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: 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.


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 (  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  ( 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


South Dakota part 2

More travels but I promise this is all…and this has needlepoint at the end. So if just interested in needlepoint, fast forward to last part.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Day 4 brought a day trip to the North Blackhills. We did a big loop again. Through the tunnel and off to Rapid City. We arrived in Rapid City, SD early in the morning and so most shops were closed, (I think OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMike planned this although I really did not see any shops that I couldn’t find at home…still no beading or needlepoint. But art alley was cool…Graffiti art in this alley as far as youOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA could see…on the dumpsters, walls, posts, everything for about three blocks…even some knitting around the poles…
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd on all the corners in downtown Rapid City are bronze statues of all the presidents…Truman touch of home and my favorite Thomas Jefferson.
Also found the Chapel in the Hills (, a unique “Stavkirke” (a medieval wooden Christian church building), OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAan exact replica of 850 yr old Borgund Church in Norway. Very lovely place and the only handwork I’ve seen so far…Hardanger.

Then we were off to Sturgis, yes Sturgis…I wanted to see where thousands of people would gather in a few weeks for a motorcycle rally. Sturgis is Sturgis and it certainly caters to the motorcycle crowds. Another stop to cross off to my bucket list…But NO Needlepoint…and you would think if you could afford a motorcycle you could afford needlepoint.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Deadwood was a complete disappointment to me. Sorry Kevin (Kevin Costner and his family own most of the town), I thought the historic markers were poor and the famous saloon where Wild Bill Hickok was shot is closed. I really expected Deadwood to be less of a commercial town and more of a historical OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAtown. In fairness to DeadwoodOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I thought all the towns (Lead, Cheyenne Crossing, Spearfish, etc… up this way catered more to the motorcycle and gambling tourists than to the beauty of the area. Bridal Veil waterfalls and the lakes were beautiful. I guess I’m too in needlepoint and nature…still no needlepoint.

Day 5. We’ve seen all we came t see and decided to head home via the Badlands…talk about a change of terrain. It is really desolate land, beautiful but desolate. Sometimes OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAreminded me of what I think the moon surface would look like, other times,OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA a gray Grand Canyon but not quite as deep, but deep; it was beautiful in its own unique way. The gift shop at the Cedar Pass Lodge was the nicest seen so far…many local Indian art and beadwork and theOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERArestaurant was wonderful. I had an Indian taco and Indian sweetbread; both were very good (probably not good for me, but usually what is good to eat is usually not healthy for you.)

13-07-26 11 D5 Wall DrugWe did the whole loop with a side trip to Wall Drug ( inOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Wall SD. Wall Drug has grown over the years and no one serves you ice water anymore but the story of Wall Drug is inspiring…”No matter where you live, you can succeed…”
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANext stop was the Corn Palace ( in Mitchell, SD. I had heard about this place all my life since my family had been in some type of grain OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAbusiness all my life. It is so much more than a building with corn and wheat on the outside. We saw the 2012 artwork as the 2013 has not been finished yet and will be unveiled in August (August 20). Many of the drawings displayed on the corn palace are from Oscar Howe, a renowned South Dakota artist. He designed many of the panels for the Corn Palace I am going to do more research on Oscar Howe, I loved his pictures.

Day 6: Sioux Falls to home…Sioux Falls has a beautiful area, Falls Park, don’t miss it. We met, by chance, the local CBS KELO Channel 11 news photo journalist. He was on the observation tower with us OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAdoing a file shot. He pointed out all the points of interest: the meat packing plant that had made this town (Kansas City too in the day); where their stockyards had been (theirs has been torn down too…another bit of history gone); the state prison (looked more like a hospital than a prison); the old courthouse and St Joseph’s Cathedral. We tried to visit St Joseph’s Cathedral ( but it was closed to change the light bulbs…but I did a virtual tour online and if I ever get back to Sioux Falls this will be on my must-see list. We would not have known about all these wonderful places had it not been for this great cameraman…thank you! I even called the TV station and told them how helpful OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAhe had been…I hope he at least gets “an Atta-boy” for this. Their Butterfly House was having a special exhibit and so we made a stop here before heading south and homeward bound.

