Stroke of Midnight by Teresa Wentzler

A Project A Day – Counted embroidery work is my main hobby and I have a huge stitching stash. Some of these projects are huge and take years to stitch, and while others are quick projects, I often spend months without stitching at all. So while I have hundreds in my stash, only a half-dozen ever see attention any given year.  To address this imbalance in 2012 I will each day write about one project languishing in my stash.

Stroke of Midnight by Teresa Wentzler

Copyright Teresa Wentzler 1995, Distributed by Just Cross Stitch.

Teresa Wentzler Just Cross Stitch Cinderella

Stroke of Midnight by Teresa Wentzler

Chart: The chart and instructions are printed in a stapled A4/Letter booklet. The main chart covers 9 pages with a three row overlap between each page.  There are a further three pages of one over one specific area charts and a last back stitch only chart. All symbols are computer generated and easy to see.  I would still enlarge some sections to work on due to confetti stitching such as the ivy-covered vase in the bottom left corner.

Stitches: Pattern uses whole cross stitch, partial cross stitch, one over one sections, back stitch and beads.

Materials: DMC stranded cotton and Mill Hill beads. Stitched Zweigart Antique White 25ct Lugana.

Designer’s Notes: None.

Why I was attracted to this design: It was only a matter of time before one of these came up in the random selection. In the early to mid 1990s, Teresa Wentzler was my very first Cross Stitch Designer goddess. In among all the Anne Geddes wannabees and the cottage gardens I saw designs *I* wanted to stitch!  Detailed, adult fantasy designs! TW was producing these designs far faster than my University allotment could let me buy them up let alone kit or stitch them all.

So why haven’t I stitched it? Have you heard my saga of The Castle? I should transcribe all 15 years of that saga to this blog.  In a nutshell it involves three restarts, a marriage and divorce and nearly a dozen house moves. And no it is not finished.  I haven’t had the heart to start another TW pattern while I’ve struggled with The Castle.

Looking at Stroke of Midnight all morning while preparing this blog post, I’ve decided YES I do still want to stitch this project.  Looking through the design, it seems to be more straight-forward than a lot of her other designs. The most intricate parts seem to be the ivy-covered column in the bottom left corner, and the one-over one sections on the dress. Those are not large sections of the design.  Also stitching this on the recommended 25ct Antique White Lugana, might make the project that much easier.  I think, all in all, this project is still doable as long as I have patience.

Where can you buy it? Although Teresa has retired from designing, you can still buy this design as part of the Teresa Wentzler Fantasy Collection book or as a standalone pattern from Patterns Online.

Discussion questions:  Have you stitched this one? Is my assessment of the project correct or were there other tricky bits?  Is it in your stash to do?  Does it still appeal to you (did it ever)?  Why or why not?

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16 Responses to Stroke of Midnight by Teresa Wentzler

  1. rocalisa says:

    I love this one, especially the dress and the greenery. The thing that always stopped me (apart from the whole don’t have time, can’t stitch any more stuff) was that I feel she looks a bit like she’s been punched in the face. I think faces are definitely Teresa Wentzler’s weakness and I’d hate to do so much work on this one and then not be happy with her face. Maybe I’d have to break my self-imposed rule of saving faces for last and do it first. Then I could decide if I was happy before I’d done all the rest of the stitching.

    I have to admit I have a lot of TW in my stash too, especially her dragons. I’ve stitched two: The Castle and Fantasy Sampler, plus some of her little dragon freebies.

  2. Evi in Iowa says:

    I think I would adjust the curl of hair on her cheek. Make it a bit more whispy.

  3. Karen R in GA says:

    And this is one I actually don’t have. But then, that aversion to stitching people might have played into that, if it was a conscious decision – I honestly don’t remember now. Maybe I can equate it with The Carousel – which I do still love, and had started once, but then ripped it out to use the fabric for… something else 🙂

    Please tell me the steps of this thing are NOT confetti hell??? Fortunately, after completing Triptych, I can say I will be happy to never see these particular blue & purple combos again (3041 & 3042 especially) – very limited in EGS, and none in the Pegasus that is the last TW I have actually kitted out…

  4. kay jones says:

    I’ve got loads of TW but not this one. Having said that I dont think I would buy it anyway. Its not my thing. I’ve got four started but not finished. The Castle is 3/4 done. Teacup was an RR and is about 1/2 done. Legend of the dragons (not totally TW) is 2/3rds done and 12 days of christmas is only just started although I must have been mad to start this one as its all over one.

  5. Laura says:

    I only have a couple of TW’s in my stash and this is not one of them. Father Winter is currently in my rotation and I’m hoping to have lots of progress on him this year. The goal is to get to the outer border so that I can work on those over 1 blocks a little bit at a time instead of all at once.

