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!

ttfn…sue

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Finishing: ornaments 2: square or rectangle

As you probably guessed by now I am a glue person. I can lace a piece of needlepoint, I have and I will again but sometimes I just have too many ornaments to finish at one time. See the carrots from a few years ago (https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2011/04/26/recipe-for-finishing-carrots/) that was a production. And truthfully I would much rather have my Grandchildren carry around their ornaments in their sticky little hands (although I would prefer they didn’t have sticky fingers…but you know what I mean). The look of delight and love in their eyes when they see their favorite ornament is worth far more than any museum could ever offer me for a piece of my needlepoint

Today is finishing square and rectangle ornaments…there are only two differences between round /oval ornaments and square/rectangle ornaments. You don’t have to clip curves, there are none but you do have to miter the corners. It’s a trade off and personally I think the  round/oval is easier but I also like the look of the square/rectangle. And I really make more square ornaments than round ones…geometrics usually are square.

Again RULE ONE is having all materials at hand. I can’t emphasis this enough and trust me you will get frustrated if you have to stop and go to the craft store to purchase something (been there, bought that T-shirt many times).

Let’s get started.

Finishing:  Square/rectangle ornaments using illustration board (glue method)

You will need:

Blocked ornament (all needlepoint needs to be blocked)

Backing material

Lining material if needed

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

Illustration Board: medium weight

Glue:  use archival save glue please

Clips to hold needlework and backing fabric

Sewing thread to match backing and complement needlework.

Beeswax

Sharp needle

Hanger (can use cording) another post…

Usual sewing supplies: pins, scissors, clips etc.

1.I press the backing fabric to get the creases out, if lining ornament (you only need to line an ornament if you did an open background stitch or your design has large open areas (not stitched).

2. Measure ornament and cut out illustration board cutouts; cut two same size: one for needlepoint, second for backing. I usually make these a tad smaller than the measurement; this is not an exact measurement, it is really by trial and error method because it actually depends on how much padding you use. Example:  needlepoint measures 3 inches x 3 inches, I make the illustration board about 2 7/8 inch by 2 7/8 inch.

Make sure these 2 cut outs are the same, trim if necessary. I mark mine with an up arrow so I know how they are to be put together.

3.Cut quilt batting; I usually use two for the back and three on the front. Number 1 is cut about 1/4 inch smaller than illustration board; number 2 is cut 1/4 inch smaller than first; and number 3 is cut a 1/4 inch smaller than number 2. You can do this as many times as you want, but four is about the most I’ve seen.

 

4.Cut backing fabric 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch larger than the illustration board.

 

5.Cut needlepoint 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch larger than the illustration board, trim corners diagonally. If using a lining for needlepoint cut this too. For ornaments on illustration board I use the same size lining fabric as needlepoint and you will aple the lining first and then repeat the same process for the needlework.

 

6.I glue the quilt batting to the illustration board with a dot of glue to hold in place. Start with smallest cut batting and largest batting goes on top.

At this point if your needlework need lining do lining first and then repeat with needlework. You do not need to finger press the lining fabric.

7.With wrong side of needlepoint (lining fabric) up, Finger press the corners and sides. Place illustration board over needlework.

8.Place a bead of glue on back side of illustration board at the corners. Start with the corners, turning them in to start mitered corner. I usually do one side and then the opposite side. It is important to keep design centered on the illustration board. Allow to set.

9.Run a small bead of glue along opposite edges of the illustration board and turn needlework bto the back , finish mitering the corners and secure in place with clips until set.

10.Repeat steps #6-7-8-9 with backing fabric

11.When set remove clips from needlepoint and backing illustration boards.

12.Attach purchased hanger if desired or can make from cording.

13.On wrong/back sides of illustration board place thin layer of  glue over the backs of the illustration board;. Keep glue about 1/4  inch from edge as I don’t want any seeping out. Leave an opening to place the cording ends between the layers. Place two canvases together and secure with clips. Allow to dry completely.

14. Make cording and attach with pins. Hide one end in the opening left in Step 12 and when finished placing cording, hind second end.

15. 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.

Notice that I do not glue cording! I guess you could if you’re good but I personally like to sew my cording.

