Melitastitches4fun's Blog


Swirling Leaves, Gold and Silver Swirls
June 16, 2021, 5:20 pm
Filed under: Swirling Leaves

Finally, this is the last post for Swirling Leaves (DH3825) an Elements canvas by Dream House Ventures Inc. Janet Perry (NAPA Needlepoint) wrote up a stitch guide during her online/cyber Stitch Guide class in 2015.

The gold threads for the swirls are Access Commodities Metallic Soft Twist Trim Cord which I first saw at the Edwardian Needle. I picked up a few packages of it to consider for this project. Well, years later, I realized that I didn’t get the correct silver and found they make it in gold too. So, I placed an order with Traditional Stitches, a store in Canada, it was on backorder, after it finally arrived I realized that I didn’t order enough gold and ordered more. Now, I am finally done!

To recap the whole project: Janet suggested stitching the background first so that the focal points are on top of the rest of the stitching. She suggested an open Tent Stitch pattern but I stitched it as Alternating Continental by mistake which took forever to stitch and covered the canvas completely. The blue bubbles were next which are also in the background and she recommended a couple of options that would serve to bump up the glitz from the Elegance used for the white background. I went with Silk Lame Braid Petite and a darker one where the bubbles overlap using basketweave as Janet recommended.

Since the green leaves are behind the red ones and cool colors like green recedes while the warm color, red, advances, Janet recommended related shapes in which a similar but a smaller stitch should be behind a larger stitch which were a smaller offset Mosaic for the green and a larger offset Scotch for the red.

Lastly, she recommended several techniques to permit the swirls to be the top focal point layer. Initially, I was going to couch both the gold and silver swirls with Access Commodities Metallic Soft Twist Trim Cords #20 in silver and #16 in gold. Well, the #20 trim turned out to be too large to insert into a #18 canvas hole. Since of the larger silver swirls lie underneath the leaves, I basketweaved them all in Kreinik #8.

This is the oldest painted canvas project that I’d started and not finished. That leaves Embracing Horses from March 2017. And, the two JP canvases Bird of Paradise & Bamboo and JP Orange Orchid & Bamboo from August 2017. I can’t believe that was 4 years ago! There are two other older projects including Stitches in Sterling by Nancy Cucci from October 2011 which is a counted project and Tar River Trail by Gail Stafford from August 2012 which is a landscape with a partially painted and line drawn canvas. What project will be next?



“Celebrate the Art of Stitching” with ANG Main Line Stitchers Chapter at the Meda Arts Council Online Gallery
June 13, 2021, 1:49 pm
Filed under: ANG Main Line Stitchers Chapter, Media Arts Council Exhibit

The opening of “Celebrate the Art of Stitching” went well yesterday! I’d like to thank Lisa and Linda for presenting 2 of the portions. Jared is the Media Arts Council technical expert who also presents the “gallery” in the video. He was a pleasure to work with. And, thanks to Stephanie for inviting our group to exhibit. And, to the members of Main Line Stitchers chapter who contributed to the show.

The complete video (with Q& A portion) is available as well as a static view of the “gallery” pieces. The video shares the gallery pieces, a talk on the various ways needlepoint can be finished, a discussion of stitch selection, and on how color and value impacts stitching. Each gallery piece can be viewed individually as well. A list of the canvases, size, and designer are provided.

Here’s the link to the photos and video: https://mediaartscouncil.org/mac-gallery-guest-artist-mainline-stitchers/



One Week from Today – JUNE 12, 4 PM – Join Our Live Virtual Opening of a Needlepoint Exhibit
June 5, 2021, 4:50 pm
Filed under: ANG Main Line Stitchers Chapter, Media Arts Council Exhibit

The ANG Main Line Stitchers chapter’s “Celebrate the Art of Stitching” exhibit being hosted by the Media Arts Council is entirely online with a live Zoom opening on June 12 at 4 pm. There will be 3 discussions (finishing options, stitch choices, and influence of color) and a viewing of the “exhibit”. We are excited to have this opportunity to share our passion through about 100 pieces of needlepoint. Save the date & join us!

