Melitastitches4fun's Blog

A Berlin Work Cardinal, Greens Grew Fast

Back to Susan Hoekstra’s piece. Remember this is a class to pilot for her 2014 Seminar class. Between the instructions she gave us in class and the written booklet, I am not having any problems. I added some extra satin stitches for better coverage & showed her the difference. Susan said she’ll revise her booklet after we give her feedback as we progress. So, we’re working hard to make this a fantastic class.

The greens grew fast! Where will my needle be flying to next?


Pinwheels Turning

I made quick progress on the pinwheels except when I had to cut out 3 rows on one of the smaller Bargello sections when I discovered that I missed the second dark row. Oh well, cutting out is quick enough. And, those rows aren’t as long as on the other Bargello section.

I found it easier to write down the step pattern for the first row of Bargello as a way to keep track of where I was I stitched. I have not done much Bargello & find the counting fraught with potential mistakes. How do you keep on track?

Getting the lighting right for the picture is very tough. I think this truer to my colors than the first blog posting.


Crescent River Fully Flowing
September 14, 2013, 4:35 pm
Filed under: Crescent River, Melita's Designs

I was almost done with the wild flowers when I saw Janet Perry’s Nuts about Needlepoint’s blog about an ‘open water stitch’ that would work for my river. She said it is a slight variation of a stitch David McCaskill used for an ANG Stitch of the Month. So, in addition to the waves, I added some water using Water n’ Ice. It’s WT1, a translucent thread, perfect for a reflective surface. However, I had quite a time with that thread fraying.

The ANG Yahoo Group and private emailers came to the rescue (thanks so much) and suggested various products:

Thread Zap II (to sear the end)
Fray Check
Fray Block
Nail polish (I don’t own any!)

Given some terms to search, I also googled and came across Beeswax and Thread Heaven (their website offered a chart comparing several products). I had picked up some beeswax a few years ago. So, I tried several methods to test the various products. But, it probably will vary depending on what type of thread you are working with to find what works best for the situation. I found beeswax, Fray Check, and Thread Heaven was working ok at the start but not for the length of the thread. I never tried Fray Block. And, I didn’t have Thread Zap so I tried a match and found searing the ends worked best. Also, using a larger eye in the needle seemed to help stop the drag. So, I invested in the safer battery operated gizmo. It helped as did using shorter lengths of thread.

I stitched 3 rows for the framer to cover with the mat leaving the design area 6″ x 6″. And, yeah! I’m done!! I might get Mylar for under the water to increase the reflectiveness of the water. What do you think?

Crescent River Finished


A Berlin Work Cardinal, Took Flight

Susan Hoekstra came to Lori’s house yesterday for an intimate class to pilot her 2014 Seminar class. Patrick and I rounded out the class participants – that’s individual attention. And, Lori made a delicious lunch. The day just flew by!

Susan finished her piece as a pillow and it really pops in person! My mom sure would have loved this piece and it would have been great on her couch. The vibrant red cardinal was her favorite bird, and the purple in the flowers was her favorite color! Apparently, cardinals are favorites across the country. It is the state bird of seven states, more than any other species.

Susan gave us a history of Berlin Work as we progressed through the key areas and we talked through each page. I remember seeing on the ANG Yahoo discussion list a conversation about the Irish stitch & we’ll use that for the background. Traditional Berlin stitches will be used with Vineyard Merino and Planet Earth Silk – both new threads for me.

I’m looking forward to working through the rest now! And, I promised to get it done by Susan’s 3rd Annual NJ Needle Festival scheduled for April 26, 2014. Susan reminded me that I began Crescent River at last year’s Needle Festival. So, that will be done by April too. Ample time to be ready!

Thanks for landing on my blog today and drop by later for progress (with permission from Susan to post pictures). FYI: I probably got the bird puns out of my system!


Tail and Flower

Cardinal Head

Tootsiebubbles: Pinwheels & Whirligigs

My ANG chapter, Main Line Stitchers, voted to do Brenda Kocher’s Tootsiebubbles: Pinwheels & Whirligigs. Independently, both I and Lori, our chapter President, decided to do this project. And, so we showed it to the rest of the group & everyone liked it.

There are 3 color ways presented. Lori bought the green color way kit but I decided to use my stash (my husband was thrilled). But, I still ended up buying extra Watercolous and Impressions to make sure that I’d have enough. And, I needed Splendor to go with the other threads I selected. I didn’t get my fill of using autumnal colors from the Crescent River (which I am still working on because between the stitch I’m using and the fraying Water n Ice, I needed a break from the water-Thread Zap works best so far).

I selected Petite Very Velvet V609 (dark brown), Watercolours 123 Spice (a minimally over-dyed brown thread) and 223 Rye (has yellow, orange, and brown), DMC Floche 433, 434, 435, 436, and 437 (a range of browns), Impressions 1106 and 1104 (light and medium orange), Accentuate 228 (brassy/brown sparkly filament), and Fyre Werks F9 (brassy/brown sparkly metallic ribbon).

As Projects VP, I wanted to get started to see if there were any tricky areas. And, we’re going to practice the Sprats Heads and Amadeus stitches at a meeting and make them into a small ornament if desired. Since mid-August, I made the 2 ornaments & progressed quite far on this piece. I haven’t done much Bargello before and that is what you start with in this piece. I find you do have to be careful counting. But, I have not had to unstitch much so far.

You’ll see that I am only sharing the start of this piece for now – I want to surprise my chapter members& I know a couple of them read my blog!

Bargello Pinwheel