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

Sky and Cloud

Oh what a week end, hot,  rain and stitching. Wish I could say the only cloud in the sky was on this piece of needlepoint, but it wasn’t. Really been a strange summer, not too hot (good thing) but way too much of the wet stuff (not good for the crops and fresh produce we all love to eat.)  But,  I managed to stitch away the week-end…(although I probably should have spent some time on this computer…I have so many half started projects that it would probably take me the rest of the year to just put a dent in these projects. Anna Stradal (blog: http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/) of ABS Designs (http://www.absdesignsonline.com/) calls it “Creative avoidance”, but that is another post for another day.)

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Clouds: Smyrna Cross

I decided to do the cloud in a traditional Smyrna Cross using #12 White perle Cotton. I wanted the clouds to have a little puff but not enough that the butterfly would sink into the cloud.

The sky is easy. I had seen this stitch somewhere and though it would make a great sky or background (sorry I do not remember where)  I also knew I could use it without much

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Sky 

compensation (although I think I forgot and did compensate in a few places (BUT if you are close enough to see these, you are too close to the needlework…please back away.) I have to finish the sky and especially around the butterfly. So I think I’ll stitch behind the kids first and then I won’t be tempted to stop and play with couching on the butterfly.

2015-07-23 MS JapButterfly  sky

Hopefully by the end of the week I can have this piece ready to be blocked. And next week is when I hide out at my niece’s house…my big job is to let the dogs out three times a day and watch the wildlife in her back yard.  I spend the rest of my time watching old movies and stitching…no work just relax and watch the wildlife and dogs.

And I have several other pieces in the works I want to get to stitch this summer too, so I am taking one of these with me.

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

ttfn…sue

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

Hiding out is such fun

Every year my niece asks me if I would like to house-sit and dog-sit, Frankie & 14-07-30 peachesJoey? And every year I say yes…Who wouldn’t, this is like a vacation in the city.
The whole house to me (and two loveable puppies) and nature right out my back door. I’m 5 minutes from good food too (don’t even have to cook.)
14-07-30 tomatoesBut I found a fruit and vegetable stand and have been eating fresh tomatoes and
peaches like there is no tomorrow…and every morning I have coffee to this…   14-07-30 view

 

 

 

 

 

 

14-07-30 DoeAnd the first day I was here a doe brought by her babies to visit. I have seen twins before but this doe has triplets; it was like she knew this was going to be my special week and she wanted to start it off right…she checked out the area while the babes stayed 14-07-30 doe and triplesback and then she brought them up for me to see. I was so excited my pictures are blurry but you can see all three. What away to start my house sitting. And so far it has been perfect I have read three books in four days, even managed to needlepoint and watch nature out the windows. And this week the weather has been cool enough to sit on the deck and do all the above…too perfect!.

14-07-30 ABS BoxI decided to start my needlepoint lighthouse journey with Anne’s Portland Head, ME lighthouse since I have the same box she used to finish the piece (this might be a quick finish) I know that Anne is a master at needle blending skies and I wanted to try this method, so I spent the better part of  a day last week researching her blog (http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/) for sky stitching and lucky for anyone interested I kept a record… Here are her hints on needleblending skies (or at least the ones I read): http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/2009/01/needle-blending-sky.html http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/2009/07/blue-skies-over-long-island.html http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/2009/09/needle-blending-again.html http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/2009/11/skys-my-limit.html http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/2010/02/sky-above-water-below.html http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/2011/07/taking-it-from-top.html http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/2011/08/cloudless-sky.html http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/2012/02/sky-and-water.html http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/2013/07/two-skies-side-by-side.html

And here are other skies Anne used: Sunrise at the lighthouse: http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/2010/07/sunrise-over-fenwick-island.html

Need a gloomy Sky: http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/2009/10/needle-blending-gloomy-sky.html

Night Sky anyone: http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/2010/04/looking-at-lighthouse-in-different.html

Don’t forget the moon reflection: http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/2010/04/in-for-penny-in-for-pound.html

Want to do fog? Anne has covered that too, not once but twice: http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/2009/06/fog-rolls-in.html.. http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/2011/10/another-foggy-sky.html

April 2009 has several and two of the lighthouses are mine what luck. April 15 has the Portland Head lighthouse…A limitless sky (http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/2009/04/limitless-sky.html)

Hummmm, I bet I could add clouds to mine too… Well,  my clouds were not easy for me! The one on the leftI did without an outline, just stitched it, but it was 14-07-30 cloudsfrustrating to me so I took the picture I had printed off and drew lines around Anne’s clouds and then with my blue Pilot sc-uf pen, I drew clouds on my canvas (isn’t there a song about this?) I stitched them all using lightest value of the blues flosses I had chosen (DMC 3756).