Exhibit dates: June 12 – July 10, 2021
Reception: Saturday, June 12, 4:00 – 5:15 pm.

Here’s the Zoom link:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81165003366?pwd=clRjYmRnaUZXK01IaFVsY3E2ak92dz09

Meeting ID: 811 6500 3366
Passcode: 432364

A few times a year, they invite “outside” groups to exhibit. Unfortunately, none of the pieces will actually be on display in our host’s gallery in Media, PA due to the shutdown. But, they are slowly beginning to reopen (https://mediaartscouncil.org/).

Celebrate the Art of Stitching” showcases numerous, diverse pieces of extraordinary needlework that allow you to explore the variety of techniques and threads stitchers can produce. The exhibit includes original designs, adaptations of art and photographs, and commercial designs from nationally known designers.

The Main Line Stitchers chapter meets on the second Monday of each month from 7 to 9 pm. The group also holds a Stitch-in on the fourth Saturday of each month, from 11 am to 3 pm. Contact us at ang.mls.needlepoint.org for more information. 

Celebrate the Art of Stitching” is an exhibition featuring the needlework from members of the Main Line Stitchers, a local chapter of the American Needlepoint Guild, Inc.™.

I stopped into the Starbucks today and was again thrilled to see it hanging in it’s new home.



Background, Star of Stitches, ANG Stitch of the Month 2020
June 1, 2021, 5:13 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

When NJ Needle Artists chapter had their last Stitch-in, they reviewed their background choices for the couple of us working on that project.

A light color to match your canvas worked well on some but dark worked on other colorways. So, I tried a dark thread (Soie Cristale 1141 Golden Brown) because I thought that would recede. But, it blended in with the green area. So, then I tried a light brown (Splendor S840 Camel). It’s better but it doesn’t look great next to the yellow areas.

Then, my husband Bill suggested a light green. And, I found DMC Linen Embroidery Floss (L3013). Not better.

Then, I decided to try white. The designer, Kathy Rees, said besides Splendor, Kreinik 1/16th Ribbon would work. So, I tried both.

I thought I would have preferred the Splendor but it was stark white. You can’t see it in the photo but there is sparkle throughout the star. So, I stitched with all Kreinik. Then, I shared my progress at our Main Line Stitchers chapter meeting and Cleo, a visiting guest from my EGA Brandywine chapter, suggested rust. So, rather than ripping out, I moved on to the next area and tried rust Splendor S1009.

What color do you prefer and why?



A Spring Sampler Pillow

I realized that I never posted just the pillow of A Spring Sampler. This began as a result of a design class, Making Stitches Work For You, taught by Carolyn Mitchell through an ANG Cyberworshop that began January 2020. There were 4 lessons over 4 months with the opportunity to discuss issues with Carolyn and other students through groups.io messages. We had several very engaged members which led to wonderful discussions and mentoring from Carolyn.

A Spring Sampler is a symmetrical band sampler (9″ x 12″) that uses different stitches in each of the 21 bands (all my stitch choices and thread choices). To create additional symmetry, the stitches for bands on either side of the center band are related and use the same threads. This pattern of related bands continues as the bands progress outwards.

The pillow was finished by Needle Me in Havertown, PA. Her finisher was fast too considering all the delays I’ve heard about due to coronavirus. Very nice work.

My piece will be returning home shortly after spending the month of May at Woodlawn where it got a 2nd Place ribbon in original design multi-stitch 4+ category.

And, here it is flat before it was made into a pillow.



Save the Date – June 12, 4 pm – for Live Virtual Opening of a Needlepoint Exhibit
May 25, 2021, 6:30 pm
Filed under: ANG Keystone Garden Chapter, Media Arts Council Exhibit

The ANG Main Line Stitchers chapter’s “Celebrate the Art of Stitching” exhibit being hosted by the Media Arts Council is entirely online with a live Zoom opening on June 12 at 4 pm. There will be 3 discussions (finishing options, stitch choices, and influence of color) and a viewing of the “exhibit”. We are excited to have this opportunity to share our passion through about 100 pieces of needlepoint. Save the date & join us!