13-07-26 22 D6 Omaha Village Needleworks
But one more stop…a must see of Omaha, Nebraska, and no it’s not the Zoo although I hear that is great too. Village Needleworks in Omaha, a must see…I know it was an oversight by AAA that it wasn’t listed as “GEM“.  I have to have a needlepoint 13-07-26 24 D6 Omaha Village Needleworksshop and here it is one that is going to be one of the closest to my house about 3 hours away…I see a stitching trip in the future…Maybe a small bus load of stitchers on a day trip or overnighter (then we could get two days of needlepoint shopping & 13-07-26 25 D6 Omaha Village Needleworksstitching). Mary de Souza is the owner and a delightful lady. Her shop was so light and colorful I could have stayed all afternoon. Before we arrive I had told Mike that I did not want to hear, “Let’s go” and to his credit he 13-07-26 23 D6 Omaha Village Needleworksshowed great restraint (see him sitting outside the window picture)…I think he knew I was suffering from needlepoint shop depravation. And I showed great restraint in not going hog wild although it would have been very easy to do so…okay I did have Mary order one canvas for me and I ‘m going to call her and have her order another before she ships…
Oh I felt so much better after this shop stop…the trip was wonderful but this was the best shopping of the week.

13-07-26 26 D6 KC

And now I am home, getting ready to leave again for a week…but only to house sit at my niece’s home bout 15 miles from my house…but there are wild turkeys and deer in her back yard so I will feel like I’m still on vacation…
It’s good to be home and I see a lot of computer work and stitching in my future!
Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have time to stitch today!

Travel Blog: South Dakota

Warning: This is a travel blog, complete with 20+ slides of where I’ve been and what I’ve seen (Well at least 20 photos today and about 20 tomorrow of the 1000+ photos I took). Today only has one remotely stitch related photo…tomorrow has more.
Mike, Lucy and I have always wanted to go to Mt Rushmore and the Badlands and so last week we set out on what was to be a 7-8 day trip to South Dakota.

13-07-25 01 D1 mid Cont US
First stop the geographic center of the continental United States, aka the middle of Kansas with nothing around for miles but corn, wheat, and three horses. My friend Maryanne said I would get a hoot out of this stop and I did. I can now put on my “did it” bucket list that I have been to the “Zero Milestone” in Washington DC and the Geographic Center of United States in Lebanon, Kansas population 218 (2010 census).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThen we were off to South Dakota through the flatlands of Kansas and Nebraska. Lots of corn and wheat lands.

In North Platte, Nebraska we just stumbled across this War MemorialOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA but it is one of the best I’ve ever seen. And if you are traveling I-80 there is no reason not to stop; it is literally right off the 177 exit on the SE side.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADay 2 was off north through Nebraska and into South Dakota; soon began to see the terrain changing from flat farm land to hills and mountains.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd we knew we had arrived when the local wildlife plainly can stop traffic. Oh my, these animals are beautiful and it was the first time we had seen them free and in a herd. What a majestic sight. What I OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAthought was most interesting is that as they were crossing the road in groups of 3 or more, the largest buffalo would stand in the middle of the road until all his group was across and safe (a wildlife crossing guard)
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd it was on into South Dakota (I’ll spare you the 200 pictures of landscape here) and all of a sudden Crazy Horse; even from a distance he is magnificent. We decided to stop and see him but see him is just the beginning…The museum at Crazy Horse is really OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAnice, lots of Indian bead and art work (another 100 or so pictures). 3 hours later, we were back on the road to our hotel, food and bed.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADay 3 we decided to drive the Black Hills, Custer State Park, and Mt. Rushmore, the southern routes from our hotel. We had decided that if we drove first and ended with Mt Rushmore we would not be OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAbacktracking. Oh my, such beautiful country and around every tunnel and turn another view of

Mt Rushmore.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhat amazed us is that you will drive up the mountain and then for miles on top are these beautiful meadows and grasslands, complete with wildlife and wildflowers. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABuffalo and Wild Burros stop traffic on the roads; they would stop traffic even if they weren’t on the road. The wild burros were friendly and would allow you to pet them but they would not move off the road…horn honking or smackingOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA on the hind side OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAonly produced a swift kick from these fellows.






And as you drive along these meadows you will make a slight curve and it back up or down the mountains with rock formations and drop offs that take your breath away. All the rock formations are great but of course my favorite was the “Needle’s Eye”; looked just like a big rock needle stuck in the ground. On Facebook I said it was the needle God used to stitch this beautiful country together and then OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAstuck here for all to see. Notice the clouds building…we were about three quarters around our drive when clouds started building and just as we were driving up to Mt Rushmore again the rain began. So we decided that we would head back to our hotel and do Mt Rushmore by night. A good decision, we had nickel sized hail on the mountain and at our hotel we had just hard rains. Mt. Rushmore is OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAbeautiful anytime but at night it is awesome.
The two things I have noticed about this area is there are no arts shops, I would have thought beading and art would have been everywhere in this area; but tourist trap stuff is in abundance. I have seen more t-shirt shops and novelty shops than you can imagine…and forget needlepoint or needlework of any kind…not here or at least I didn’t find any. I won’t bore you longer today with photos of our trip (and I have plenty), tomorrow I’ll take you north and homeward bound. Saved the best stop until last.
Didn’t get much stitching time except at night in the hotel, I was too busy gawking at the scenery and taking pictures to needlepoint.
Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have time to stitch today! I making up for lost time in the mountains…

What a week!

