Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Midnight Meander - New Start

I've been talking about it for a while on this blog, but I finally did it. I finally took out Midnight Meander. There is no going back now.

If you're not familiar with Midnight Meander, it is a design by Hazel Blompkamp from her book Crewel Twists. Her designs use Crewel techniques but all threads used in the pieces are cotton instead of the traditional wool, and they include beads which is also not traditional.

This design is darker than what I normally work on. It's stitched in black, white and shades of gray. Not colors I'm attracted to, but I couldn't resist all those beads.

I decided to use a frame to stretch the piece for stitching as I don't like working with hoops. My French embroidery frame allows me to quickly mount the piece. I could have used my RSN slate frames but that would have taken the entire day to set up and I wanted to quickly jump in to the embroidery.

The instructions in the book are good but they lack progress shots. Back when I first bought this kit, I didn't have the confidence to work on it and get the results I want. But after completing a phase in Japanese embroidery and stitching many kits, I now have the experience to stitch it to my standards. I'm kind of a perfectionist if you didn't learn that by now.

Having experience means that I read the instructions given, but then use my own judgement on whether to follow them or not based on what I've learned. One example of this is the line of beads that surround the calyx. Except for using the thread and bead color noted, I didn't follow the instructions at all and instead used what I learned in Japanese bead embroidery.

The results came out really quite nice and I have a lovely curve. As I look at it though, I wonder if my lattice needs to be redone. I feel like they are too spaced out, what do you think?

One technique I'm still not confident in is long and short. Nothing I can do about it, except do more of pieces with long and short. I'll have to start looking around for a piece in the many Trish Burr books I have. I do know that putting in guidelines helps and I used a Gelly Roll pen for that. This is a great pen to have in your embroidery etui as it's archival and doesn't smear.

I did see some improvement after the third and fourth petal. Nothing beats repetition when learning a new skill. So I know what the solution is, I just need to implement it.

Except for that lattice, I'm very happy with how it's looking.

Has anyone else stitched this piece? I would love to see your version and hear your experience on stitching this piece.


  1. It's going to be really striking, isn't it!

  2. I am very excited to see this piece develop. I hate to say it, but I agree with you over the lattice. It does look a little sparse at the moment. I wondered if there was going to be some kind of fill-in stitch.

  3. Great start on this great design! I know that you are a perfectionist, but I'm time and time again astonished at how detailed your work is and how many steps you put in to make sure everything is done perfectly.