Melitastitches4fun's Blog

Mom’s Crib Cover
October 31, 2011, 7:08 am
Filed under: Vintage Linens

In memory of my mother’s birth today (Halloween), and in honor of her death earlier this year, I’m posting this picture of her ‘crib cover’.

The note that we found with it doesn’t say who made it or when. It may have been my grandmother or it could have been a shower gift. We’ll never know! Dimensions are 35″ x 47″ not including crocheted edging.

200th Blog – a Vintage Handkerchief
October 29, 2011, 10:31 am
Filed under: General comments, Vintage Linens

In order to post this, my 200th blog, I did a 2011 review. I only posted 55 blogs this year as compared to last year’s 145. So, I slowed down. But, it’s still been a busy, fun, interesting year so far:

I’ve stitched a golf piece for my husband, baby pieces for Calder & Carson, showed you Anita’s cross stitched angel from several years ago & vintage lines with crocheted edging done by my grandmother. I’ve dabbled in embroidery, braiding, & beading.

I’ve stitched with ANG Cyberpointers, ANG Mainline Stitchers Chapter, & ANG Seashore Chapter in Georgetown, DE.

I’ve learned from a host of sources:

  • ANG Yahoo Group
  • Stitches in Sterling with Nancy Cucci (in progress)
  • Photo embroidery with Joetta Maue (in progress)
  • Kumihimo with Carol LePage
  • Sampler & Antique Needlework Magazine (finished scissors sheath in 2011)
  • Landscapes with Pat Rusch & Lois Kershner (in progress)
  • Project Gutenberg
  • Santacicle with Janet Zickler Casey (finished in 2011)
  • Pieces of Eight by Gayle Bicknell (finished in 2011)
  • Clarity By Ann Daly
  • Mary Corbet’s newsletter
  • Chilly Hollow’s Blog
  • Archivist at Westtown School
  • Beaded bracelet making class with Lori from ANG Mainline Stitchers

Learned about:

  • ANG Pilot Stitcher Program
  • Royal School of Needlepoint from CBS Sunday Morning

Bought from:

  • Judy at Judy’s Stitchery Nook in Harlingen, TX
  • Sue at The Log House in New Castle, PA
  • Tokens and Trifles (online)
  • Lavinia at Counted Embroidery in Califon, NJ
  • Karen Milano at Nimble Needle in Haddonfield, NJ
  • Marcie at Needle Me in Havertown, PA
  • Tony & Betsy at Fireside Stitchery in Frazer, PA
  • Russell & Stephen at Rittenhouse Needlepoint in Phila, PA
  • Dan from Framer’s Workshop in Phila, PA
  • The Bead Garden in Havertown, PA
  • Fire Mountain Gems (online)

With this blog, I’ll share my vintage handkerchief that was my grandmothers that was what I carried with my bouquet for something old. We share not only the same initial but I have my grandmothers first name for my middle name, Mae. Many of the items I’ll be blogging about over the next weeks and months are vintage items from her day or my mother’s. I expect this was not hand-made but there is no tag.

I have no financial tie to any person or organization mentioned above – just a happy stitcher giving credit to wonderful people or services or both.

Stitches in Sterling
October 26, 2011, 7:34 am
Filed under: Needlework in Progress, Stitches in Sterling

What a wonderful weather we had for the long weekend in Rehoboth Beach, DE! And, the class was even better. Nancy Cucci taught bead basics (I’d never applied beads to needlepoint before) & darning patterns (which I had not done very much of before). So, it was a wonderful learning experience.

I am also very impressed by her instructions. All the images are hand drawn. I thought everyone used a computer & was thrilled to learn she does them by hand. They are so well drawn that I didn’t realize that they are hand drawn! Such a personal touch to be doing it by hand.

We applied various types/sizes of beads the first day. Then, yes, I finished 2 areas of the beading at a bar! It was so well-lit & almost nobody in the bar that it was like working at home with just the TV on – baseball, beer & beading with Bill by my side!! The second day we learned about the background stitches (some darning others more wrapping to create flatter/rounder looks) & a way to sign & date the piece in a very subtle stitching pattern. We talked about all the areas before we left.

There were 2 ladies that came from Albany, NY & 4 of us from Philly, & the rest were Delawareans. It was really a wonderful opportunity to meet fellow ANGers. Most everyone went out to a group dinner on Monday night, including the 2 traveling husbands. Roseanne & Geri did a fantastic job at organizing everything. It really was a wonderful group of people, location, & learning experience. Thanks again for thinking to invite us!

And, on the drive home, I came up with an idea for a piece to submit to ANG Seminar for 2012. I even got the basics down on paper last night when I got home so I wouldn’t forget. I was picking her brain about how she designs during class. Thanks Nancy for a very educational & enjoyable learning experience!! And, eventually, for a loving piece of needlepoint.

