Melitastitches4fun's Blog

March, SOTM
March 31, 2010, 1:32 pm
Filed under: ANG Stitch of the Month Mystery Project

The project is coming along nicely. Glad I got March done before the end of the month!

Sculptured Knot Garden
March 29, 2010, 11:39 am
Filed under: Sculptured Knot Garden

This garden has depth & variety that a larger garden (8” x 8”) can accommodate. There is even a water fountain. By adding some padding in several areas underneath stitches, I have added contour to the topography. Last year, one of our members offered suggestions for basic garden designs & stitches that work well in a garden. And, as you can image, no 2 were alike. I’m not a big French Knot fan but I worked some in along the inner border & used Raised & Palenstra Knots in order to call it a “Knot” Garden.

I had to place the finished piece inside a shadow box because I was afraid of dust. NOT that my friend & co-worker, Roya, who I gave it to as a gift upon completion, is a bad housekeeper!! We all get dust. Anyway, the shadowbox was quite an ordeal. When I realized the cardboard sides would show, I added straight stitches along the sides to cover them. Then, I had to tack down the piece to the cardboard so it would lay flat along the bottom – the fountain JUST fit – only slightly touching the glass. Once I had it fully attached to the cardboard & bent the sides fully, it puckered more than I had expected! Well, that just added a little more to the contour of the topography!

In this garden, I used the following stitches:

Outer border: Triangle

Inner North & South borders (top & bottom): Raised Knots with Colonial Knot centers

Inner East & West border (sides): Lazy Daisy, Straight Stitch, & French Knots (for simple flower design)

Large corner areas (listed in a clockwise manner starting at the NE corner or 1 pm):

  • French Knot on a Stick
  • Detached Buttonhole with a few layers of felt padding
  • Web Stitch Wrapped with 2 rows of Rosette Stitch
  • Milanese Pinwheel

North & South horseshoes: Turkey Work (I used a thread that expanded in volume beyond my expectation and covered the flowers of the inner portion of the horseshoe. Since I wasn’t going to rip it out, I had to cinch them together using a matching floss near the surface where it wouldn’t show. I learned that Turkey Work isn’t my favorite stitch & using floss would have been a better choice.)

East & West horseshoes: I don’t know if what I did has a name but necessity is the mother of invention & I sure didn’t want to do anymore Turkey Work. So, I took a chunk of a flexible cloth hair band & stitched up & over it using an overdyed bouclé.

Outer area between arms of horseshoes: Ringed Daisies

Inner area between arms of horseshoes: Raised Knots with Colonial Knot centers

Inner center area of horseshoes: Tied Windmills & Knots to fill in the spaces

Center portion: Jessica inside Walneto

Fountain: Needleweaving (over a stiff wire which had been bent in half & placed up through the canvas before stitching)

Ground covering: Not sure of the name of this stitch. If anyone recognizes, please let me know. Thanks in advance. Sharon (ANG Yahoo group member in St. Charles, MO) suggested T-stitch which I found in Stitches To Go by Suzanne Howren & Beth Robertson. But this stitch is longer. So, I flipped through that book again & found it. It’s called Woven. Thanks Sharon for getting me to the right book!!

Stitch books used:

  • The Needlepoint Book by Jo Ippolito Christensen
  • Stitches To Go by Suzanne Howren and Beth Robertson
  • Stitch Sampler by Lucinda Ganderton
  • Elegant Stitches by Judith Baker Montano
  • Sculptured Needlepoint Stitchery by Ella Projansky

Flower Frame for Small Knot Garden
March 26, 2010, 10:40 pm
Filed under: Pruned Knot Garden

I love this frame. It was a fleamarket find. And, I’ve made 3 attempts to fill it.

Which of the 3 attempts do you prefer for the frame – or should I keep trying?

Looking forward to your input – in the form of a comment as I can’t figure out how to post a poll.