16. Enjoy

 

 

 

Lacing Method is the same except that you turn all to back and hold in place with clips or pins. Lacing should begin in the middle of a side and proceed to 1st miters. Stitch the miters as you go around.

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

ttfn…sue

Pi Day

We are going to a wedding reception this afternoon and were asked to bring our favorite pie…I really didn’t think anything of it  (the host is a great pie lover) until this week and the news media started taking about Pi Day. Then it hit me…they are just waiting to see who bites (pardon the pun).

In case you don’t know, today is Pi Day.

What is Pi Day you ask?

Saturday, March 14 is a very special Pi Day that comes but once in a century. That’s right, it’s 3-14-15, the only time before 2115 that the date reflects five digits of the magical, infinite number, 3.141592653…from the Washington Post

15 used instructionsSo I had to make a pi/pie. Only kind that I knew would be successful was the kind I stitch. So I charted one and stitched it. I have included the chart and finishing instructions as a PDF in case anyone else wants to do one. Pi day is every year; this year just is special because it is 3-14-15

15-03-14 Pi ornament aBUT my little creative mind did not stop here… We had  bought the lucky couple a pie plate and were going to give them cash (not very creative but wait…last night I had this great inspiration…we are going to get $1 and 2 bills to line the pie plate (representing 3). and then fill with 14 dimes and nickels (representing.1415) and cover with cling wrap.  Our pi pie.

Well I must be more of a nerd than I though but this just appealled to me.

 

15-0314 Pi ornament bAnd my real pie…coming from the store of course!

If you have trouble downloading the Pi instructions just email me and I will send you the PDF version. I may not get to it until later today or tomorrow as I am on my way to a St. Patrick’s Parade and then I am going to the wedding reception.

 

 

BTW here are some pretty cool places to visit today …all about PI:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2015/03/14/pi-day-kids-videos/24753169/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/03/14/10-stunning-images-show-the-beauty-hidden-in-pi/

Thank you for stopping by to visit, I hope you find time to stitch today or do whatever helps you be creative!

ttfn…sue

PS if you hold up 3.14 (have to have pointed 4) it is this: 🙂

15-03-14 pie reverse

Happy Valentine’s Day

One day inspiration struck and I stitched part of a design to see if it would work and so I had this partially completed canvas lying around. I also have a drawer(s) full of buttons, pins, and tchotchkes (trinkets) waiting to find a canvas. So combine one button from LaMode with a partially finished canvas and you have a 2 1/2 scissor fob, small ormament, whatever.

So one day I put it in the computer and today I’m giving to anyone who would like to have it.

One trinket+ one small canvas + stash threads+ 2 hours + finishing = one cute gift.

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15-02-14 I Love Squares layoutHappy Valentine’s Day. Hope it is a sweet one.

Thank you for stopping by to visit, I hope you find time to stitch today or do whatever helps you be creative! ttfn…sue

P.S. If you need me to email you a PDF version just let me know…happy to do it.

All Rolled up…the Roll-ups are finished…Thank goodness

Finishing: Roll-ups

(each type of finishing has its own specific ins and outs. )

Bottom of roll-up will only have a beginning and ending open area, no hanger.

14-09-06 cord apply 01 begin bury end1. Pin the cording to needlework burying the beginning and ending knots.

On roll-ups, if I have a loop end I start with this end, otherwise I bury the knot. Sometimes if long cord 14-09-06 cord apply 02  pinhas been made you will only have the loop for one of your finishes. Just bury the knotted in a twist or two deeper and loop through the twist; this takes some practice but it can be just as effective.

14-09-06 cord apply 03 other half2. Pin around top. I pin cording from left to right but sew right to left (see #4 below)

3. If making the hanger; run cording through the loop or cording twist. (see #1 above).

Leave a hanger length on the top. Then go through the cording again and bury the knot.

NOTE — Top hanger: if hanger has been inserted in top (see blog: https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2014/08/26/hanger-in-the-top-piece/) just go through loop, knot twice( if extra cording is available), cut and bury the knot.

