Melitastitches4fun's Blog

Last of the Pieces of Eight T, V, X, Y
May 30, 2010, 1:45 pm
Filed under: Pieces of Eight

These are the last 4 I’m doing of the Pieces of Eight. Turned out nice. Not sure who’s getting this one yet.

As a reminder, the directions for ‘Pieces of Eight’ by Gayle Bicknell are available at  They are reprinted all in one issue for $18.

Octagon X (upper left) is Rhodes Stitch Variations, Octagon Y (upper right) is Walneto Stitch Variation, Octagon T (bottom left) combines Spratshead with center diamond, & Octagon V (bottom right) combines Byzantine & Rhodes Variation. I added Kreinik around the edges in various patterns.

I did the centermost section in what may be a new stitch – if it is, I’m calling it Sunburst. I do not see it in any books of mine. And, if any of you know of a stitch being done this way, do let me know.  I placed #16 braid in a small center square & then did needleweaving from the outer portion under the center & back over & out to the same hole. It gets a raised effect at the very center. And, I placed Frosty Rays in the hole left in the center. I’m playing with making a couple of variations.

May 28, 2010, 6:38 pm
Filed under: Tinkerbell

I made this Fairy for one of my nieces, Erin, to hang on her wall to hold necklaces. I used the outline of an outdoor wind chime from a friend’s yard.

The threads are Gold Rush 14 Variegated (231C) and Kreinik #16 Braid (057F) using Criss Cross Hungarian (from Stitches To Go by Suzanne Howren and Beth Robertson). The Kreinik is fluorescent. I expected the thread would be cool to glow in the dark but that didn’t pan out. Even when I held the thread under a lamp, the glow was faint & brief. Oh well. I still liked how the piece turned out.

The finisher, working out of Fireside Stitchery, did a lovely job. I left it entirely in their hands & really like the selection of the braided trim. When I provided the hooks (from AC Moore or Michaels), I hadn’t told them how to place them. While I had thought they’d go across the bottom, the random placement is much better! 

I used a 14 count vinyl canvas. The canvas is available from (under Fabrics).

A Visit to Winterthur and the Plimoth Jacket
May 25, 2010, 1:14 pm
Filed under: Tudor and Stuart Gold Master Class

Over the past weekend, I enjoyed an afternoon at the Winterthur. The tram took us on a tour of the grounds of the DuPont estate. There are some colors from flowers but the various green plantings are in abundance. The attention to details is amazing. For example, the lights along the walkway (left photo) are functional & ornamental. The reflecting pond (right photo) was originally a pool & the first in the US to be heated. At the far end (right photo), those 3 round grates are covering 3 huge speakers through which the guests could enjoy music as the lounge about the pool!

Moving indoors, nice small groups of 10 were given an hour tour of several rooms in the mansion. Then, we were free to walk the property, through the galleries & browse the Campbell Soup tureen collection. Their textiles are extensive, including samplers, needlepoint wall hangings, quilts, drapes, bathroom towels, chair covers, book covers, table cloths.  Tailor-made tours are available at an extra charge. 

chair and quilt (above)

sampler and table cloth (above)

And, of course, the Plimoth Jacket. It is stunning in person. Kept behind a plexiglass but in the middle of the floor so you can walk all around it. There is a brief video about the making of the jacket. Quite interesting. They even sewed over the seams – such attention to detail.

FYI: Winterthur didn’t mind pictures being taken of anything.

Tea Time
May 22, 2010, 11:55 am
Filed under: Tea Time

This is a small piece I did for my mother. It is Brazilian Embroidery, an Interwoven Cast-On Stitch using four threads & five needles taught by Mendie Cannon. I took 3 classes in 2 days from her at the Stitching Jubilee a couple of years ago. I still have to finish those class projects. But, I’d wanted to practice this stitch & then decided it would fit this little teapot nicely.

