match fabric
Illustration board
Paper scissors
Glue
Cording
Usual sewing supplies

20160712 a bird yellowI have contemplated how to finish this piece for weeks/months. I should have listened to that little voice in my head that said, “Send it to the finisher.”  But no I just kept looking at it and I had a friend who had stitched one (she sent hers to the finisher) and I figured I could manage this myself. Afterall it was just a stand up without the stuffing… and ornament in 3-D…I can do this.

I had it on the blocking boards for a long time while I mulled over finishing in my mind. Then I got brave and began the process. I mad two copies of each of the blocked pieces.  And then I plunged in…I felt like a kid jumping off the high dive for the first time. Once you get up your courage to climb that ladder you gotta go off the diving board; if you climb down…well you all know what that means when you’re a kid. So off I plunged…

Once I took the plunge it was a long way down to the finish; this project took me at least two weeks to complete. I would breeze right along and then I would hit a rough patch and it would take me a couple days to get through it. I’ll let you know as we go along where, when and why I became frustrated.

blockingI had blocked the pieces. Even though I had stitched the designs on Evertite stretcher bars I still block. I do know some people who adjust and tightened their Evertites and block using them too but I do not.   I use my Marie’s blocking board (if any one has one they don’t want, I will pay to have it shipped to me.)

I also made two copies of the pieces on the printer/copier for patterns. Remember copies of copies are a bit smaller, I think the standard is about 97-98% smaller; so when you make a copy of your stitching it is already a bit smaller.  And sometimes I use more than one copy and so I have a second in reserve in case I need it. It is hard to make a second copy once you have started or cut the first copy.

I started finishing the wings, they were easy; they were like a soft ornament.(see: https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2016/03/23/finishing-ornaments-3-soft-ornaments/) I cut out one of the copies for a pattern of each wing. I colored the edges with my Copic pens (https://imaginationinternationalinc.com/copic/), I don’t like grin through.

I trimmed the canvas to within a 1/2 inch of stitching and clipped the curves.  I finger pressed to the back and used Clover clips to hold in place.  These clips come in several sizes, I like the green jumbos best (http://www.joann.com/clover-12pcs-jumbo-wonder-clips-neon-green/14789036.html). I buy them at JoAnns with my $$ off coupons.

 

I stitch the canvas to the back with a double waxed sewing thread. Always wax your thread…it makes it stronger and it keeps it from twisting and knotting.

I used a small piece of ultra-suede I had to back the wings; I used each stitched wing to cut a backing fabric. I marked the stitched needlepoint onto the wrong side of the fabric and clipped the curves. I cut two pieces of low-loft quilt batting using the patterns I made for the wings. I used one of the quilt battings to stabilize the backing fabric and to give me something to fold the ultra-suede back onto and it also gave me something to baste the fabric in place.

Then I sandwiched all together: needlepoint second batting and backing and pinned together. I stitched the wings. I also decided that there was not enough dimension to the wings so I stuffed them with fiber-fill. I didn’t think I filled them too much but they proved to be a problem later on.

I also made a small cording, joined and stitched it around the wings…The wings were completed and truthfully I think this took me a couple days, but they were no problem.

Next I finished the side straight pieces; one short and one long…these had the decorative flowers stitched on them. I used pretty much the same method I had used finishing the wings without the fiber-fill.

Using the patterns I cut batting for large and small side pieces. I cut the needlepoint to within 1/2 inch of stitching.

I finger pressed the edges to the back mitering the corners around the craft weight quilt batting, pinning in place.

Using a double waxed length of sewing thread I laced the sides together,  starting in the middle and working toward ends and stitching the mitered corners.

Then I cut backing fabric 1/2 inch larger that the needlepoint. I finger pressed and pined to be just slightly smaller than the finished needlepoint. I pressed this in place with my new gadget I purchased some time ago to help with finishing. It’s a Clover Mini Iron with all sorts or attachments. It has a large and small iron head, a ball head (I think for curves, a long thin head (probably for corners and a cutting knife. And I doubt I will ever use the cutting knife since I do not want to gunk up the iron for finishing.

The reason that I stitched these slightly smaller than the needlepoint is because when I assemble the pieces together I am going to join them together through the needlepoint and therefore the lining needed to be slightly smaller because it will be inside the bird.