4. Using a waxed thread (sewing thread or a length of floss to match cording.) I sew with right side of needlework facing me; and I sew from right to left. I try to start right at the end where the two cords are buried and I catch the left end only and just tack it. When I come back around I secure the cording beginning and ending well (this is also where top loop hanger comes in.) This allows me some “fudge” room in case the cording is too loose or pulled to tight.

Remember to sew the opening(s) closed where the cording knots were inserted at the beginning and end. At these openings, I do not try to do a ladder stitch, but rather just slip stitch well. Ornaments do not take a lot of wear and tear so the cording just h14-09-06 cord apply 04 stitch through cordingas to be attached securely. I sometimes slip my needle back and re-stitch areas where the canvas has been left open and where the cording passes through itself and the knots are hidden.

14-09-06 cord apply 05 stitch through cordingGo through the cording, NOT over the cording. Going over the cording will make dimples in the cording (not pretty).

5. Tie off thread by running back and forth several times in the needlework. Cut close to finished needlework.

Enjoy

14-09-06 lewis roll upsAnd this brings an end to finishing the roll ups. I have six roll-ups waiting to be given as a gift and two for me.  The six are from a local needlework artist, Joan Lewis. She is no longer painting but I think she has some of her designs still left, if you are 14-09-06 betsy & TJinterested I will ask her. Thomas Jefferson and Betsy Ross are Ann Stradal ABS Designs and are available on her website (http://www.absdesignsonline.com/)  I’ve stitched  Thomas Jefferson twice but this is the first one I finished. I am a TJ fan from way back, I think Monticello is the prettiest Presidential House of them all and if I had owned it I would have had a hard time letting go of it.  I always 14-09-06 TJ tricornsaw him was a triangular shape, even though it is backwards of the true Tricornes  (https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/i-am-all-stuffed-out/) And Betsy I did put a hanger on but for no14-09-06 Betsy hangerw it a ribbon down her back and I just love her basket and the bullions on her hat and shawl…not that I loved doing the bullions…I just like the way they look.

 

General thoughts on finishing:

I will tell you this from experience, the more you finish the easier it gets and when you do several pieces of the same type (i.e. Roll-ups, ornaments, pillows, etc.) you get into an assembly line rhythm.

You may not like finishing; finishing is not for everyone but I think you should try one time just so you appreciate the work that goes into this art.  The finishers I know are really good at what they do and are fast considering that they do many pieces every week and then think of the season rush…Christmas, Halloween and Easter. It is pretty mind blowing to me; I would never make it as a finisher. If I make a boo-boo on my own needlework, it is one thing BUT if I made a boo-boo on someone else’s needlework I would be devastated. And I think you have a tendency to be much more particular when you are paying someone to finish than you are when you do it yourself. Finishing is a completion of your needlework. Whether you consciously think about it or not, you have a finished product in mind while you are stitching the needlework. And after you are done stitching you take or send your needlework to a shop to have it finished. Scary. Most shops do not let you talk to the finisher, so you better be able to convey your thoughts to the needlepoint shop person. Do you want simple or elaborate. Remember, unless you convey to the shop (who conveys this to the finisher) what you want…you may not get back what your mind sees as the finished product.

Patty Morrison was a local finisher and God called her home much too quickly for her family and friends. Patty always had a smile on her face and was one of those uplifting people you wanted to spend time with every day. I asked her one time how she did so many types of finishing. She told me she tried when possible to lump several together, ornaments, pillows, stockings etc. (the assembly line production) while keeping them in close date order to the way they arrived. She looked at every piece of needlework as if she had stitched it and was giving it to a special friend. She loved it when a needle worker would say on finishing instructions, “Do your magic, I would like a blue fabric” Or “do your magic.” She also said she thought of finishing as having her art shine through other people’s needlework; she was helping people complete their idea.

I have lots more to finish but it will be a few weeks before I have any more finishing but I promise to post when I do. I also have a desk full of work, many new ideas floating around in my head for the blog and needlework designs and of course enough stitching to keep me busy for a long time.

