Melitastitches4fun's Blog

2018 in Review and A Preview
December 31, 2018, 1:22 pm
Filed under: General comments

Thanks to the 7,500+ visitors to my blog last year. I do love keeping track of my needlepoint here and am happy to share it with all of you. My annual review is a wonderful way to look back over the year & realize my accomplishments and contemplate where to go with it in 2019.

It’s been another busy year with completed projects, exciting classes, and needlepoint travel adventures. Where to start? It’s really been a year about learning how to design first from Orna Willis through an online 6-month course where I drew, painted, and transformed two designs into stitched pieces. The one design called Crescent Journey received 25 out of 25 points for both the design and color elements by judges at the ANG National Seminar and was awarded a 3rd place ribbon. It was my most complicated design until I completed my ANG Seminar 3-day design class with Kathy Rees. We each designed our own 4″ square piece during class and now I’m half done stitching my 12″ square piece (unnamed as of now and pictured in progress below). It’s a challenge but so is working on writing the diagrams and instructions on my computer for Crescent Journey. My friend Linda encouraged me to create more colorways for Crescent Journey and agreed to stitch a neutral colorway. I’m stitching a beach colorway. We’re both proofing my diagrams and instructions. It is taking me longer to write this up and create the diagrams than it does to stitch it! But, it’s a learning process and makes me appreciate other designer’s instructions so much more.

My Scotch Stew design was published in Needle Pointers May 2018 issue. I returned from Seminar in 2017 having learned how to graph stitch diagrams and sent them to Pam Gardner who redid them but mine were better diagrams than I had sent to her previously and she said that made it much easier for her.

That’s not all I’ve stitched. These were completed:

  • Metalforms by Jeff Kulick in copper/green colorway. It was a counted piece published in Needle Pointers magazine (Mar, May, Jul, Sept, and Nov 2017) and done along with others in both my ANG Main Line and ANG Keystone chapter members.
  • My name tags for ANG Main Line and EGA Brandywine are both stitched and I finished them myself. Keystone doesn’t wear them.
  • Speaking of Keystone, they hand out a free project and threads each year. This year was The Thistle by Carole Lake & Micheal Boren which was a counted piece published in Needle Pointers magazine Sept 2014.
  • Scotch Flower & Hearts, an original design and precursor to my Scotch Stew design.
  • Purple Mountains Majesty, an original design, as a challenge to use only one overdyed thread with at least 3 distinct colors in a design.
  • A stitch & Zip rose eyeglass case with a fabric lining added under the tutelage of Linda, an accomplished sewer as well as needlepointer.
  • Coffee Cups, a painted canvas, is done. I was one of nine members of my ANG Main Line Stitchers Chapter to stitch on it.
  • The Crazy Quilt piece was fun to stitch with Betty Pillsbury teaching ribbon and bead work at Edwardian Needle. It was almost finished during the 2-day class because Pam had provided pre-work materials that allowed me to stitch the beads and ribbons right onto the patchwork base. Betty is coming to EGA Brandywine chapter in April 2019.
  • Hearts. Lots of hearts! About 7 of them either for Hearts of Hospice ANG Greater Kansas City Needlepoint chapter or ANG auction.

Here’s what I started (adding to the list of uncompleted projects):

  • Golden Friends by Toni Gerdes which is a counted design provided to members of the ANG Golden Needle Society.
  • Lotus Kimono, a painted canvas by Lee which is part of an ongoing project at my ANG Main Line Chapter to see how different stitch guides are written. I’m selecting my own stitches and threads.
  • Winter Scene Sleigh, a painted canvas by Alice Peterson which is also part of the ANG Main Line stitch guide project.
  • Patchwork of Peace, a counted design of the United States flag by Mary Clark Donegan, consists of 247 different blocks of reds, whites/ecru, and blues. I am using supplements by Connie Camp but on Congress Cloth and am using my own threads.
  • A poppies Stitch & Zip eyeglass case.

My travels took me to:

