Tuesday, March 20, 2018

March Musings....

~ Greetings Friends and Warm Welcome to you all ~
Where does the time go?
It seems like Lent just started and here we are almost to Palm Sunday and Holy Week.
It is just shocking to me...
My Granny used to always (I mean never miss...) the soap opera "Days of Our Lives"...
every time I still see the opening credits to that soap and the time glass and the man saying:
"Like sands through the hour glass, so are the Days of Our Lives..."
and remember my Granny and hot summer days and pop sickles and swimming and thinking time was so S-L-O-W...not slow now as a 47 year old woman!

So what have I been up to?....
Did I tell you that in January I made my first quilt? it was a Jelly Roll Quilt Race 2.0 which you can find a tutorial on how to do it right here at MISSOURI STAR QUILT CO

The one I finished in January came home from a friend of mine that does Long Arm Quilting and I want to show it off! If you need Long Arm Services you can find her information on her Facebook Business Page: The Finished Quilt 
Here is the quilting up close...isn't it beautiful!?

Madeira Quilted

and here it is draped over the chair...
it is "Madeira" Moda Line by Blackbird Designs
BBD Quilt

I have a second chair and I wanted it to have a quilt too...so I chose a jelly roll from Kansas Troubles "Thistle Farm" also a Moda Line and made my second quilt and here is close up...
Kansas Troubles Quilt up close 

and here it is draped over my chair...It is currently at my Mother-In-Laws house being hand-quilted :)
Kansas Troubles Quilt 

then since I had so much positive feedback on my first two attempts I thought...
well I'm going to double down and I am currently in the middle of taking a quilt class. This is my first top where I chose the fabrics, colors, cut the pieces, pieced it and all that on my own!
Next class we will add the borders, make our quilt sandwich and learn out quilting and binding. 

My First Pieced Quilt

And since I took to piecing sort of like a duck to water....I decided to join my Sewing and Quilt Shop's Block of the Month club and tomorrow We will start with our first class! It will be every 3rd Wednesday of the month and at the end of 9 months we will have this quilt. Pretty snazzy, right?! I hope I can do it!
Block of the Month Quilt

Definitely caught the quilting bug 😂

As far as Cross Stitching I have:
Stitched and finished TWO of these ~ one for a friend as a "thank you" gift and the other for an upcoming exchange:
With Thy Needle and Thread ~ "Flag Day in the Potting Shed" 
on 32 ct. flax linen
stitched with Classic Colorworks
VP_Flag Day at Potting Shed 
I made these items and put together a give-away I am donating to an organization's raffle
Fancy Works Retreat Giveaway 

My 22nd Anniversary is upcoming and I stitched and framed this for us:

Heart in Hand ~ "Always You"
stitched on: 28 ct. Picture This Plus "Haunted" linen
with Classic Colorworks conversion that I did on my own
VP_HiH_Always You1 VP_HiH_Always You 2
I am teaching a class on finishing tarts and I stitched this and finished it for the class:

Plum Street Samplers ~ "Merry Friends"
stitched on 35 ct. Straw Weeks Dye Works Linen
using Classic Colorworks 
VP-2018 PSS Merry Friends

And lastly....I had a fatal error in this:


I counted and re-counted and the error in counting I had made was fatal...I would have frogged about 1/2 of what I had stitched. It was heart wrenching to me....but as I thought about it I realized, I am human, I make mistakes and of all pieces I'd want this one to be perfect. SO...I tossed it out and got new fabric, bought new DMC and will re-start soon:


Keeping it real and keeping it real humble ~ that's what it is all about!


I also did some finishing for my business clients and here we go: 
remember designer name and chart name ON the photo (if I know it and/or it was given to me):
KC_LK_Spring Chick KC_SR_Prim Hearts KC_SSS_Humble Gatherings NL_PSS_Olga KB_HOD_12 Days KB_LK Betty Broomstick EB_BBD In Full Glory EB_HOD Stitch EB_LHN He is Risen EB_LHN Sampler Tree CM_iStitch Sew Adorable JL_BBD Garden Club CK_Monochrome Heart JS_MR Chatelaine NS_Friend NS_HOD Chalk Ornie NS_Sled and Skates NS_Snowflower Diaries DB_PS Eggs DB_Pineberry Lane Shamrocks

That does it folks!
have a great week!
Hugs in stitches, 
Vonna xxxx

Friday, March 09, 2018

Let's Talk About Fabric Size.....

