Melitastitches4fun's Blog

Westtown Sampler Speaker
March 28, 2011, 10:08 pm
Filed under: ANG Main Line Stitchers Chapter

The Archivist from the Westtown School, is going to speak to our ANG Main Line Chapter about the Westtown samplers on April 11.  She’ll bring her own computer and projector for the presentation & use the wall to project as we did at our other presentations this year.

Westtown (just outside of West Chester, PA) opened in 1799. Plain sewing, samplers, pin cushions and other handiwork were done by girls until sewing class was eliminated from the curriculum in 1843. 
Here’s a link to the featured item of the month, a sampler by Mary Hill of Philadelphia who entered Westtown in August, 1799, at the age of 13 & a picture of 3 of their 9 needlework globes:
A brochure about their samplers:
Lastly, to the school website:

Contact us at: for more information.

Google Map for Philadelphia Area Local Needlepoint Shops (LNSs)
March 26, 2011, 1:01 pm
Filed under: General comments, Google Map for Philadelphia Area LNSs

I made a Google Map for Philadelphia Area Local Needlepoint Shops. The stores are located within an hours drive (or so) of Philadelphia (this does include New Jersey stores). I can add more anytime. If you know of more in the area, leave me a comment & I’ll add them. I feel so techy right now!! (If you don’t disable cookies, it’ll take 2 clicks to get there instead of going directly to the map. It feels good to learn new stuff!)

So, how’s it all done?

Well, go to Google Maps ( and click on My Maps for a 3&1/2 minute tutorial. It’s really that easy. You do have to have a Google account but that’s free & easy too.
  • Create a new map, give it a title & description.
  • Search the needlepoint store in the google maps search field.
  • Click on the correct store & in the balloon that pops up, click on “Save to . . . ” & place it in your map.

Now, to send that link to someone it’ll be really long:,-75.270081&spn=0.481057,0.852814&z=10

So, I took that URL & went over to & converted it to something much shorter:

I have no financial interest in any of the stores on My Map, Google Maps, or  I must say, this was all quite user-friendly!!  Give it a try for your own LNSs!!

Cottage Garden Theads
March 25, 2011, 11:41 pm
Filed under: General comments

Not that I need any more threads but . . . I saw Cottage Garden Threads mentioned in Mary Corbet’s newsletter & had to go look on their website. There are some beautiful overdyed threads. Makes me want to start a new project just to have an excuse to try them!

Mary’s newsletters are so informative across a variety of topics. And, free. She has a very informative website as well.

I have no financial interest in either of these – I just wanted to share the info.

Santa in full face and beard
March 24, 2011, 10:08 pm
Filed under: Santacicle

Santa is looking good – go ahead & pull on the beard or mustache! 

Just the hat band left to go (excluding the four rows needed all around the piece for finishers to work with).

Santa’s Face and Hat
March 13, 2011, 11:22 pm
Filed under: Needlework in Progress, Santacicle

Santa gets his full face & a red-hot hat this weekend! Even though I had spring fever from going to the Philadelphia Flower Show, I got a lot done – mostly Sunday because my feet needed the rest after walking the convention center. It sure felt like spring even with the chill in the air on Saturday. Wonderful weekend!

The Tied Oblong Cross Stitch on the Diagonal for his hat was tough to get the hang of & compensate. So, I did have to concentrate but it looks great. The hat has a very rich & full look with the Petite Very Velvet for the crosses, Kreinik Ribbon for the ties, & Sundance Beads.

Chilly Hollow’s trip report to Woodlawn
March 13, 2011, 10:02 pm
Filed under: General comments, Woodlawn Needlework Exhibition

Excellent insights on Woodlawn’s exhibit the year from:

Part 1 at

Part 2 at

Part 3 at

And, inside Woodlawn from maggieb,

Cloudy Sky Over the Poppy Field
March 11, 2011, 9:59 pm
Filed under: Needlework in Progress, Poppy Field

I’m really happy with my sky even though Monet’s palette had more yellow in the clouds than these. When I selected the overdyed thread, Crescent Colours Frosty (120485),  it really looked blue & yellow. But, when it separated to fewer threads, the colors diffused.

I had used thread blending and thread shading techniques before but after seeing how Lois Kershner combined thread blending with thread shading (as described in ‘Landscapes: Design & Stitching Techniques’) for her ‘Pajaro Dunes’, I knew I’d found my sky. I removed the few rows of Irregular Running as Giant Parisian variation in favor of the Horizontal Brick Stitch. The technique for thread shading works with most stitches but not with the running type of stitch.

I subdivided the portions of the sky into 6 levels of color in the sky. One skein had slightly darker blue portions (skein #1) than the other (skein #2). So, I cut out the portions that were dark blue from skein #1, light blue from skein #2, and light yellow from either skein.

Section 1 – 3 threads of dark blue

Section 2 – 2 threads of dark blue, 1 thread of light blue

Section 3 – 1 thread of dark blue, 2 threads of light blue

Section 4 – 3 threads of light yellow

Section 5 – 2 threads of light yellow, 1 thread of light blue

Section 6 – 2 threads of light blue, 1 thread of light yellow

I had bought 2 skeins of the floss (each 5 yards) – plenty – so I thought! Well, I ended up with just five 6-inch yellow pieces and one 6-inch light blue piece. That was close!!   

