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2014 PC Blog Hop: Delft Blue Windmill Ornaments
Submitted by Pam on Wed, 04/23/2014 - 07:00
Windmills have always held a special fascination for me - whether fabulously beautiful designs with a multitude of grilled blades or a tumbledown old relic rusting away on American prairies. I can not help myself. I must stop and gaze at every one I encounter - and listen while the wind gently nudges the blades into action. Now, thanks to a "gentle nudge" from Diane's 2014 PC Blog Hop, I have fashioned my very own windmills to sit on my mantle, hang on my holiday tree and to take their place at my "St. Nicholas table" in December.
When Diane mentioned early in the year that she was planning another Plastic Canvas Blog Hop, I immediately expressed my enthusiasm for joining in! When she announced it to "the world", I almost delayed too long to secure a spot! In just a few hours in fact all slots were filled! And as you have no doubt noticed by now, filled by some pretty darn PC crafty individuals! Be sure to, if you haven't already, pop into every single post for a visit! Everyone's links are at the bottom of this post, and updating each day of the hop.
To prepare for this post, I first spent time researching windmill shapes - mostly those found in the Netherlands! And then I spent time stitching, tearing apart and redesigning my original overly ambitious designs. But in the end, I believe the set still remains true to the overall spirit of the designs I found appealing. (Got a couple more to try once I get my hands on the circular plastic canvas.)
Although this "tutorial" will guide you through the making process, I am relying heavily on stitch and technique tutorials already available on the internet. (I see no value in reinventing the wheel!) Perhaps the real value in this post is the attached pdf containing graph paper pattern diagrams so you can cut your plastic canvas into the needed shapes.
I have constructed "ornament sized" windmills - averaging 4 to 5 inches tall. Each opening on the graph paper represents one opening on 7 openings per inch plastic canvas. But the beauty of graph paper patterns is that you have the flexibility to assign the squares any value you wish effectively doubling or tripling the finished size!
So lets get started with a brief description of the FOUR BASIC STEPS
1. Following the diagrams provided in the pdf, cut the sides, roof, bottoms and blades from 7 squares per inch plastic canvas.
2. Stitch stitch stitch! For me personally, I prefer to complete the stitching on all windmill sections before assembly.
Before stitching, mark the hole with a sharpie where you wish to place your blade and leave it free of stitches. This allows easier access.
Certainly, if you are inclined, embroidery would be a nice addition! As you can see above on some windmills, I have used long straight stitches to create doors.
I will offer a few tips that apply to each windmill design, but if you are new to dimensional plastic canvas, I would suggest you read these three tutorials written by Diane: here on Crafty Pod; here on Craftstylish; and here on Craftypod and Whipup!
4. Attach a hanger if you are planning to hang your windmill as an ornament! Just pay attention to the center of gravity when placing your yarn so you windmill doesn't hang wonky.
Most any stitch designed for needlepoint canvas will work on plastic canvas. So if you happen to have a needlepoint stitch reference in your crafty library, browse through until you find something that inspires!
For those who want to duplicate the stitches I have used and who do not have a reference available, below is a "Stitch Key"!
The Brick Fill stitch was featured in my post last year during the 2013 PC Hop; find it here!
Note that due to the thickness of the yarn, I placed two strands of yarn in every other opening. If you are using thick worsted yarn, one yarn per opening should be sufficient.
Bargello! You will find a clear concise description to get your started right here.
Note that rather than draw my yarn over two or more openings, I made tiny single stitches because of the tiny size of the roof!
Gobelin Stitch is one of my favorites. Find a good starting point here.
The stitch covers a lot of territory quickly and in my opinion is quite pretty in all it's many forms - vertical, horizontal, diagonal or as you see on the white sample juxtaposed! It can be used to cover two to five openings in one long stitch!
Another of my favorite stitches, The Modified Rice Stitch, appears with the Gobelin Stitch on the blue and white piece above. You will find it here is last year's tutorial as well.
I designed it to work with 7 square per inch plastic canvas. Traditionally it is worked over more openings.
Mosaic Stitch! Fun to make and offers options for variety! Find a simple tutorial here.
