Melitastitches4fun's Blog

Jackie’s Ladies in Their Boleros
May 27, 2012, 12:51 pm
Filed under: Jackie's Boleros, Melita's Adaptations

On the unofficial first weekend of summer, I want to blog about this wonderful picture. A woman I work with, Jackie, wanted it translated into needlepoint. Initially, I was going to make her a line drawing until I heard about copic markers.  Another woman I work with and her daughter picked me up the 5 colors I needed with 40% off coupons at Michael’s. They cost about 8 dollars each (before the coupon). They are really nice with double ends – a brush shaped nib on one end and a chisel tip on the other end.

There was no way to track copyright for the picture she wanted to use. However, Jackie is doing this for her own person use & is not planning to enter it into a competition of any kind. Should I wish to stitch this myself  someday & select stitches on my own, I could enter it as an Adaptation. The only problem is that if it were to win a ribbon, it would not get photographed for the magazine. I would not be able to reproduce the design/stitch guide either.

I think the drawing turned out quite good – certainly not as good as a professional painter could have done. But, it should be good enough – and way less expensive. I didn’t charge her! The canvas was only about $3 and I can reuse the markers. I just wanted to see if I could do it! Then, I selected some simple stitch patterns for her for the dresses & hand wrote up a stitch guide (of sorts-certainly not professional quality). Some other areas are simple diagonal or straight stitches. And, even smaller areas I suggested simple basketweave. We met a couple of times to go over the stitches. Jackie practiced them first & now is stitching the design! I am excited to see it.

Green Linen Towel Before and After Restoration
May 22, 2012, 9:59 pm
Filed under: Towels, Vintage Linens

I learned about “Restoration” from Judy, a woman I work with & who was kind enough to let me try some of hers. I am thrilled with how the green linen towel turned out. It is sold by Engleside Products & is also sold on Amazon.

Apparently, it works on antique fabrics, lace, wedding gowns, almost any textile. I have not tried it but they claim it removes coffee, tea, blood, grape juice, ketchup and other hard to remove stains. As you can see, it removed, as advertised,  damage even on discolored fold lines!!  I am thrilled that Engleside Products is a US company based in Lancaster County (  I have no financial connection to them – just a satisfied customer. Thanks again Judy!

The proof is in the pictures:


Books No Longer in My Library
May 20, 2012, 8:56 am
Filed under: Books No Longer in My Library

I am faced with an overload of books. I love books but my space is limited. I have books on needlepoint, embroidery, stitch patterns, design, drawing, color, fiber art, mosaic art, stained glass, samplers, and quilts – still not an exhaustive list!  So, I will donate some that really do not have enough of interest in it to retain.

For several years now, I have contemplated how to record these in some manner so that I know what I have owned so I do not buy them again! I need it handy to pull up & be searchable. I have not gotten the hang of any of those doc storing websites.  Since I want it when I am traveling and I have a cell phone with internet connection,  I decided to enter it into my blog & the blog is searchable. These are in no particular order.

Crewel Embroidery by Erica Wilson is from the early 60s and the best design is on the cover. Very few color photos. The stitch diagrams I can get in other books.

Crewel Embroidery

Needleplay by Erica Wilson is from the 70s and is very colorful and big using more wool – not my taste.


African Needlepoint Designs by Diane Oliver Turner has very simple patterns and designs – very colorful.

African Needlepoint Designs

Pleasures of Needlepoint by The Betty Crocker Home Library presents all projects as tent/basket weave but has no designs that are interesting.

Pleasures of Needlepoint

Nature in Needlepoint by Eva Brent and Meg Merrill has black and white patterns with coded squares which doesn’t thrill me but I wouldn’t do these designs anyway.

Nature in Needlepoint

America’s Best Cross-Stitch by Better Homes and Garden has good color pictures and charts but I don’t do much cross-stitch now & no design thrills me.

America's Best Cross-Stitch

The Needlework Doctor by Mary Kay Davis has a fantastic question and answer format for “How to Solve Every Kind of Needlework Problem” but is dated (talks about 35 mm slides).

The Needlwork Doctor

Needlecraft for Dummies covers a wide range of topics from getting started to finishing, stitches, various techniques, and some projects (none thrill me). But, it doesn’t cover anything that I can’t get out of other books.

Needlecrafts for Dummies

The Needlepoint Book by Jo Ippolito Christensen from 1976 with 303 stitches, patterns & projects. While it it would be fun to keep as a historical reference, I have the more updated 2nd edition and will probably get her 3rd edition at some point (maybe electronically though).

The Needlepoint Book

An Introduction to Embroidery by Anna Griffiths has great examples of free embroidery, and modern blackwork but the canvas work section is disappointing. I have a duplicate of this that I am keeping.

Crewel Embroidery with texture and thread variations by Audrey Francini has detailed stitch diagrams, easy to follow patterns, instructions from start to finishing, & discussions on color and design.  No design wows me & I have books that cover the other topics.

Decorating Baskets by Dawn Cusick has over 100 beautiful baskets and instructions on how to make them but I didn’t find enough baskets that had designs I liked to warrant keeping the book.

Watercolor Impressions by Magaret & Slusser has 74 watercolor-quilt impressions that utilize gradual movement from light to dark. They are fascinating but I do not see myself using this style in needlepoint pieces.

Small Scale Embroidery by Brenda Keyes has cross stitch, blackwork, goldwork, whitework, canvas work, beadwork, bargello, and assisi. There are some very cute designs but none I would actually stitch. However, I may place some of crochet or tatting in a needlepoint piece of mine as you see in the cover top center picture.

