Purple Heron by Melissa Shirley – Progress 6A

I’ve been working on the Ripples stitch on the sky yesterday and today. I’m stitching with the canvas turned upside down so it’s easier to reach, working right to left. I anchor the threads in the unstitched gray border using an L stitch. They’ll be covered up with the gray border when I get around to stitching it. And look how nicely it goes around the heron’s head! (Purely by accident too)

Next Friday and Saturday, I’ll continue by going down the right side (as you’re looking at it) and filling in all of that side. The next week I’ll work on the left side. I’m stitching right over the tall grasses. I’ll stitch on top of the Ripple stitch when I get to them (probably the last thing I’ll do on this canvas.) I’m using two plies of Waterlilies (one from the old skein and one from the new skein) to give a light touch to the sky – not something heavy. I want the colors painted on the canvas to show through. Here is all the sky that is done, not a lot but it’s going faster now that I know the pattern.

 

Purple Heron by Melissa Shirley – Progress 6

Very little progress actually. I have the gray borders stitched along the right side. My first idea for stitching the flowers failed, so I’ll have to try a couple other ideas.

Today, I decided to turn the canvas again so I can stitch the gray borders along the top of the canvas. But I got side-tracked. I wanted to try out some open stitches to see what I could do for the sky. I tried out 3.

I tried to darken the colors so you might be able to see them better. On the left is Ripples from Sheena’s Sweet Stitches (blog and on Pinterest), On the right is Darning Pettern G from iStitches Vol. 2 from Ruth Schmuff. Very hard to see is the third one underneath, to the right of the grass. It’s Darning Pattern Lg Wave from iStitches Vol 3 from Ruth Schmuff. I’ve ruled out Pattern G already, since it would waste a lot of thread going all the way across the sky covering one thread in every 6-7 threads.

I like Ripples and Lg Wave (which waves left and right going down the canvas). The stitches for Lg Wave are done over 1 and 2 threads, so they are smaller and very hard to see in the photo. They could give the impression of rain – which would work. Ripples waves up and down across the sky and is done over 3 – 6 threads (varies a little from row to row).

At the top of the photo is the thread that I will be using – Sunglow Waterlilies. It has the white, yellow and lavender that matches the painted sky. I have one old skein and one new skein and will stitch the sky using one strand from each skein. I want to get all the sky done and then stitch the grass over it.

It’s not going to be very visible, more of a little texture to add to the piece. Which stitch would you use to stitch the sky?

Purple Heron by Melissa Shirley – Progress 5

It’s been a while since I worked on this, but it’s now getting some attention two mornings a week. And I’ve finally gotten the bottom border completed. The frog was stitched with rust and brown to help him stand out from the stems and leaves around him. All the borders are being stitched with Splendor silk.

I haven’t decided how I want to stitch the flowers along the left and right borders, but I can work on the background and the leaves. I also want to finish the gray border all the way around. That will make it easier for me to play with some stitches for the sky around the herons. I have a Waterlilies that has the same colors as the sky (white, lavender and yellow), so a light coverage is all I’m looking for. I have several darning stitches I want to try out.

Those things will keep my busy for a while. This won’t be back for 4-6 weeks and I hope I’ll have something to show you by then.

Purple Heron by Melissa Shirley – Progress 4

I’ve been working on this for the last week, trying to get the water and ground finished. I did try several different ways to do the feet on the larger heron, and nothing looked right – color or stitches. Then it dawned on me that it’s 13 ct canvas and I could use Silk & Ivory and Elephant and Mouse were exact matches for the way it was painted.  So here is the water, ground and feet all done! I outlined the feet with a very dark gray to make them show up better and to add the talons.

Heron 4A

The top of the legs haven’t been done yet, but I’ll be using an overdyed floss for them. I also need to finish the border along the bottom of the canvas. I’ve been avoiding the frog so it’s time to get it done when I get back to this piece once again. Here is the piece so far…

Heron 4B

Right now it’s back to the Anatolian Rug for a while.

Purple Heron by Melissa Shirley – Progress 3

With just 1-2 hours to work on this each week, progress is slow. I wanted to see how my idea of overdyes of different colors would work for the ground around the purple heron’s feet. I had just started it last time you saw the canvas. It’s about half done now, using the Hungarian stitch for the whole area. The gray/brown thread is Flax n Color. The olive overdye is an Anchor variegated thread. The multi-color one is an old Needle Necessities floss. All of them from my stash.

Heron 3A

I think I need to decide how to stitch the feet before I finish the section around the feet.

I also finished the left side of the bottom border. Now to figure out that frog.

Heron 3B

I don’t know how much time I’ll have for this after this month. The new rug is scheduled to begin on June 1st. But I’ll find a few hours here and here.

Purple Heron by Melissa Shirley – Progress 2

I haven’t been working on this very often. Still trying to get a handle on it. But here it is so far:

P Heron 2

Three flowers have been completed and the background, etc. is completed halfway to the frog. Lots of border work is done, because I wanted to start playing with the bottom part of the center.

Heron Testing 2

I using as much as possible from my stash for this project. Looking at the water on the left side, I decided to try out two Bravo overdyes. I cut out the blue on the lighter overdye on the left and will use it for all the lightest areas. The darker sections will be done with the second Bravo, just as it is. I’m using two plies of the thread. The stitch is the Wave Stitch that I saw on Sheena’s Sweet Stitches blog. I started and ripped several times until I finally got the pattern set up. I think it’s going to be great!

Heron Testing 3

The right side will be done with Hungarian (I think). At the bottom, right you can see that I’ve done a small section, using the Flax ‘n Color at the top. The light gray and brown work well with the painted canvas. I’ll continue up the right side with this thread. Most of this section will continue in Hungarian using the Needle Necessities overdye. I’m thinking that I’ll stitch the green at the bottom with similar colored thread, but that may get too complicated – so we’ll see.

I said I wasn’t in a hurry to get this one done, and I only work on it 1-2 hours a week. You probably won’t see it again for a month or two.

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….