Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Questions & Answers!

We get a lot of questions... these seem to pop up over & over again. OH!!! Somewhere in here is the information about our "Late Summer Contest" so read carefully!!

Q - Why do you prefer a spring tension hoop? And why so small???
A - I like to be able to re-hoop quickly. The spring tension hoops allow quick "re-loads", have very thin sides and no screw to tear my fingers up. It's also easy to loosen or re-tighten as I work... looser for that sewing motion with the backstitch.... tighter for crossing over or making long stitches such as feather, fly, lazy daisy. The size is good for women's hands. It's easy to reach to the center of the hoop.

Q - Why do you use Weeks Dye Works floss if it's not colorfast?
A - We use this floss because it's absolutely gorgeous! That, and we use it on designs that we feel would never be washed. You'll never see it used on a dish towel pattern.... YIKES!!

Q - Why do you call for a backstitch in your patterns & not a stem stitch?
A - Sheer laziness!! LOL! Really, for the most part the backstitch is much easier and faster. It doesn't roll over...... hmmm.... what else? If you do a stem stitch it needs to be very small and very precise & even to look good. A backstitch is much more forgiving. However, it's YOUR stitchery & you can use the stem stitch if that's what your fingers want to do! It's not going to hurt MY feeling!!

Q - Who is this man, and why is he smiling????
A - That's Bob, our UPS dude! He's probably smiling because we didn't have anything for him to pick up last night.... WHEW, those boxes of patterns are heavy!

Q - Why do you call for such a large piece of stitchery fabric (such as a 12"x12" square when the stitchery is only 6"x6") ?
A - I leave extra room for hooping around the edges of the stitchery. If you don't think you'll need the extra room you can always use your own judgement and use less fabric. It's up to you!

Q - My lazy daisy stitches are tight and don't look like the ones drawn on the patterns. How do you make them look like loops?
A - Easy! I find that they're often pulled too tight. Also, if the floss is pulled straight UP from the surface of the fabric to tighten the stitch, it's much easier to get out of control and over-tighten. Instead, pull the floss out right down along the edge of your hoop. Pull slowly until the loop is the size and shape you want.
Q - How do I keep my French knots from tangling and having loops on them? (Someone once told me in a class that her French knots "waved" LOL!!!)
A - The key to good French knots is to keep proper tension on the wraps and to work SLOWLY!!! If you pull the floss through the wraps slowly enough, you can even have a chance to un-tangle your floss if it gets knotted, before the stitch is ruined.

Q - What is the muslin for that you call for on the back of the pattern? How do you baste the muslin to the stitchery fabric?
A - I like to baste muslin to the back of my traced stitchery to stabilize the fabric and to cover up all the ugly thread ends and cross-overs on the back. The muslin will keep the ugly stuff from shadowing through to the front of the fabric. I like to hand baste about 1/2" to 1/4" outside the edges of the design and around here and there inside the design to hold the two pieces of fabric together. I like to hand baste quite a bit... it keeps the fabric from shifting when it's hooped and cuts down on puckering. The basting stitches don't need to be little... just big stitches & lots of them! The basting will be removed after the stitchery is completed however, you can also remove portions of the basting as you stitch.

Psssst............. this is one of the pitchers on the bottom panel of a new quilt! Right now we're calling it "the china quilt" but I need a new name & I need it NOW!!!!! Here's the new "Late Summer Contest".... will you help me name this quilt??? I'll describe it & you can email us your name ideas. The winner will get a gift from Crabapple Hill!! OK.... the quilt is designed to look like a framed picture (flowers in an urn) hanging on a wall above a shelf. Vintage china plates, platters, saucers are arranged on the wall around the picture and a bowl, pitchers, sugar bowl, etc... are clustered on the lacy tablecloth covered shelf beneath. There will be crazy quilt borders on the left & right sides of the quilt with little floral images etc... and china-type words to choose from. Any ideas???? Send them in! We'll need your entries by September 12th so there's not much time!!

Our Flight of Fancy is back from the quilter!! Susan Johnson of Signature Quilting did a great job on it. I'll sew the binding on this week & Sheila will do the hand sewing (she's SO fast at it!!) I'll start writing the pattern later this week - it shouldn't take long.... easy piecing & easy redwork.... YAHOO!!!
The flowers in front of the studio are blooming their little hearts out! They're also full of bumblebees (they're so cute!). It's about time to switch some of the flowers that are pretty much done for the year with marigolds and mums. I'm SO ready for autumn! The first weekend of September I'm going to re-plant my pots with autumn flowers and pick the pumpkins to arrange on the porch.

I've had many questions from you about the progress on our new house. Here's the "latest"!!! They're just finishing up with the drywall (finally!) and will get started on the trim next. There's a lot of woodwork in the house so that should take a few weeks I'm told! The porch's pillars & railings aren't in yet either & that will come soon. We're going to paint it a pale yellow with white trim. I just love the back side of the house... it reminds me of an old schoolhouse that sits in the wheat fields in the Palouse region east of here. It's all those windows! With that evening sun, we're going to have to plant TONS of trees! The front of the house sits face to face with the front of the studio. It'll be an easy commute to work in the morning! Oh.... there's so much landscaping work to do! I'm itching to get started!!!

xox Meg


little acorns said...

Oh Meg. . . the house looks wonderful! I bet it will be hard to wait to move in - but at this point - things can happen really fast . . . & there's things getting finished every day (. . . hopefully!) I don't blame you at all for bypassing Market to see the house through. . . but we will miss seeing you & your beautiful designs!
xo, Bren

Ruth B said...

Wow...excellent questions and answers. Very helpful for us Knot-y Girls!

Pat said...

I think "The Good China" would be a good name for the design or "Sunday Dishes" if it wouldn't offend folks.

Debra @ Life is a Stitch said...

"Vintage Vignettes" is my idea for titling your new project.
And I'll miss you at market also.

Leisa said...

What about - "Grandma's Parlour" for the new quilt. I can't wait to see it!

Anonymous said...

How about Grandmother's china? I can't wait to see it and buy it! ;o)

Your house is going to be so beautiful!!

Heather in Arizona

Helen said...

What a lovely house. I'd be itching to move in too.

My suggestion for a quilt name is Grandma's China.

I'm looking forward to seeing the quilt!

Denise Felton said...

Great info in the Q&A! Just put a link to this post on my blog. Hope it brings you a few extra clicks.


Anonymous said...

Looks like another pattern I will need to make --- With the crazy quilt panels it could be "Crazy about China". Since it looks like my Grandma's dishes, it could be "Grandma's China".

Sharon S said...

Did you have a favorite Grandma? The one who would make you tea in her pretty china cups? Or maybe it was your Mom or a favorite Aunt? Mine were Betty, Vivian, Florence, Adeline, Effie & Violet. Remembering special times with them alwyas brings a smile to my face! The house is beautiful!

Mary said...

My suggestion Grandma's Good Dishes, because your description reminds me of the dishes my Grandma kept in her china cupboard and the flowers she had from her garden and we used those dishes for Sunday suppers when the whole family would gather--flowers in the pitchers, too. The house is lovely, reminds me of the building stages of the house I'm in now and I love it more everyday!

Anonymous said...

What about "Grandma's Heirlooms" for your new project. OR maybe "Vintage Tea Time." I love your work, its beautiful.

Jeanna in California

scarlette said...

Granny's China Cabinet or Grandmother's China Cabinet. "Olde World China Art", "Vintage China Still Life" or "Still Life - Vintage China" - or more as i think of them. love the Pitcher - and eagerly awaiting the redwork.

scarlette said...

"Tea Cups & Tea Kettles" - "Anyone for Tea?", "Tea Romance" - "A Time Forgotten" - "A Time to Remember" - "Memories are Made of This" or "How Memories are Made"

Barb said...

I have a couple of ideas for a name: since it will have crazy quilt blocks around it:

a. Crazy for Vintage
b. Vintage Crazy

Love your new house! Can't wait to see it as it moves along--how exciting!

