Antiquity: Dragonfly Lane

For today’s Throwback Thursday we discuss the defunct Dragonfly Lane, and Carrie Medlin’s beautiful fantasy designs.

Dragonfly Lane - Sea Dragons Cover

Stash Antiquities: Welcome to a new class of reviews, for the designers who are no longer in business. I offer these reviews to showcase works that newer stitcher’s may not have seen and to have a place to list where they can still be found. Some bricks and mortar cross stitch shops have a few older designs still in stock, so you may find some Dragonfly Lane charts when poking around. If you do, or if you are a shop owner who has some of these still in stock, please comment below.

Mushroom Fairy
Mushroom Fairy

From the Designer

All of my designs are from sketches, in fact I just posted on Facebook the original sea dragon sketch that became a cross stitch design.  My experience as a self published designer was fun, the online cross stitch shops were supportive and DMC was generous with metallic samples.

I changed directions and put my focus on Colorado Dragonfly and my cleaning business to support my family, since I’ve been a single parent for many many years. 🙂

I do still like to stitch, when I can find the time and the last two  things I actually finished were Mirabilia. 😉 In fact a lovely lady in Queensland (Marilyn Sykes) was my cross stitch supply fairy and sent me the charts and beads for them. 🙂

Sea Dragon Original Sketch Photo Courtesy of Carrie Medlin
Sea Dragon Original Sketch
Photo Courtesy of Carrie Medlin

Why this designer?

Carrie Medlin burst on the cross stitch scene in 2004 with these marvellous designs.  Carrie is now using her artistic talents to create beautiful hardwood inlays for floors, wall hangings and furniture. She is so clever and talented; see Colorado Dragonfly for images of her work.

In the early 2000s hand dyed fabric was just becoming accepted in the cross stitch world and the first hand dyers Enchanted Needle, Sugar Maple Fabrics and Picture This Plus were just making their mark. Carrie used these fabrics to great effect for her fantasy designs; especially Inquisitive Dragon.  This is such a minimalist design that it would work on any hand dyed fabric.

In Mushroom Fairy, her one design on white fabric, Carrie used one over one to give the bee more detail. Carrie was one of the first designers to start the new trend of including one over one segments in two over two charts.  These days that trend is most often used to give more definition to arms and faces.

Carries designs used hand dyed fabrics, Kreinik blending filament, Kreinik #4 Very Fine Braid, Rainbow Gallery Petite Treasure Braid, Rainbow Gallery Hi-Lights and Mill Hill Glass Beads.

Carries designs use whole cross stitch, partial cross stitch, backstitch and beads to create her wonderful designs.  I recommend them for an adventurous beginner to advanced fantasy lover.

Plus she designed two hippocampus designs – where else do you find hippocampus in cross stitch?

Review

As these are older designs, they were only ever supplied in printed leaflet form.  The charts are on US Letter (A4) paper with a cover page showing a colour image of the stitched design.

The charts are computer generated (not hand-drawn) with a variety of floss symbols.  It is easy to differentiate between them.

Unfortunately, the grid lines are quite small, there are many symbols on the one page and thus these charts may need to be enlarged to stitch.  This is typical of charts from this time and mainly due to using fewer pages to keep printing and postage costs down.

Also note the later designs include a three-row overlap on later chart pages; the early charts do not.  For those you will need to count carefully, however all Dragonfly Lane charts include stitch markers (stitch ruler) on each page so you can easily make sure your rows line up.

All the Dragonfly Lane charts use different coloured lines to map out the backstitching. These are thin lines, but the differing colours make the backstitch very easy to see on the charts, and they don;t obscure any of the cross stitch symbols.  More designers should use this technique.

The back cover lists all the information needed to stitch the chart; stitch count, fabric used in the model stitch, floss list and symbol key, and detailed backstitch instructions.  Everything you want on the back cover.

All Dragonfly Lane designs can be stitched on Aida or evenweave.  Given the use of quarter stitches in these designs I would use an evenweave; but if quarter stitches on Aida doesn’t bother you, then stitch it on Aida.

Dragonfly Lane - Inquisistive Dragon

Gallery

Mushroom Fairy
Mushroom Fairy

The Mushroom Fairy

1 skein each DMC 310, 327, 356, 433, 434, 435, 437, 469, 470, 471, 472, 550, 552, 553, 554, 712, 738, 739, 754, 758, 814, 815, 816, 818, 824, 826, 902, 934, 935, 948

1 spool each Kreinik BF 013 Beige, 032 Pearl

1 spool Kreinik #4 Braid 060 Midnight

Stitchcount 156 x 181.  Model stitched on Zweigart 32ct White Lugana.

 Inquisitive Dragon
Inquisitive Dragon

The Inquisitive Dragon

1 skein each DMC 169, 310, 413, 930, 931, 932, 3750, 3752, 3799

1 spool Kreinik BF 005 Black

1 spool each Rainbow Gallery Petite Braid PB05 Black, PB18 Midnight Blue, and PH02 Silver High Gloss.

Stitch count 135 x 186.  Model stitched on Picture This Plus 28ct “Carnival Crystal” Cashel Linen.

Athena
Athena

Athena: Hippocampus Part 1

1 skein each DMC 221, 224, 561, 562, 563, 747, 823, 939, 3024, 3721, 3847, 3848, 3849, 3866

1 spool Kreinik BF 033 Royal Blue

1 spool each Kreinik #4 braid: 421 Azalea, 622 Wedgwood Blue and 3202 Cat’s Eye

2 cards Rainbow Gallery Hi-Lights H625 White Pearl

1 card Rainbow Gallery Petite Treasure Braid PB01 Bright Gold

1 packet each Mill Hill Beads 00161 Crystal and 02015 Sea Blue

Stitch count 182 x 321.  Model stitched on Sugar Maple Fabrics 28ct “Moon Princess” Lugana.

Arameth
Arameth

Arameth: Hippocampus Part 2

1 skein each DMC 221, 224, 561, 562, 563, 648, 747, 823, 939, 3024, 3721, 3847, 3848, 3849, 3866

1 spool Kreinik BF 033 Royal Blue

1 spool each Kreinik #4 braid: 421 Azalea, 622 Wedgwood Blue and 3202 Cat’s Eye

4 cards Rainbow Gallery Hi-Lights H625 White Pearl

1 card Rainbow Gallery Petite Treasure Braid PB01 Bright Gold

1 packet each Mill Hill Beads 00161 Crystal and 02015 Sea Blue

Stitch count 188 x 323.  Model stitched on Sugar Maple Fabrics 28ct “Moon Princess” Lugana.

Sea Dragons
Sea Dragons

Sea Dragons

1 skein each DMC 304, 310, 420, 550, 552, 561 666, 676, 677, 680, 729, 746, 924.

1 skein DMC Light Effects Precious Metals E3821  Light Gold (formerly DMC 5282)

1 spool Kreinik BF 003 Red, 012 Purple, 061 Ruby, 091 Star Yellow.

1 spool each Kreinik #4 braid: 009 Emerald

1 card Rainbow Gallery Petite Treasure Braid PB01 Bright Gold and PB14 Bronze

1 packet each Mill Hill Beads 00561 Ice Green, 02025 Heather and 42029 Petite Tapestry Teal.

Stitch count 232 x 231.  Model stitched on Sugar Maple Fabrics 32ct “Shimmering Ocean” .

Places to Buy

Carrie says:

I have all of the designs I think in PCStitch format, including a few that were never sold. I never sold any copyrights so they are all still my designs.

Lets see if we can convince her release the new designs (including a baby hippocampus!) and sell the others again!

Paw Prints – have closed down but still has some Dragonfly Lane charts listed in their bargain bin sale. It might be worth contacting them to see if these are still for sale.

If you know of any stores still stocking any of these designs, please met me know in the comments.

Hand Dyer Suggestions

As most of the Dragonfly Lane designs used fabrics from hand dyers no longer in business, here are some current dyers’ suggestions. Permission has been granted from the designer for overlays to be used on Cross Stitch Review.

Crafty Kitten “All of those will work brilliantly on a lot of colours.  For the aquatic ones sunlit water, waterfall, blue pearl or winter skies or maybe winter sunset.”

“The dragon, Ember or Autumnal Woodland if you want bold, something more subtle hint of autumn or fallen leaf.”

“The fairy I would probably go with fairy forest.”

Crafty Kitten is also running a competition on her site: any orders placed in January over £10 would go into a draw for a £10 Crafty Kitten gift voucher.

Colour Cascade Fabrics recommends “Inquisitive Dragon on Dragons Breath or Dragon Queen”

Tammy offers a 15% discount for readers of this site. Code is: CSReview. Offer ends 27 February 2015.

Sparklies “Arameth and Athena would look great on Aquarius or Caribbean Blue.”

Chromatic Alchemy  “I just had to pick Inquisitive Dragon for today….he is so regal. I have paired him with Cirrus as I think he looks like he should be a water/frost dragon….or maybe perhaps it’s because I have a thing for blue”

Fiberlicious “Shades of grey with blending filament will look great on the inquisitive dragon.”

Discussion

Have you stitched any of these designs? Do you have any of these in your stash (paper or digital)?  Can you help supply some of the missing information or cover photos of missing designs?

Which other vanished Designer would you like me to showcase? Comment below and I will try to find something suitable.

If you like this review of Dragonfly Lane designs, please share it with your friends.

Last Updated: 28 January 2015

St Patricks Gold by Pine Glen Designs

A 3D Christmas Ornament. May not get finished in time for this year, but you can get a head start on those new ornaments you’re planning to stitch next year!

Pine Glen Designs Heirloom Ornament St Patricks Gold

What is it?

St Patrick’s Gold is one in a series of Heirloom Ornaments produced by Pine Glen Designs. It is so named as the colour scheme is Shamrock and Gold.

Why this chart?

I have absolutely no idea how this ended up in my stash. If anyone remembers please let me know. For years I have kinda promised myself that I would stitch ornaments to give away to stitching friends or to hang on my tree.  I have not stitched one!

I like the three-dimensional aspect of this one. You don’t need to back it with any other fabric, just stitch it and sew it together like a biscornu! I also love the texture provided by the Rhodes stitches, metallic thread and beads. This design uses Half Rhodes, Rhodes Hearts and Rhodes Diamonds specialty stitches.

Given the three-dimensional nature of St Patrick’s Gold, the specialty stitches and the beads, I would not recommend this as your first cross stitch pattern.  If you are an experienced 3 dimensional sewer (other ornaments, stuffed toys etc) then yes stitch this !

Pine Glen Designs - St Patrick's Gold
Pine Glen Designs – St Patrick’s Gold

Review

All of the Pine Glen Designs Heirloom Ornaments charts are available as printed charts or digital downloads.  I have the printed chart in my stash.

The St Patrick’s Gold chartpack is presented as an eight page US Letter (or A4) booklet (made from a slight cardstock and a sheet of  paper both in US Ledger (A3), double-sided printed, stapled and folded.

The front cover includes a photograph of the finished ornament. The back cover lists the fabric used in the model.  Neither the outside of the booklet nor the website include all the materials needed to stitch the design. You need to purchase the chart first and then work out the items required.

The third page of the booklet lists the stitch count, size of fabric needed for one single segment of the ornament, the floss list and floss key.  Also there is a very basic diagram for the Rhodes stitch variations.  St Patrick’s Gold uses Half Rhodes, Rhodes Hearts and Rhodes Diamonds. Use the instructions here or in the following Youtube clip by MrsMilkyBarKid to learn how to stitch the Rhodes variations.