First, I attempted this abstract design trying to match the colors using diamond eyelet & tied windmill:

Then, I was practicing with various stitches & thought this garden would be better but it ended looking a little overgrown to me:

So, I redid the piece to tone down or pruned the variety stitches from that of the previous piece:

Pruned Knot Garden
March 26, 2010, 9:53 am
Filed under: Pruned Knot Garden

I got my garden under control! Only 5 stitches were trimmed from my 4&1/2” x 3” area but the difference in stitches made for a cleaner garden:

Far left & right walkway: Alternating Cashmere

Outer rectangular portion (listed in a clockwise manner starting at high noon):

  • Byzantine
  • Triple Leviathan
  • Tied Windmills
  • Ringed Daisies
  • Double Crossed Diamond

Corners of inner square portion: Couched Boucle (dark green) & Criss Cross Hungarian (grey/brown over-dye)

Inner diamond portions: Inner: Woven Cross filled in with Squared Palestrina Knot, Raised Knot, Colonial Knot & French Knot (nice variety of knotted stitches)

Inner diamond border: Upright Crosses

Center portion: Walneto surrounded by tent

Divide walkway from planted areas: Couched Boucle (light green)

Stitch books used:

  • The Needlepoint Book by Jo Ippolito Christensen
  • Stitches To Go by Suzanne Howren and Beth Robertson
  • Stitch Sampler by Lucinda Ganderton
  • Elegant Stitches by Judith Baker Montano

Overgrown Knot Garden
March 25, 2010, 8:36 am
Filed under: Overgrown Knot Garden

Last year our chapter worked on a knot garden. Before I tackled the large garden, I practiced in a 4&1/2” x 3” area. My garden became a little overgrown with stitches!  I fit all these stitches into that small space:

Far left walkway: Alternating Hungarian Diamond

Far right walkway: Triangle

Outer rectangular portion (listed in a clockwise manner starting at high noon):

  • Byzantine
  • Double Leviathan
  • French Knot on Stick
  • Spider Stitch
  • Rhodes
  • Byzantine
  • Cameo
  • Belly Button
  • Wound Cross
  • Shell & Cross

Corners of inner square portion: Criss Cross Hungarian

Inner diamond portion (listed in a clockwise manner starting at 1 pm):

  • Algerian Eye with Palenstra
  • Diamond Eyelet Variation
  • Smyrna Cross
  • Double Crossed Diamond

Inner diamond portion is filled in with Cross-stitch (white) & Mosaic (light green)

Center portion: Walneto

I liked some elements but not others. I knew I could do better!

Stitch books used:

  • The Needlepoint Book by Jo Ippolito Christensen
  • Stitches To Go by Suzanne Howren and Beth Robertson
  • Stitch Sampler by Lucinda Ganderton
  • Elegant Stitches by Judith Baker Montano

Winterthur photos of Plimoth jacket and headpiece
March 24, 2010, 11:07 pm
Filed under: Tudor and Stuart Gold Master Class

Betsy contacted Winterthur & they said, “You can use your own photos and post on a blog!  Thanks so much for spreading the word, and also thanks so much for asking!”  So, here are her photos of the jacket & a headpiece. Thanks for getting permission Betsy & providing the photos.

Tudor and Stuart Gold Master Class
March 24, 2010, 3:50 pm
Filed under: Tudor and Stuart Gold Master Class
Thanks (I think) to Winterthur, the Plimoth Jacket, & Betsy, a fellow ANG Mainline chapter member, I can’t pass on the opportunity & challenge of the class, Tudor and Stuart Gold Master Class offered by Thistle Threads. 
The Winthurer, located in Delaware, has been on my list to visit. Betsy has spoken so highly of the Plimoth Jacket, a collaborative effort from hundreds of people of all ages. It is absolutely gorgeous from the photos I’ve seen.  And, for each of the 32 stitches taught there will be traditional line drawings to follow & animation to watch – a most impressive technology!  I think I’m still talking myself into it even though I already registered. Betsy signed on too! It’s an 18-month class (registration ends March 31).
The Plimoth Jacket is discussed at and
and you can see the jacket being worn (pictured on March 12, 2010 under the title Flying Off Again) at 
To register for the Master class:

Sun Flower
March 23, 2010, 8:44 pm
Filed under: Sun Flower with David McCaskill at Fireside Stitchery

I had a request from Ann to see the whole piece – happy to oblige. I have 3 & 1/2 petals left to do.