Research on pillow cases
October 21, 2011, 7:51 pm
Filed under: Needlework in Progress, Photo Embroidery Class

I found a tag, ’42″x36″, type 140, Debutante by Dan River’ on the inside of the pillow case that I’m taking to class tomorrow & googled it. In 1961, The Torrence Herald advertised a pair of these pillow cases same size as mine but not ‘Debutante’ on sale 2 for $0.76 & the ‘Debutante’ that they did advertise are not the same size on sale 2 for $1.26. So, close but not a match.

Click to access 00000903.pdf

I also found a pair with embroidery edging by Dan River that are close to mine but not an exact match, on eBay for $3.99 + S&H. A pair that isn’t opened is selling on eBay for $19.99. Understandable difference in price.

Wedding Photo for Autobiographical Embroidery Class
October 20, 2011, 9:53 pm
Filed under: Needlework in Progress, Photo Embroidery Class

Since our next wedding anniversary will be our 25th, I decided to take one of my (our) favorite photos from the wedding album & use it for this project.

I scanned the photo into the computer and enlarged it. I made  3 attempts at tracing it until I got this one. Then, I traced it onto my pillow case which is larger than I expected it to be back in my grandmother’s day. It measures 30″ x 20″. I’m glad it was that big though because I was able to slip it over my light box & just trace through the one layer.

Pillow cases with colored tatted edging (not crochet)
October 18, 2011, 10:04 pm
Filed under: Vintage Linens

The pillow cases with the purple edging (thanks to an ANG Yahoo Group member I discovered that these are tatting – not crochet) will go in our guest bedroom nicely. Perhaps, I’ll embroider something on them after I have more experience in this ‘contemporary’ style. For now, I’ll use as is – I’d hate to ruin them.

Pillow cases with white tatted or crochet edging
October 16, 2011, 5:00 pm
Filed under: Vintage Linens

These are 6 white plain pillow cases that my grandmother embellished by adding a white crochet edging. Considering the crank style washing machines my grandmother used, I’m surprised they held up this well. That was always something I looked forward to – helping with the laundry when I visited her.

There is some wear on a few of the pillow cases but most are in good shape. And, the edging is good. Although I do not have a photo yet, I’m going to use the last set for my photo embroidery class. My favorite is the first set (which thanks to an ANG Yahoo Group member I learned is tatting – not crochet) but I’m just not sure I can tackle that with success. So, I’ve selected my second favorite.

Contemporary Embroidery Class
October 10, 2011, 3:17 pm
Filed under: Contemporary Embroidery Class, Needlework in Progress

I’ve signed up for another embroidery class on Saturday Oct 29! I read about the class and work by contemporary embroidery artist Erin Endicott on Nimble Needle’s blog at

This workshop by contemporary embroidery artist Erin Endicott ( will explore hand embroidery, hand dyeing, and hand sewing on the fabrics of your choice. We will work intuitively with pattern, line and mark making to create beautiful and powerful works of art. We are to bring our own “fabric something” that holds personal meaning. I have just brought vintage linens home from my mother’s house. So, this class will be great.
Also, this type of class could tie into what ANG is planning for a contemporary sampler competition in 2012 for Seminar in Philly:
“Samplers evoke thoughts of alphabets, rows (bands) of stitched designs and small distinct areas of designs, with traditional meaning. Samplers were originally identified, as a sample of each new stitch learned by the child on a single piece of fabric. However, in today’s world, many definitions of words are being redefined. Techniques are changing, available materials are changing, and as a result our lives, and our artistic endeavors, are changing. There will be a judged competition, for contemporary samplers. Members are encouraged to design, stitch, enter original samplers, and to compete, for cash and other awards. We wish to bring this beautiful art of the past and present into the future.”

Pilot Stitcher
October 8, 2011, 10:51 am
Filed under: ANG Pilot Stitcher, Needlework in Progress

I want to discuss the Pilot Stitching process for ANG correspondence classes.  This process is meant to ensure that the courses when offered to ANG members are error-free with clear instructions and accurate graphs/diagrams. This also helps determine their conformance to the level of proficiency definitions as set forth by ANG. If selected, everything about it is confidential and not for publication.

After I expressed interest, I was sent a “Pilot Stitcher Registration/Preference Form” but that is also available online ( On there you need to select your proficiency level: Basic, Basic-Intermediate, Intermediate, Advanced-Intermediate, Advanced based on the definitions for the student proficiency levels at on the ANG website.