~ Greetings Friends and Fellow Stitchers ~ 
Warm welcome to you all, today we are going to discuss:

How to Calculate Fabric Sizes

This seems to be a big burning question for many stitchers...
I get e-mails about this 2-3 times per week and I see it asked often on stitching boards: 
"how much fabric do I need if I am going to stitch ______?!?!?!"

That's a loaded question people...
because what count fabric you are using and how you are going to stitch on it makes a whole lot of difference and it seems that some don't take that into consideration. What may be the size I cut my fabric may not be the size you should cut your fabric because of count of fabric could be different or we are stitching differently (over 1 thread versus over 2 threads).
So let's delve a little deeper into this...

Let's say for instance:
DESIGN SIZE: 100 w x 75 h
and I am using, FABRIC: 14 ct. Aida

The equation that we will *always* use is: 
STITCH count  divided by  FABRIC count = stitched size

you take *stitched size* and add 4 or 6 inches for margins (for finishing or framing)

Our example, then
100 w / 14 ct. =  7.14 inches 
I'm going to frame this so I am going to add: 6 inches (3 on each side of the stitching)
7.14 + 6 = 13.14 (let's just round it down to 13)
so now we know that: 13 inch is the width of our fabric

Now let's figure our height of fabric:
75 / 14 = 5.36
now we add 6 inches for framing: 
5.36 + 6 = 11.36 (let's just round up to 11.5 or 11 1/2)
so the height of our fabric is: 11 1/2 inches

we will cut our fabric: 13 x 11 1/2

FOR LINEN users it depends if you are stitching over 1 thread or over 2 threads, when you do your calculations. 
Let's use the same example, DESIGN SIZE: 100 w X 75 h

if we are stitching over TWO THREADS, on 28 ct. linen we would divide the linen count by 2:
28 / 2 = 14 ct. (thus we see we would have the same calculations as above)

if we are stitching over ONE THREAD, on 28 ct. linen that means we do nothing we calculate using the same equations as above:

100 / 28 = 3.57
now add our margins:
3.57 + 6 = 9.57 (let's round down: 9 1/2)

75/28 = 2.68
add margins:
2.68 + 6 = 8.68 (let's round up: 8 3/4)

so stitching over 1 we cut our fabric: 9 1/2 x 8 3/4

Clear as mud?
Well if you don't like math, I have a solution for you:
a FREE stitching calculator may be found: HERE
and the free calculator gives the option of adding the margins in, changing thread options and all of that. Just pay attention, fill in the appropriate holes with the correct information 
(*HINT* don't forget to change to over 1 thread or over 2 threads in that option)
and bingo bango out spits all the answers. 


May I suggest....
That we NOT be stingy with our stitching fabric, please. How many times (and I know we have all seen this) people cut too narrow margins and the stitching doesn't fit. How many times have I gotten a piece of linen with items that need to be finished into ornaments or smalls and cut apart and there is less than 1 inch (not kidding people!) BETWEEN the stitched items. My best advise:

Leave 4 inches between items when they need to be cut apart (if you are stitching on one large piece of linen - this mean top/bottom and left and right sides: 4 INCHES BETWEEN for finishing)
For framing, just add the 6 inches (3 on each side top/bottom and left and right sides)...you'll be happy you did. 

Until Next Time...
when I will discuss how to set up a series to be stitched all on one piece of fabric, to determine fabric size...
because that appears to blow a lot of people's minds too. 

Stitch Happy,
Vonna xxxx

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Let's Talk Rolaframes...

~ Greetings Friends and Fellow Stitchers ~

I have been fielding A LOT of questions about Rolaframes. So I thought I would do an extensive complete "What Vonna knows about Rolaframe" Blog. To help those that are interested but doesn't understand how the system works ~ because it IS a complete, comprehensive system and it DOES work for you in a economical way. I'll share with you everything I know. 

Rolaframes, here we go!

Here are some of my Rolaframes (yes I have more....I know, I know....but with me, when I love something, I am ALL IN and I am all in with Rolaframes!)

Rolaframe 1

To understand how Rolaframes work, how they look, how you load them up and other bits of information please see THIS BLOG POST 

The number one question I get all the time....
"What size scroll rods and side bars do you suggest?"
Well that's sort of a personal question...here is my stack of Rolaframes showing the size of my scroll rods that I  have. It's a personal choice thing and based on some factors that you have to decide for yourself. The rods (Rollers) are typically the length of the WIDTH of your project.
So for instance: you are stitching on a piece the fabric measures 12 inches WIDE and 18 inches LONG you would put them on 12 inch scroll rods. HOWEVER, let's say you don't have a 12 inch scroll rod but have a 18 inch one. that is fine...the system still works! 
So to summarize: You CAN put a smaller project on larger scroll rods ...but you CANNOT put a larger project on smaller scroll rods. 