I stitched it both in a single color yarn and then multi-colored yarn to resemble tile.
All blades were stitched using Continental stitch which is found here.
Whip Stitch used for edges and assembly - see Diane's brand spanking new you-tube tutorial here!
AND NOW WE WILL TALK A BIT ABOUT THE CONSTRUCTION OF EACH WINDMILL.
1. Stitching notes:
The Mosaic Stitch was used on every surface except the bottom (gobelin - quick fill!)
This stitch allowed me to create the suggestion of tile. By stitching some blocks with two contrasting yarns, I was able to create the illusion of a colored tile band around the windmill and colored tiles on the roof.
I actually used three needles while stitching the roof pieces! A little tricky but certainly doable!
2. Assembly notes:
Assemble in this order. First stitch together the three roof sections.
Then stitch together the four walls leaving one side open for now - easier to handle attaching the roof.
Attach the roof by joining the roof edges to the house edges. There will be a tiny overhang at the sides of the windmill. Once the front and back roof/wall seams are completed, whip stitch the exposed edges of the overhang.
Attach the blade, placing a wire or yarn through the unstitched hole reserved just for this purpose.
In this case, I chose to use beads and wire. Run the wire through the smaller "inside bead", through the hole in the PC, through the blade, through the bigger "outside" bead and back through the blade, hole and smaller bead. Leave the assembly loose enough to be able to twist the wire ends together over the smaller bead inside the windmill.
This assembly method allows you to spin your blade!
Lastly, stitch up that remaining side seam and attach the the bottom panel!
1. Stitching notes:
The cylinder was stitched using the Brick Fill stitch; the base completed using Continental stitch and the roof - Bargello.
Most Bargello is worked over two or more holes, but this tiny roof really would have been too small for the stitch to have made sense visually. So one opening at a time!!
You should be able to determine the pattern I used. - I love how it looks when all the edges are stitched together.
Begin by working the very center hole on the bottom edge row (dark navy blue) and then work toward your right and once you reach the edge, return to the center and resume stitching in an identical pattern toward the left. This first line of stitches creates a guide for all the following rows of stitches.
(The blue "cross" on the very top was added after all the seams were stitched.)
2. Assembly notes:
Seam together the two short ends of the large rectangle (stitched in Brick Fill stitch). You now have a cylinder.
Stitch the four roof pieces together being careful to match your pattern! Then whip stitch the entire bottom edge of the roof.
Attach the blade. In this case I used a cute button at the front and used yarn to secure the button and the bead. Running the yarn through the bead before connecting to the roof allows the blade to turn!
The simple base was constructed using a clever method that I learned over at 30 Minute Crafts in the PC Hop last year. Find it here!
I attached four narrow sides and the top using this method. Bottom of the base is left open for now.
Work a length of yarn up through the base and into the bottom edges of the cylinder and back into the base. Repeat at each side point of the base.
The inside of your base will look something like this. Make sure all four joins are nice and tight and then tie the yarn ends into a secure knot.
Attach the bottom piece of the base.
And finally, glue the roof onto the cylinder! (Or stitch if you prefer. I just didn't want to mess with my beautiful Bargello pattern!! And PC police officer Diane says glueing is OK!
1, Stitching notes:
Since this is such a plain design, I tried jazzing it up a bit with fancy stitching! This particular house is a great canvas for playing with unusual stitches.
Rows of Rice Stitch and Gobelin stitches filled the roof and sides beautifully. If you do opt to experiment and choose to create rows of different stitches, make sure they line up from piece to piece!
2. Assembly notes:
Following Diane's tutorial here, attach the two sides and the front and back sections to the base.
Then whip stitch all four side seams.
Attach the bottom panel
Attach the blade. In this case I have simply attached the blade with a button. A SNOWFLAKE button! This method does not allow for the blade to turn - just a little rocking back and forth. But I had to have my snowflake!!
And finally attach the roof section wusing the whip stitch!
And now all you need is pattern diagrams! And I am happy to share them as long as you understand that this little PDF is at the very outer limits of my meager technical skills!!! No brand spanking glossy beauty here. Just copies of pages from my note book! But it should get the job done!