Quick point

Does anyone do Quick Point anymore? I do, only when my niece asked me to stitch a stocking for her new daughter-in-law. (Keep in mind, I seldom do quick-point and even less often do I do Christmas stockings. But this was a tradition stared by her mother-in –law and I do do traditions…plus I’m a pushover when a niece asks for something…remember me, only child Mother of three sons and six grandsons…I live in a male world. Okay, I have three lovely daughter-in-laws and three granddaughters but we are still a minority! I digress…)

My niece and I decided that all the in-laws would have the same sex appropriate stocking with their names…boy or girl snow people. We had a boy, left over from 12-6-12 balletthe 1st set…I just could not bring myself to stitch a snowman for my niece and so I had a ballerina with red hair painted for her. But of course we needed a girl snowperson, and as my luck would have it, none had been painted, but it was a good idea and one could be done. Great! So late last spring our new girl arrived… only now Paternayan yarns were out of production and it was unknown if they would ever produce again. Even the tapestry yarn was limited and I tried to stitch with other threads but did not like the look. I finally decided to bite the bullet and head for a yarn shop, but that did not seem to work either. The thick yarns seemed to fray easily or they did not have the bright colors to blend with the other stockings. Dismayed I fretted through the summer and had about decided a trip to Lawrence Kansas and the Yarn Barn (www.yarnbarnks.com/) was in order…maybe they could $pin and dye the color$ I needed. I figured I would have to get enough to do at least the background color for all five possible future stockings. Before I headed to Lawrence I happen to stop by JoAnn’s Fabric and craft and came across a couple yarns I thought might work if they would hold up and not fray. Their Chenille (http://www.lionbrand.com/yarns/newchenille.html) would have been great for the snow people but it did not stitch well, frayed. Hometown USA

yarn

yarn

(http://www.lionbrand.com/yarns/hometownUSA.html?categoryKey=1694622&start=0&pageLength=15) seemed the best choice for my needs. The colors were mostly clear and crisp, it did not fray or pill while stitching. The white stitched well but would the dark blue do as well without painting? Quick try of the dark blue and I was off to buy yarns.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI wanted to do some decorative stitches and so I experimented in the margins. I always like to have extra space around the canvas to play…a doodle place of sorts. I tried plying the strand; there are 4 ply to each strand. I stitched with 2 ply successfully and used this method on the apron and hat.  The top of the hat is stitched using 2 ply light blue in a reversing continental, the bottom is 1 strand light blue in an

Hat and eyes

Hat and eyes

Encroaching Gobelin. The area is separated with 2 ply green stitched in an outline stitch.

The eyes are 2 ply black Rice Stitches and the mouth is 2 ply French knots

The Apron is three colors of yarn: light blue, green and bright blue. The edgings are

Apron

Apron

overlapping cross stitches and the plaid at the bottem is filled with cross stitches in green and light blue . All used a full strand except cross stitches, they were 2 ply.

The arms are wrapped fly stitches using a full strand of yarn and pulled snugly.  The candy cane is a full strand of yarn stitched over a padding thread used to raise the candy cane to appear as high as the arms. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The wreath was going to be 2 stands of green French Knots filled with a strand of the yellow French Knots but it looked skimpy so I redid using a full strand of the green yarn. The bow was tied on after all French knots are in place and I anchored the knot wit two over stitches and also anchored the ends with French knots.

wreath

wreath

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Snow girls is embellished with a store bought button for the hat and twisted DMC Memory Thread for her nose.

Finished and hanging by Christmas is not going to happen but it is stitched. I safety pined it to a bag so it can hang and have a present added…after Christmas will send to finisher. I have a friend who stitches pieces and gives to someone for one occasion and then has it finished for another occasion…pretty smart idea considering the cost of some needlepoint…maybe she could stretch it to three occasion gift by giving canvas and threads first, then stitched, then finished…Humm, I wonder if I could try that?

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This is the end of my Christmas stitching for this year with one exception, I’ll show you that Christmas day. It’s a surprise! I hope this little project helps anyone with a quick point piece in their stash to find the yarn to stitch their piece. My biggest hope is that the company that has purchased the Paternayan rights will also produce Quick point yarn too. I can dream, but if not I hope Lion brand does not discontinue their bulky line.

