Thursday, December 13, 2012

Just Needed a Little Nudge...

The only thing I like better than starting a new project is finishing a project that has been lurking in the “started but not yet completed” basket.  Somehow, someway, the project began with all good intentions, but somehow dropped its status  in the queue.  Usually, it is some minor detail that holds the project up…Stitched but not framed, stitched but not bound off, started but ran out of certain thread,  started but separated from threads somhow, buried in the stitching pile when some new enthusiastic project came up or a gift for someone needed to be made and took priority. 

Whatever the case, there is nothing like a deadline to spur one on.  The little button tree below sat stitched yet incomplete for a couple of years. Meanwhile, we discovered a jar of old buttons in an unopened box from my husband's Bob's mother (another Dorothy Widmann) that had been sitting for over 20 years since she passed away.  Seeing that sweet old jar filled with mother of pearl buttons coincided with my rebumping into the incomplete tree stitching . The collision of the two events was just enough for me to go to it,  and 30 minutes later, the design was completed, yet still not quite finished. I was quite busy after that with shop business and so it shuffled along with me in my tote bag waiting to stitch the ends up to create a hanging.  Months later…the holidays rapidly approaching  the incentive to have it up for this year and not miss the holiday season  was just enough to nudge me to take the mere 30 minutes required to stitch up the ends and braid linen for the hanger. 

I love using the linen banding which we have in the shop  for projects such as this, as it does not require framing and makes for a simple finishing (when you take the time to actually do it! )   We carry it in several widths and in natural as well as white, and you can take any design and just center it within the width of the bands.  Some have the border design woven into it but you can also get it plain with no design. 

This was one of several projects I tucked into a zip case for traveling.  We are  in New Zealand right now, staying with  our friends Greg and Steph Buck.   

Greg and Steph  are apple growers and have a new apple they are developing  called the Premier Star.

They just  have passed certification in the United States, which enables the trees to be grown in the United States, so the fruit will be grown on domestic soil.  Hopefully  you will be seeing  them soon  in the States.  They are a bright and beautiful brilliant crisp lipstick red apple, and would be great if you asked for them at your local store as well as friend them on facebook  They are fine folk and could use your support.

Why do I mention this?  The final touch for my hanging was what I would use for a hanger... I thought it might be a good idea  and a special touch  to use a couple of their pruned apple tree trimmings for the hanger, and  so that is how I finished it off and it worked perfectly!  I then unraveled some of the excess linen that had been cut off when folding over the ends and braided it for the hanger,  and my project was completed at last!  Hooray! Finished in time to hang for Christmas!  

Having packed my bag with several of these lingering projects,  I  also have been able to complete a nice holly wreath wool appliqué.  Once again the looming deadline date of Decemebr 25 nudged me on  to steadily work on it in the midst of traveling.  I had already precut and ironed on the pieces from a Primitive Gathering s Kit at the shop.  I brought along Valdani handyed pearl cotton in matching colors and only needed needles and scissors and thread as everything had been started just not stitched.  

It was an easy carry along with only a few Valdani spools and the wool folded up in a little bag.  A tidy travel project and now another finished project to set out for holiday décor.  I love the Valdani threads.  The subtle variegation just make the final piece a little more interesting with the varying color change.  They seem to be slightly more fragile than DMC, but their dusky tones are what set them apart.  These wool appliqué projects are easy stitching and with the leftovers I am making a little wool apple appliqué ornament to give to our friends the Bucks when we leave. Once I got started I was surprised that I was able to complete all the stitching in just a couple of days, so if you are looking for a quick holiday stitch, these kits are great.

Last, but not least, also in lieu of the impending holiday, is a gift I had started months, maybe even one year, maybe even OVER a year ago.  I think somehow it just got shoved to the bottom of the pile as I had only done a couple of petals of the center flower.  I think this is one where the threads got stuck somewhere apart from the project and it was dead in the water.  Anyway, threads and project were reunited and placed in my project bag and  I was back in business.  Once again, holiday close at hand was just the extra push I needed to  get the needlepunch in gear.

  This is another Primitive Gatherings project.  It comes prepared with the design printed on the fabric.  You simply supply the threads.  Once again I chose Valdani, and this time I chose the handdyed 3 strand balls which are PERFECT for punchneedle embroidery as they just get threaded from one end.  No cutting and rethreading with a color as you just use the thread until you are done with that section.  It is really convenient and smooth and I love the effect of the hand dyed floss.   We carry these in sets or in individual balls.  

They are little more expensive than using the standard DMC but the finished effect of these threads on you final finished project is worth the extra investment. 

I do really like punch needle as it is like coloring with thread.  It doesn’t take as much focus and concentration as cross stitch, can be done while visiting and being with company, and the effect of the punch needle finished project is much like a miniature hooked rug.  All you need is a special gripping hoop, a needlepunch tool,  threads and your design, which we all carry in the shop.  You can design your own or there are many already designed projects preprinted on the fabric.  It goes pretty fast also as does the wool appliqué, so if you are looking for a quick hand made something, there is still time with both these types of projects as they finish up  quickly (once you are actually working on and finishing them!)  Sometimes they sit for quite a while in the unfinished basket and when I finally get to them I am AMAZED at how quickly I am able to complete them, and just how wonderful it feels when they are done.  

This piece I will be putting into a mat and frame. 

I guess sometimes I just need a little added incentive to put the pressure on and finish up some of these bottom of the pile projects and it especially helps around the holidays.  With just that little nudge, once I get going again, it is hard to stop, as  I love  the stitching and I love seeing them finished. Both are so very satisfying.

Here’s hoping you are getting time for holiday crafts and enjoying finishing up some projects that have been lingering in your project baskets as well.  The results are always worth the extra effort. Nothing like sitting and stitching, but also nothing like those great words... I finished my project!! and off it goes to a friend, on a wall, on a it's final destination...
I love it.

All the best to you
with love
Net Loft Dotty


Greg Buck said...

getpsctAt Premier Orchard we are delighted to have the Widmann family as our guests ,to grow our strong personal connections and close friendship.
A special priveledge to have Dotty's craft work ,as a personal touch ,in our home.
Please follow Premier Star on the web site and on facebook ,every little bit helps.You may even be able to order a bushel case through Four Seasons in Ephrata Pa.

The Net Loft said...

Yay Greg and Steph. Thanks for the great time and good company...

Eleni R. said...

Dotty- Amazing Craft work. What a wonderful post. Thanks for sharing.

The Net Loft said...

Thank you Leni....Thanks for all you do...