Melitastitches4fun's Blog


Flutterby and Pansy Stand

It’s been awhile with the finisher but worth the wait. The Mauve Pansy that I stitched for the EGA class Rings on Her Fingers designed by Allison Cole and taught by Kay Stanisis has Flutterby flying around it which is designed by Kurdy Biggs from ANG’s 2017 Chapter Project Book. There is an iridescent yellow lamé behind the canvas and an acrylic stand is inserted from the bottom.



THaP class, Blackwork on Nature’s Palette

The 2022 fall Take Home a Project (THaP) class, Blackwork on Nature’s Palette by Catherine Jordan, was today across the bridge in Mt. Laurel, NJ.

It was a full class and my first attempts were not good. I’d only done one small square of Blackwork quite some time ago. I was getting nowhere and finally asked Catherine what was I doing wrong. It turns out I was trying to do this on the diagonal. So, I grabbed a new Magnolia leaf (she brought extras – I actually will do 3 of these). The second leaf went easier on the front but it is not reversible. The lady bug is a cute embellishment. I will try the diagonal one again and a reversible one.

They were painted beautifully with acrylic paints. I grabbed about a half dozen green ones because I will offer to teach this to the Brandywine chapter. That’s the purpose of THaP. It’s like the ANG Chapter Project Book.

I taught the Overdyed Spools to the group last year and several of them commented on how their chapter members enjoyed it and several chapters have it scheduled for 2022 and 2023.



Overdyed Spools, An EGA Petite Project

Overdyed Spools was released today as an EGA Petite Project (https://egausa.org/new-petite-project-overdyed-spools/)! I taught it at the Mid-Atlantic Region (MAR) Fall meeting in October 2021 and since then, at least 6 chapters have or will be teaching it to members. I have been getting photos by text and email showing me another one finished periodically – so cool. A couple of people changed the stitch to have the color flow differently which was wonderful. And, the center changed to 3 larger geometric shapes – so original.

Then, thanks to Jana (dual member) from the EGA Great Lakes Region (GLR) for asking if that region could share the design with chapters. Since ANG has the project in the 2017 Chapter Project Book (still available), I figured that maybe EGA would be able to share it through their Petite Projects which are smaller projects also intended to be used by chapters and/or regions as scheduled programs. Since I created diagrams for the Petite Projects, Favorite Medallion #1 and Technique Basics, working with Carole and Harriet, I knew who to contact. And, it was quickly accepted.

This is my newest colorway which is the one I used for demonstration for class and finished afterwards. You may have seen it at the EGA Seminar in NYC this summer as a “Coming Soon” piece – it’s here now!



Lady Sybil
September 6, 2022, 7:32 pm
Filed under: Lady Sybil

This is one of my favorite outfits from Downton Abbey and I wanted Sybil to join the family of pieces designed by Gay Ann Rogers based on other Downton Abbey photos. So, I designed this after stitching Gay Ann’s other 4 designs. Thanks to Gay Ann for her inspiring pieces.

The harem pant outfit is a Paul Poiret inspired costume. The design features 3 nested Jessicas, wrapped sheafs, and padded crescents.



Canvas Master Craftsman Program, Step 5

Step 5 of the EGA Master Craftsman Canvas 3 had to include 2 appliques (canvas to canvas and at least one had to be irregularly shaped). It had to be 10″ x 14″.

The wings were stitched on 24 count Congress Cloth and applied to 18 count canvas. These are the practice wings. In a nutshell, Step 1 is to pull threads out to the stitched piece (in progress in left photo). Step 2 buries some threads on the back of the applique (right photo). The rest of the threads are pulled to the back and buried in the surrounding stitched area. It is time consuming.

I started this piece shortly after seeing the article Tale of Two Stitchers in the Needle Pointers magazine (Mar/Apr 2021) regarding 2 painted canvases of owls “Who Gives a Hoot”. At first I was going to make the round eyes the applique until I realized that a circle is not irregular! So, I switched to making the wings the appliques which actually made better sense since they should be in front of the body anyway. I would have padded it but the instructions didn’t say you could but it is allowed. They have changed their instructions to clearly state that padding is allowed.