I was going to select Advanced Intermediate until I read the definitions. While I’ve done 5 workshops/classes & have no problem with diagonal patterns, I took a long, hard, honest look at the familiarity with “at least 4 techniques” for Intermediate and with a “wide variety of techniques” for Advanced Intermediate and the types of techniques listed for both. I also didn’t want to overestimate my ability and be placed on a project that I would struggle with and become frustrated. Also, time is limited to complete the task & the teacher needs constructive comments about the instructions. So, I determined I am more comfortable with being an Intermediate stitcher. 

I have done some work in the underlined techniques:

Intermediate: pulled thread, pattern darning, Florentine (Bargello), blackwork, free stitchery, beading, introductory silk and metal thread techniques, Hardanger, and mixed media

Advanced Intermediate: appliqué, attaching found objects, cut work, raised work, needlelace, needleweaving, silk and metal thread techniques, laying silk and stranded threads, and couching

Student Proficiency Levels:

The following description of levels is provided to assist each student in judging her/his level of expertise:


  • Can thread a needle, and begin and end threads correctly
  • Works tent stitch (half-cross, continental, and/or basketweave)
  • Can read and work from diagrams and charts

Basic Intermediate

  • Possesses skills outlined in previous level
  • Has participated in at least one (1) formal workshop or class or has had at least six hours of instruction in a class setting
  • Works diagonal tent stitch (basketweave) beginning at a corner of curved line and understands basic compensation
  • Can work at least six (6) different decorative stitches
  • Understands and works from stitch diagrams and charts with confidence


  • Possesses skills outlined in previous levels
  • Has participated in at least three (3) formal workshops or classes
  • Has stitched with a variety of threads such as cotton, wool, silk, synthetics, linen, metal and metallics, and is familiar with their characteristics
  • Confidently works complicated stitches from diagrams and is comfortable with their compensation
  • Has worked at least four different techniques on a readily counted grounds, such as pulled thread, pattern darning, Florentine (Bargello), blackwork, free stitchery, beading, introductory silk and metal thread techniques, Hardanger, and mixed media

Advanced Intermediate

  • Possesses skills outlined in previous levels
  • Has participated in at least five (5) formal workshops or classes
  • Has worked a wide variety of techniques on a readily counted ground, such as appliqué, attaching found objects, cut work, raised work, needlelace, needleweaving, silk and metal thread techniques, laying silk and stranded threads, and couching
  • Confidently stitches diagonal patterns


  • Possesses skills outlined in previous levels
  • Has participated in a wide variety of formal workshops in different techniques and has experience with many different types of grounds and thread
  • Is interested in developing skills and pursuing solutions to problems in design, color, and techniques>
  • Is interested in developing original designs, colors, and/or styles

Then, I had to mark my needlework preferences that I would be willing to stitch (I have done some work in underlined items): Needlepoint, Geometric, Goldwork, Blackwork, Surface embroidery, Pulled Thread, Petit Point, Drawn Thread, Silk & Metallic, Japanese embroidery, Stumpwork, Laid thread, Couching, Beading, Florentine, Bargello, Hardanger, Ribbon embroidery, Assisi, Oriental openwork, Other. But, I only said I was willing to stitch  Needlepoint or Geometric because that would be my most proficient areas. 

Lastly, I had to mark what I would prefer to stitch on either Canvas: 18 ct Mono, Congress Cloth, 22 ct, 24 ct, and/or Linen: 18 ct, 20 ct, 22 ct, 24 ct, 26 ct, 28 ct, 30 ct, Silk Gauze, 25 ct, 32 ct, 40 ct, 48 ct, 56 ct. 

In additional comments, I indicated I would prefer to kit a project myself or use my stash although I would buy a kit if required.

I selected either Needlepoint or Geometric on 18 count Mono Canvas. As you can see, those are now quite specific abilities & preferences! My hats off to the folks who match people & courses – it must be quite a challenge!!

Embroidered flower missed the mark; so, taking 2nd class
October 7, 2011, 7:06 am
Filed under: Melita's Adaptations, Orchids, Photo Embroidery Class

Well, I missed the mark on the this project because I didn’t start with the right subject. And, I stitched in a classic embroidery style. So, I’m glad to get a second chance at an Oct 22 class at Rittenhouse Needlepoint.

Here’s the concept for the first class I took a few months ago with Joetta Maue – Glean from daily observation to create a one of a kind personal artwork by creating a visual “diary sampler” of embroidery stitches, incorporating abstraction and pattern or confessional writing and images. The “diary” of stitches will be explored as a daily act and observation. We will discuss the creative use of diaristic writing and daily life documentation, while looking at examples of contemporary fiber artists.

It was supposed to be more ‘Autobiographical Embroidery’. I don’t know what photo to take for the second class but I’m thinking about a photo from our wedding because we are celebrating 25 years of marriage next year! At least that is more in keeping with the concept.

I have stitched the orchid before ( & it still looks nice enough: