Melitastitches4fun's Blog


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.



Leftover Threads and The Arte Johnson Stitch
April 16, 2021, 7:15 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

My bargello design for Step 4 of EGA’s Master Craftsman program is on it’s way for evaluation and I had so much thread left over that I decided to try The Arte Johnson stitch. Yes, Arte from Laugh-In. I didn’t know that he was a stitcher. But, he came up with this way to use up his scraps of threads. I wasn’t sure if I had enough threads from the Star of Stitches project to use them. So, I selected an overdyed thread from my stash and not even a third of the threads from my EGA project.

I read about this scrap busting technique in Janet Perry’s blog, Nuts About Needlepoint (https://nuts-about-needlepoint.com/youll-be-laughing-at-the-way-this-stitch-uses-stash/); Susan Sturgeon Roberts’ blog Needlepoint Teacher (https://www.needlepointteacher.com/stitches/numbered-a-b/arte-s/); and Jan’s blog Needle arts and Beyond (https://needleartsandbeyond.wordpress.com/2014/07/07/artes-stitch-needlepoint/). Then, I remembered that I tried it in small samples when I tested several techniques recommended in “A Little Bit of This and A Little Bit of That” by Linda Damiani (Dec 2017 original post). I wasn’t thrilled with how it turned out perhaps because I didn’t like combining different thread types in a needle.

The stitch is either a Cashmere (2×3) or an Elongated Cashmere (3×5). Either way, they are worked in diagonal rows. This time I’ll try it with the Vineyard Merino which can’t be doubled in the needle anyway. Up close I won’t get the tweed effect but perhaps from a distance I’ll obtain an Impressionistic, watercolor effect.

I cut 18″ lengths and put two of each color in a bag. As my husband pulled them randomly from the bag to determine the stitching order, I placed them on a thread holder.

The 18″ length only got me 6 Cashmere units of the 3 x 5 variety. So, I stitched one complete row to get started. For the second row, I started back up the third row. Then, I started varying the number of stands before switching colors.

Maybe I’ll try a smaller piece and see how it works with the 2 x 3 Cashmere and the Star of Stitches leftover threads.

Before starting my next Gay Ann Rogers piece, I am happy to have some mostly mindless stitching for a while. All I have to decide is how many lengths of thread to use before switching colors.



Areas 7-8, Star of Stitches, ANG Stitch of the Month 2020

Because I’ve joined ANG New Jersey Needle Artists and am working on a Stitch of the Month project they have done previously, I can join their Saturday Stitch-in! They meet at the start and end of their Saturday session. The Star of Stitches by Kathy Rees is one of two Stitch of the Month projects for 2020 with my ANG Main Line Stitchers chapter.

These last two areas are stitches used in the first six areas. She combines cross, box, and diagonal stitches to create unique patterns.

I’m learning Photoshop and cropped out just Area 7 for the first photo.

This photo is the close up of Area 8.

Here’s the whole star finished. I am ready for tonight’s ANG Main Line Stitchers chapter meeting. Next month starts the background.



Countess of Grantham, Cora, Final Steps by Gay Ann Rogers
April 1, 2021, 6:10 pm
Filed under: Gay Ann Roger's, Countess of Granrham, Other People's Pieces

The fillings of the leaves and pods were fun and easy to stitch. The border was done in no time. I turned the page and there wasn’t any more to stitch!

Gay Ann was inspired by this photo of Cora. She really nailed the colors (just very dark gray-brown, medium brown, ecru, and cream). And, look carefully at Cora’s right arm to see how the design matches!



Rainbow Ribbons, Band 11
March 29, 2021, 2:18 pm
Filed under: ANG Main Line Stitchers Chapter, Rainbow Ribbons

I enjoy stitching on Rainbow Ribbons during our ANG Main Line Stitchers chapter Stitch-in on Saturday. Again, it was followed by a rainy Sunday which allowed me to finish. And, a sunny (cool and windy) Monday allowed me to get a photo.