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

More on the classes

My desk is looking better but still has lots of projects to complete; four down four to go and that is the computer work.  Stitching projects are still holding at four, well maybe five in the nest…millions in the wings (I’m going to live forever if my needlework round-toit projects are any indication.)  I think I will refrain from signing up for another class for awhile but I won’t make any promises.

Many of you are heading for San Antonio and the national ANG seminar (http://www.needlepoint.org/Seminar-11/index.php) … have a great time and keep us posted about all the good times. I’ve always thought they should call it the “Great American Stitch-in.” When I did attend, there was always a place where everyone could gather and stitch into the wee hours of the morning. I learned lots of new ideas, new techniques, found new threads and met many great friends here…I do hope they still have this area…that’s what we are all really about…stitching, learning and sharing. So all you wonderful stitchers have a great time, stay cool and keep us posted on what’s happening.

Here are my first two Christmas presents completed; now if I can just remember where I stash them and to whom I plan to give them. There was one small hitch with the finishing but the framer made it worth the mi$take ; one was suppose to have a blue mat, but two pictures framed for under $100 is very rare (one would be rare), so I’m not complaining.

Here’s the progress on my class, Laura Perin’s, One Long Panel (http://laurajperindesigns.tripod.com/index.htm). I am keeping up with the class and this week I have two weeks to complete the area (our instructor is headed forSan Antonio). I try to make every class or even just a project I do learning experience.

First I started stitching the border, I always pay attention to the where and how I going to anchor my threads, so I sometimes change the stitch order, especially if it does not affect the appearance of the stitch. I did this for the Overlapping Cross stitches in the border. Our instructor for the class suggested we stitch the sides of the border as we go because there has been a discrepancy in the count (more about that later) so I just stitch far enough to complete the next session but I do make sure I have places to hid travel threads and bury threads starts and stops.

I happened to notice while stitching the first panel that I did not care for the green in this overdye with the other thread choices, so I removed it. Yes, I added to my ort jar…gone. Now you might ask why I just didn’t choice another thread with no green…remember this is a class and the threads were in a kit. Purchasing a new thread was an option, but I also could purchase one more overdye with the same dyelot number in case I will need it (and it looks like I will).  So I am manipulating the thread by removing a portion of the thread…

And I am also watching the placement of these stitches. Before stitching areas of the piece, I am really thinking about the order/ direction I am placing the stitches.  I am not only watching where the colors may be placed but I am watching how I place the stitches. I noticed when doing the first panel I could see the travel threads being carried from one stitch area to the next, but if I thought about the placement these travel threads were not so visible. So I made a decision to take the time to plan my stitch order while I was still trying to place the color in a pleasing placement. You can see when I hold the canvas up to the light  the open areas and when you look at the front close up you can see it too.  It may have been unnecessary but it was an interesting study and I will know.

On panel 1 and 2 when stitching with the overdye I placed the center stitch of these areas first and then placed the outside stitches next. I did not pre-plan panel 1 (LP Area 2) this way; the instructor/ moderator suggested this placement to get the stitch in the correct place. So after panel 1 was done this way I decided to repeat it for panel 2(LP Area 4)

 On panel three (LP Area 6) I stitched both sides of the area (Herringbone) at the same time so the overdye was symmetrical, others in the class stitched up one side and down the other (I’ll try and take a picture of this and show next time.) I also tried not the have the overdye cross the open areas where the Rhodes Stars were to be placed. And when I stitched these Rhodes Stars I buried my travel threads.

The rest will have to wait for another day, must get back to the computer.

Those of you heading for San Antonio have a stitching good time and if you have a blog don’t forget to write!

 Thank you for stopping by and spending a few moments with me; hope you have time to stitch today! ttfn…sue

Bunny Progress

Good thing our streets are clean and my DH could get out this morning, otherwise we might have had to put sleeping pills in his coffee. I think he was beginning suffering from Cabin Fever, Brain Freeze or Snow Stupor, and maybe a combination of all. Yesterday, out of the clear blue he asked me if I was stitching the bunny because it was the Chinese Year of the Rabbit. I simple answered that I obviously needed to do more shopping, since my 100 or so rabbits with blue coats and carrots collection was too small for him to notice. That sent him to his computer and I did not hear from him until lunch.  