I had to practice the technique and actually stitched 5 wings trying to get this right. That’s why this step took an extra 6 months. But, the piece passed with distinction. So, it was worth it. Bill likes owls, knew I had worked on it a lot, and thought Night Owl deserved to be framed. So, it was framed before going on display at EGA National Seminar from August 24-28, 2022 in New York City.

I’m glad I waited to post this until I got it back so I could take a new photo. Before my photography class:

After class:



Ginko Leaves

Ginko Leaves is a Lee canvas (design size 8.5″ x 3.75), BR67. In June, at Cleo’s First Tuesday Stitch-in at Busy Lizzie, I found a new thread Line that I haven’t seen anywhere else. It is from Gloriana Threads and is Duchess Silk, a hand-dyed thread. Some colors have more subtle changes in the skein than others. The Antique Black is darker than the canvas but that’s ok. And, I will not use Brick after all because I am using some sparkly threads including Kreinik, Silk Lame Braid, or Snow for the edges of the leaves.

I was thinking basketweave for something easy to stitch but discovered that Duchess Silk is too thick. So, I selected various stitches incorporating a little additional sparkle into four of the eight (different from the edges).

My main goal was to find stitch patterns with stitches over 2 or 3 canvas threads that would create a diagonal effect according to the direction of the leaf. They came from Desert Island Vol 1 and 2 by Carole Lake and Michael Boren, Lone Star’s Grab-n-Go Stitches, Needlepoint Dictionary of Stitches by Susan Sturgeon Roberts, and The Needlepoint Book by Jo Ippolito Christensen

Part of this was stitched at yesterday’s Stitch-in with the ANG Main Line Stitchers. We had 5 in person at Buff’s house because the church is working on the floors. Speaking of Buff, she was quite observant by noticing that I was uncharacteristically stitching “in the well”. It is something that I have done when the canvas has too little around the sides of the design because it makes ending threads easier. When do you work “in the well”?



Mesa Triangle with Kathy Rees
August 21, 2022, 10:10 pm
Filed under: ANG Seminar 2022, Mesa Triangle with Kathy Rees

The main reason for taking Mesa Triangle with Kathy Rees was to learn about fabric appliques. I also liked the colors and of course, I enjoy classes with Kathy. The design is 3.5″ x 12″.

As I stitched, I realized that while this is not a symmetrical design, there are components within the design that I am making symmetrical by manipulating the overdyed threads. It is very subtle and you may not notice it but it makes me happy.

The triangles divided by the blue zig zag line on top are the first examples. The 3 across the top match, the two bottom center match, and the two smaller side triangles match.

In the next section below on the right, the nine triangles match as they progress downwards as does the very slightly overdyed tent stitches. I stitched each side down with matching colored threads instead of stitching side to side. I did the same thing for the other nine triangles that appear horizontally further down.

In between those triangles are a band with 3 “windows”. The “panes” are an overdyed thread, Gloriana Mesa Sunset, appropriately enough, which I love. I got the top and bottom panes matching pretty good without actually trying. And, I did get the far left and right vertical panes to match. Then, I shifted the blue down just a tad for the center two vertical panes.

For the bottom panel, the 4 Gloriana Mesa Sunset columns all match, gloriously!

I never expected to get both Seminar pieces done in the 2 weeks since returning. But, I have lots to start including two new ANG Main Line Stitchers chapter projects (these bars may just work for one of them) and my EGA Step 6 Master Craftsman Canvas Program (design, canvas, and threads are ready). I am also looking forward to a class with Catherine Jordan in September and Toni Gerdes in October.



ANG President’s Award Ribbon for A Spring Sampler
August 17, 2022, 11:19 am
Filed under: ANG Seminar 2022, President's Award

Shirley Burns designed all the special award hand-stitched ribbon centers for the ANG 50th Anniversary Seminar Awards and Betsy Smullen stitched the Desert Rose for the President’s Award. I did ask and all the ribbon centers should appear in an upcoming issue of Needle Pointers. All were lovely! Thanks again to all the volunteers who participated to make the whole Seminar a success.



