Melitastitches4fun's Blog

Secret Window by Kurdy Biggs and NJNA Monthly Zoom dubbed KBZ Group

Instead of a typical New Jersey Needle Artists (NJNA) Stitch of the Month project where we all meet to stitch the same project in different colorways and since some of us are remote members, several of us formed a “KBZ Group” who will stitch Kurdy Biggs projects during the year and meet monthly on Zoom to discuss progress and challenges of her lovely pieces.

I suggested Kurdy Biggs specifically because of Secret Window which I had not started since getting it in the fall during ANG’s 2021 Virtual Seminar. Kurdy’s husband made the wood frame and that came with the kit.

For multiple reasons, I have decided to stitch this on a single large piece of canvas and am having a custom Cathedral-shaped made for it. That may raise questions but all will be revealed in time. Since it will take time to stitch this, you’ll just have to check back later.

There are 6 sections and each one is outlined in a double row of Smyrna stitches. That will be 1,525 Smyrnas. While the number of Smyrnas is large, what seems even more daunting about them is that Kurdy gave us 2 cards of Splendor which is 8 yards each. Splendor has 12 plies and I am using 2 plies! I can’t imagine using all that Splendor for these.

One thing became clear is that I can only stitch so many Smyrnas at a time. And, I can’t have the TV on because I have to pay attention to where I am on the chart. In order to keep track of where I am along the Smyrna border, I am using a yellow marker to color the completed stitches (like I used to do when following a cross stitch chart). Very useful. I also worked up along one side with one length of thread and then the other side checking against each side. Getting the border correct is crucial to fitting the interior motifs. So, in the morning while my husband reads his morning papers (paper and online), magazines, and/or books, I am working on Smyrnas. So far, no ripping but a long way to go!

If you look at the image provided by Kurdy, the Smyrna border looks reddish but Kurdy says, “if it looks different that is due to monitor setting or the photo settings”. In the directions, she does mention that the thread color was selected to match the wooden frame (which is not at all red in person – it is a very light colored wood). The Splendor is a yellow/gold. The canvas color is French Blue (barely colored). This center bottom area is 4″ wide at the base and 5″ high.

Over the coming months, I will appreciate the support of like-minded stitchers including Noelle, Jill, Jackie, Brenda, and Linda! That’s who are the KBZers so far. They are doing other Kurdy Biggs projects including the perforated paper ornaments available from ANG Workshops through January 31. Kurdy has lots of lovely designs.

4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

So happy to be part of the group so I can see how this project will develop. The Smyrna stitches really do make a beautiful border.

Comment by brendasneedlepointstudioblog

Yeah, we have a good group! And, the Smyrnas are a must.

Comment by melitastitches4fun

Hi Melita — Here’s a hint that helped me a lot when doing Smyrna borders with lots of counting:

Just put in the first stitch of each Smyrna while you are counting — Cross every tenth stitch if it is a long, long line. Then you can go back and finish off the Smyrna’s while watching TV or whatever. This helped me with both Kurdy’s “A Different View” and Ann Strite-Kurz’s “Ruby Razzle Dazzle”.

Comment by rosielunde

Good tip! I like that for long lines. Thanks Rosie.

Comment by melitastitches4fun

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