The old saying, “Time passes quickly when you’re having fun.” is apropos for this week.  This was the week that was…and truly it went by much too quickly…I’d like another, thank you very much. If nothing else was going on this week the weather was beautiful…and I caught a sever case of Spring Fever!

I could barely keep myself inside this week and had the doors open on several occasions…in February! Lucy sniffed every blade of grass in the yard and even wanted to play soccer. From 2 feet of snow on the ground to 70 degrees, love that Mother Nature!…but Jack Frost will be heard from again and not in the too distant future I’m sure.

It was also Valentine’s Day this week. My valentine bought us a picture I have wanted for a long time…Thomas Jefferson painted by Bob Holloway a local artist. I have several of his pictures and love them all.

I also purchased supplies to try needle felting. It looks like fun and something that could be applied to needlepoint as embellishments. I made a ladybug just to see if I could. Since I am not sure yet…was searching the internet last week and bookmarked several stops but haven’t gotten back to them yet. There will be more to come about needle felting I’m sure.

I also picked up a couple packages of rick rack to make rick-rack flowers. Kathy’s blog Shakl told how to do them and I thought they looked like fun and something else that could embellish a needlepoint. When I was a the store picking up needle felting supplies I also picked up two packages of rick rack, I didn’t read the blog close before I left home to know which size to buy. I also bought a rick rack that was one sided (painted). I just had to cut my rick rack and make a couple adjustments. It would have been easier with one color but these turned out just fine for my first try.

Also made a large temari ball. I thought I might participate in Barbra Suess challenge but I may not have enough time since I played this week. You can read all about it and see Barb’s beautiful temari on her blog  or her website . But at least now I have one very large temari ball…unstitched

And poor bunny…well, he is still on the stretcher bars. All the black (except ears) is stitched. Started working on the turkey tuff tail but between the nice weather; trying my new projects; and oh yes I am suppose to be doing computer graphics for a teacher (sh-h-h, maybe she won’t notice it is taking me forever) I haven’t made much progress. I tried to stitch six thread lengths a day but I am about 24 threads behind this week…but who’s counting.

And that’s the week that was in the Midwest…and now I’m off to enjoy the rest of this beautiful day. Lucy and I are taking a walk and then we are cooking on the grill tonight. If Mother Nature wants to tease us, we are going to enjoy every moment!

 I hope everyone has beautiful weather too and if you can squeeze it in…time to stitch!  ttfn…sue

We interrupt this blog…

for a return from my finisher…

Thomas Jefferson

My finisher called me yesterday and said Thomas Jefferson was finished, so I did not write my blog but went to pick him up. TJ looks so good and I may have to order another from Anne at ABS Designs ( or her blog The Cape Stitcher ( to stitch and keep for myself. But since I have my red white & blue patriotic stuff out until Sept I know the recipient (my Granddaughter) will not mind if I store TJ with my other patriotic things until then. She is going to receive him as a birthday gift in December and he is probably safer out with the other things than put away somewhere I could forget him.

 Isn’t he cute?! Thank you Anne for painting my favorite President.

Tomorrow I will post more on the Pulled Thread Postcards.


TJ is going to the finisher tomorrow




 misc-very-velvet-in-needleStitching TJ,aka Thomas Jefferson from ABS Designs ( was fun…I used Rainbow Gallery Very Velvet for most of his clothing and Rainbow Gallery ( Patent Leather for TJ’s shoes. Very Velvet and Patent Leather are easy to use for stitching if you follow a few easy hints: #1. Use short lengths – I use 12 to 15 inches max. #2 Use a larger needle than you would normally use to stitch- I use a #20 or #22 Tapestry or Chenille on 18 count canvas. #3 When threading needle use a short tail and do not move the needle around on the thread while stitching. The Patent Leather will not wear like the Very Velvet but it will distress the thread at the eye of the needle. I also lay the Patent Leather on the front and back.  






 For me, the hardest part of stitching TJ was his hair, it is a Loose Basketweave. For me, Basketweave is one of those stitches that is relaxing and a “no brainer”; and I can tell if I’m tired or irritated because my Basketweave stitches are tighter. For the most part my tension on the thread becomes second nature, it is just part of the stitch process… But if that tension 09-abs-tjefferson-55is changed on purpose it takes concentration. I kept finding myself, watching TV and just normally stitching and then would have to “frog stitch” and then loosely re-stitch the Basketweave. After all the stitching is complete, it is then picked/pulled with a sharp needle and that gives TJ his soft curly look. It is a good stitch to learn, so that when French Knots seems too much Loose Basketweave is a good 09-abs-tjefferson-63substitute. The stitch can even be stitched looser and can have a loop effect; play with this, it is fun.


I think he turned out very nice and can hardly wait to get him back…I’ll post a picture of him finished. Now I am going to go back to work and do some computer work for a few days.



TJ update


Thomas Jefferson is progressing. I think I am becoming one of those stitchers who does not like to stitch black on black. I had a difficult time keeping RG Very Velvet ( ) on the true diagonal for his hat. I tried the white cloth of the lap, light under the canvas, more powerful magnification, every trick I had been told over the years…but the best for me seemed to be daylight window with white cloth on my lap.


Anyway the black is all completed now but I have to make a trip [oh darn 😉 ] to LNS to get gold (002) Kreinik ( #8 braid; I have #4-12-16 and ribbon but no #8 (at least that I can find). And I’m sure something else will pop into my hands, this is how stash enhancement starts. You never get just what you are going to purchase and pretty soon you have a whole room of necessary stitching supplies…But alas, never the ones you need for the current project.


I also need (notice I say need not want) to look for hair threads.  On the right of  TJ canvas you can see when I have been experimenting with TJ’s hair color. This is what I had decided upon, 2 colors of Epic ( mixed in the needle…but you never know what I might discover. History trivia: Thomas Jefferson was described as a strawberry blond or light red head. And even though powdered wigs and hair were the style of the day, Jefferson never did anything to his golden locks.  


Stash Enhancement…a beautiful circle of stitching life.



Happy Birthday TJ

Saturday and Sunday I pulled the threads for my new take along project; ABS Designs’  ( Thomas Jefferson or TJ as I like to call him. I am a big Thomas Jefferson fan and April 13th was his birthday, so “Happy Birthday TJ.”


Thomas Jefferson ( ) is my favorite president; he has my favorite monument ( ) in Washington DC and Monticello ( )  is my favorite president’s home. Thomas Jefferson felt you were never too old to learn and grow. His love of country is documented in his service to our country: Governor of Virginia, Minister to France, Secretary of State, Vice-President, and 2 terms President. He was the author of the Declaration of Independence and the Statue of Virginia for Religious Freedom; gave books to start the Library of Congress; lawyer; inventor; architect; and horticulturist. He was responsible for the largest acquisition of land to the US (Louisiana Purchase) and exploration of those lands (Lewis and Clark expedition) and he founded the University of Virginia. The epitaph on his tombstone tells what he was most proud of:






I never go back east that I don’t try to visit Monticello. One year, my husband and I did the garden tour and the sunflowers were in full bloom. We have this running joke about sunflowers; they are the state flower of Kansas and grow wild everywhere in Kansas & Missouri. So, I said to my husband, “Obnoxious weed, Jefferson must have been trying to figure out how to kill it.” Anyway the docent heard me and very indignantly informed me that these sunflowers were from the original seed brought back from the Lewis and Clark expedition and are a cash crop. She went on to say that many plants had been sent back to Jefferson during the expedition. Imagine that, the first UPS system from the middle of the Louisianan Purchase to Monticello. I am not a gardener by any stretch of the imagination, but I am told by gardeners that the diaries kept by Jefferson are wonderful. And his gardens are a picture!


Thomas Jefferson died on July 4th.. It never ceases to amaze me how far he traveled and what he accomplished; AND all without cars & planes; computers & cell phones; Facebook, twitter, etc.


Who knew you were going to get a history class and stitching all in the same post?




Back to my stitching…Thomas Jefferson’s eyes are up for discussion. Some say they were light blue, light gray, hazel or brown. I chose to think of his eyes as a blue gray and combined gray (DMC 415) with blue (DMC 926.)


The White House biography and many pictures show and describe him as, “Freckled and sandy-haired” so after basketweaving his face with flesh (DMC 948), I randomly overstitched his face with 2 ply darker flesh (DMC 758) to give him the ruddy, freckled face as described.


I didn’t get to far yesterday, but I was taking life easy after Easter.  But TJ was begun on his birthday and by the 4th of July should be proudly displayed in the summer needlepoint collects. Then in December, he is going to be a birthday gift to my granddaughter who collects nutcrackers.