Tia Ronningen said...

Hi! I haver recently just discovered your patterns and website. LOVE IT! I purchased the "Twas the Night" pattern and am happily getting ready to start stitching.

My name suggestion for the quilt:

Vintageware in Grandma's care

Can't wait to see the new quilt.

Thanks for all your hard designwork.

Stitched by--


Candace said...

Thanks for the wondeful Q & A! Hmm....I might call the pattern "M'Lady's Tea Parlour"

Barbara in TN said...

Name for your 'china quilt'? How about "Royal China"?
Barbara in TN

Ruth O'Leary said...

Great tips! It's always important to cover the basics, and you do so really clearly.

mouse said...

Thanks for the great Q&A and all of the tips! As far as quilt-name suggestions, mine are "Grandmother's China Cabinet", "Antique Grace", and "Tea at Grandma's". Looks beautiful! :)

Danielle said...

How about fill in one of your grandmother or aunts names? If it was my grandmother it would be "Adelaide's Heirlooms".

The house is amazing!

Anonymous said...

I love your patterns. I'd like to suggest....Grandma's "Company" China.... Mom's "Company" China or Company is coming for Tea


Lynn S said...

I spent all last night dreaming about your new quilt design and the newest summer contest...so here are my suggestions: "A Late Summer's Night Dream!" or "Crazy Memories of Vintage Past" or "Vintage Delights"

Linda said...

Thanks for the helpful tips. I could use them all. I will try the little spring hoop. I think it would work better. I love to stitch. The new quilt sounds like it's going to be beautiful. I liked all the names already given. "A Time Remembered." Quilts do make you remember times gone by. Beautiful house, I know you can't wait to get in. I'll be excited to see all the stitchery that goes in.

Happy Stitchin'
Linda, Wv

scarlette said...

"Memories of Home", "Memories of Yesteryear" "Reminders of Days Gone Bye". BTW, i now really feel for you. we are starting construction on new home and what an ordeal... but so happy for you

Vicki said...

My friend Jean has a lot of these beautiful plates and linens and she calls them her "vintage treasures" I think that would be a great name for your new quilt.

Ina said...

Ladies, I think we are supposed to email our ideas to info@crabapplehillstudio.com ;0

I am just now reading these posts and I just LOVE 'Sunday Dishes'! Wish I had thought of that one. ;0

Jeannie said...

Your house is beautiful and I'd get those trees in pronto! The designs remind me of my Gram's china also! How about Dresden Desserts? Have a great weekend (it's supposed to rain - yea!).

Angela said...

Vintage Tea Party, Mother Daughter Tea, Tea Thyme, Special Times, A Gentler Time These are my suggestions!

Threeundertwo said...

Q: Will I finish this Hocuspocusville quilt in time for Halloween? It's going to be close.

Love this Q&A. I think stem stitch is more forgiving - what if you don't get that backstitch exactly back into the previous hole? I hate to miss a thread.

Gorgeous house! How exciting.

Robyn *Ü* said...

How about Grandmother's heirlooms for the china quilt?

Mary Burn said...

Meg, Your house is going to be soooo beautiful. I know you can't wait to get moved in and get everything arranged with your lovely furniture.

My name for the quilt would be: Sunday Tea at Grandma's.

Carrie P. said...

thanks for the tip on making lazy daisy flowers. sometimes they turn out and sometimes they don't. Now I should be able to get them right every time.

Hi! My name is erica. Would you be my friend? said...

What about GA sampler threads...they're nice, and colorfast too!

Anonymous said...

Oh, I just love it and I can't wait for A flight of fancy either! A couple of names that come to mind:

1. Time for Tea
2. Come Sit for a Spot of Tea
3. Vintage Tea Party
4. Adelaide's Tea Party

Hope you like them--love the new house too!

Helen said...

Meg: Your studio is sew pretty. And your cats are precious. My black and white Fiona is 15, He pa; Amalie passed away last year and we miss her very much. Thanks for the phots and you cute UPS fella.