Here is what I suggest you think about:
1.) What type of projects do I do most often? 
2.) What size projects do I gravitate to?

What does my stack of Rolaframes tell us?
You can see by my stack that I do smalls and then mid-size projects most often.
My personal favorite scroll rod sizes are:
8 inch (for ornaments and smalls)
12 inch (also for ornaments and smalls)
Then, I like 18-23 inches for my larger projects. I have a few 29 inch ones (but to be honest those are a little big for me to handle and I rarely do projects that large, personally) but I have a couple of larger projects that I work on from time to time and I use them. 

Rolaframe 2

OK so you have a plan for scroll rods...now let's talk End Bars. 
End Bar size is completely personal preference. 
I like to stitch with my pieces close to my body because I do not want to reach far with my arms (because of muscle strain issues).  Because I like my work close to me,  I prefer 7 inch and 8 inch end bars. I have a couple of 10 inch ones and one 12 inch one. The nice thing about the 10 and 12 inch end bars is that there are two sets of rounded out areas that you can place your scrolls (you can see what I mean in the bottom two end bars in the photo above), you can put them in at 10 inches or in a different set that will make them 8 inches depending which set of rounded out areas you place your rods. Same for 12 inch end bars, they can be 12 or 10 inch end bars because there are two sets of rounded out areas to place your rods. However I still gravitate and purchase most frequently 7" and 8" end bars the most because of how I like to stitch. That is all personal preference.

Now let's talk.... the system.
Everything is interchangeable, right? CORRECT! So in reality you could get ONE SET of end bars and MULTIPLE sets of Scroll Rods. Now I'd be lying if I said I did that...😂😂😂 and since I've already showed you my cards in the photos above you'd KNOW I was lying...BUT I do have MORE Scroll Rods than I have end bars (true fact!).

This is how I like to switch bars to move to another project:
Take the End Bars off and roll the project on the rods and use a hairband to keep together, then I put them in my Rolaframe storage tub that I have (under the bed cardboard storage container - think long and flat) Get my new project I want to work on and put scrolls on end bars and away I stitch!

Rolaframe 4

In fact hairbands on the ends is how I store my Scroll Rod sets when not in use:
Scroll Rods 5

and it is how I store my End Bars too:
Rolaframe 6

Now then...
like I said above, typically the WIDTH of your project determines the SIZE of your scroll rod....so this piece of linen is 29 inches wide...my rod is 29 inches wide and my end bars were 10 inches:
Rolaframe 7

Heidi Cran - if you watch her on her YouTube Channel HERE 
stitches her very LARGE projects with her scroll rods of choice vertically rather than horizontally.
This could be VERY useful for people that have a very WIDE project that isn't very TALL 
For instance lets say your project is: 18 inches TALL but 36 inches WIDE...that's a very looooonnnnggg scroll rod. But if you hold your scroll rods vertically with the end bars top and bottom, you can roll that 36 inches of fabric up on the rod work horizontally while holding the scroll frame vertically. Here is a visual so you understand what I mean:

Rolaframe 8

Pretty cool idea, right?! 

Another set of frequent questions is: 
Are these light enough to hold comfortably? Do these fit on a certain stitching stand? How do you work with these frames Vonna?

FIRST: you do not NEED a needlework stand to hold these. They are lightweight and very easy to hold, if they are large then they can be balanced on an armchair or against your body. So you do not need anything more to hold them. HOWEVER, I don't hold anything in my hands because I stitch 2 handed ALL the time, therefore I do use a stand.

Here is my complete disclosure: Hi my name is Vonna and I have 4 stitching stands. 😂

I own (click on them to see a post about them)
A handmade wooden lap stand
Dan King, the owner of Rolaframe Huntsville, gifted me a Rolaframe Lap Stand a year ago for being so supportive of his company. 
I could not live (literally) without any of these stands and I use all of them frequently...and I'll tell you why.

On my Needlework System 4 (both lap and floor stands)
I have the Q-snap head it widens to 17" wide on the newer models. I have a very old NSW4 model for my floor stand and Q-snap head (about 10 years old) and a NSW4 model that is 5 years old for my lap stand. Between the purchase of my first stand and my second stand -  there were some changes made and one of those changes means you can't make the snap head wider than 17".  
My NWS4 with my Q-snap head WILL hold: Q-snaps, Rolaframes and Stretcher Bars for stitching IF the widths are LESS than 17".

