Melitastitches4fun's Blog


Violet, Dowager Countess by Gay Ann Rogers Begins
July 26, 2021, 9:47 am
Filed under: Gay Ann Roger's, Dowager Countess, Other People's Pieces

The Dowager Countess of Grantham, Violet, is the fourth in the series of Downton Abbey inspired pieces by Gay Ann Rogers.

I decided to get started on it Saturday for our first ANG Main Line Stitchers chapter in person Stitch-in since coronavirus.

One of the members, Buff, hosted us at her house. There were 6 in person and 3 via Zoom. Great lunch and to see folks in person again. But, we probably need more laptops to engage both groups. One camera can’t see 6 people sitting around a table. So, we’ll keep trying!

The Step 1A center eyelets and couched hexagon were easy to stitch as we talked. I was able to complete the rest of Step 1B after I got home.



Tahitian Treat, Needle Pointers March – April 2021 Issue Corrections
July 23, 2021, 10:56 am
Filed under: Melita's Designs, Tahitian Treat

It’s been fantastic watching Meg W on Facebook post her progress on Tahitian Treat. But, I was surprised that she was running out of a couple of threads. It’s possible that not specifying the stitch path may be why Neon Rays + NP55 (need 2 cards) and Silk Lame Braid SL110 (need 3 cards) are running short. The instructions do list 2 skeins needed for Watercolours 086 Tahiti. However, a third skein of Watercolours 086 would allow people to be more selective about the portion selected for specific sections and allow for mistakes. Don’t miss Sue Reed’s article (page 22 in the same issue) on “Color Matching Hand-Dyed Threads” discussing in greater detail how to select portions of hand-dyed threads for manipulation.

As I test stitched a few areas, I found an error in Area H charts and an erratum has been placed on the Needle Pointers magazine webpage. Please click HERE for an errata sheet and insert into your issue for future use. You have to be a member of ANG to have access to these instructions. However, even if you are joining ANG now, you will have access to all the magazines go back to and including all the issues since 2017 – 5 years of fantastic articles and projects! You’ll be able to print pages for your own use. There are also all the Stitch of the Month projects free to ANG members going back to 1998.

In the original article, you’ll see that I ran out of Watercolours 232 African Violet and that’s why the center purple square stands out. The second skein was a slightly lighter dye lot. I wasn’t going to rip the inner area out. Because it was used in completely different area, it worked out to be a happy accident. So, if you do run out & the color of the new thread is slightly different, you may be able to use it anyway especially in a geometric design.

This has been a lesson learned for me. I am going to overestimate the amount of thread required especially if nobody pilot stitches my design first. Sorry for any inconvenience.



Pretty Petites, Watering Can with Vicky Witterschein

The ANG New Jersey Needle Artists is having Vicky Witterschein teach this needle felting project on Zoom in 2 parts. We had our 2-hour class on Wednesday and got through what Vicky is calling the groundwork.

It’s a very cute, small design at just 2.5″ x 3.5″ and since the main intention is to teach needle felting, it makes sense to start small.

Despite the small design, it requires alot of stuff including 8″ x 9″ bars, instructions, threads (partial skeins placed on cards), beading thread, a charm, Merino wool for felting, 4 different needles, and a piece of foam. Vicky provided a well organized complete kit.

Our next class is in a month. So, I picked out a lovely “Linda” bag to store it all in until then. Doesn’t it coordinate well with the design! Looking forward to next month’s felting lesson with Vicky.



Swirling Leaves, Framed
July 15, 2021, 6:31 pm
Filed under: Swirling Leaves

Sister Linda at Second to Nun Framery (in Huntingdon Valley, PA) took only 2 weeks framing 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.

I elected not to get museum glass but it is the non-glare which is still difficult to get a great picture. I got to practice my newly learned Photoshop technique to straighten photos. I like the simple silver frame because it blends into the background.



Background Completed, Star of Stitches, ANG Stitch of the Month 2020

All 4 background areas are done! One of the finishing touches was the outline in Kreinik which was an overdyed thread from Color Complements. I did the diagonal lines in the center with a few crouching stitches. The rest was long straight stitches rather than the short backstitching. And, I stitched around the vertical and horizontal lines even though the directions didn’t say it was needed. The very last step was the over 2 gobelin stitches to outline the square and give the framer some space so that the tips of the stars don’t get cut off. That’s all the same color of rust Splendor. So, the difference is the way the light reflects off the stitches.



Background Color, Star of Stitches, ANG Stitch of the Month 2020
June 27, 2021, 9:56 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I had several good suggestions from my last post. But, I decided to go with the rust. We considered about a half dozen different rusts. This rust (Splendor S1009) is the winner! It’s difficult to get an accurate representation of the color in a photo. The light reflects on the silk thread differently because of the angle of the stitches. So, it does look lighter in the center than the corners. There will be Kreinik added along the angled edges.

Kathy Rees, designer of Star of Stitches, suggested that 5 or 6 threads might be needed if using a dark thread. Instead, I used a Copic marker that exactly matched the rust and used 4 threads. These areas use straight stitches which are taking a lot of thread. It’ll take two cards of thread.



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?