Purple Heron by Melissa Shirley – A Start

Where in the world do you start on a huge project like this one?

Purple Heron

I’ve been staring at this on and off for several weeks. I’ve pulled lots of threads that I can use – solid colors and overdyes. I’ve been thinking about stitches. I finally decided last week that I need to pick an area and just get started on it. I didn’t want to start with the herons themselves first – too large an area. I need to ease into this. So I decided that I should figure out what to do for the green background and the gray borders first.

Testing stitches

I didn’t want to use Basketweave for all that green, so I tried out Alicia’s Lace and I think I’ll stay with that. I did the large area on the left so I could set up the pattern and then work outward from there. I’m using 4 strands of Splendor.

Next was the gray border. I’ve tried about 10 different stitches and ripped most of them out. The three showing are Rice stitch going up the left side, couching on the left, and Overlaid Cross stitch on the right. It’s hard to see in the photo, but instead of laying Splendor and then couching it down, I tried dark gray Flair and then couched it with Splendor. It’s interesting and I like it, but I don’t like the unstitched rows above and below the Flair. That left the Overlaid Cross stitch which I really like – decision made.

I’ve done a little of the Basketweave/Tent stitches for the branches and started on the first flower. I’ve never done a flower in Buttonhole stitch before so this was a first try. I didn’t like how it was working out so I pulled the bottom half out and started again.

P Heron 1

This is the second try at the flower today. I need to use more plies of Splendor so it will cover better and I still didn’t get all the white covered at the top, left. The center is pale yellow and I think it needs a darker yellow so it will show up better. The center is a French Knot in dark olive Frosty Rays (I like this part!). I’ve done quite a bit of the gray border (with a Rhodes stitch in the corner) and I’m pleased with that.

The mandala is getting a lot of attention in the mornings upstairs, but I’ll try to work on this a little each week. I’m in no hurry on this. I want to play with threads and stitches for the various areas and eventually work on it more. But it’s a start….

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9 responses to “Purple Heron by Melissa Shirley – A Start

  1. Hooray!! I’m so happy to see you starting this one!! I LOVE seeing your creative juices at work in the various photos and following your commentary. I think I’m having ALMOST as much fun as you! And I don’t needlepoint … yet!! Happy stitching!

  2. Wow, looks greats o far! It must be lots lof fun to experiment with different stitches and flosses for this kind of project, but also so much respoonsibility to geht it *just* right, I don’t think I could do it 🙂

  3. This looks great. When I use the Buttonhole stitch I go back and put straight stitches in the areas where the painted canvas shows through. That might work better than increasing your ply.

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