Time to start the sky: I used three other DMC flosses (A:3325 B:3841 C:775) and needle blended as follows:

4 ply color A

3 ply color A and 1 ply color B

2 ply color A and 2 ply color B

1 ply color A and 3 ply color

B 4 ply color

B 3 ply color B and 1 ply color C

2 ply color B and 2 ply color

C 1 ply color B and 3 ply color

C 4 ply color C

14-07-30 1st rowThat was the easy part, then I counted the rows of sky and divided by the number of color choices I had; see my marks on the side of the canvas. I started at the top with the darkest of the blends 4 ply color A. You can see in the picture I even added 14-07-30 count offsome random stitches in the next area and left some random stitches in the first are so the next color blended better. I was going along just fine until I got to the bottom.  I think I am counting challenge; either that or I am so relaxed I lost all sense of
where and what I am doing…I vote for the relaxed.  Somewhere in the last three areas I got off and needed to adapt. Anyway, the needle blending is so subtle that you can barely tell I did it until you look at the whole picture. In fact it was hard to get a picture to show you. I even took a picture of the back, I think you can see it better.

14-07-30 back

14-07-30 sky finished

 

 

 

 

I am going to enjoy the last couple days of my retreat …I hope momma doe brings her babes back for another look…triplets are so rare.

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

And a word from my stitching…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI joined the ANG CyberWorkshops for Michelle Roberts’ Ukrainian Eggs class. I received my instruction book a few weeks ago; the other supplies I already had, so I am ready to go. I spent one evening reading the instruction book (Michelle’s instructions are so good). I even have several of the Ukrainian Egg books in her bibliography that I have dug out. I am probably going to have to put this project out of sight…I want to start it now…looks like such fun. And lately we have been testing the web connection, so I’m really getting excited now.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI am also stitching on Debbie Stiehler’s Tomato but it is not a project I can take in the car…need a stand to stitch…going to have to find a small project to stitch for my to-go piece. Debbie has retired from active teaching, but if you were ever privileged to take a class from her, you know what fun she is. I love this piece and have put all the base lines in so now it’s just a matter of stitching along. I can tell some patterns are more difficult than others but that is the beauty of a Debbie Steihler piece…she keeps you on your toes (or I should say fingers).

And then I got a great surprise, the answer to my “to-go piece” prayers…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWho in their right mind is going to tell their DH that they can’t buy canvas(es) when he says I would like to have a some lighthouses to go with our ship pictures, why don’t you stitch me some. Oh a collection in the making, I love it. I sent him to ABS Designs (http://www.absdesignsonline.com/) and he picked out about 30 he liked! Now this is roll-reversal, but I made him look again and be reasonable to start…he picked out three he liked and I added a fourth. I kept a list of the others and let’s just say his birthday, anniversary; Christmas and Father’s Day are taken care of for the rest of his and my life. Lucky I also have a grandson that will like these someday too.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd then he was looking through my current issue of Needlepoint Now (http://www.needlepointnow.com/) and I heard him chuckle…and he said this is a funny canvas, you need to order this. Since I already ordered it from Wellesley Needlepoint (http://www.wellesleyneedlepoint.com/)   (months ago); it arrive a couple days after he said something. He thinks we have a great delivery turnaround time; “That didn’t take long, did it” …when the opportunity opens you don’t have to tell me to twice to keep my mouth shut. Yep, we girls are fast.

Of course now his mantra is, “I don’t want to hear you say you have nothing to stitch.” Glad he doesn’t look at my office and closet very closely.

I’m off to choose my new stitching project threads…don’t want DH to think I am not doing my part to start his new collection…and I did say I needed a something small to stitch.

Oh more finishing, I need to get caught up so I can send this stuff to someone else…maybe I can interest my daughter –in –law into finishing…she likes to sew. She makes American Girl doll clothes and sells them on Etsy (https://www.etsy.com/shop/alldolldup). If she has the patience to do doll clothes maybe she’d like needlepoint finishing…hum-m-m.

And it will be a couple weeks before I get back to finishing, I am taking a break to house and dog sit at my niece’s house…This is my favorite week of the year, nature and stitching and no cooking if I chose not to do so. Just me, and my stitching…DH is there too, but he comes and goes…cooks too. I’ll take pictures, it is so tranquil and peaceful.

