Melitastitches4fun's Blog


Stitching with Overdyed Threads from Beautiful Stitches for Orchid Lady by Mary Knapp

I’m using threads from Ann-Marie Anderson-Mayes in Australia for Orchid Lady by Mary Knapp on black Congress Cloth. The others at ANG Main Line Stitchers are stitching Anne-Marie’s design, Celestial Twist, with her threads.

I had to pull out the magnifying glass with a clip-on light (which I found when organizing after the carpet was cleaned). I need it to work on the black Congress Cloth. It’s a StarMag by Daylight Company. I’m glad I found it when I did!

The overdyed thread, Heather, has yellow, green, and purple, and pink areas. I cut the overdyed skein in the middle of a large stretch of purple expecting to see more green and yellow. But, a good amount of purple is apparent too. Since I have worked with purple so much, I decided to use the solid green and yellow colors instead of two values of purple (not stitched with the solid colors yet). So, I selected a Kreinik #4 Braid 2829 that has green and yellow in it.

I really lucked out and the 36″ resulting length was ideal for completing the inner motif. And, I started the thread half on each side of the center so that the colors are symmetrical as they are worked outwards. And, it results in less wear and tear on the longer length of thread. I had to finish all four directions in order to be sure I stitched it in the same direction for a consistent color flow.

I love that the purple fell in the four center areas and the green and yellow are in the eight side areas. Very happy with the start! Now if I could get a great photo! It looks more yellow in the photo and more green in person – photographing needlepoint is tough.



Dowager Countess, Violet Crawley, by Gay Ann Rogers
November 21, 2021, 2:54 pm
Filed under: Gay Ann Roger's, Dowager Countess, Other People's Pieces

This is the 4th piece of the Downton Abbey series by Gay Ann Rogers. I worked on the overstitching with the darker plum Impressions in the corners of the Scotch stitch variation yesterday at our ANG Main Line Stitchers chapter Stitch-in. Due to Thanksgiving next weekend, we moved it to a week earlier than usual. Robin was a most generous host with a great soup and chicken salad lunch and brownies made by Pat. Last night, I finished the overstitching and filled in the Smyrna stitches. This morning, I finished the overstitching on the long diagonal chains with black Kreinik 1/16 Ribbon. I love it!

Gay Ann Rogers was inspired by this photo of Violet Crawley. Once again, Gay Ann captured the look and feel of the photo in her geometric. According to her website, Gay Ann will be releasing “Dowager in the Evening” at some point but it will be larger and beaded. While I may get it, I have a plan to design two more Downton Abbey pieces based on pictures I have selected. Then, I will frame all six together (or maybe three and three). I’ve had the threads for my first piece for awhile (they were in the dining room mess). After Thanksgiving, I hope to have completed all or most of the design on the computer and start stitching it. Oh boy, that’s a fifth piece calling to me!



Cleaning Up = Organizing and Starting New Pieces
November 18, 2021, 9:18 am
Filed under: General comments, Organization

We are getting ready for carpet cleaners next week. So, I had to organize my projects that are accumulating in our dining room. There are eleven projects with threads but not on canvases calling me to work on them next! Since I am almost done with three projects, I put four of the projects on bars yesterday. Also sitting around were the needed canvases, bars, and tacks.

Speaking of canvases, I organized my collection of blank canvases that were in several locations throughout the house. I wrapped them up in acid free tissue paper, tagged each with the color and sizes, and now have to figure out where to store them-all together!

I have a whole bag of threads to put into my thread drawers! All those pinks are for a project that I’ve tried a couple of times but haven’t gotten it to turn out yet. I will get what I want eventually. How does this accumulation happen?? I know. I should put them away as soon as I finish the project but that’s not fun!

What four projects are next you ask? One is for my EGA Master Craftsman program Step 5 regarding appliques. I didn’t submit for the November review. This step is more tricky than the previous steps and isn’t something I have done before (or likely to do again). No need to rush.

Two counted projects are using threads from Australia’s Ann-Marie Anderson-Mayes. These are on black Congress Cloth.

Lastly, Razzle Dazzle by Ann Strike-Kurz has intrigued me for years. However, I do not want to stitch the whole piece as originally designed. So, I will make a couple of ornaments and maybe bookmarks of the various patterns. While cleaning up, I found the threads from Gail Stafford’s EGA class regarding overdyed threads which should be great for the design.



Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham, More Pulled Work
November 13, 2021, 8:10 pm
Filed under: ANG Main Line Stitchers Chapter, Gay Ann Roger's, Dowager Countess

Last month, I realized that a few sections of Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham by Gay Ann Rogers were going to require extra concentration than can be done at our monthly ANG Main Line Stitchers chapter Stitch-in where chatting can disrupt with counting. We’ll be meeting next weekend which is a week early for our Saturday Stitch-in due to Thanksgiving.

So, I took advantage of this rainy afternoon after the morning Zoom session of ANG New Jersey Needle Artists Stitch-in to do the pulled thread stitch called Faggoting. My husband was grocery shopping and the TV was off. It was easy enough except on my hand. Pulling canvas threads on 18 count monocanvas hurts my hand. Congress Cloth would be easier.

So, rather than overwhelm my hand, I enlarged the holes (rows surrounding the center) as was done for eyelet stitches. I made all the holes larger along the whole row so that I could easily stitch the row without stopping. It worked out well. It gives a lacey effect and looks more and more like the Dowager Countess.

While I had the #8 Pearl cotton Ecru out, I stitched the slanting gobelin area with Smyrnas. With any luck, I will be posting a completed piece next weekend!



Overdyed Spools Framed
November 7, 2021, 3:14 pm
Filed under: Embroidery Guild of America, Mid-Atlantic Region, Overdyed Spools THaP

In October, I taught Overdyed Spools to 31 students at EGA’s Mid-Atlantic Regional meeting and a few have finished theirs. They are turning out great. It’s so much fun and rewarding to see what others do with it. Donna shared hers in progress and is experimenting with shifting the color change on the diagonal. Love it!

I got mine framed at Michael’s – same as where I got the previous one framed. I wanted them to go well together. I’m happy with how it turned out.



Threads from Beautiful Stitches for Starburst by Patricia Hartman and Orchid Lady by Mary Knapp

Part of the fun with ordering threads from Ann-Marie Anderson-Mayes in Australia was to see what solid colors she would pick to go with the overdyed thread we selected. Even though I am not stitching Celestial Twist with the others at ANG Main Line Stitchers, these threads will work for 2 projects on my To Do List which are Starburst by Patricia Hartman and Orchid Lady by Mary Knapp which will be done on black Congress Cloth. Hopefully, I have enough for both projects. They will look nice together.

Having had the Color Theory class with Susan Hoekstra recently, I tried to figure out how these threads work together. According to the color wheel, I have 2 split complementary colorways combined and yet not a tetrad. I see the overdyed thread (called Heather shown along the bottom and right side) as red-violet with green and yellow. By adding the red-orange, I see a split complementary formed with red-violet and green which I personally would not have seen as working together. But, if the red-orange is used sparingly, it will add some interest and may just be what I have heard referred to as the “poison” color.

Before I can start though, I need to finish one in progress piece. But, I can start to plan which threads will go where in Starburst. That’s the larger of the two pieces and the one I have wanted to do longer than Orchid Lady.



Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham, Corners Done
October 24, 2021, 9:32 am
Filed under: Gay Ann Roger's, Countess of Granrham, Other People's Pieces

Last month, I stitched 2 corners of Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham by Gay Ann Rogers. They were less tricky this month but I still could only get the third corner stitched during my ANG Main Line Stitchers chapter members Saturday Stitch-in yesterday. Thanks again to Buff for offering her home and lunch.

There was still a lot of baseball left when I finished the fourth corner. So, I kept going and added more to the inner diagonal chains, added a motif to the top and bottom large center ‘stones’. The next part on the outer diagonal chains looked tricky. So, it’ll wait until I have fresh eyes. I’m not sure if any additional areas will be ones I can stitch, count, and chat.



Third Overdyed Spools following EGA THaP Class
October 21, 2021, 3:13 pm
Filed under: Embroidery Guild of America, Mid-Atlantic Region, Overdyed Spools THaP

On Saturday October 16, I taught this to 31 students at EGA’s Mid-Atlantic Regional meeting. About half are going back to teach it to their chapters. It was a great experience.

It’s not a complicated piece to stitch. The hardest part is finding the repeat of color within a skein. Some skeins work better than others. At least 2 people had to switch skeins. I brought a couple of extras and so did several people.

For this one, I am using Caron’s Watercolours Cantaloupe 079. The upper left area uses 11 strands before compensating but only 9 strands had color line up nicely on the horizontal. So, I had to run thread underneath until they lined up. And, I needed an extra strand for a couple of columns.

Since it is my third time stitching it, I tried something different than random in 2 of those sections. The top right has color matched threads moving left to right for 3 rows making vertical columns of matching colors. And, the bottom left area with the 6 x 6 Rice stitch has been stitched with the pink and light purple portions for the large crosses and the blue, green, and yellow portions used for the short over 2 diagonal stitches.