Matilda the Moose
May 18, 2010, 5:22 pm
Filed under: Matilda the Moose

It’s been a year already since we went to Alaska. It was beautiful. We did 10 days, including 7 with the Alaskan Railroad. Our last day was spent with the family that owns & operates Indian Valley Mine outside Anchorage. They were so kind & went out of their way for us, making us a wonderful salmon lunch on Memorial Day. The youngest even went around trying to collect more moose turds for my husband. He wanted a jar full because a dozen wasn’t enough! While they are quite hard & don’t smell, I was quite happy when the little girl returned with just 3 more placed in a small gift box such that they looked like 2 eyes & a nose with a smile drawn on a piece of cotton.  It was so cute!! 

So, when I returned from Alaska, I needlepointed this piece & mailed it to them as a thank you. Yes, what’s what you think it is depicted in brown on the ground behind the moose!!  I used the outline of a moose pin my husband bought for me. The moose is done in a Byzantine stitch (I think) with Gold Rush 14 Variegated, 202C. I threw in some background mountain straight stitches & was done.


I used a 14 count vinyl canvas with DMC Perle #5. The canvas is available from (under Fabrics). And, I shouldn’t tell you but this but the frame is a dollar store frame! I paid one dollar for it.

Getting Going on Gold
May 16, 2010, 6:05 pm
Filed under: Tudor and Stuart Gold Master Class
Well, I got the scroll bars, attached the linen to the scroll bars, & started stitching for the sampler Tudor and Stuart Gold Master Class by Thistle Threads. Lesson 1 of an 18-month class.  I had to get my magnifying glass out of the closet & attach it to my light stand so I can see b/c 32 count is soooo small. I got the top of the center flower done (6 full & 3 half queen stitches done).  Not a difficult stitch – I’ve used it before – it’s called Rococo in The Needlepoint Book by Jo Ippolito Christensen. But it’ll take time getting used to using a magnifying glass as I work.

Sun Flower is actually a Daisy
May 15, 2010, 9:56 am
Filed under: Sun Flower with David McCaskill at Fireside Stitchery

The canvas is available on Fireside Stitchery’s website. They called it Daisy (PM3605).  It is from Dream House Ventures, Inc. It measures 11.75 w x 11.75 h inches. Search by PM3605 & only that one piece will come up in the results.

Sun Flower Petals
May 15, 2010, 9:33 am
Filed under: Sun Flower with David McCaskill at Fireside Stitchery

The whites on the sunflower are done. And, I have about half of the green surrounding them done & that stitch isn’t difficult but is more time-consuming. Sometimes is a good idea not to do all the fun stuff first. The abstract area is a tad more difficult because the canvas is dark & the threads are dark. Even with a good light, I prefer working on a lighter canvas. And, I’m working with an overdyed thread that I’m matching to the canvas as much as possible. So, I’m saving the toughest for last.

I just noticed my butterfly magnet in the upper right corner. It is not only pretty but it is a strong magnet. I got it at the Stitching Jubilee a year ago when it was at Valley Forge but not sure which seller.

May 13, 2010, 2:10 pm
Filed under: ANG Stitch of the Month Mystery Project

Last month when the heart-shaped stitch was so bulky, I should have really stopped to double & triple check. I just couldn’t see it then but now realize I used Vineyard Silk instead of the DMC floche that I’d planned on using. Oh well. I’m just glad I had enough to do this month’s stitch with the Vineyard Silk. Now, I’m back on track.

Vintage Pansy Barrel on eBay
May 10, 2010, 10:52 pm
Filed under: Early Needlepoint

I can’t believe that I found the kit for the Pansies I did as a young girl on eBay!! And, I must have been at least 15 years old when I did it. A little older that I thought. It is a vintage “Pink Pansy Barrel” needlepoint kit by Needlepointers Sunset Designs dated 1975.  It was designed by Randall Elwood. Kit includes printed design on 100% cotton canvas, 100% wool yarns, needle, mounting board, full color print and complete instructions  Fits standard 5″ x 5″ frame.  The kit has never been used.  Bottom of bag has been opened but all contents are intact.