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

Betsy Ross stitched and blocking

BRoss complete14-06-26 Ultra Suede thread redBetsy is finished but she almost did not get a tuff-it to sit upon. I decided to use Ultra Suede for the cushion. I used short lengths (12 inches and a larger than normal needle) but I still had trouble. My thread kept breaking. After several breakages, I cut another piece and gentle pulled on both ends and it broke. At first I thought it was breaking where the Ultra Suede was bent around the edge of the card but this didn’t seem to be the problem (although the thread did break here a few times.) What it seemed to me to be more likely was it was an old thread. I have had this thread for a couple years and I do not think it has stored well. I did get the tuff-it stitched but it took a great amount of patience…probably would have been quicker to get up and get another thread but I am lazy and stubborn. Anyone else had problems with this thread? I am going to check my other Ultra Suede and if they are as unstable I am going to dispose of them. Frustration is not part of my stitching world.

Betsy’s cap is Alternating Scotch Stitches and again I stitched the scallops in tent and then before adding the bullions, I French Knotted some hair for Betsy using an overdye. You can see in the picture it started to diagonal stripe…that’s because I stitch everything I can diagonally, so I tried the puddle method. (see: https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2013/10/01/overdye-puddle-stitching/ OR https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2014/04/25/back-to-mom-me/) I’m not too sure I was successful but I don’t think it will be as visible once she is finished. After the knots were in then I did bullion knots around the cap. I’m pretty good at bullions now.

14-06-26 BRoss tuffit & basketI also did needleweaving a basket for Betsy and was going to cover pony beads with floss and place them in the basket for balls of yarn/thread. But I did not leave enough give in the basket and I don’t think it would have worked anyway…I think the beads 14-06-26 pony beads coveredwould have been too large, but you can see I tried and I prefer what I did better..

Betsy was a fun take-a-long, I really like stitching Anne Stradal,  ABS Designs (http://www.absdesignsonline.com/ or http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/) canvases; she paints a great canvas. My husband has hinted he likes lighthouses, so now I have an excuse to buy more canvases 😉 …I like this idea.

So Betsy is on the blocking board and will be finished soon…maybe not in time for the fourth of July but before too long.

14-06-26 BRoss blocked

It’s back to finishing for me and I promise to have something (finishing) to show next time.

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

Summer Projects & Betsy Ross

I am stitching but have decided my big project for summer is finishing…And I have a million things that could fall under this heading. I could finish about seven or eight original stitching designs in my computer (many in various stages of completion); or I could finish one of those class projects that I plan on getting back to someday; or I could finish the 25 Temari balls I have made; I could learn needlefelting that I played with at Christmas last year and I have a thousand ideas running around my head (oops that is not technically a finish)…Okay you get the idea more things to do than the hours in a day.

But I have decided to finish some of the needlepoint I have on blocking boards and in a UFBS box (Unfinished but stitched). I will take pictures as I muddle through this process and share with everyone. I’m guessing by Sept 1 I will really love my finisher and whatever she charges will look good to me.

Since I am carrying my cell phone everywhere these days I’ll have a camera at hand. I am carrying my phone because I have a step counter app installed…it is supposed to remind me to get off my *** humm and walk a certain amount of steps a day. I have a goal (haven’t met yet but have come close)…I really think this is a hopeless cause unless the app can figure out a way to jar me loose from the project at hand…I just keep saying latter.

But I digress…so finishing is the project of summer…Maybe I’ll have some of those gifts for family and friends finished by the start of the holiday season instead of being last minute Nelly.

But today I do want to show you my current stitching project. I love these small projects that I can take anywhere…Anne Stradal, ABS Designs has the cutes roll-ups, I’ve stitched several over the years and her lighthouses are to die for and I love the way she needle blends her floss for skies and seas. If you are not familiar with her blog (http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/) and website (http://www.absdesignsonline.com/ ), grab a cuppa and spend awhile with Anne, her designs are fun and her stitching is wonderful.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI am stitching Betsy Ross…I have stitched Thomas Jefferson (he’s in the UFBS box) Betsy’s dress is stitched with Rainbow Tweed and I have three card of the same color. And I am guessing that by the printed number on the bottom I have at least two different dye lots, but when I look at the cards side by side there could be three dye lots. So rather than take the chance of stitching and mixing up the three dye lots, I am mixing them up in the needle and stitching with all three.