I stitched the backing to the needlepoint using a single waxed thread.  These pieces went quickly and I thought I was on a roll; then finish came to an abrupt halt.

The bird body gave me some trouble and so if you don’t mind I am going to continue this saga next week., otherwise this post will be way toooooo long. I can give you a hint…I did finish this bird but it took me the better part of a week, a few well-chosen words and a do over. But for now…

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

ttfn…sue

Temari and Hamilton, Mo

While I was not blogging and trying to get my stitch mojo back I made a couple Temari Balls.

Temari KUThe first one is a pattern I love to make, it is very simple and the beauty comes from the negative space that is created by using one thread the same color as the base of the ball to stitch the design. This one was stitched for my knee surgeon; he graduated from KU so it is the KU ball. And since I am partial to blue the ball is predominately blue.  He loved the ball and I love him (he did a great job on my knee), so we are both happy.
Temari Basket of RosesThe other Temari ball is an original. I have a new Great Grand-daughter (I am a two time great, so far…boy and girl) and her middle name is Rose. Rose was my mother’s middle name (we called her Whammer…for grandma, but that’s another story.) It was also my favorite Great Aunt’s name and I think it is a name from Catherine’s family also.)  So I decided to make Rose’s mother a basket of roses. First I stitched the top rose and then the partial side roses. Then I started on the basket. First I wove the basket from the SP to the Equator in a ribbed spider web stitch. Then around the top edge I made a detached buttonhole border for the lip of the basket. Turned out cute.

“More about Hamilton too…I hear it is a quilter’s mecca.” This is what I said last week about Missouri Star Quilt Co in Hamilton, Mo. Well, after being there, there is no way to really describe it to anyone; it is an experience that will be different to everyone who visits. Words like eye-candy, beautiful, overwhelming come to mind; but it was so much more too that I will have to re-visit several times before I feel like I have an understanding of everything this quilter’s/ fabric mecca has to offer.

It is the town! You have to go read the history of Missouri Star Quilt Co and Hamilton, Mo: https://www.missouriquiltco.com/. And if you are anywhere near Kansas City, Mo (and I mean even if you have to travel 2-3 hours out of your way and it is one of the only things you do in Kansas City) add a day to your trip for a stop here. Even if you are not a quilter (and I am not) it is something any creative person should see. If you own a textile shop, you need to just study their presentations and marketing…excellent! Oh my gosh, I would still be standing in the first shop taking it all in , if my friends had not kept me moving and by the end of the day I was in the Man Cave waiting for them. My mind was in overload, my visual senses had shut down and I am still recovering from a wonderful day in Hamilton, Mo.

Here’s a brief tour…

Map of Hamilton, MoHamilton’s Main Street is two blocks long and there are 14, yes 13 shops all related to quilting and 1 shop for husbands to rest ( I spent time here too.) Here’s the map they give you and it is best to start at #1 the Main shop. Here you register and they give you a 20160706 Hamilton shop 1a card with your name and a bar code on it. Every time you buy something it shows up on your account and you also receive incentives to shop. This is soooo helpful if you are buying fabrics to co-ordinate or if you get home and need more of fabric “xyz” to
complete your project; it’s all there on your account. Every store can scan your card and bring up your purchases Hamilton accountand see the fabrics, trims and patterns you have purchased. Here’s a picture of my account. This is so cool and so helpful.

We strolled down the street to the reproduction 20160706 Hamilton shop 2afabrics 20160706 Hamilton shop 2cand then the floral shop ( a garden of fabrics and no weeds). Notice the lights look like flowers and the front of the store window gave you a clue to what was inside.

 

20160706 Hamilton outside a 20160706 Hamilton outside bThree shops and we had to stop for refreshments and nourishment…it is exhausting shopping!  After a brief refueling we were off again…

20160706 Hamilton shop 4a 20160706 Hamilton shop 4bWe went into Primitives and Wool, wool fabrics and yarns and Primitive fabrics…not up my alley but impressive from a marketing point of view. Next was the Batik Boutique and here I lost all sense of reality, found three of the five fabrics I was looking for here…Oh my, what a colorful place!

