Monday, April 28, 2014

DIY Yardstick Holder

My husband came to me a couple weeks ago, asking if I could make another yardstick holder for him.  His grandmother had made the previous holder and over time, in the shed, it had rotted.
Grandma's holder was made of burlap, so I decided I would try to replicate it as close as possible.
I purchased 1/2 yard of burlap...which was more than enough.

I opened the fabric up, so I had the full length to work with, measured 7" and pulled the thread.  I then had a nice cutting line to follow.

I folded the 7" strip in half, pinned, and placed a 1/2" seam all the way around the piece, leaving one of the short sides open.
(See Grandma's holder)

I put the yardstick in the tube (which was 2½ inches from seam to seam) and placed safety pin to mark the top of the stick.

Next I needed to duplicate the top.
Grandma used a piece of wool and fabric to fortify the top.

Here's how I approached it.  I took a 4" piece of wool (I had some leftover scraps from a quilt Grandma had made us!) and fabric...

I folded them in half along the diagonal, and stitched all the way around, just to hold it together, making it easier to work with...

I cut the top off of the burlap to match the height of the triangle and cut the folded side of the strip open, just to the safety pin...

 ...inserted the triangle in the opening, pinned....

...and stitched all the way around.
As you can see, Grandma did a lot of back stitching for reinforcement.  I figured she was a wise women and I would follow suite.

Before I trimmed away the excess, I placed an extra large eyelet at the top.  It was the only "upgrade" I gave Grandma's design.

Now it was only a matter of trimming away all the excess, evening all the edges to measure 1/2 inch, and fraying.

Now all that's left is cutting a slit where the yardstick can slide in. Be careful to only cut the top layer!!!  Burlap is tricky.

The only trouble I had along the way was a hole I found near the top, which I just stitched over in several different directions to shore it up.  You can see a little of that in the above photo, in that rectangular box of stitching. It actually made a neat kind of star pattern!

And so there you  have it...hope it made sense.  It's not fancy, just very utilitarian, if not rustic.  I'm sure if you wanted to get "fancy" you could do any number of things with this.  I'm just giving you the basics.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Shepherd's Bush "Amaranth"

Shepherd's Bush "Amaranth" is a finish.
This little gem took me 3 weeks...give or take 20 years...

I started this project 20 years ago in a class.
We then moved more times than I care to remember, and it was shoved to the back of my craft cabinet, half finished.  I  finally got around to pulling it out last week and within the week, finished.
Why did it take me so long?  I dunno.

This great little project was placed on stretcher bars...
...which I must admit...I hated working with.  I'm a hoops. 
Notice the guide thread on the right side?  I left it just so you could see that neat little trick.  It will come out now.

The stretcher bars were necessary though, for all the fancy work involved...
...which I really loved.  
I changed nothing except one row of embroidery stitches, in which I substituted Algerian Eyes.

This was my..."kit"...'s how I used to store my floss back in the day.  Now I use bobbins. 
The colors are beautiful.  So muted and delicate.

Stats (with cost where known)
Pattern:  $2.00
Class cost:  $10.50
Floss:  <$3.00
12" stretcher bars
32 count Ivory 100% linen, cut 12 3/4" x 12"
#24 and #26 tapestry needles
#24 chenille needles
#12 pearl cotton 
(2) #8 pearl cotton

My rating?  I have to say 3 out of 5 stars.  While beautiful, it was cumbersome (for me) and overall costly for such a small project. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Primitive Peacock Sampler, Finish & Review

In keeping the spirit of a needlework diary, I'm going to try and make this (and hopefully future posts) short and sweet.  Details and a couple thoughts.

I finished The City Stitcher's, "Primitive Peacock Sampler"  last night.
 It took only three weeks.  I was anticipating a longer stitching time as it was filled with Algerian Eye stitches...
Here is a good tutorial. 

...but they went incredibly fast.  I really enjoyed the stitch and will now look for ways to work it into patterns whenever I think I can!  Once you get a rhythm going, they are practically mindless.

Also included in the design were Satin Stitches which, having been established in past posts on Riverspitter, are not my friends.  So I opted to just fill the Satin Stitch area in with plain cross stitches in DMC 783... just for contrast.

My kit for this project was very simple, practically empty really...

Cost & Info
Pattern:  $3.00
Fabric:  28 ct. Country French Latte linen, $7.63
Size:  13.5 x 19"
Floss:  in stash, approx. $2.50
I used a #26 needle

I'd give this pattern a 4 out of 5 stars for fun, ease and color.  Overall....recommended!