The Stitches of Creative Embroidery by Jacqueline Enthoven is the hard cover first issue from 1964 and I have the soft cover revised version that I am keeping.

Mosaics in Needlepoint by Xenia Ley Parker goes through the process of transforming designs into mosaics using line drawings and then shows about 2 dozen stitches to use. Again, the designs do not thrill me. So, there really was nothing new in the book that I need to keep it.

Cross-Stitch from a Country Garden from McCall’s Needlework & Crafts has over 90 projects including coasters, napkin rings, placemats, picture frame, and many more with excellent charts for counted cross stitch.

Embroidery from Better Homes and Gardens has 42 projects in a dozen techniques and presents good diagrams for basic embroidery stitches. It is an interesting collection of pieces with influences from across the world but nothing really appeals to me. Apparently, my tastes change over time but I did like this book enough to buy a second one! I really need this list.

Embroidery from French Chic uses 16 basic stitches and DMC floss on anything from t-shirts to tablecloths.

Round About Quilts by Michelle Watts uses wedges to form a circle and squares them off.

Needlepoint and Beyond by Edith Anderson Feisner has over 200 illustrations. She covers tools, stitches, designs, color, texture, shading, borders, needle weaving, appliqué, placing objects on canvases and more – in just 175 pages. I just prefer books with color.

Needlework Patterns by Susan Siegler adapts 24 textile pieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art into needlepoint. I just don’t care that much for the items she selected.

Book of Needlepoint Projects by Elaine Slater discusses working on a painted or blank canvas, tracing your own design, and working from graphs. The section for stitch diagrams breaks many stitches into so many steps that it spans as many as 4 pages with large diagrams and a lot of text to read.

Kyuuto! Japanese Crafts: Woolly Embroidery by Chronicle Books is an uniquely Japanese technique called Kyuuto – it has crewel, stump work, and some embroidery. On the back cover page, I finally learned that Kyuuto means cute. Some were cute but not cute enough to keep the book!

Embroidery Book by Mary Gostelow is a comprehensive reference book with stitch diagrams and 6 projects. I just do not care for the diagrams and covers topics I have in other books.

Happy Mother’s Day & Thanks for the Violin
May 13, 2012, 9:57 am
Filed under: Other People's Pieces, Violin

On the first Mother’s Day since her passing, I am honoring her memory by posting the violin my Mom, Rita, made for me many years ago. It is a large piece 23 & 1/2 wide by 29 high (excluding the 2 & 1/4 inch wide frame). Mom worked on that off and over a 3-year period! I played violin from grade school through my early 30s joining a local community orchestra when I moved to Philly. After it disbanded, I put it away & finally donated it to our home town music teacher to find it a home. Earlier this year, I enjoyed a wonderful visit with my home town violin teacher.

I still display the violin in our living room & was surprised when my bother commented that he could not find it on my blog! I do not know how I missed that in my first year of blogging. But, it seemed best to wait until today to share this piece. I love how dimension is brought to the piece by use of the shading. It was done in continental stitch because I remember seeing how askew the canvas was when it was done. And, Mom saying that the framer had a difficult time stretching it to block it. It was a counted piece – nothing stamped. She had quite a time getting the music notes & the strings placed to her liking. But, the violin and music turned out great. Love, miss, & think of you often.

Philadelphia Needlepoint Seminar Events and Venues Open to the Public August 24-31, 2012
May 12, 2012, 10:09 am
Filed under: ANG Seminar 2012

Although you must be registered for Seminar to attend the many classes that are offered, there are many events and venues that are opened to all ANG members and the general public. Many classes are still available & registration remains open until July 6, 2012.

The Seminar Exhibit is a collection of some of ANG’s most amazing stitched pieces. ANG Certified Judges will award the many “place” ribbons and the coveted Special Ribbons to the “best of the best”. You will also see on display the 2013 Seminar class pieces and the various classes offered through the Distance Learning Programs. Since ANG is celebrating its 40th Anniversary, you will see some of ANG’s history as told through past Seminar logos and other memorabilia.

The ANG Bookstore once again has Ruth Kern Books as the vendor. Find some of the most popular stitch books by some of the best teachers in the needlework industry. Shop for some of the “old” books no longer available or some of the newest stitch-related novels!

The ANG Shop welcomes Rittenhouse Needlepoint, of Philadelphia, as our 2012 shop vendor. Russell Palmer, Rittenhouse co-owner, promises to have a large variety of threads, canvases, and charted needlework on hand, including 5 trunk shows. You will also get to meet their in-house painter, finisher, and framer. Russell promises to make this a huge celebration in honor of ANG’s anniversary!

The Opportunity Baskets will have a large number of baskets filled with wonderful stitching merchandise donated by generous vendors and ANG members and chapters. You can purchase raffle tickets for $1 each and place the ticket in your favorite “wish I had that” basket. The winning tickets will be pulled at the Closing Banquet, but you do not have to be present to win! The tickets will be available for purchase throughout Seminar week.

Tuesday, Auction 28th, is Auction Day. The Silent Auction is open for viewing and bidding from 7:30am – 5:30pm. At the close of the Silent Auction, you can begin viewing the Live Auction items. The Live Auction begins at 7:00pm, with ANG’s favorite auctioneer, Randy Holford. This is always an exciting evening of bidding! Please remember you can only bid if you have a bidder number. Those will be available Monday evening, August 27 from 6:00-8:00pm and all day on Tuesday.

Teachers’ Showcase is Wednesday, August 29, from 7:00-8:00pm. Visit with many of ANG’s best teachers and get information about their teaching schedules and the many classes they have to offer to your chapters.

For hours & to read all about ANG’s 40th Anniversary Seminar please visit (lot’s of info so scroll down)