‘Sun Flower’, close-up of first 6 petals finished
March 22, 2010, 10:52 pm
Filed under: Sun Flower with David McCaskill at Fireside Stitchery

David McCaskill is coming into town this weekend for classes at Fireside Stitchery.  I’m looking forward to his tips/tricks class on Saturday.  I couldn’t attend when he spoke to our chapter in Nov 09 & everyone that went enjoyed it. And, this will be an expanded full-day version!

I am making good progress on the petals & have the first 6 done (the little one on the left counts as the first petal).  Once I got into a rhythm, the green began to fill in between the petals quicker.  For that area, David recommended using a skip tent stitch so that it would cover the holes from the back.  I had hoped to get all the petals done. We’ll see how it goes!

Woodlawn Roadtrip 2010
March 22, 2010, 9:37 am
Filed under: General comments, Woodlawn Needlework Exhibition

Woodlawn was a wonderful needlepoint exhibit sponsored by a talented and committed group, Nelly’s Needlers. They deserve a standing ovation for the work they do for the month of March. They are “a volunteer organization responsible for preserving and promoting the tradition of the needle arts among the general public . . . “.  They are dedicated as 3 meetings a month & 50 hours of community service work (such as work in classes to teach juniors) must be completed to be an active member.

FYI: All entries must be by a living person. For juniors, work must be completed within the last year (no such restriction for adult). Commercial includes charted or painted canvas, printed graphs, kits, class projects. We saw every technique displayed. And, canvas work is defined as embroidery stitched through an even-weave canvas (traditional using 1-4 stitches or multi-stitch using 5 or more stitches).

I was surprised to see a piece I had completed last year, Exodus Breastplate – I’d recognize it anywhere. And, my husband was the first to spot the first of 3 different Pieces of Eight displayed, each of which has been personalized by switching colors or adding additional stitches.

Catherine Jordan’s surface embroidery (IMG 3972, 3973, 3974, 4014) is amazing – you can see through them. They are so small but are whole scenes! Of the vast embroidery, the stumpwork impressed me most – possible because I hadn’t seen that before. The 3-dimensional effect of the bird was life-like (IMG 797). I saw some surface embroidery that makes me want to get back to the Brazilian embroidery I learned a year or so ago – just lovely work. There was a cross-stitch of dogs that looked like a photo. The crewel sunflower was spectacular (IMG 866). I thought the original lillypad design was stunning – not a large piece but it popped when you walked in the room – did for me anyway (IMG66)!! We never would have known but one of the hostesses told us that one piece had actually stitched on a bra (IMG3936)! In case you misplaced the link to the photos:

Thanks to Jane ( for instructions: If you want to look up the items that won awards that I mention, enter the IMG number in the search box. BEFORE you push Enter, use the Search pull down menu to choose Preservation Nation’s albums so that you don’t get results from all over Flicker.

For the People’s Choice Award, my husband & I both voted for a commercial piece that didn’t win a ribbon or even get honorable mention. It had a colorful multi-stitch needlepoint center design with a mat of a gold stitched frame design surrounding it & then framed again with a real frame. It was beautiful. It’s by Nancy Poe (#60) if you get there – unfortunately, it is not a photographed piece. Our 2nd place People’s Choice award goes to Gail Stafford (#67) for a small but original landscape design.

I learned how to spread Flair on a wire to create a wing of a dragonfly! And, lunch was delicious – don’t pass on the lemon tart!

We enjoyed Alexandria – beautiful city – loved the Frank Lloyd Wright house & spent most of the rest of the time walking/eating/drinking our way along King Street which was bustling – our feet are tired!

Thanks to Jane/Chilly Hollow for directions to ‘In Stiches’ – GPS didn’t recognize Pear Tree Court. They have a lovely store, classroom area, nice variety of items. I bought threads for the 2010 ANG Seminar name-tag contest. I thought it appropriate to use Sampler Threads from The Gentle Art as they are located in Ohio! And, ‘In Stitches’ found a chair for husband so he could read as I browsed.  Wonderful weather & weekend wandering!!