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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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