Getting started on Friday allows me to understand the stitch pattern so I can talk and stitch on Saturday. The eyelet was stitched after the diagonal frame.

It was helpful that Linda let us know how long a thread would be needed to stitch two complete frames. For the eyelets, I used a really long length (about 50″) and put the half way point of the thread in the middle of the first two frames. Then, I worked each column.



Canvas Master Craftsman, Steps 1 and 3 Display Ready

Unlike my Step 2 piece which didn’t need blocking, Lisa did block the fish for me and I picked up earlier this week. I attached it with small nails to a foam board and laced it up. I’m using the same acid-free, 3/16” thick, white foam board (https://www.michaels.com/elmers-acid-free-foam-board-2-count/10390078.html) that I used for the previous step. Today, I laced up Step 3 too. No blocking was needed.

Since these pieces are not going to be judged, I didn’t want to mat and frame it. I ordered ultrasuede fabric to make the backs look nicer. They will be displayed in the Education area of EGA at the National Seminar in Chicago in September to advertise their Master Craftsman Canvas program. Bill and I are going to drive there for my first EGA Seminar. I have 3 classes which will be the subject of another post eventually.

Step 1. Line Drawing Supplied, Monochromatic Colorway
Step 3. No design supplied for Diaper Patterns, Split Complementary Colorway


Coffee Cups Has a New Home
March 22, 2021, 4:30 pm
Filed under: ANG Main Line Stitchers Chapter, Coffee Cups

I finally stopped at the Starbucks in Malvern. I am thrilled to be able to say that Coffee Cups is being displayed prominently there! It is the Starbucks in Malvern at 260 Old Morehall Rd (a stand alone location).  When you walk in the door, it is on the wall to your right. That was where I was hoping it would be put. I really wish that coronavirus hadn’t have forced our Starbucks in Wayne with our conference room to close. I’ve got to start looking for a new location. Some members are starting to get their vaccine & are anxious to meet in person again. But, I am glad Coffee Cups has a new home.


The manager, JC, was on vacation but I told the girl who waited on me that I was one of the group who stitched the Coffee Cups & she was interested in knowing more about it. She was particularly interested in how long it took us to do it. 


So, stop in & check it out. 



Tahitian Treat, Cover of Needle Pointers Magazine

The online version of the March/April, 2021 issue of Needle Pointers magazine is available now for ANG members at https://online.fliphtml5.com/bjsk/apin/#p=1

What a wonderful surprise to see my design, Tahitian Treat, on the cover page! I knew it would be in the issue. Marilyn O created great diagrams in Adobe Illustrator from what I had sent her in Excel.

The actual piece was away from me for almost a year! After returning from ANG Seminar in late September where it got an Honorable Mention award, it went in February 2020 to the Woodlawn exhibit and got a 3rd place ribbon. However, the month-long March exhibit turned into a delayed exhibit due to coronavirus. After the show concluded in July, it went to northern NJ with the New Jersey Needle Artists member who picked it and others up. There it stayed all fall and by early December, we finally arranged a hand off half-way between our homes. That day, I repacked it and sent it south to Marilyn to photograph for the article. When she finished, it was before Christmas and it got stuck for over a month on the return trip in the USPS distribution center in Philadelphia. After multiple requests, I finally got it back on January 29, 2021! One year ago this weekend we visited Woodlawn-just before everything shut down.



Countess of Grantham, Cora, Step 2A by Gay Ann Rogers
March 5, 2021, 5:52 pm
Filed under: Gay Ann Roger's, Countess of Granrham, Other People's Pieces

I felt like this should have been a step in and of itself in Cora’s design by Gay Ann Rogers.

There was lots of counting that I did 99% correctly the first time. Perhaps the lesson I learned is that correct stitching can be done by focusing on the work rather than trying to stitch and watch TV.

It’s all cross stitches, double-running, and backstitching reminding me that counted cross stitch patterns are not easy just because they are all x stitches. I have several cross stitch designs in my to do pile that would be challenging.