Blue Hills with Dawn Donnelly
August 16, 2022, 8:46 am
Filed under: ANG Seminar 2022, Blue Hills with Dawn Donnelly

I enjoyed the opportunity to have a class, Blue Hills, with Dawn Donnelly for this “mixed media” piece that incorporates Dawn’s hand-made paper. It’s about 6″ x 8″ on 14 count. Fun to stitch.

You can see it in the third area from the top. I cut the paper and stitched it into place.

Between the 8th and 9th area (under the straight satin stitches of Watercolours) I did not like the ripped paper because it didn’t rip how I wanted. So, instead of using that piece that was supposed to be tacked down with a “fake bullion” created from DMC Pearl Cotton #5 which required at least 72″ and crunching one strand to create a coil (which is a long length to get without shredding). I decided that it was not going to happen for me. Not worth the aggravation especially because I knew I had Woolly Whites (WW010) from The Thread Gatherer. It’s perfect!

In the second to the bottom area, underneath the Satin stitches are 4 pieces of blue painted papers instead of 3 that Dawn suggested (they show up more in the photo than in person). I thought the one piece was too small but it fit in on the far left. That allowed the 2 medium sized pieces to fit in the center and the large on the right. I did not want the papers to shift during framing. Dawn had suggested glue. But, I used one strand of dark blue thread and a chenille needle to tack them in place. They aren’t going anywhere ever! In order to see the paper through the stitches, one strand Trio worked fine (2 strands didn’t allow any paper to show).

Placing the beads and French Knots (with 1, 2, and 3 wraps) randomly with all variety of threads was fun (just don’t look at the back).



Christmas Time From Dawn To Dusk
August 12, 2022, 9:19 pm
Filed under: From Dawn to Dusk, Twilight Too

What happens when Christmas meets From Dawn to Dusk by Karen E. Dudzinski from Textured Treasures? This cute ornament! It is Motif 1-1 which I agreed to stitch to show how the various motifs would look if stitched individually for ornaments. This is one of three projects that ANG Main Line Stitchers will be stitching over the 2022-2023 year.

I had Needle Necessities 153 Razzle Dazzle Red for the Satin Stitch Leaf and a roll of 1/16 silver metallic ribbon for the Plaited Upright Cross and center leaf vein in my stash. The red flosses from dark to light are 814, 816, and 321.

Instead of the 11/0 beads, I used 15/0 Miyuki beads and Sundance silver sequins BDS-SQ214 which I have plenty to share if anyone is interested. I think they will sparkle better.

Other threads were DMC Floss Blanc, DMC #8 Perle white, DMC #5 Perle 321 red, and Kreinik #8 Braid 001 silver.

It took me about 6 hours to stitch this (spread over several days). I kept track to get a sense for how long it would take members to stitch a motif if we do one a month.

I stitched Access Commodities Metallic Soft Twist Trim Cord (Size 16) on with Sulky Invisible thread (fine 0.004) which was quite a challenge to see! But, it worked better than a matching silver thread because I had to go into the Ultrasuede backing & kind of deeper into the front to cinch the two sides tight. The cording Size 32 might be better although this is fine. It was way easier and quicker than using the Palestrina stitch for the edging. For this ornament, I used one layer of Skirtex, a stiff interfacing, that I had left over from a name tag kit obtained from Marilyn when we volunteered for ANG Distance Learning together. We made coordinating name tags for the 2014 ANG Seminar in Chicago. I had forgotten where I’d gotten Skirtex from, searched on my blog, and found out where I’d gotten from. I keep following Marilyn around ANG! She is excellent to work with and very knowledgeable.

My finishing is not perfect but looks very good. The first photo revealed a piece of invisible thread that had gotten caught on an edge but I was able to bury it. So, it was all done & ready for our August ANG Main Line Stitchers meeting this past Monday.