I put this away last February when I couldn’t get the edges of the blanket to work out the way I envisioned it. It’s on my list of WIPs that I want to finish this year, so I got it out about a week ago and started working on it again. This is where I left it last year. The bear is stitched, the blanket is done except for the edge.
Now I have the light purple bridle and the candy canes done. The edge of the rug was stitched sith Brick Stitch in gold and dark purple Kreinik ribbon. The beads have been added along the bottom of the blanket (sewn down so they don’t move around). The basket for the rabbit is stitched with Splendor and a touch of Kreinik gold braid. The bag for the candy canes was stitched in Basketweave with Splendor and Kreinik gold braid. That’s good progress for one week. Here is a close-up of blanket and baskets.
And here is the whole piece so far.
I don’t want to do the rabbit yet, since he will be done with Wisper (and Santa’s fur trim too). So I’ll work on Santa and the little tree next. A little at a time, he will get done in the next month or so.
My DH gave me the book on finishing from The Binding Stitch at Christmas a year ago. As I started to work on the finishing for Grieg, I decided to do some reading first. Excellent book!
Here he is with the stitching completed.
I bought backing fabric that is brown with small white polka-dots on it. The sewing was easy but when I tried to turn him right side out, the ears became a problem and I was afraid I would ruin him. Today, I turned him inside out again and sewed around the ears and the top of the head a second time with a double locking stitch. That should hold him. Turned him right side out again and pressed him (fabric side up) to make sure all the polka dots would be on the back side, pressing all the seams to the back.
Stuffing him was also easy, though I put very little in the ears since they are not fat on real cats. Okay, time to get him standing up. First I made a small bean bag and filled it with more of my BBs so there would be some weight at the bottom. I covered an oval of Tim Tex (very thick pellon that I used to make a frame for the Pet Shop so it would stay nice and straight) with the same brown polka-dot fabric. Then I headed downstairs with all the pieces and carefully sewed the bottom to the front (needlepoint) and the back. Here he is all finished, standing about 9 inches tall.
I think I should try to pull the right ear a little bit more (though I’m still afraid that I’ll pull too hard and tear something). The weight of the BBs is perfect and he’s standing up nicely. Here he is at home on top of the tall dresser with my “Grandma” things – The sign is from my granddaughters and has a tiny photo of the three of them in the center. I should have gotten a new one while I was visiting in March. The little shoes were made for my mother – one for each of her great-granddaughters. Each one has the full name and date of birth for one of the girls. When she died, I brought them home with me. She placed a penny in each one to bring them good luck.
It isn’t a perfect finishing job, but I’m working on it. I still have that little basket of ornaments to finish and I hope that practice will make me closer to perfect. On to the next project!
Update: For those who don’t know what BBs are – Have you seen the movie Christmas Story? Where Ralphie wants an air rifle for Christmas? Air rifles or air pistols use BBs (pellets) for ammo. They are about an eighth of a inch in diameter (3 mm). Mine are steel with a zinc coating so they won’t rust. You can also get them with a copper coating. My 4,000 container of BBs weighs about two pounds. They have a good weight. Hope this helps.)
I’ve been slowly going through all my stash over the last few months. Each time I found a piece that had the stitching completed, I put it in a basket in my needlepoint room. One by one, I’m going to get the finishing done on them.
I don’t know the designer for this piece. I bought it and stitched it about 10 years ago! I’ve backed him with dark blue fabric and filled him with BBs. He’s small (about 5 inches tall) but he will be a good frame weight for small projects. I like to work outside on nice days and this will help me stitch two-handed.
I have a lot of BBs left, so I’m going to use some of them to finish the Grieg cat tomorrow. I wanted some weight to make sure he’ll stand up. That was the reason for finishing the Railroad Bear first – to make sure I had some left for the cat. Hopefully I’ll have another post of the cat tomorrow or Monday.
I worked on 5 projects over the last month and did fairly well.
1. Father Christmas and Cats – Did more background and finished the tassel on the hat. Did a little more on the face as well. He has now been put away for a while so I can focus on the other projects that have a chance of being completed this year. I’ll get him back out later in the year.
2. Persian Iris Mandala – I have completed the second corner of buildings now. Yeah! I will bead the carpet leading up to the next mosque and get the mosque started this month.
3. Norfolk Diligence Sampler – I have completed all of the verse and the blackwork, so Band 3 is complete. I need to work on the side borders a little and start on Band 4. Hopefully, things will move a little faster with no more words to stitch.
4. Chapter Tile – I wanted the first quarter completed and a small start on the second quarter but ran into problems. When I got to the center (lower right), the design was off by one stitch. I need to find the error, if possible, and get it corrected. Or I can start the next quarter and deal with the center when I get to it next time. Maybe I can alter the center of the design to make it work?
5. Bright Sea Village Express – I’ve started on one side of the car now. I’m working on the side of the car and the back/top/front side by side on the fabric. So far the side only has a door, but it’s a start. I would like to finish the first car this month. We’ll see how much stitching time I can find.
I drive myself crazy with about 7 projects going at once. I don’t know how you all keep 20 or more projects going. I need to work on my needlepoint projects too – Christmas presents need to be started soon!
I’m still working along the bottom edge of the rug. The second pineapple is almost complete and I’ve added 3 more of the small motifs ( the two on the right don’t have the cream color yet).
Another two inches to the right of the last started motif at the bottom and I’ll be at the middle of the rug. It isn’t a really large rug, but it moves along slowly because of the Basketweave stitch. I alternate between adding smaller motifs and details and relax a little with stitching the background.
If you’ve been reading my blog, you may recognize the start of the center design in brown. This is the third time I’m stitching the same center from the original rug. This one has even smaller hexagons and diamond shapes and I’ve created a third set of designs to fill them in. I want to get a lot more of the center borders completed before I start to fill any of the shapes in though.
I pre-ordered the latest version of Jo Ippolito Christensen’s The Needlepoint Book and was notified last night that it was ready for download. It’s amazing and has so much new information in it.
- 134 color photos of projects
- Information on evaluating a painted canvas – focal point, colors, threads, etc.
- Color theory
- Thread information
- Choosing background stitches
- Working with embellishments
- Many more stitches, including stitches for ribbons
There were several reviews online last week so I’m sure you’re heard lots of things already.
But I have to tell you about the E-Book version!! Kudos to Simon and Schuster for making a very wonderful online reading version. As you read the various chapters, there are references to the photos (in the back of the book), other chapters that you may want to read, stitches that she talks about. They are all linked. You click the highlighted words and you immediately are looking at that photo or stitch. At the bottom of this newly opened page is a link to return to the page where you were reading. It’s wonderful and so easy to use. Because it is a book rather than an App, you can’t enlarge the photos or stitch diagrams, but that doesn’t matter. They are large and very clear so you can refer to them while you are stitching.
There are two indexes that are also linked for quick access: the General Index and the Stitch Index.
I have the iBooks version, but it is also available on Kindle. At $19.99, it’s a great deal and will take me weeks to get through it all. I highly recommend it to all stitchers who like online books and stitch applications.
I’m finally getting somewhere on this. Boy, I’m slow sometimes. LOL
I started at the top again and added to the head and then continued with the Ecru #8 perle cotton in slanted stitches to create the area under his chin. Now I can do more of the zigzags in different colors and that will leave some smaller areas to fill in to get him finished.
Now that things are moving again, I’m hoping to have him all finished up by the end of next week. It will be good to have a needlepoint piece completed. I have Christmas presents to work on and a couple more small needlepoint rugs to design. Busy, busy.