    My only concern with the 25 ct fabric would be this. I’m guessing it’s stitched over 1 and I would go mad trying to do all the partial stitches by poking the center of the thread square. If that doesn’t bother you, then go for it! Otherwise, I’d get a nice 28ct (to keep it easy to see, etc..) and get stitching over 2.

    • kay jones says:

      Laura, she usually does 25ct with over two which tends to make quite a big design. I didn’t realise this when i started ESG but in future I’d tend to do it 2 over on 28ct.

  6. Mips says:

    TW admits that designing people and their faces is not her strong-point. I have to agree with her. I have this and most of her designs in my collection, while I hope to stitch many of them I know I will not stitch all of them, especially this one because of the people and all that stair step gray. The TWs will be some of the last charts I part with when I start to dismantle my stash. I fell in love with TWs for the same reason many people did and I agonize in stitching the TW wips I have for the same reasons many people do. LOL I still love them, even the ones I will never stitch.

  7. Lana says:

    Hi, Mel!

    I feel in love with TW’s Noah’s Ark years ago, but never ended up buying the pattern because I never saw it again (I don’t think) after that moment of falling in love with it. When I had a looked at this post, it reminded me about it. Also, someone mentioning another Noah’s Ark pattern that is a submarine made me decided to go looking for it on the internet. I found a copy of it on Ebay and am hoping to arrange shortly to purchase it. Thanks for the enabling hand, once again! lol 😉



    • Lana says:

      Just thought I would give you a quick update on this purchase. I bought it on Wednesday and the owner put it in the mail on Thursday, according to Ebay. As the seller is in Canada, I could have the pattern by early next week, depending on the postal service. Weeeeeee!

  8. Mel says:

    Kerry – Yup, it was the faces I always disliked in TW designs. It doesn’t seem that bad now. Maybe I’ve mellowed. I like Evi’s idea of adjusting the curl on her cheek but not sure if I’m up to the task 🙂

    Karen – The steps are not confetti hell. Each step has at most 4 different thread blends used over and over. Quite simple for a TW. The window panes even have almost whole rows of the same colour! Unfortunately 3041/3042 does make an appearance but barely – just a couple of stitches on the very left of the her shawl as the darker shadow parts where the edges flip.

    Kay – Teacup and Legends are in the stash somewhere. 12 Days? Even I’m not *that* bonkers! Think you will ever finish it?

    Laura – I’ll have the Pom Poms out for you for Father Winter! The design here is mainly over two on 25ct. The scrollwork on the dress and her neck and face are over one. One of the reasons I’m thinking about actually starting this one is that it *is* mainly over two on 25ct. I might be able manage that. Far cry from The Castle which I first started on 22ct Aida!

    Mips – That agonising is one of the benefits I’ve found from doing this project. It is forcing me to examine each chart as it comes out and deciding once and for all “am I really going to stitch this or am I fooling myself?”

    Lana – Woo HOO! I don’t have either of the Noah’s Ark patterns in my stash but I do know of them. Great chart – can’t wait to see your progress! Oh hang on,does this move me closer to that crown? Nope – you haven’t bought it yet!

    • Lana says:


      See the note above.

      Lana 🙂

      • Mel says:

        Did you noticed Deb posted about a Sale coming up?

        • Lana says:

          Yes, I think I did eventually end up seeing it. Thanks for letting me know.

          BTW, I picked up Noah’s Ark from the post office on Thursday. I am very glad to have it. Now just have to figure out when I will end up stitching. When initially looking at the pattern, I thought it was all over 2, but, unfortunately, the animals are done over 1. Yippeee! Just got to love it! (Please note the sarcasm.) 🙂

  9. Katie says:

    This was the first design of TW’s I ever saw. I should’ve bought the kit back then. Unfortunately it was gone when I went to the store the next time, ended up with peacock tapestry (which I’ve been meaning to fix). Really should go buy this pattern.

  10. Pattie says:

    I absolutely love TW designs. I did the Fantasy Triptych for my husband about 12 years ago for his office. To give it a personal touch I included a strand of each of my kids hair into the piece, this took me about a year to complete and also started to use a lap stand. I then moved onto The Enchanter by TW and actually kept a log of when and how long I worked on it. Almost 400 hours in less than 7 months and an award from the local fair that I entered it into. Starting to get the itch to start another cross stitch as it’s been several years with a few other ones in between.

    • Mel says:

      Hey Pattie, Welcome to the blog 🙂 You sure liike the big projects. I’d love to see photos of your version of Fantasy Tryptich. Do you have a blog or online photo album?

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