Exhibit dates: June 12 – July 10, 2021
Reception: Saturday, June 12, 4:00 – 5:15 pm.

Here’s the Zoom link:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81165003366?pwd=clRjYmRnaUZXK01IaFVsY3E2ak92dz09

Meeting ID: 811 6500 3366
Passcode: 432364

A few times a year, they invite “outside” groups to exhibit. Unfortunately, none of the pieces will actually be on display in our host’s gallery in Media, PA due to the shutdown. But, they are slowly beginning to reopen (https://mediaartscouncil.org/).

Celebrate the Art of Stitching” showcases numerous, diverse pieces of extraordinary needlework that allow you to explore the variety of techniques and threads stitchers can produce. The exhibit includes original designs, adaptations of art and photographs, and commercial designs from nationally known designers.

The Main Line Stitchers chapter meets on the second Monday of each month from 7 to 9 pm. The group also holds a Stitch-in on the fourth Saturday of each month, from 11 am to 3 pm. Contact us at ang.mls.needlepoint.org for more information. 

Celebrate the Art of Stitching” is an exhibition featuring the needlework from members of the Main Line Stitchers, a local chapter of the American Needlepoint Guild, Inc.™.

This is one of mine from a few years ago. “Daisy” from Dream House Ventures, Inc with a stitch guide from David McCaskill.



Follow-up on Woodlawn regarding Woman From the Dawn of Time
May 21, 2021, 7:52 pm
Filed under: General comments, Woodlawn Needlework Exhibition

My husband really liked Year of the Woman From the Dawn of Time depicting 218 women by Anita Barondes. And, there was a note by the piece that shirts with the design are available. So, we left a note in the box asking her to contact us. She did and here is a link (https://invincibles.threadless.com/) to her site selling a wide variety of products that you can get the design printed on. I’m not affiliated with her but appreciate her entrepreneurship & wish her luck. Since her piece is pictured on her site, I am comfortable sharing the photo I took at Woodlawn.



Woodlawn Needlework Exhibit 2021

Luckily, Woodlawn postponed their Needlework exhibit from March to May due to coronavirus and many people are now vaccinated including my husband and I. Two of the New Jersey Needle Artists, Sue & Rosie, happened to mention that they go down through Delaware, Maryland, and over to Alexandria. We needed a break from staying in Alexandria and decided Annapolis would be a good alternative.

Normally, I keep this post needlepoint related but I love soup and have never seen or heard of two soups being served in the same bowl! So, I had to try it. Being in Maryland, the Boatyard Bar & Grill combined their spicy crab soup with crab bisque. Both were delicious and they stayed separate for most of the time it took me to eat. Amazing!

We had great weather but it was so sunny that the pictures are not all good (they allow glass covered pieces which causes glare unless museum glass is used). I will mention some of the big winners below. All of the winners of awards are listed on their website at: http://www.woodlawnpopeleighey.org/annualneedleworkshow

Unfortunately, the number of submissions took a hit and was down to new all time low of 299. But, it was still a great exhibit. Most pieces were not hung so high that you had a hard time seeing them which has happened before. You enter from a different door and proceed along room to room.

The first room we entered had both my pieces. The Lee’s Flying Cranes Wedding Kimono popped out at us. It got 2nd Place in the Commercial category. This piece was part of an article published in Needle Pointer’s magazine (Mar/Apr 2020 issue). It was compared by a certified judge to a basketweave stitched canvas of the same design. It’s an interesting discussion if you have not read it. Needle Pointers is a publication for ANG members and well worth joining ANG just for the magazine (6 issues per year; https://www.needlepoint.org/page/NeedlePointers)!

You can also see the fantastic owl, What R U Lookin’ At III, DDB-006 on the upper right side (one of the few ones up too high to get a good look at which was disappointing). Noelle Drollas, a member of NJNA, stitched it and it is part of an article, A Tale of Two Stitchers, in Needle Pointers (Mar/Apr 2021). Very interesting article. Several members of my Main Line Stitchers chapter are interested in stitching the owl too.