  • Needlepoint Junction on Hilton Head Island where you can find loads of beautiful threads and canvases.
  • Nimble Needle in NJ quite often for various threads, tools, and Tulip needles
  • Rittenhouse Needlepoint at their new location at 12th & Arch to select threads for Lotus Kimono and the new Crescent Journey colorways. Linda & I spent 4 hours there – fun but not as easy as I anticipated!
  • Woodlawn Exhibit in Alexandria, VA with Bill. He’s my lucky charm! My original Zentangle design was awarded Honorable Mention ribbon.
  • New Jersey Needle Festival where we joined 100+ stitchers and vendors for a day of some fun stitching and shopping.
  • Fort Hunter Needle Art Exhibit in Harrisburg, PA with Linda. It was smaller than Woodlawn but larger than I expected with over 150 pieces on display from a half dozen area guilds representing a wide range of techniques – all done exquisitely.
  • Half Moon Handwerks in nearby New Cumberland, PA. Linda & I can’t get within 10 miles of here and not stop! I love their selection of Chameleon threads (hand dyed in Africa) which I have only found here. And, Linda loves their fabrics.
  • Washington, DC for ANG’s Annual Seminar. I surprised myself with the level of complexity in the 12″ square design that I’m stitching now. Kathy Rees really taught us the foundation of how to design geometrics in her 3-day class.
  • Scrim Discovery in Ocean City, NJ not only has threads and canvases but an amazing collection of stunning tote bags to place needlepoint on them.
  • Valley Forge Quilt Show. This is Linda’s Quilt Guild that exhibits and sells hand made goodies every other year. Great people doing amazing work!
  • Dyeing to Stitch in Virginia Beach, VA proved to me that I need to stop at “embroidery” stores as much as I need to stop at “needlepoint” stores. It didn’t take me too long to find something new that I had to have.
  • Orna Willis’ new studio. When Orna announced her open house, I knew a few members of my Main Line Chapter would want to go too. Four of us attended the event and met a half dozen other people I knew when we were there. Amazing space and light. We’ll have to plan a class there for our chapter.

I didn’t make much progress on these painted canvases: Vases, Swirling Leaves, Embracing Horses, JP Bird of Paradise & Bamboo, and JP Orange Orchid & Bamboo. Other projects have been waiting for me since as far back as 2011: Stitches in Sterling, Tar River Trail, Sisters, and Rozashi – Patterns in Blue and Green. But, they will be there for me this year!

Some fun times are already scheduled for 2019 including:

  • Woodlawn Exhibit
  • 2-day class at Rittenhouse Needlepoint with Sandra Arthur for beads and ribbons
  • leading ANG Delaware Seashore Chapter in Overdyed Spools, my design in the 2017 ANG Chapter Project Book
  • Stitcher’s Escape Cruise to Bermuda with Jean Farish
  • ANG Seminar in Houston

Thanks for coming along with me this past year and I’m looking forward to sharing my adventures over the coming year! Hope you have a healthy, happy New Year.

Patchwork of Peace, Row 6 White
December 28, 2018, 11:43 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

It didn’t take me long to realize that once I sit down with a project to stitch, I want to get a significant portion done on it. So, stitching a block a day for this project, Patchwork of Peace, won’t work. If I stitch sections for a couple of days every 2-3 weeks that will get me through it by Labor Day. That’ll still allow me to stitch on other projects during the year to come. The more I stitch on Congress Cloth, the better I like it. With good light, it’s not too difficult on my eyes. Anything smaller and I’d have to get out my magnifying glass.

The design area is 9″ x 13″ on Congress Cloth. I add 2″ on all sides and use 13″ x 17″ bars.

Starting with the block on the right (#1) moving to the left (#11), I used the following threads (1 strand unless noted):

1 – Impressions 100 and DMC #12 Ecru

2 – Soie Cristale 0057 (2 strands) and Subtley Y899

3 – Burmillana 3845 (2 strands) and Silk Lame Braid Petite SP100

4 – Bella Lusso 001 and Elegance E800

5 – Wildflowers 000 and Pashmina 261 (2 threads)

6 – Designer’s Dream 002 and Treasure Braid Petite PB10 (2 strands)

7 – DMC #8 B5200 and DMC Floche Blanc (2 strands)

8 – Soie Perlee SPS694 and Kreinik #8 102

9 – Wildflowers 118 and Soie Cristale 0057 (2 strands)

10 – Trebizond 125 and Elegance E800

11 – Impressions 100 and Kreinik #4 032C

Florentine Heart Halloween – Patricia Tector
December 26, 2018, 1:35 pm
Filed under: ANG CyberPointer's Chapter

The ANG Cyberpointers chapter offered the Florentine Heart by Patricia Tector for the September project. Instead of using an overdyed thread and 5 colors of Planet Earth Silk from the Cups canvas leftovers, I used two “solid” overdyed threads, the green one is Lettuce V052 and the dark purple one is Port V171. The other three solid threads are Embers 011 (orange), Burgundy 170 (light purple), and Midnight 102 (black). The colors remind me of Halloween.

Pat has the design worked in 3 main lines establishing the bargello patterns which I followed. The heart is the same 4 & 1/2″ x 4 & 1/2″ size as I’ve been stitching. That was a fun design to stitch. I finished it a couple of weeks ago and forgot to post it to my blog.

Christmas For A Stitcher
December 25, 2018, 8:06 pm
Filed under: General comments, Needles, Organization

In addition to some non-needlepoint gifts, I will enjoy these gifts from my husband and sister. How did they know?? Happy Holidays!

Shapes of Needlepoint, Series IV, by Sandra Arthur makes it my 3rd of the series I own now. Great books.

These are the 4 tools that I asked Santa to bring after seeing Linda’s tools at our ANG Main Line meeting. As Buff said, I had tool-envy! The needle storage tubes have magnets to prevent the needles from falling out. I have a seam ripper but the rubber tip on these grab and “erase” the loos threads away. The thimble pack is one I’m not sure I’ll need or use but worth trying. And, I hope the Hummingbird will be helpful threading really small eyes in needles.