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

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

Roll up finishing has begun

My fingers hurt…first I pulled needlework then I stuck myself with pins and needles…I know two thing for sure:

#1. I will never be a professional finisher! I will be able to talk somewhat intelligently about it but I will not get better with practice. I do not enjoy it that much and I am a true believer of if you do it you should enjoy it. But I will have the feeling of accomplishment when summer is over; I will have Christmas ornaments for sons and grandchildren, and I get to share all my stuff at a guild meeting, an added bonus.

#2. I will never be a junkie that requires sharp objects….I knew there was a reason we use blunt needles!
14-07-16 RU-a TG trimBUT, I am progressing nicely…I have eight roll-ups I am finishing…so you may see different roll-ups for different stages. I am doing all the roll-up at the same
time so when I cut the canvas to within 1/2 inch of stitching, I cut all of them. My problem seems to be I can’t remember to take a picture of the same needlepoint.

14-07-16 RU-b TG fold & pinThen with my fabric creaser (saves the fingers and the nails) I mitered all the corners and then I turned the sides in and pined all.

Then the stitching began…I used a long (about the only good thing I can say is 18 inches is NOT the required length of thread for finishing), as long a thread as you can comfortably manage is a good length…and I have long arms. I used regular sewing thread that I doubled in the needle and ran several times through beeswax.

14-07-16 RU-e beeswaxBeeswax may be purchased at the notions counter of your local sewing center, You can purchase either just the beeswax or beeswax in a cute little holder. I have both, not because I needed a cute little container but because since I am a stitching collector, I needed one. I usual thread and knot (yes knots are acceptable in finishing) the doubled thread and then run it through the beeswax a couple times. I think beeswax keeps the thread from tangling as much and it adds strength to the thread.

14-07-16 RU-c sew sidesI start stitching in the middle of one side, using a running stitch to secure the turn back to the backside of the stitching. A running stitch catches a few of the needlework stitches, then comes up through the unstitched border, see picture.  I make sure I do 14-07-16 RU-d sew miternot go through to the front and only catch a few threads. I did not do this but you could cut a lightweight piece of pelon or muslin (white or natural) to fit the design area and then turned and pinned the extra canvas to the muslin; tacking stitches will then be secured to the muslin. I will do this to ornaments that have open stitching and need lining later. It is a good idea to line pieces with muslin if you are afraid you will disturb stitching on the front.

I stitch to a corner and then secure the corner together, making sure I have a flat turned corner and then continue around the roll-up securing the mitered corners as I go. End this thread.

14-07-16 RU-f rollup pinNext came the pining of the roll-ups. Ouch, I stuck myself several times…Okay I am klutzy but I don’t do this often. After I got them all pinned then with another waxed double thread to match the stitching (i.e. black for black; but if the design is mufti colored just picked a color that blended…if this stitch is done correctly you won’t see it anyway.) I probably used white for both of these.

I stitched the roll ups from the top down. There should have been no problem with one side being longer than another but should that problem arise make sure the top and bottom are even and then the excess should be fudged in the lower half of the design. If you are more than three or four threads off you may want to figure out why.

I just had a friend who forgot to put the border around one piece of a purse and this didn’t get noticed until the finisher was ready to put the purse together. Lucky, the finisher had left about 5/8 inch canvas around the piece because my friend has three rows of stitching to put around the piece. Opps…

14-07-16 RU-e beeswaxWith a waxed double thread (does not have to be that long, but long enough not to run out; I stitch the sides together with  a Ladder Stitch (because that is what the lady who taught me called it). I have also heard it called the Hidden 14-07-16 RU-g ladder stitch graphicApplique Stitch. I catch 2 or three canvas threads on one side and then 2-3 canvas 14-07-16 RU-g stitchthreads on the other side. About every 4-6 stitches I give the thread an extra tug to pull the sides and thread tightly together. I use this stitch to stitch the ends on also and anytime I am stitching a piece of needlework together or to a backing.

14-07-16 RU-h spoolBefore I go this time want to share this little tip I learned at the sewing store last week…If you have thread spools that still have that little cut in one side to secure the thread, mark the slit with a waterproof pen and you won’t be looking for it. I know the new spools have Kreinik type secure spools and I love them but I have old spools and some of the store brand threads have not gotten the updated spools.

After I get all these stitched up I’ll start the tops and bottoms and stuffing.

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