You have to turn around and look in the middle of the couch for my pillow. The last two years there were 2 and 7 original designs entered under Canvaswork Multi-Stitch (4+) Adult. This year there were 5 pieces. Mine is called A Spring Sampler that I had finished into a pillow at Needle Me in Havertown, PA. It is a 9″ x 12″ design and it got 2nd Place (325). No 3rd Place was awarded. Congratulations to Dawn Donnelly for Snow Drifted Pathways (101) for 1st Place and Jeffrey Kulick for Circles and Rustications (472) for Honorable Mention. I don’t feel comfortable sharing photos of original designs without permission of the designer. Dawn’s was a three dimensional all white piece and was very interesting. Here is mine which came about as a result of a design class led by Carolyn Mitchell called Making Stitches Work For You (my stitch and thread choices). Great class if you have a chance to take it.

I usually focus on the Canvaswork: Multi-stitch (4+) and Traditional pieces in the Commercial category. And this year had plenty to offer. I really appreciate the electronic submission process this year because the posted list of entries included the names of the pieces as did the tags. I reviewed the list beforehand and really enjoy seeing some of the designs I am familiar with in person including:

Sudoku Delight by Kathy Rees stitched by Jill Beare (476).

Autumn Crackers by Marilyn Owen stitched by Brenda Cote (439). This was from the 2015 ANG Chapter Project Book and is still in my stash to do!

Blueberry & Lime by Jeanne Polzin stitched by Brenda Cote (440; published in ANG Needle Pointers 2012, Number 3).

Glitz & Glamour Copper by DebBee’s Design stitched by Jeffrey Kulick (471).

ANG Stitch of the Month 2019 Mystery Project by designed by Debbie Rowley, Linda Reinmiller, Mary Knapp, and Pat Hartman which was stitched by several members of the ANG New Jersey Needle Artists Chapter including Sue Chadwick (321), Diane Burgess (323), Rosie Lunde (317), and Linda Mosch (339). They always come up with great colorways! NJNA has a great blog and post regularly (https://blog.njneedleartists.org/). All the information about the project can be found on the ANG website (https://www.needlepoint.org/page/SOTM2019). The last photo also includes Indian Autumn designed by Laura Perin stitched by Sondra Horn (544) which I really like too.

Holiday Patches by Susan Kerndt stitched by Marilyn Prado (201) is beautiful.

Holiday Patches by Susan Kerndt was also stitched by Sue Chadwick but in a non-holiday theme (322). I added this to my stash after the 2019 Woodlawn exhibit but have not gotten to yet. Seeing both these makes me want to pull it out. 

And, even though Rosie’s Holiday Patches went to California instead of Woodlawn, it is worth taking a look at her fishing themed piece at https://rosiesmidnightsun.wordpress.com/2021/05/09/a-california-delivery/ . Love her explanation of the blocks.

Winter Lights by Jennifer Riefenberg stitched by Rosie Lunde (318). I love the matching colors of the mat and frame.

Speaking of frames, there were several that were particularly appealing with their lovely coordinating framed needlepoint that really popped for me including Connie’s Quilts by Carol Tweedt (222) with the four inner frames (fillets?) matching the outer frame, Magnolia Pair (Tranquility) by Susan Porrazzo (120) has flowers on the wooden frame, and Poppy Pattern by Elizabeth Dichysyn (435) stitched a patterned mat within another mat and coordinating the frame color to the poppies, and Sunny Flower Hopscotch by Marilyn Prado (202) added painted flowers on the mat. While I am speaking of flowers, there was an original design (not photographed) by Ausra Merkelyte called Allium in a Dew which is categorized as surface embroidery with the flower done on a see through gauze (?) in a hoop hanging in a doorway. It reminds me of another piece in a previous exhibit. It’s a great effect.

Besides the canvas work, I particularly like to look at the Miniatures (32-count). There were only 5 pieces this year and all won an award (two 1st, a 2nd, a 3rd, and HM). Three projects were from Senior stitchers including My Japanese Maple, an adaption, stitched by Norma Campbell (221). She also won the Pope-Leighey Award and a Judge’s Choice.

