Monday, February 22, 2010

Problems with Blog

This morning I'm having technical difficulties with Blog.  I am trying to update my list of blogs I read and Blogspot is NOT cooperating.  It finally put the list at the top and absolutely refuses to have it on the side where I want it.  So I deleted it and am going to rebuild it from scratch since Blogspot also limits the number of blogs I can list.  I should go through all the blogs I follow and remove the non-NP ones and the ones that aren't updated often.  I will do that as I have time.

Right now the only place Blogger will let me put the blog list besides the top of the page is the bottom of the page, so the bottom of the page is where it is.  Sorry.  I can't do anything about this currently but I'll keep trying to move it and I'll keep adding links there.

I also got a note from Marianne saying she can't read the header title clearly.  I think this might be a function of her monitor as it is perfectly clear on mine.  I've tinkered with it but the changes I've come up with don't look good, so for now Marianne will just have to know if she can't read the title, it's me.  Sorry.  I'll keep tinkering with this, too.  I may change the photo to something plainer and hope that makes the title easier to read.

Blog changes take a lot of time and some research.  And Heaven Help You if you have to move your blog!   Ruth Schmuff has moved her blog recently, so update your bookmarks and blog lists to her new blog address.

You can also reach her blog by clicking on the link to it at either her shop website or at her designer website.  (Ruth owns Bedecked and Beadazzled in the Baltimore suburbs and also designs and distributes painted canvases and counted thread patterns through Tis The Season.)

The reason I'm emphasizing Ruth's new address is you don't want to miss the updates she posts to her blog on her mystery classes.  Above you see the finished model from her last class on Raymond Crawford's Merry Christmas panel.  She's doing a Melissa Shirley heart currently.  The things Ruth does to a canvas you wouldn't believe!  So go visit the new blog address and see what she's up to.

Meanwhile I'll be here, tinkering....

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
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Starting and Stopping Threads the Shay Way

When I was talking about the trouble I was having starting and ending threads on Stars, lots of folks put great information in the Comments section but I also got fabulous information via email.  I'm quoting Marj below, who explained how she learned to start and stop threads from Shay Pendray:

"I have just reviewed the information on starting and ending threads in Shay Pendray's book 'Inventive Needlework' pp. 81and 83. That is basically what I was  taught.

First, if I recall correctly, unless the thread is slippery like rayon, it is not really necessary to do a locking L or locking I stitch. (I often do them anyway if I have plenty of room, but then I am a wee bit paranoid.) Two pinhead stitches fairly close together are usually sufficient.  Next, when I am working a piece with lots of thread changes like 'Stars', I almost always make my two pinhead stitches by bringing the needle up though the area that I just finished stitching. Use the tip of your BLT [Best Laying Tool or any other laying tool brand] to keep from snagging the already worked thread. Then use the tip of your BLT to move the already stitched threads slightly to the side so that you can see the canvas thread clearly. Bring the needle over the canvas thread and down into the adjacent hole. Repeat. Surface threads may have to be nudged back into their original positions.

With a ribbon like Neon Rays, for instance, you can come up through the ribbon, go back down over the canvas thread being very careful not to catch any of the strands of the ribbon. The hole in the ribbon will close itself when you pull the pinhead stitch tight  Magic!
I did not understand this technique until I saw someone do it and I am not sure how to explain it clearly with just words. The goal is to make a pinhead stitch without catching any of the threads on the front of your work; don't worry about catching threads on the back.  If I make my starting and ending pinheads in the area which I am currently stitching, I do not often run into problems finding places to start and finish my working thread. Nor do I find pinheads occupying holes which I need for other parts of the design.
However, if all else fails, I make my pinheads out in the sashing/border as was previously suggested.

If you are not familiar with this technique, try it on a doodle cloth. Ask me lots of questions."

Thanks a lot, Marj, especially for allowing me to post this for everyone to read.  I used this technique on the star quilt block I am working and find it is a great way to secure your threads.  I won't use it in areas where I'm afraid of disturbing threads but it has been very useful in less populated areas.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
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