Next we headed upstairs for four more shops…Seasonal Shop, every occasion you would like to celebrate in one room; Modern fabrics had newest fabrics and designer fabrics; Backings & trims was a room of finishing fabrics (extra wide) for backing your quilt and all the trims you could want; and finally kids and baby area with all the fabrics any mother and grandmother could want to furnish a nursery.

Hamilton shop gadgetI was in fabric overload now and headed down to the20160706 Hamilton shop 5a mancave “Machine Shed” for all the gadgets you can imagine and isn’t their window too cute…and right next to the Machin20160706 Hamilton shop 6b gadgete Shed was theHamilton shop mancave Man’s Land. A room to relax, designed to keep the husbands happy but I checked out the leather chairs and they were comfy.

20160706 Hamilton shop 7b JCPennyI missed the girls, they came20160706 Hamilton shop 7d JCPenny down another way and so I had to visit the last shop on my own. JC Penny quilt shop is the colorful solid store. If you can’t find a solid color here it is not made.

Four hours later, we had briefly touched the surface of Hamilton, Missouri and the Missouri Star Quilt Company.  It was absolutely mind boggling; the fabrics, the colors and all the quilts hanging in every store, not to mention the projects stitched with the fabrics. At times I felt like a kid in a toy store..I want, I want, I want.

And I did buy a few things…material for finishing 3 pieces of needlepoint…sending to the finisher. I purchased two patterns; one to use for a stitching idea and the other a finishing idea. And I bought a 1/2 yard of material for several other stitching ideas.

Will, I go back, in a heartbeat! Just let me know when you are in town and I’ll drive you up there. I can take my needlepoint…the ones that still need finishing and a project I am working on. I promise not to hurry you; I can always go to the man cave and stitch while you soak up all the creativity this place offers.

In fact you better plan on spending a couple of creative days maybe more here in KC , might even want to try our bar-be-que, take in a baseball or football game (depends on when you are here. We have another shop in Weston, Mo that is also creative eye candy for anyone creative or who wants to be creative…more about that later.  And don’t ask me to pick one, because if I were younger I would be moving north to be closer to these places…I’m about 1 1/2 hours from either but it is worth the drive.

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

ttfn…sue

Lighthouse in a Box

I double gifted to my husband; his birthday was the end of May and of course Father’s Day was a few weeks ago. This also gives him something to tell the world on Facebook he taught me…NOT, man cannot draw a straight line with a ruler and I am not sure he knows what the eye of the needle really is…but we let him have his dreams…

Let’s talk about boxes before we begin. Your box needs to be purchased at the same time as the needlepoint or at the very least the needlepoint needs to be painted to fit the opening of the box of your choice. I would buy the box at the same time or have it ordered before I begin stitching. Some designs may be painted to fit a box , others may be adapted to fit a box you love; a border may be added or sometimes the background may be extended to fit up to 1/2 inch larger. I some cases the opening may not be as large as the painted canvas, be sure that the canvas fits the box and no important elements omitted. In my case I had the box for a long -long time; truthfully it came with another canvas I stitched another way a long time ago and this box was just lying around. I was truly lucky this canvas fit this box. Two box sources I use to order boxes are:

Patches n Planks: https://sites.google.com/site/patchesnplankshome/home

Sudberry House: http://www.sudberry.com/

If anybody knows of others, please add a comment below; I am always looking for good resourses.

This light house is Portland Head, MD lighthouse, I’ve had it stitched for two years…don’t want to rush anything.  You can read about the stitching here: https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2014/07/30/hiding-out-is-such-fun/ . The Canvas is from ABS Designs: http://www.absdesignsonline.com/;  Anne paints the nicest light houses.  I have a collection of them to finish and even more to stitch. I love ALL her designs  because they are so easy to take-a-long. And if you do not follow Anne on her blog you should; her blog can be found at: http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/. She stitches the greatest skies in the world…needle blending floss is her specialty…she’s super at it.  And you can read her articles in Needlepoint Now magazine monthly too (https://www.needlepointnow.com/).

Okay now to the finishing…

Materials needed:

Blocked ornament (all needlepoint needs to be blocked)

Box to fit the needlework (Mine is no longer made, so be sure your needlepoint fits your box)

Illustration Board: medium weight

Fleece:  I use one about a 1/4 inch thick.