Birdhouse Village designed by Lynne Tomlinsin Needlework and was stitched by Alison Kearney (545) was placed near one of the peacocks which were popular this year in the counted cross stitch category (117 by Emily Demsick won the Eleanor Curtis Lewis award, 104 by Richard Buchmiller, and 500 by Christinia Armstrong). And why not, they were gorgeous! Does the piece below the last peacock look familiar? It is the geometric from the EGA Master Craftsman Canvas program Step 2 stitched by Heather Gitlin (112).

There were a good number of samplers of various styles. My favorite was a very large, colorful, floral piece called Dutch Sampler by Patricia Young (200). An amazing beaded ensemble (jacket, hat, shoes; 510) by Sophia Shultz was in the stairway as you went upstairs. A good number of women, covid and Black Lives Matter themed pieces, mostly original designs were shown. Bill’s People Choice vote went to Women from the Dawn of Time (466) by Anita Barondes. There are 218 women depicted and cover performers, athletes, artists, musicians, writers, poets, healers, fighters, and leaders. Always nice to see a few juvenile entries. Congratulations to Nathalie Schelin for her Cathleen R Durkin award winner (555). I found out that my post can’t accept any more photos.

Congratulations to all the stitchers – fantastic work! And, to Nelly’s Needlers for putting on the exhibit. I picked up Daffodil which was stitched by one of the Nelly’s Needlers.



Rainbow Ribbons Bands 12 and 13
April 25, 2021, 8:52 am
Filed under: ANG Main Line Stitchers Chapter, Rainbow Ribbons

It’s been fun stitching on Rainbow Ribbons during our ANG Main Line Stitchers chapter Stitch-in on Saturdays. No world problems fixed but we had a nice chat while stitching.

I finished Band 13 shortly after we broke for the day and went to find out what the next band was going to be only to find out that the end diagonal band over 2 was all that was needed. So, I am done!

Band 12 was a Giant Smyrna cross stitch and Band 13 was a reverse diagonal mosaic stitch. It was harder to compensate on the inner edge than the outer edge which I found odd. But, I finally got the hang of it.

I have a month to figure out what will be good to work on at our next Stitch-in.



Canvas Master Craftsman Program, Step 4

Step 4 of the Canvas Master Craftsman program had to incorporate 8 different bargello patterns but not into a “sampler”. So, I have 3 bowls, 3 abstract flowers, a background, and a border. It’s 252 x 180 canvas threads on 18-count canvas. I was surprised to see that it measured 14.5″ x 10.25″. Do stretcher bars actually stretch the canvas that much?

Step 4 passed with distinction and will be sent for display at EGA National Seminar in 2021 along with Steps 1, 2, and 3! 

Any color combination was allowed. I selected a tetrad that are two sets of complements: yellow-orange (browns), yellow-green, blue-violet, and red-violet.

The left blossoms use 3 diamond patterns. For the bowl, I combined two of the same components used in the blossoms and overlapped them when joined side by side. The center bowl and blossoms are different but related diagonal patterns. And, the third group are both examples of mirrored bargello patterns.

I never thought I would finish the background which is a variation of Victorian Step from Decorative Backgrounds by June McKnight (page 53). Since this pattern has more smaller over 2 stitches than over 4 stitches, the stitches recede from the main design elements which consists of mainly larger over 4 stitches.

The border stitch was tricky to make it align evenly. I had to expand the pattern on the sides to make it fit. Four Way Bargello by Dorothy Kaestner is a great resource for bargello patterns. This is a variation of Mauve Ribbon Corners (page 110-111).

I really wish Liz Morrow was still with us. Her designs were instrumental in teaching me about different bargello patterns. Her last blog posting was 2 lovely Hearts for Hospice (http://lizartblog.blogspot.com/). Liz was a wonderful designer and teacher. She was another generous and supportive needlepoint mentor that I have been blessed to know. We are fortunate that her designs are still available at: https://www.lizartneedlepoint.com/#/. There are several bargello patterns I still want to stitch and under her needlepoint tab, I’ve always loved her Leaping Stag.