The bottom right area uses 6 strands for the vertical color arrangement and 3 strands for compensation. I think I used the designated compensation threads in the bottom left corner by accident. But, I managed to compensate the area with other threads.

The spools are stitched with DMC Floche 434 which is the same as I used in the other two stitched pieces. There is one hand-dyed thread in the spools. Can you find it without reading ahead?

Lucille C, one of the people who was in the ANG Delaware Seashore chapter when I led the project for them, brought her stitched piece and mentioned that she had padded under the wraps or wrapped extra to get a more rounded effect. Good idea and I padded under all but one spool (upper left corner).

The thread wraps include from upper left to right: The Pure Palette Baroque Silk 1192 (very subtle color change for the hand-dyed thread – really tough to see the color change in the small sample; plies not separated), Madeira’s Burmilana 3893 (two stands laid), Caron’s Impressions 1106 (one strand), The Thread Gatherer’s Sheep’s Silk SPS125; one strand) and from bottom left to right: four strands laid for each color of Rainbow Gallery’s Splendor S994, S977, S932, S1058.

The Pure Palette appears to have 6 plies but I read on several websites that it is has 3. It can be used as it comes off the skein on larger count canvas (13 or 14) or separated into 3. So, I contacted the company and was told, “If you separate it all the way down to the six strands, it becomes more difficult to work with.” It is kind of like Splendor which is a 12-strand skein. Initially it separates into 3 groups of 4 plies but is intended to be separated further into 4 strands. However, Pure Palette should remain in 3 groups of 2 plies.

I revised the text some based on feedback from the organizer of THaP and people can now see another stitched example. One of the messages that I hope I made clear is that one should feel free to experiment with the threads and have fun!



Overdyed Spools Class at EGA MAR
October 16, 2021, 7:40 pm
Filed under: Embroidery Guild of America, Mid-Atlantic Region, Overdyed Spools THaP

Today’s 3-hour class at EGA’s Mid-Atlantic Regional meeting was fun and challenging. There were 31 students – larger than anything I’ve done on the chapter level. Everyone was wonderful.

The piece labeled original was done for a purse for my sister in 2015 and the second for the ANG 2017 Chapter Project Book.

I started stitching it for the third time in order to refresh myself. It is intended to be a small project where many (about 20) of the students then go back and teach it to their own chapter. The main idea is to manipulate an overdyed thread in 2 areas to create a striped effect and place color randomly in the other 2 areas. I shared other pieces where I manipulated overdyed, demonstrated a quilter’s knot, and how to find the repeating color sequence.

I sent this photo out to get people excited. After class, the best comment I heard was, “I’ll never look at overdyed threads the same again.” That’s wonderful to hear and fun to open up possibilities for people.



JP Bird of Paradise & Bamboo

I never posted my stitching progress since beginning this at the 2017 Seminar with Cynthia Thomas at her Painted Canvas Embellishment Class. She sent a wonderful one page document that I took to Rittenhouse Needlepoint to select threads for the project which I did show previously (https://melitastitches4fun.com/2017/08/24/ang-seminar-2017-anaheim/). She has you pick thread types rather than any specific brands because she doesn’t know what threads are in local needlepoint stores.

Rather than post all my progress which was pretty good until early 2018 when it got shelved, I am going to post it area by area over the next several weeks/months. As an incentive to finish our painted canvases and share our learnings with our ANG Main Line Stitchers (MLS), I selected this canvas and it was also selected by another member, Beth (same Beth who stitched the Lotus Kimono which was featured in an article of ANG Needle Pointers (Jan/Feb 2020) for A Tale of Two Stitchers). She is using the threads and stitches obtained from Betsy at Fireside Stitchery (although I’m not going to post hers here, I will mention some differences). They are both compared and shared during our MLS monthly meetings.

The first (far left) panel has an open stitch which is kind of a staggered Cashmere stitch with Vineyard Silk and Pepper Pot Silk and separating them are short diagonal stitches using Gloriana with a very subtle overdye that really isn’t apparent. Compensating through the coins was really tough. I like that some of the canvas shows through. The coins are shaped differently and are stitched slightly differently but with the same color of Kreinik. Beth has some open canvas as well because she used unequal armed crosses resulting in an oblong effect. But, she thread blended using overdyed blue and green ThreadworX for a much more subtle color change. Her coins are done in all tent stitch.

The unstitched portions are seen on the far left and right areas and they are stitched in the center.