Lining material optional

Clips to hold needlework and backing fabric

#8 0r #12 Perle cotton

Beeswax

Tapestry needle

Flat head screw driver

Usual sewing supplies: scissors, clips etc.

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This box happened to come with its own piece of Illustration Board cut to fit the box. I used it as a template to cut a piece of fleece. Carefully open the picture points using a flat head screwdriver to release the illustration board.

Use the template to cut a piece of fleece the exact size or 1/8 inch smaller than illustration board insert.

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Cut the blocked canvas leaving 1/2 to 3/4 inches all around the stitching.

I fold and finger press the canvas to the back. I test it to be sure it fits the illustration board with fleece on top.

 

 

Diagonally cut the corners to make a less bulky corner and then miter the corners. Hold the corners and sides in place with the quilters clips I have for finishing (Goggle Clover Wonder Clips). You can also use clip clothes pins.

Cut long length of #8 or #12 perle cotton, it will be doubled in Tapestry needle. Wax with bees wax and knot the ends of the double thread.

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Beginning in the center of the long side (if there is a side longer) and going back and forth to either left or right, lace with the double waxed thread.

When the corner is reached stitch the mitered corners and tie off with a secure knot.

Return to the center and repeat lacing on the other half. Remember to stitch the mitered corners. Check on top side of the box to be sure lacing and canvas are correctly positioned; not pulling to tightly but firmly placed.

Lace the short sides together from one corner to the other.

Note on short sided rectangles the lacing only needs to be pulled lightly to hold sides toward center. On squares or larger pieces the sides will need to be laced firmly. This can sometimes be tricky the first time so as not to pull lacing too tightly.

Check box one more time after lacing is completed and re-adjust if necessary. Check to be sure canvas is not warping the illustration board and there are no ripples in the canvas.

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Place the cut lining fabric over the lacing and with the flat head screw driver. Return the picture points to their original positions to hold canvas and lining in place.

Your box is finished. Enjoy.

Next time I will catch you up on the Temari Balls. I am also heading to Hamilton, Mo to look for finishing fabric for Melissa Shirley Wicked canvas and ????. More about Hamilton too…I hear it is a quilter’s mecca.

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

ttfn…sue

I’m finally Back to full speed

It has been 3 months and 1 week since I had my knee replaced and I am truly sorry it has taken me this long to get back to this blog. Truthfully, it had little to do with my new knee, other than the fact that I feel so well I just go-go-go. In a nutshell; I had zero pain after the surgery and rehabbed like it was nothing…I could hardly wait to be able to go all the places I had been putting off because of my bad knee. I overdid sometimes but the aggravation of being slowed up was worse than the pain, so I just kept pushing through it and still do sometimes.

20160628 Temari Basket of FlowersI did have a brief period where I didn’t want to stitch or do anything but I think that was related to the pain meds and I got rid of them the first week, but it still took a couple weeks for the fingers to want to pick up a needle. I fought this at first and then someone (retired Psychiatrists) told me that I should not fight it but find some other hand thing to do and it would bring back the stitching quicker.  So I practiced my knitting (Just learned this 20160628 Temari KUart last winter… would love to get good at it but do not see any Peruvian sweaters in my future and I do not need another stash!) and made a couple Temari Balls. Sure enough the urge return and I finished a couple painted canvases I had put aside to stitch while recovering…

 

And that my friends is what I have been doing the last three months; rehabbing, going and stitching, the trifecta of my dreams. Maybe this winter will have other knee replaced and then lookout world I will be completely bionic and able to go twice as fast as I do now.

Three months off has afforded me a lot to blog about and more finishing too…so without more health news lets get started. I’ll be back tomorrow with finishing for lighthouse.

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

ttfn…sue

Finishing: ornaments 3: Soft ornaments

Shaped ornaments may be finished with illustration board but I find it easier to finish them as a soft ornament. Any shape , even square or round may be finished using this method. These ornaments take a bit more time because they are hand stitched, no glue here.