The stitch chart for this design, shows one segment of the design, with the comment “you will need to stitch up 8 of this chart”. As the segments are identical I can understand why they have only printed this once. However the fabric size lists only the fabric needed for one of these segments, not the whole ornament. This could be a trap for the unwary.

The Finishing Instructions are comprised of three pages of annotated black and white photographs that assumes the stitcher has an understanding of general sewing techniques. For example, stitchers are instructed to use whip stitch without providing any description of what it is or how to use it in this context. Items such as fusible interfacing and filling material are not listed until they are to be used in the finishing; there’s no preparation given for the beginner ornament maker.

However if you have stitched three-dimensional items before, such as other ornaments, stuffed toys or are a general crafter, these annotated photographs are suitable for your needs.

The model was stitched on 14 count Aida, however given the use of dense Rhodes stitches, I recommend that you stitch this ornament on an evenweave fabric.

Materials Required

To stitch the charts exactly as designed, you will need:

DMC 895 Very Dark Hunter Green

 

1 skein DMC 895 Very Dark Hunter Green

 

DMC 4045 Evergreen Forest Variations

 

1 skein DMC 4045 Evergreen Forest Variations

 

 

DMC E3821 Light Effects Precious Metals Light Gold

 

1 skein DMC E3821 Light Effects Precious Metals Light Gold

 

Mill Hill 00557 Gold

 

1 packet Mill Hill 00557 Gold Beads

 

 

Mill Hill 02054 Brilliant Shamrock

 

1 packet Mill Hill 02054 Brilliant Shamrock

 

 

Not listed, but used in the instructions:

  • fusible interfacing
  • large beads for hanging tassels
  • pony beads for securing tassels
  • stuffing for the inside of the ornament

14ct Zweigart Aida Gold/Cream (stitch count 28 x 30 times eight segments)

For 14ct Aida or 28ct evenweave (with 2″ border allowance and 1″ break between segments) fabric size is: 9.5” x 13”  or  24 x 33cm  or  an ornament cut (9 x 13″).  This assumes that the ornament segments are stitched in two rows of four.

Zweigart -14ct Aida Cream Gold Lurex

Approximate cost for Project

Approximate cost to stitch St Patrick’s Gold Heirloom Ornament using the recommended materials (prices are in $US, at recommended retail and do  not include postage or the extra materials for finishing):

Chart: $ 6.00
Floss:  $ 6.75
Fabric: $5.15

Total: $17.90  ($34.33 AUD  or  €18.45  or  £15.25)

Places to Buy

Pine Glen Designs sells St Patrick’s Gold as both a download PDF ($6.00) and a printed chart ($12.00).  St Patrick’s Gold is also included in the chart bundle Colours of the Crown which has four Heirloom Ornament Designs as a single PDF download ($15.00).

Australia:

Colours Down Under has all the threads and a variety of fabrics in stock.

Colour Cascade Fabrics has a variety of fabrics for you to make this design unique. Tammy offers a 15% discount for readers of this site. Code is: CSReview. Offer ends 27 February 2015.

Europe:

Casa Cenina in Spain stock a variety of fabrics and floss for your unique creation.

United Kingdom:

SewandSo has all the floss in stock and a variety of fabrics to choose from.

Polstitches has a range of Dragon Threads and hand dyed fabrics for you to make this design unique.

Sparklies have a range of fabrics and threads to make this design sparkle.

Chromatic Alchemy  has some beautiful fabrics to make your design shine.

United States:

123Stitch has the thread and embellishments in stock and offers a variety of fabrics.

Discussion

Have you made any of the Pine Glen Designs ornaments? What did you think of them?  Have you stitched any ornament that is stitched in pieces such as St Patrick’s Gold?  If so, please drop a link to your creations in the comments below.

Feedback

Did you like this review? Did it contain all the expected information? Is there anything you would like added or removed from the reviews? Do you know of a particular chart or designer you want to see featured here? If so, please head to the Suggestions page and let me know.

Last Updated: 23 December 2014

 

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