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Sunday, 7 June 2015

Irish Garden

Irish Garden by Liz Turner Diehl

The chart was a gift from a friend December 2007

I ordered the correct 28ct irish linen and the speciality threads from the Liz Turner Diehl website immediately.  Burmilana Wool Blend in black tweed for the cats, Lacquered Jewels thread in smoky topaz and Rainbow Blending Threads in yellow, brass gold and variegated white - these all came as a set just for the design.   The model was stitched with Madeira, I have used DMC as she offered a conversion in the chart for that as well as JP Coats and Anchor conversions.  17 different DMC greens!

When the chart arrived it scared me, 22 pages to it with lots of speciality stitches that I had never heard of.  It sat in my box for quite a while whilst I plucked up the courage to give it a go.

First stitch went in 3rd February 2010.  All the inner borders stitched up lovely.  Simple crosses and Smyrna crosses.  Not so bad I thought till i started the filling in.  Such a lot of quarter and half stitches and then the backstitch to define them.  It takes a lot of concentration and finally it got put away in May 2010 for a little rest.  I'd only done a little bit to one corner.

A 'little rest'...  more like Sleeping Beauty's long sleep!

It didn't come out again until Jan 2014.  I'd done a few projects with speciality stitches and thought perhaps I could tackle it again.  Great encouragement from the UFO stitching group over at Needlecraft Haven each weekend, even when I only did a little, but sadly, it went into hiding again after 6 months.  This last pic (according to my pictures) was taken June 2014.  Quite a bit of progress in that time.

A new year, 2015 had come round and I needed to get it finished.  First weekend of the year and out it came and I've stitched on it nearly every weekend since.  You've all been so encouraging and kind about it's progress and the final stitch went in 28th May 2015, just in time for last weekends meet up so the ladies could see it in person.

Would you like to see a few close ups of the areas?
Inner middle squares spider stitches ...
Rhododendron bushes in the north, south, east and west points of the garden...

Black cats hiding in iris borders ...

or amongst the camelia borders, both of which are framed by trellis panels ...

Fiddly backstitch around the quarter stitches, can only be tackled in daylight stitching time ...

Shamrock Clusters in the four corners ....

The speciality stitch borders.....

Outer borders mirror each other and they are supposed to depict, sorrel, sweet woodruff, peppermint, rue, angelica, herb Robert, lavender and ladys mantle ......

The speciality stitches do give it depth, so I tried to take a couple of snaps to show this ....

and another finished pic ....
Just need to get it framed now!

The chart is no longer available to buy and my copy is off to a new home.

Thank you so much for your encouragement whilst i've stitched this, I'm not sure I would have ever completed it without some friends badgering me to get it out again.

Have you got a project tucked away that really needs to see the light of day?  How long has it been quietly languishing in your workbox.  I wonder who has the oldest UFO...... is it you???

Love and blessings to you all.


  1. Julie, it is a stunning finish !! I am sure you are quite pleased to finally have it done !! Well done !!

  2. I am so glad you have showed close ups of this beautiful piece of work,Julie.The whole design in one photo does not do it justice.
    Congratulations on completing it,it is a fantastic piece to display for all to see.

  3. Oh how wonderful and beautiful! Have fun framing it. The kitties are a sweet addition.I have a UFO I have been working on for 3 years. I am doing the finishing on it now!

  4. well done my dear..its a stunning finish.
    big hugs x

  5. It looks completely different close up, really stunning. Must admit that I have a UFO that I started at least 10 years ago, every now and then I look at it and put it away again. Maybe one day I'll get the urge to finish it.

  6. Congratulations on a stunning finish! I love all the specialty stitches, it definitely adds a lot of depth to the piece.

  7. Congratulations on your Happy Jig for Irish Garden. I love all the close up photos, there are so many beautiful parts to this design.

    I am rather sad it is all finished now and quite envious of the NH ladies who saw it in person!

    I don't have too many old WIPS and UFOs, only since I started blogging really. Before that I was a OAAT. I've been focusing on gifted gorgeousness this year so maybe next year I might add an old piece or two.

  8. Lovely finish, well done, it's so easy to leave it in a drawer out of sight. I love everything, the balance the colours and the stitches. I have winter water garden lurking in my work box, the threads cost a small fortune, one day.

  9. Hooray for a lovely finish! I had not noticed the little kitties while you were working on it. The little details in this piece are amazing.

    I am currently working on an old WIP thanks to gifted gorgeousness. It's small but started in 2010 so it really shouldn't have excuses! I think it helps that I don't have many WIPs going at once.

  10. It's gorgeous Julie! Well done! I have an afghan that I am cross stitching that is a Paula Vaughan pattern and it's probably from the mid 90's. I should pull that out of hiding this coming autumn when it's cool enough to have it on my lap.:-) That's my oldest wip. :-)

  11. It’s beautiful. You must be so pleased you persevered :)

  12. Wow,stunning! Well done,and i hope that question was'nt aimed at me lol(coz i'm not telling)

  13. Well done on your stunning stitching. Worth the perserverence

  14. Well done Julie, it's gorgeous!

  15. Wow!! That is stunning. I did have a chuckle at "Sleeping Beauty's long sleep!" LOL. You should be patting yourself on the back right now for finishing this piece. Better late than never!!!

  16. Fantastic work.. ummm yes I have a long time ufo.. my Chatelaine, one day perhaps I 'll get it out, but not just yet!!

  17. Ohhhhh! Such a wonderful finish with all its different colours and specialty stitches. Great to have a look at all the detailed motives. Congratulations on finishing it.

  18. It's beautiful, Julie. Congratulations on your finish. I look forward to seeing the picture of it framed.


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