We all know what happens if you assume a dye lot is the same…that nasty stitch ghost comes to visit and you have a mess. After you are done stitching you can see the difference in the dye lots and you are haunted by the mess until you frog stitch it out. Then of course you don’t have enough thread to redo so you have to head over to LNS for a replacement and more (never can go for just one thing). And then you have more dye lot differenced (unless of course you just bought this thread from LNS and then maybe you’ll be lucky and she will have same dye lot…but if you’re not sure then mix them up in the needle and avoid the hassle.

ED Note: everyone has a definition for ply-strand-fiber-thread. Mine is: fibers make plies, plies make strands, and strands and threads are the same. Some strands/threads have divisible plies (i.e.: cotton floss, Rainbow tweed and others) and some strands/threads are supposed to be stitched as non-divisible plies (i.e. perle cotton, ribbon threads, metallic threads.) Notice I said supposed
14-06-04 ruchingto be stitched; there is always the exception to this rule…ruching is where one ply of a thread is pulled to gather the thread. Ribbons are ruched and then the ribbon is couched into place for an effect. Almost any thread may be ruched.

14-06-04 cardsRainbow Tweed is a divisible thread; there are 4 plies to one strand of thread. So I pulled the same working length off each of the three cards and I am stitching with 2 ply of this thread so I mixed one strand/4 ply (Card A1-4, B1-4, C1-4) as follows,: A1&B1, A2&B2, A3&C1, A4&C2, B3&C3, B4&C4. I paid no attention about the ends I put together but I did knot one end just to keep the two plies together not as a stitching 14-06-04 pliesdirection. I dropped these in my stitching bag and randomly pulled a thread as I needed. You can see the results, no ghostly dye lot changes.

Then I stitched her shawl and didn’t like the way the bottom was looking so decided to fill scallop with tent and then to give it some texture I would subject myself to Bullions. Bullions are not 14-06-04 BR stitch graymy favorite stitch but I think it is just because I don’t do them often enough. Practice makes better…with bullions there is never perfect. Normally I would wait to do the Bullions last but I got carried away and so they are in.

14-06-04 BR stitch shawl

14-06-04 BR stitch bullionThe flag is over one cross stitches with 3 ply floss.

Thank you for stopping by this week and I hope you have time to stitch every day;  I’m off to find some UFBSs and decide which to finish first! ttfn…sue

Different Threads

Liam…another project stitched… and a disclaimer…If the designer suggests threads I would use them…she probably has spent a good deal of time choosing these threads. That said, let me show you what happens when I don’t follow my own advice.

Anne's piece

Anne’s piece

Anne Stradal (http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/) at ABS Designs (http://www.absdesignsonline.com/) stitched Liam this way, it is her design.

I stitched my Liam with these threads.

I used the same stitches but I decided to use threads in my stash rather than purchase new ones. I used

My Liam

My Liam

some threads that are out of production but thought they would work.
The only area that did not work for me was the scarf. My thread choice was not variegated enough to make the stitch show direction. The swag of the scarf should show a horizontal direction/pattern while the ends should be a vertical direction/pattern. I will just have to outline the horizontal swag of the scarf to delineate it more.

Anne's in B&W

Anne’s in B&W

mine in B&W

mine in B&W

But for the most part my threads did work; mine are darker thread choices but the values changes are the similar and they work; look at the black & white photos. The jackets are the lightest value with the lapels being slightly darker than the jacket but lighter than the rest. The pants and the next darker value, followed by the scarf and then the outlines are the darkest value. Anne’s has 6 values in her piece and mine only looks like 5 values; my pants and scarf are the closer in value, but both work…Anne’s is just more correct.

Learning to check values in a piece is a good thing to know. You can do this with your phone camera or digital camera (most have a black & white setting) or a copy machine will work too. It is a good tool to use when choosing your threads for a painted canvas. Lay the threads on the canvas close to the areas you will be stitching; take a picture of them using the black and white setting on your camera or lay them on the copy machine to do the same. If the values of the threads are close or right on to the painted canvas the threads will work.
If while you are stitching something doesn’t please you or look quite right, take a black and white picture and check the values of the colors being used. If a color is off it is most likely the value of the color and not the color…the value of the color will either blend with the other choices or stand out as too light or dark. Value choices are the biggest mistake we make when using color.
On a completely different though…I hope all United States citizens have a Happy 4th of July and for those of you across the ponds from us, have a great day. And may we all get to stitch today and all week-end …Thank you for stopping by today!

ttfn…sue