Woodlawn Roadtrip 2011
March 7, 2011, 12:27 am
Filed under: General comments, Woodlawn Needlework Exhibition

My husband, Bill, & I attended the 48th Annual Woodlawn Needlework Exhibition on Sunday, March 6.  There were 681 pieces from more than 400 entrants – according to the brochure – I didn’t count them!  Needlework is thriving! They drew such an incredible variety of needlework including beadwork, canvas work (traditional & multistitch), counted thread, blackwork, hardanger, drawn thread, cross-stitch, embroidery (crewel, cut-work, japanese, goldwork, silk ribbon, stumpwork, surface), fine hand sewing, miniature, needle-made lace (battenburg, filet guipure), quilted accessory, sampler (traditional, multistitch), & smocking.

I won’t go into all the pieces although I wish I could. So, I selected those pieces that spoke to me today. I hope I got everyone’s name spelled correctly. If not, my apologies – it’s getting late & I must get to bed – no time to double-check them – tomorrow is a workday.

In the first room where you enter to buy your tickets, there is a glass case. Inside are 2 of Catherine Jordan’s boxes of surface embroidery – stitched inside & out (exhibits #2 and #3) in her distinctive colors & style. Each piece won a second place ribbon and #3 won a Judges Choice award. The case also had beautiful beaded jewelry including bracelets and necklaces. I particularly liked the starfish necklace (one of the few that I didn’t note the # or name of stitcher).  There is an incredible stitched book by Constance Tobias done on linen (#146) that won first place.

From there, we stayed on the first floor & went into the room to the right of the door that you entered. There was a nice collection of angels. In the room on your way into the dining area (we had eaten a hearty breakfast & so didn’t stop for lunch or the lemon tart – darn it), we saw stumpwork (#6) by Carol Sylvester that won a first place ribbon. That was the one I had to vote for the People’s Choice. I am fascinated by that artform. The 3 dimensional effect is so eye-catching. The hallway had a variety of samplers again this year. Even my husband has gotten an education in samplers this year! The third room had a beautiful crewel butterfly using a blind stitch technique that makes this piece reversible. This original design (#745) by Kevin Throwe was framed so that you could see the back! I had a wonderful chat with Dorothy Bull, a fellow ANGer who had a piece in this room (#828) which used a bamboo stitch for her background – perfect for her oriental piece.  Kurdy Biggs got a first place ribbon for a piece (#24) using hilton stitches.

On the second floor, first room on the right, at the top of the stairs was where we found my ‘Sun Flower’ (#16) (see previous blog entry). It’s in the center of the mantlepiece. I was thrilled to find that it had won a third place ribbon. My Madam Carina (#17) was in the same room but didn’t win a ribbon. There was also a lovely variety of handbags in the room. And, a beautiful hardanger green & beige skirt (#857) on a porcelain figure. It’s on the chest of drawers & was done by Sharon Fullerton.

Going counter-clockwise through the 2nd floor, the second room is full of cute pieces done for children (not by children).

The third room had several pieces with hilton stitches designed by Michael Boren (according to the attendant). I am not familiar with the name but he had wonderful designs, including his design of a stain glass piece (#236) stitched by Chris Loudon called ‘Frankie’, a Frank Lloyd Wright inspired piece ( After my initial blog entry, I found out that Chris was in the pilot class for ‘Frankie’ which Michael Boren is teaching at the 2011 seminar. Another piece (#437) that used hilton stitches won honorable mention & was done by Kathy Raines. Starr Ramiech won third place for 2 pieces (#s 122 and 123) – again using hilton stitches. Dorothy Bull told me all about her ‘Stars & Hearts’ (#829) that came from Needlepointers or Needlepoint Now (I can’t remember which) & won honorable mention. She described how she used cotton backing & then, liquid nails to glue it onto the cover of a book of blank pages – she’s made another one as a gift. A really wonderful idea. There was also a Ro Pace piece (#121) – just beautiful. And, Jeffrey Kulik got second place for an original design in black & gray (#159) using a creative use of threads.

The fourth room on the second floor had stunning christmas stockings and ornaments galore. The fifth room was full of animal related pieces including a Charlie Harper design (#225) with a large center bird & 4 small ones around his feet done by Melissa Rosario.

The upstairs hallway had a first place winner (#834) done by Tara Roberts  in vibrant greens & oranges with hilton stitches. Next to that, was a piece by Kevin Throwe (#744). This original design didn’t win any prize but was a beautiful piece inspired, no doubt, by Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’ with blue swirls and yellow circles in the sky.

Nelly’s Needlers put on an amazing show. And, their work to educate is apparent in demonstrations they have throughout the exhibition & in the engaging way they interact with attendees – very informative & helpful. I sure hope that they are able to take pictures & share them via the internet like they did last year.

Bottom line all the pieces are just stunning. I don’t know how the judges can decide between them. It is really worth the trip. I wish I lived closer & could go back several more times. Perhaps I’ll take Dorothy Bull up on her invitation to join her & the Northern Virginia Chapter in 2012 when they invite Michael Boren to stitch ‘Frankie’ over a couple of weekends.

Safe travels to those fortunate enough to attend! We drove home in pouring rain but it well worth it because seeing the needlework & variety in finishing pieces is as educational as it is inspiring!

Sun Flower wins a 3rd place ribbon at Woodlawn

My husband, Bill, & I were thrilled to find that my ‘Sun Flower’ piece won a 3rd place ribbon at the 48th Annual Woodlawn Needlework Exhibition. Today, we found it on the 2nd floor, 1st room to your right & located right in the middle of the mantlepiece. With so many gorgeous pieces, I’m thrilled that it won a ribbon!