Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Mulberry (aka Blueberry) & Lime - Updated 5/5/21

May 5, 2021--Won 2nd Place Ribbon in the Canvaswork-Multistitch category at Woodlawn's 58th Annual Needlework Exhibition in Alexandria, VA.

July 28, 2020--Ta da....this project is now framed.  Michaels Arts & Crafts did a good job on this.  The simple metal frame and matting look great with the fancy stitches and beading.  Very pleased.

Mulberry (aka Blueberry) & Lime Framed

July 9, 2020--The stitching on this beautiful project is now done and ready for the framer.  Below are photos of my project done in blues and lime along with the designer's project photo stitched in mulberry and lime (I think both are equally beautiful)

There were many challenges to this piece, most involving thread selection which I wrote about on June 22nd below.  I understand that magazines are limited as to how many pages can be devoted to instructions, so happily there weren't many issues in that regard.  In fact, there was only one instruction missing that I found--the placement of a Smyrna cross stitch in Step 21 needed to be repeated after stitching the right angled row of backstitches.

Mulberry (aka Blueberry) & Lime Completed
Mulberry & Lime Project Photo

Below is a revised list of threads I used in the project compared to those used by the designer.  This has been saved as a .jpeg so it can be enlarged.

Regarding the beads, my stash is limited, so I only used 2 types instead of 4 as designed.

July 4, 2020--All the bands through Step 19 are stitched.  The next steps involve the beautiful lacey looking stitches in the corners and centers, then the placement of lots of beads.   I haven't dived into my stash of beads yet, waiting to see what colors I'll end up using for the lacey stitches.  

Once everything is done, I'll repost my thread list which continues to change as I move forward.  This has been one of the most challenging projects I've done to date, but believe it'll be worth it in the end.  

Wishing everyone a Happy July 4th.

Mulberry (aka Blueberry) & Lime Through Step 19

June 22, 2020--This project has been a challenge, to put it mildly.  At one time I considered dumping the whole thing and starting over.  The biggest problems came from the threads in the instructions which are way too big for use on Congress Cloth.  For example, the designer calls for Kreinik #12 for an Oblique Encroaching Gobelin stitch over 1 thread.  Impossible to use Kreinik #12 without stretching out the Congress Cloth.  Kreinik #4 and #8 work much better.   There are other similar examples, such as using DMC Perle 8 when 12 is the better choice.   I'm also unhappy with my congress cloth.  I'm stitching on a cream color cloth with gold weaving through it.  That gold is always in the way when trying to find a hole in a crowded stitching situation (e.g., working up Jessicas).  Then I decided to change out some colors which involved some frogging.  However, I still love the design and like how the designer worked up the Jessica stitches--they came out beautiful.  So it's a love/hate relationship with this thing.  Still have 7 more steps to stitch which will really add "bang" to the project.

Mulberry (aka Blueberry) & Lime Through Step 14

May 31, 2020--I recently picked an old project I had in my stash designed by Jeanne Polzin and published in ANG’s Needlepointers Magazine in 2012, number 3.  This was a project led by Maryrose C-B for Delaware's Seashore Chapter of ANG back in 2014.  Maryrose wrote up wonderful notes on each section and made fantastic suggestions for alternate thread colorways.  I chose blues and am calling my project Blueberry & Lime.

So far I've stitched Steps 1 and 2, waiting for threads to arrive in the mail before going further.  Here's a photo.

Mulberry (Blueberry) & Lime Completed through Section 2

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Christmas in the Heartland - Updated 7/3/2020

July 3, 2020--Picked up this project from Michaels Arts & Crafts frame shop today.  Love how it came out--simple yet elegant.  Even though it's a Christmas piece, I'm going to have it hanging in my guest room all year round.

Christmas in the Heartland Framed

May 28, 2020--Fini!  As much of a challenge as this piece was for me, I enjoyed every step of the way.  The very last section contained a hardanger stitch called Greek Cross adjoining Divided Wrapped Bars.  Cindy Valentine's instructions were very clear, but I took a peak at some YouTube videos on how this stitch is executed just for clarification.  Easy peasy!  Lastly, I found one more error and have noted it below in my Notes to the Instructions.

Christmas in the Heartland Completed
Christmas in the Heartland Completed

Note:  At first I thought the small bird on the lower right side was a chicken.  Heartland = Chicken.
Nope, while stitching it, I realized it's supposed to be a quail because of the piece on top of its head.  Can you see it?

May 26, 2020--Back in 2012, I enrolled in an ANG Workshop by Mail project called Christmas in the Heartland designed by Cindy Valentine.   Because this project has many hardanger type stitches, I put off working on this piece until I was able to take a hardanger class of some sort which I did at Hardanger University in February, 2019.  Glad I did wait--was able to cut the fabric for the first section in full confidence.  Cindy's instructions for doing the hardanger stitches are wonderful and I especially liked her chart giving the path for stitching the needlewoven bars and dove's eyes.  Perfect.

I do wish, however, that I copied the class emails and notes back in 2012, especially those that may have discussed errors in the instructions.  I found a few errors myself and have noted them below in case anyone else has this project in their "to be stitched" stash.  I also made an error in what type of silver Kreinik to use.  The instructions called for "HL", High Lustre silver #4 Kreinik and I'm using regular silver from my stash.  I now can see that the HL Kreinik would have made a much greater impact.  This project is stitched on 25 count Laguna linen and has been a challenge to work on.  Lots of froggin' going on.  The most difficult stitch for me to get right was the Queen's Stitch.  I must have restarted that stitch 4 times.  Aaarrrgh!

All in all, though, I am very much enjoying this project.  There's another band of hardanger cutwork coming up and I'm sure I'll get through that easily enough.   Below is a photo of my progress to date.  I took 2 photos, one with white fabric underneath the linen, another with a silvery color.  I like the silver fabric best--you don't see the threads on the back of the linen carried from one section to another.

Christmas in the Heartland Through Band O

Notes to the Instructions:

  • A Kloster stitch is missing on Band B in the lower right section.  The missing stitch is shown  on Page A Master Chart, Page B Detail of Master Chart Top and on Page 5 Detail of Band B.
  • The Queen Stitches Detail on Page 19 show the angles of the center stitches going in a different direction than those on the Master Chart Page A and on the Detail of Master Chart Center Page C.  I used the Master Chart to determine the angles.
  • The color Kreinik for the Ray stitches on Diagram O Page 21 for the blue colorway should be silver, not gold as printed.
  • Band R on page 22 refers to placing beads in this section.  The instructions made no reference to where those beads were to go.