Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Needle Minder and Soup

I think I figured out why I don't post more often! This past Sunday, after 2 1/2 hours of typing, editing, correcting, and fiddling with photos, I was doing my final proof reading when "POOF", it was all gone! Boy was the air blue around here!!!!

It was supposed to be another post on another birthday, this time mine! My kitchen is lime green and sort of a purple colour with white cupboards and yes, as putrid as that may sound, I am just so gifted in the decorating department!!! Flowers were given and received in love from the better half, a wonderful lime green and bright pink!

So on to the Needle Minder part of this post. I finished the Sumptuous Surfaces course and needed a new project to work on that was just a little bit different but quick to finish. Our local stitching guild is having their stitching retreat in October and I had an idea that maybe we could get the members at the retreat to stitch up a little needle minder. If you aren't sure what a needle minder or keeper is, you can check out this web site. (click on the word "this" and then scroll down to the bottom of the page)

The pattern I was using for the needle minder came from the September 2011 issue of Cross-Stitch and Needlework Magazine. The article was called "Autumn Thumbtacks" and since I had no need for thumbtacks, I thought I would make the button but instead of gluing a thumbtack to the back of the button, I would glue one half of a pair of magnet on the back. I did buy the 3/4 of an inch make your own button kit called for though I am thinking there might be various qualities of such kits and there might be kits out there that are better than the one I was able to find here.

The article in the magazine offers 3 patterns and a selection of DMC floss to use. I used one of the stitch patterns and the colour choices offered.

This is the "Make your own Button" kit that I purchased at the local fabric shop.

Your fabric goes into the white piece, right side down into the white piece, you then push in the actual button face onto the back of the fabric and then attach the button back and you use that blue thing above to push the back of the button onto the front. I have shown the white and blue piece above, and then both sides of the front and then the back below them.

The completed needle minder is shown here:

I honestly give a standing ovation to those women who can write blogs almost every day and post photos in the most pretty settings with artfully arranged flowers and embellishments. Unfortunately, that is NOT me as I am finding out. I admit I had more fun taking the actual photo above than I did making the button!! As I said, I am not good at what I call "froo froo", all the frilly background decorations to enhance the beauty of what I am trying to show, for your viewing pleasure. I have two placemats. One is blue and the other is a Christmas theme. LOL I picked the blue to showcase my needle minder! So, camera in hand, and needle minder, and placemat, I go outside on a gorgeously sunny day, with monsoon winds blowing. So, just as I get everything set up, a gust of wind blows it all away. As I got things set up again, the dog would make off with the placemat, or try to eat one of the flowers. So, I set it up and shoot quickly!

If you look at the picture two above, of the front and back of the various button parts, you will see that the button back has a bit of a hook in it that you use to sew it to whatever you are sewing the button to. You have to remove that hook before you put the button together. The hook has to be removed so that you can glue the one piece of the magnet to the back.

If you are thinking of making the button, some heavy weight training is needed before putting the button together if you are using the button kit I purchased. I used 28 count Lugana for the fabric and then 2 threads for the stitching and it made for a little bit of bulk. Before making the button, you have to trim down the fabric to about 1/4 to less than 1/2 an inch outside your stitching area. It still leaves a bit of bulk so its a bit of a bugger trying to get the back of the button attached to the button front. I just about dislocated a shoulder pressing down on that blue thing that came in the package. I eventually used a wooden clothes peg and a hammer! LOL So if you give it a try, good luck! Then, another problem. It took three trials of various glues that I had in the house to finally get it to set and the magnet to adhere to the button back. At least the glue matches the lighter green of one of the flosses used.

As you can see, I just glued a piece of ribbon between the back of the button and one of the magnets and at the end of the ribbon I attached a needle threader.

Which brings us to the soup part of this post. It was taking so long for the glue on the button back to dry that I decided to make a pot of soup. When my husband saw the vegetables I had lined up for the soup, he volunteered to go into town to get a 45 gallon drum to put on the stove that would be big enough to hold all the vegetables!

This is the soup.

2 pork tenderloin roasts, cut into cubes
3 onions, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 whole celery chopped
1 whole turnip, chopped
1 whole butternut squash, chopped
1 whole cabbage, chopped
1 pound of various mushrooms, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 large handful of snow peas, chopped
2 pounds of new potatoes, chopped
3 bay leaves
2 cans of "no salt" chopped tomatoes
1 can of black beans, no salt
1 can of white kidney beans, no salt
1 can of red kidney beans, no salt
a large handful of various herbs
approx. 10 or so cups of water

Of course there is peeling and dredging meat in flour and sauteing going on and the results were stupendous and the freezer is full!

Well, that's it for today. I'm going to "save now" and then take a chance on proof reading and then posting it. Wish me luck!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Part 2 of Sumptuous Surfaces Finished!


Another post, another birthday. Best wishes to my older brother on his 63rd birthday today! WOW! Do I ever feel old! I'm only 5 years behind him! His wife's birthday is the same day as mine I think and is coming up so Happy Birthday to her as well!

It's September and fall has come to PEI. The sea grass is turning its bronzy gold colour and the sea is just a bit darker and colder looking. But, it is all quite spectacular!

Went out for a drive the other day and couldn't believe that we saw 3 eagles that day and me without a good telescopic lens!!! Double drats and crap!
I finished part 2 of the Sumptuous Surfaces course and am quite pleased with the results. I had a bit of a vision of what I wanted when I started the piece but not really knowing very many stitches or too much about where certain stitches would look best, I just sort of plugged along until it felt right. There were alot of stitches taken out, almost as many as those remaining, but again, it very much resembles what I had in mind.
A bit of a close up below.

One small thing though, is that I'm not sure how I want to frame it but it will be nice to try different things until I find something that feels right. I might ask Sharon when I take her next class which starts mid October.

Next project? It's just a small one. In the September 2011 issue of Cross-Stitch and Needlework Magazine, they have an article on making "Autumn Thumbtacks". The thumbtack idea wasn't too appealing to me but I liked the idea of stitching up a small pattern and making it into a button and instead of gluing a thumbtack to the back, I would glue one of a pair of magnets to the back to use on my fabric when stitching as a needle minder. It is complete and I have also attached a piece of ribbon to it to hold a needle threader. I'm not sure the glue I used is strong enough but it is taking longer to dry than I thought so hopefully I will have pictures to put on here real soon!

Enjoy the wonderful cool weather!