The then news media announced the Punxsutawney Phil in Punxsutawney Pa didn’t see his shadow and they would have an early spring. Well congratulations to the Pennsylvania folks; I am very happy for them and envious too. Because here in the Midwest, the rodent would have to have been blind not to see his shadow and so I’m guessing with out -10 degree temperatures with a wind chill of -15 it will be at least 6 more weeks until we see crocus and jonquils popping up through this snow. 

And with this bone chilling weather I am so-o-o-o very happy that I can stitch, compute and read. With my blanket (camouflage army liner for sleeping bag supplied by 2nd son from his army days, too warm) shared by Lucy and hot chocolate, I’m as snug as a bug in a rug! I can zone out and only have to face the harsh reality of the snow and cold when either Lucy needs to go out (and that is only when her eyes turn green and she’s walking with all four legs crossed) or I need more hot chocolate, nature or food calls me.  

The bunny is progressing nicely his coat and tail are completed and I have cut the felt for the tulips. Hopefully,  by the end of the today I should be finished with him and he should be heading to the finisher on Friday or Saturday. I do have a problem but it is not with the stitching, it is the materials I am planning on using. I decided the tulips should be appliqued and I am using felt. I had all but the one pink and so last week I headed out to find a pink that I could use. I was open to the possibility that my pink could be the lightest or the middle value. I went to two local national craft stores and then to the national fabric store. The felt is awful compared to what I bought just last year. I purchased one but it is almost paper-thin as you can see in the picture. Since I was at the fabric store I checked both in the craft area and the cut fabrics; most of the felts were thinner than ever, some were thicker but you could tell these colors were not the most popular colors and were probably older. When I got home I noticed that felt I purchased last year (yellow) was better than the felt I just purchased but was also a bit lighter than the stuff I’ve had for several years. I took a picture, hope you can see the differences…the top row are felts I have had, yellow is felt I purchased I last two years and pink is the newest. Since I seldom use felt and I have a nice stash of the older felt for my purposes I will have time to research and study other alternatives, but I sure feel sorry for those felt artists that love to work with this media, I thought the felt I saw was of poor quality. If you are a felt designer or artist out there, where do you get your felt and have you seen a difference in the quality of felt?

Okay, enough of the felt box stand, back to my stitching plan. I am planning to stitch the carrots with 2 colors of Epic wool (persimmon and sienna) in padded satin stitches. I’m going to pad the carrots with orange #3 DMC perle cotton. I will slant the stitches on three of the carrots to match the slant they are painted. I am planning on doing the leaves with a Radial Satin stitch using all 3 ply of the Emerald Watercolours as it comes out of the skein (I am NOT stripping this thread). I will then use #3 DMC perle cotton very dark green (890) to place the veins on the leaves in an Outline/Stem stitch when the leaves are completed. I’m going to stitch the center portion of the tulips in a Diagonal Mosaic with a dark value pink, medium value yellow and light value purple #3 DMC perle cotton to blend with my felts. Then I am going to stitch the petals of the tulips using felt and padding. I made one master petal pattern and then adjusted it according to the tulips on the canvas. I have also cut the appropriate padding from quilt batting that I keep for finishing ornaments and padding appliques. After all the flowers and carrots are complete I plan on stitching the carrot tops in a Fly stitch using 4mm overdyed green silk ribbon; and I will stitch the tulip stems in a Wrapped Chain Stitch using #3 DMC perle cotton very dark green. The basket will be stitched with #3 DMC perle cotton very dark brown (838) and Walnut Watercolours (NOT striped). I’m going to pad the very top with dark brown perle cotton 3 or 4 times and cover with an Overlapping Cross Stitch so it will look like a lip to the basket. Directly below this I am going to pad again with perle cotton 2-3 times and stitch a Diagonal Gobelin over this using the dark brown perle cotton very forth stitch and filling in with Watercolours. The body of the basket will be stitched in rows: #3 DMC perle cotton very dark brown (838) used for the Continental Stitch outlines filed with a giant rectangular Flat Stitch using the unstripped Watercolours.

Okay enough with the planning, off to get more hot chocolate, and then to some serious stitching today. Can’t believe I might have three posts in the same week…see there are some good things to come from cold and snow.

I hope everyone is staying warm and safe… AND I hope everyone will have time to stitch today!  ttfn…sue