On my handmade wooden lap stand:
I can stitch on anything: Q-snaps, Rolaframes, Stretcher bars at any size because it is universal.

On my Rolaframe Lap Stand:
I can stitch on Rolaframes only, and 18 inch widths is the largest that it holds. I like ALL of my stands and I use all of them (I honestly do!) but I'm going to tell you that my Rolaframe Lap Stand is one of my favorites because of it is:
 1.) fully custom to my specifications
2.) is so lightweight
3.) Easy to take apart and put in a bag for travelling
**I took this stand to the Pigeon Forge retreat I went to last fall- I had it out and together in minutes flat...that easy. You can also use it on a table top, but I prefer it on my lap. 

Here's what my Rolaframe Lap Stand looks like:

Rolaframe 10

You can stitch on it with it setting on a table, but I prefer using it as a true lap stand. Here is what it looks like when I'm loaded in my chair and ready to stitch 😊 
Rolaframe 9

Here's some of the features of the Rolaframe Lap Stand that makes me love it so much!
Rolaframe 11

Rolaframe 17

Rolaframe 15

Rolaframe 16

So easy to load project:

Rolaframes 12

Rolaframe 13

Rolaframe 14

So there you go folks. I think that's the extent of my Rolaframe knowledge. 
But I do have a helpful hint: Rolaframe Huntsville makes wing nut tightener tools BUY THEM! In a pinch an old fashioned wooden clip type clothespin will help tighten them, but buy the wing nut tool from Rolaframe, cheap and a finger saver!

Also a tip that I can give is: buy a small Phillips Head screw driver and for those hard to tighten down screws you just put the screw driver on one side to hold the screw and use the wing nut tool to tighten. Can you see how tight my fabric is on that Rolaframe above? TIGHT 
Also note this is a 12 inch Rod and I have a 7 inch wide piece of fabric in there....and it is STILL TIGHT on the sides and everything. I bought my first Rolaframe second hand from a stitcher that was selling hers in 2015 and since that time I have fallen in love with Rolaframes, have amassed a large stash of Rolaframe  products and I'm not done. I'm thinking about adding the small floor stand. THAT dear readers, is how sold I am on Rolaframe.

Like I've said in other posts: Rolaframe is a small, family ran, handmade, American business. I'm all about supporting small businesses, supporting family and supporting handmade and American. 
Give Rolaframes a roll!!!!!!!!! You won't regret it.

Another video tutorial from me: Want to learn about how to load your projects and make sure they are TIGHT...give my video a look: HERE

Before I posted this Informational Blog Post, I contacted Dan at Rolaframe and asked him to give us his business information to fill in the holes I would leave out because of my ignorance of the full spectrum of Rolaframe products (I know all about what I own - but don't know the whole range of products available). 

HERE are Dan's words about his awesome products:
Rolaframe comes in two parts: End Bars and Rollers. Rollers range in size from 8" to 45" and End Bars range in size from 7" to 22". Any size Roller will work with any size End Bar for 608 possible size combinations! End bars and Rollers are sold separately so that stitchers can customize the size of their Rolaframe to suit the size projects that they normally work on. Some people work mostly on large projects, while other tend to stay with small projects. 

Rolaframe has four stands available. The Lap Stand holds Roller sizes from 8" to 18". The Small Floor Stand holds Roller Sizes from 8" to 28". The Medium Floor Stand holds Roller sizes from 19" to 38". The Large Floor Stand holds Roller sizes from 29" to 45". All Rolaframe stands hold End Bar sizes from 7" to 13"

Have we sold you on giving Rolaframe a try?!
If so may I direct you to a few locations:
Rolaframe Huntsville on Facebook with information about products may be viewed HERE

If you want to contact Rolaframe Huntsville you may use their e-mail: RolaframeHSV@gmail.com 

To see if there is a Local Needlework Shop NEAR you for purchase please view Rolaframe Retailer Map (it is interactive, you click on our state and view the pinpointed locations): HERE  

If there are no Needlework Shops near you that sell Rolaframes: may I suggest my Local Needlework Shop, Fancy Works located in Bloomington, Indiana. You may access their website: HERE and click on the tab "Online Shop" to view Rolaframe products for purchase 
or if you want to talk to a real live person:  call them directly at: 812-935-6353

Until next time folks...
STITCH HAPPY buy a Rolaframe!

Love in Stitches, 
Vonna xxxx