There are 12 designs by Madeline Lake that features a different stitch of the month. Each is on 14 mesh and are 5×5 designs. There is a stitch guide on the back of each.

An alphabet book with clown letters – someone needs to have a baby!!

And, a clear plastic project bag. Never have enough of these because apparently, I find starting projects more fun than finishing them!

Broken Heart
December 24, 2018, 1:58 pm
Filed under: ANG Main Line Stitchers Chapter, Hearts of Hospice

Here’s another heart that I will call Broken Heart for two reasons. At this time of year, I always remember the wonderful people, family and friends, that are no longer here to share in the holidays. So many good times bringing bittersweet emotions.

I made up stitches as I went along. There are 2 halves of a heart on each side pointing outward which is why I named it, Broken Heart. I’m still using Planet Earth Silk threads from Coffee Cups included here are Midnight 102, Port V171, Burgundy 170, and Lettuce V052.

Best wishes to all of you this holiday season as you go about visiting folks and making new memories!

Not-so-Secret Santa
December 19, 2018, 5:14 pm
Filed under: ANG Keystone Garden Chapter

Thanks to Holly who is a member of my ANG Keystone Garden chapter and works at Rittenhouse Needlepoint, Russell and Steven graciously donated needlepoint canvases for everyone attending our Holiday evening (about 20 of us). We each got 2 needlepoint canvases! Here are mine. The ornament is cute. And, the scene of England should be interesting to stitch.

Many thanks to everyone at Rittenhouse and best wishes for a happy, healthy New Year!

Red Walnetto Ornament
December 17, 2018, 11:24 pm
Filed under: Christmas Ornaments, Melita's Other Completed Pieces

I’m not sure where I got the design but I apparently used Watercolours Cinnabar, an overdye without a lot of variation. A few years ago at an ANG Main Line meeting, I made a cord using the Kumihimo Japanese braiding technique to finish the ornament but never did attach the cord and can’t find it now. So, I cut around the design to fit this silver ornament. It beveled up just a little for a perfect fit.

Patchwork of Peace, Row 4 White
December 15, 2018, 1:13 pm
Filed under: ANG Main Line Stitchers Chapter, Patchwork of Peace

I was trying to stitch a block a day. But, I ran into a snag. You may be able to see where I had to remove blocks 1 through 9 in between the 2 white rows. Yes, it took me 9 blocks to realize that I didn’t skip a row for the red stripe. At least I didn’t finish the row and the blocks restitched faster the second time around.

Starting with the block on the right (#1) moving to the left (#11), I used the following threads (1 strand unless noted):

1 – Wikdflowers 000 and 118

2 – DMC #8 B5200, DMC Floche Blanc, and Kreinik 032C

3 – Wildflowers 000 and Soie Perlee 694

4 – Gloriana 0057 and Silk Lame Braid Petite SP100

5 – Pashmina 000 and Elegance E800

6 – Bella Lusso 001 and DMC Floche Blanc

7 – Pashmina 261 and DMC #8 Ecru

8 – Trebizond 125

9 – Burmillana 3845 and Au Ver A Soie

10 – Wildflowers 118 and Elegance E800

11 – Wildflowers 000 and Gloriana 261

Orna’s Studio Open House
December 7, 2018, 5:09 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Four of us from ANG Main Line Stitchers Chapter enjoyed Orna’s open house at her new studio. It’s a wonderful area to work. Great sunlight. We’ll have to figure out what class our chapter would be interested in doing next. There’s Carol Ann and Buff in the back. Rae is sitting working on writing up our purchases.

I found 4 pretty Bijoux threads and a couple of sparkly red threads for my Patchwork of Peace. Orna’s packages are all so pretty but I only picked up the kit for a pair of earrings.

Orna has a lovely selection of snacks upstairs which we enjoyed as we sat and chatted with her and Carol from NJ who follows my blog! And, later, we were there to see Barbara from MD and Brenda and Roseanne from DE – all ANG folks.

Wonderful day! We look forward to returning for a class and wish Orna all the best in their new home and studio.

Christmas Craftree, 2018
December 6, 2018, 1:24 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Since I had too many ornaments for our little table top Christmas tree, I decided to create another tree to hang some hand-crafted ornaments in 2016. I forgot to put it up in 2017 but remembered this year. I still have more that didn’t fit.

The board is the center part of a black poster board trifold with the side panels removed. One side panel is taped on the back to add some spacer for the push pins. I used black duct tape to protect the edges and green duct tape to make the tree.

All the ornaments have been hand-made by myself, my mother, and my grandmother or bought at a craft show except for the 3 wooden ones near the top because I wanted a couple of more snowflakes and a big star to top the tree.

This year, the tree holds a different collection of ornaments including more needlepoint ornaments than cross stitch designs that were displayed in 2016. The golf bag and purple bulb near the center are probably the newest.