I am all stuffed out

All rolled up and nowhere to go…Doesn’t seem like a month since I was last finishing but it was and I’m still not in the mood to get back to finishing. But today I read there are only 17 more Fridays until Christmas (don’t tell anyone, but Christmas is 17 weeks from Thursday). Scary isn’t it?

Anyway with the help of a couple good taped movies I made tops and bottoms for my nutcrackers and I stuffed and stuffed and stuffed some more.

14-08-25 #1 ill board and materialI make a template for the top and bottom of roll-up (each roll-up should be the same size top and bottom BUT every roll-up could be slightly larger or smaller than the next one… nothing is ever simple.)

I cover both the top and the
bottom at the same time but I sew all the bottoms on first. I cover my illustration board with a fabric to match the bottom of the roll-up. Cut the fabric 1/2 inch larger that illustration board and run a basting stitch around the edge of fabric and pull up and to secure around illustration board cutout. Do the top piece also, matching the fabric to the top of roll-up.

14-08-25 #2  attachI pin the bottom to the roll-up and using a waxed thread, ladder stitch the bottom to the roll-up. I leave a small opening to attach cording later.

If you want to make stand up’s only, I would weight with some kind of weight. You could use a nut from the hardware store, fishing weights, pennies, aquarium gravel (I wash and dry this to get the dust) or anything to give weight. I wrap the item in cotton batting or place in handmade muslin bag with drawstring and place in the bottom of the roll-up. I don’t weight mine but I stuff them so tightly that they are heavy enough to stand up.

14-08-25 #4a  fiberfill from bagBut I do stuff…I stuff and stuff and stuff some more. I use small pieces of Polyfill (http://www.joann.com/mountain-mist-fiberloft-premium-poly-stuffing-2lb/2179331.html).  I pull it apart and I poke the Polyfill in with a chop stick 14-08-25 #4b  fiberfill fluffed(anything long and firm will do as a poker…large knitting or crochet needle, dowel anything about the size of a pencil).  I like my pieces stuffed firmly so I stuff until I can stuff no more.

14-08-25 #4  fiberfill & pokerI pin the top to the roll up and ladder stitch it on leaving openings on two sides for the cording and hander.






14-08-25 #5 Betsy topYou can also be creative and slightly pad the top for a puffy effect. Betsy has a padded top. You place three pieces of batting under the material. The smallest piece goes next to the illustration board and the largest is on top. Don’t forget to cut the material to cover this a bit larger to accomadate the filling.

14-08-25 #6 TJTJ is a triangle top and bottom for different effect. I always saw his hat as a triangular shape. During colonial times the hats were called Tricornes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tricorne).  So I took some liberties and reversed my triangle so the flat part is in the front…it’s called creative license and it looks better too.

14-08-25 #7  ready for cordingAnd in a nut shell that’s where I am now…my fingers hurt from stuffing and sewing but I have 8 roll-ups ready for cording. I’m still deciding whether I am going to raid the work bench for an electric drill or just use the one I bought from a needlework shop…Kreinik sells one like mine (http://www.kreinik.com/shops/Kreinik-Custom-Corder-AMCDW-HD.html).

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

Roll up finishing has begun

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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