Stuffing is a personal thing; some prefer tightly stuffed, while others like softer ornaments that are not stuffed as much. Whichever type you prefer, remember to use small amounts of fiber fill. Use a chopstick (reason to eat out) to push small amounts of fiber fill in to the nooks and crannies of shaped ornaments. My personal preference is somewhere between medium firm to firmly stuffed, squishy ornaments are not my thing.

Materials List:

BLOCKED Needlepoint

Copy of blocked needlepoint

Lining (optional)

Fabric Backing

Iron-on Pelon  or fleece: medium weight

Hanger (optional) Can use cording

Sewing thread to match Needlepoint and/or backing

Cording

Chop Stick or pointed tool

Usual sewing supplies

Step 1: Make a copy of your needlepoint on the copy machine and cut out.

 

 

Step 2: Lay copy right side up on the non-iron side of the pelon and draw around cut out copy.  Place on fabric backing for the ornament and iron to backing.

 

 

Step 3: Trim ornament to 1/2 inch and clip. Finger press the canvas to the back side of the needlepoint and hold in place with pins.

 

20160323 OrnSoft 4Step 4: With a long waxed thread tack the excess to the back of the needlework with running stitches. Be careful not to take the stitches to the front of needlepoint canvas.

Step 5: Repeat this process for the fabric backing, checking to be sure that 20160323 OrnSoft 5the fabric backing will match the needlepoint canvas. Be sure the running stitches are only tacked to the pelon or fleece.

Step 6: Optional. I used a hanger I bent to fit as a 20160323 OrnSoft 6hanger  to fit the sweaters.  I attached this to the needlepoint side of the canvas with basting stitches.

 

 

20160323 OrnSoft 7Step 7: Pin the needlepoint to the fabric backing.

Step 8: With the back side facing you (don’t ask me why…it’s just easier) and a waxed thread, ladder stitch the front to the back. The ladder stitch catches canvas 3-4 threads on the needlepoint and then 20160323 OrnSoft 8 ladder stitch graphicabout a 1/4 inch in the fold of the backing fabric. Pull this stitch snuggly, drawing the canvas and backing together. Do not for get to leave an opening for the ends of the cording and a place to stuff. Note the sweater ornaments had two openings; one at the hanger and one I left at the bottom to use for stuffing.

20160323 OrnSoft 11Step 9:  Using small amounts of stuffing, stuff the ornaments to the desired fullness. Use a chop stitck, small knitting needle or any pointed instrument to stuff; poking small amounts of stuffing into small places and corners. When stuffed to desired fullness, 20160323 OrnSoft 10close the hole with more ladder stitches.

Step 10: Make a cording to match or blend with the needlepoint. Attach to needlepoint hiding the ends in an opening left for this purpose.

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Step 11: With back side (backing fabric) toward you stitch cording to canvas with 1 strand of waxed thread. This thread should match the cording and if multi colored cord match fabric backing, whatever is most inconspicuous. Stitch through the cording, NOT over the cording. Stitching over the cording creates dimples in the cording that are not pretty.

Enjoy your finished ornament.

 

 

 

 

There is another type of soft ornament finishing and that uses fleece. These ornaments are not stuffed but rather stitched with fleece layers between the front and the back. I find this a great way to make a scissor fob…

It is finished very much the same way the above ornament is done:

Materials:

Blocked needlepoint Canvas

Backing material

Fleece

Thread

Cording

Step 1: Cut needlepoint canvas to 1/2 inch from needlework, angle corners.

Step 2: Finger press to back of needlepoint and pin.

Step 3: Cut fleece just a bit smaller then needlework and attach with running stitches being careful not to go through to the front of the needlepoint.

Step 4: Cut backing fabric 1/2 larger than needlework. Also cut 2 more pieces of fleece 1/8 to 1/4 inch smaller than needlepoint.

Step 5: Finger press and pin into place, mitering corners.

 

Step 6: Stitch needlepoint to fabric backing using ladder stitch method. Remember to leave opening for cording.

Step 7: Making cording and attach to needlework.

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Enjoy your new scissor fob. Hint you can also use to park needles.

This will be all the finishing for a couple weeks. Today as  I am having total knee replacement and will be rehabbing for a few weeks. But I look at it this way, I will have a good knee to keep me on my finishing quest.

AND I am going to have some great stitching time! 😉

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

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